Today in Madonna History: November 15, 2005

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On November 15 2005, Madonna performed an intimate club show for roughly 1,500 contest winners and guests at KOKO in London’s Camden Town district. The event was held to celebrate the release of her album, Confessions On A Dance Floor.

While roughly 200 fans queued overnight to secure a spot near the stage for the gig, fans around the world were able to enjoy a live stream of the performance online.

VIP guests in attendance included Sir Bob Geldof and his late daughter Peaches, Stella McCartney, Guy Ritchie and Pet Shop Boys’ Neil Tennant.

Madonna’s very first promotional concert in London was held at the same venue – then named Camden Palace – in October of 1983.

Setlist

  • Hung Up
  • Get Together
  • I Love New York
  • Let It Will Be
  • Everybody

Today in Madonna History: November 6, 1982

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On November 6 1982, Madonna lost her chart virginity with her very first appearance in Billboard magazine, as Everybody made its debut on the Hot Dance/Club chart (then titled Dance/Disco Top 80). Fittingly foreshadowing her long-term, record-shattering success on the Dance chart, it was the week’s highest new entry.

Dance music commentator Brian Chin also gave a favorable nod to the song in the same chart’s editorial sidebar. Considering Sire Records’ initially stunted marketing strategy had its limited bets set on a faceless, imageless Madonna shrouded in mystery, Chin’s miscasting of her as “a young New York duo produced by DJ Mark Kamins” is humourously forgivable, if not ironic in retrospect.

We would venture to predict that Madonna was likely less amused by the gaffe. Enter Liz Rosenberg?😉

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Today in Madonna History: October 13, 1983

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On October 13 1983, Madonna performed Burning Up, Everybody and Holiday at Camden Palace’s Thursday Party Night in London, England.

The following article about Madonna’s performance was originally published on October 15 1983 by The Guardian:

This could be the way pop promotion is going – new artists launched not with a full concert, but with the live equivalent of a video clip.

The scene at the Camden Palace in the early hours was like something from a British version of Flashdance. The place was packed with the usual exotically dressed clientele – there to see and be seen rather than just listen to the music – when the dancing was interrupted by what’s known on the American disco scene as a “track date.”

Pioneered by the likes of Grace Jones, this is a cut-price promotion device in which a disco artist suddenly appears for half an hour, singing live to backing tapes.

This demonstration was by a white girl in her early twenties, known simply as Madonna, a dancer who moved to New York from the Mid-West as an ambitious teenager and is currently the most important new figure in the American dance scene.

She succeeded partly because she makes great records and partly because she has turned the boring idea of a track date into an exotic event.

Dressed in holocaust chic – black top, black skirt and leggings, lots of bare midriff, and hair in ringlets – she sang well, with a husky, black-sounding voice, and danced even better. She hurtled around the stage, mostly swivelling her hips like a belly-dancer while performing her songs like Lucky Star and the stirring Holiday.

Given a full set and a live band behind her, Madonna would seem to have the makings of a major star, so it’s no wonder she is now being managed by the man who guided Michael Jackson’s recent career.

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Today in Madonna History: July 23, 1985

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On July 23 1985, Into The Groove was released as a single in the UK.

Not wanting to draw more attention away from the Like A Virgin album following the release of the soundtrack hit Crazy For You, Sire/Warner notoriously relegated Into The Groove to the b-side of the Angel 12″ single in North America & Australia, although they eventually ceded to issuing it as an A-side in most other international territories.

Into The Groove was written & produced by Madonna & Stephen Bray and was their first released co-production to not be reworked by an outside producer (the pair had already been producing their own demos for years). The original demo version was used over the closing credits of Desperately Seeking Susan (seemingly dubbed from an actual cassette copy of the demo–granted, DAT’s were still a few years away), and although the commercially released mix featured a slightly beefed-up and more polished-sounding musical backing track, it kept Madonna’s original demo vocals intact.

In the UK, and throughout most of Europe, the single was backed by the Madonna-penned ballad Shoo-Bee-Doo, while the original album version of Everybody (another song credited to her alone) rounded out the 12″ single…it would be fair to assume that Madonna likely earned some of the biggest single-generated songwriting royalty cheques of her career thus far with this release. It’s interesting to note that despite being one of Madonna’s most enduring dance floor classics, no remixes were produced for Into The Groove at the time of its release. It wasn’t until 1987’s You Can Dance remix compilation that the song finally received an official extended remix treatment.

Today in Madonna History: June 19, 2013

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On June 19 2013, Debi Mazar talked to The Cut about how she first met Madonna:

I was in Danceteria, working the elevator. She came into my elevator, and a great song was spinning and she goes, ‘Hey, you wanna dance? And I was like, ‘Yeah!’ And I parked the elevator, and we had a great dance together and then later on we danced some more. She wasn’t, like, a big star yet. She was just a girl from Detroit who had a real raw sexuality. From there on we became pals and started dancing and hanging out. I was doing makeup then, and so I did her makeup for years. She was like, ‘I’m gonna be a star one day,’ and I was like, ‘Great!’ We also did videos together. The first one was a song called ‘Everybody,’ and we filmed at the Paradise Garage, and Keith Haring was there. That was the beginning. I was always trying to pluck her eyebrows — they’re caterpillars. At this moment in time I probably wouldn’t pluck them, but it was the eighties, so, you know. Anyway, we remained girlfriends and we still are.

Today in Madonna History: January 1, 1983

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On January 1 1983, Madonna’s first single, Everybody, climbed to #4 on the Billboard Hot Dance Music/Club Play chart in the USA after 9 weeks on the chart.

Madonna talking about hearing Everybody for the first time on radio:

“I was living on the Upper West Side, 99th and Riverside, and about 7:00 at night I had the radio on in my bedroom, on WKTU, and I heard ‘Everybody’. I said ‘Oh, my God, that’s me coming out of that box.’ It was an amazing feeling.”