Today in Madonna History: December 25, 1996

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On December 25 1996, EVITA was given a limited released in New York and Los Angeles.

Wide release for the film followed on January 10, 1997.

Critic Zach Conner commented:

“It’s a relief to say that EVITA is pretty damn fine, well-cast, and handsomely visualized. Madonna once again confounds our expectations. She plays Evita with a poignant weariness and has more than just a bit of star quality. Love or hate Madonna-Eva, she is a magnet for all eyes.”

Newsweek ’​s David Ansen wrote:

“It’s gorgeous. It’s epic. It’s spectacular. But two hours later, it also proves to be emotionally impenetrable.”

Today in Madonna History: December 21, 1996

On December 21 1996, Madonna’s You Must Love Me (the lead single from EVITA) spent its final week on Billboard’s Hot 100 Airplay Chart in the USA. The hit single spent a total of 9 weeks on the chart.

Peter Keough of the Boston Phoenix had this to say about the song:

You Must Love Me is an aching farewell that dispels the illusion of a romance-of-convenience to reveal the inescapable love and tragedy beneath”.

Today in Madonna History: December 12, 1996

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On December 12 1996, Madonna attended a press conference to promote EVITA at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Marina Del Rey, California.

Today in Madonna History: November 16, 1996

On November 16 1996, Madonna’s You Must Love Me debuted at #22 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the USA. You Must Love Me was the first single released from the EVITA soundtrack. The track was written by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice.

Jay’s Note: The success of this single is proof that Madonna’s power over radio and sales was un-stoppable. Imagine a song like this becoming a hit at radio and retail today? Not possible!

Today in Madonna History: November 9, 1996

On November 9 1996, the EVITA soundtrack debuted at #7 on the UK albums chart.

Director Alan Parker had this to say about working with Madonna on EVITA:

“The hardest work that anyone had to do was obviously done by Madonna. She had the lion’s share of the piece, singing as she does on almost every track. Many of the songs were comfortably within her range, but much of the score was in a range where her voice had never ventured before. Also, she was determined to sing the score as it was written and not to cheat in any way”.

Today in Madonna History: November 1, 1997

On November 1 1997, Buenos Aires peaked at #3 on Billboard’s Hot Dance/Club Play chart.

The promo-only set of remixes by Madonna, Pablo Flores & Javier Garza were serviced to clubs by Warner Bros. Records to promote the home video release of Evita. Produced in the summer of 1996 during the same sessions that yielded the hit remixes for Don’t Cry For Me Argentina, the percussion-heavy Buenos Aires club mixes again featured re-recorded vocals by Madonna and additional harmonies provided by Donna De Lory & Niki Haris.

Today in Madonna History: October 27, 1996

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On October 27 1996, Madonna’s You Must Love Me (the lead single from Evita) was released.

Kathleen Guerdo’s review for Billboard:

“Madonna delivers what is by far one of the strongest vocal performances of her career, comfortably scaling to the song’s demanding soprano heights while infusing it with delicate, heart-rending emotion. This bodes well for the creative potency of the rest of the soundtrack, which is due Nov. 14. Prepare for wall-to-wall airplay of this flawless ballad on pop and AC radio.”

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