Today in Madonna History: May 10, 1989

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On May 10 1989, Madonna’s Express Yourself video premiered on MTV. The video was filmed on a $5 million budget – the highest in music video history (at the time).  The video was directed by David Fincher.

Today in Madonna History: May 4, 2022

On May 4 2022, Warner Bros. issued the press release for Finally Enough Love: 50 Number Ones:

Madonna made history once again when she topped the Dance Club Songs chart for the 50th time, making her the first and only recording artist to have 50 #1 hits on any single Billboard chart.

To celebrate this historic milestone, Madonna curated two new collections: FINALLY ENOUGH LOVE: 50 NUMBER ONES, a new 50-track collection that includes her favorite remixes of those chart-topping dance hits that have filled clubs worldwide for four decades, and an abridged 16-track version, simply titled FINALLY ENOUGH LOVE.

These new collections will mark the first album releases to be part of the newly announced partnership between Madonna and Warner Music Group, which will feature an extensive series of catalog releases across her groundbreaking career.

50 NUMBER ONES spans her entire dance club chart reign with dozens of remixes by the world’s top producers. In addition to fan favorites, the collection also includes a selection of rare remix recordings, with more than 20 being officially released for the first time or making their commercial/digital debut. The collection will be available digitally on August 19, along with a 3-CD ($29.98) version. A limited edition, 6-LP version on red and black vinyl ($149.98) will also be available, exclusively at Madonna’s official store and Rhino.com. Pre-order now.

The 16-track version, FINALLY ENOUGH LOVE, will be available for streaming on June 24, with 1-CD ($14.98) and 180-gram 2-LP ($34.98) versions coming on August 19. Pre-order and Pre-save now.

As a first listen to these collections, the “You Can Dance Remix Edit” of “Into The Groove” is available today digitally for the first time. Listen Now.

Boasting more than 220 minutes of remixes, FINALLY ENOUGH LOVE: 50 NUMBER ONES flows in mostly chronological order, showcasing the many musical reinventions that made Madonna an international icon, from 1983’s “Holiday” to 2019’s “I Don’t Search I Find,” with remixes by some of the biggest and most influential DJs of all time including Shep Pettibone, William Orbit, Honey Dijon, and Avicii.

On several songs, Madonna is joined by other incredible artists, including Britney Spears (“Me Against The Music”); Justin Timberlake and Timbaland (“4 Minutes”); and Nicki Minaj (“Bitch I’m Madonna.”) Each remix was newly remastered for the collection by Mike Dean, who produced Madonna’s two most-recent studio albums, Rebel Heart (2015) and Madame X (2019).

Both of these new collections also highlight You Can Dance, Madonna’s first ever remix collection. Celebrating 35 years this year, You Can Dance has sold more than five million copies worldwide and is still the second best-selling remix album of all time. The collection also pays homage to “Everybody,” Madonna’s first single, celebrating its 40th Anniversary on October 6. Madonna redesigned the album’s chronology by picking three edits from You Can Dance, including “Into The Groove”, “Everybody” and “Physical Attraction,” which reflects the underground club vibes that inspired her first recordings as a Sire artist.

Along with those rarities, these albums also introduce versions that are seeing their first ever official release, including the “Alternate Single Remix” of “Keep It Together,” the “Offer Nissim Promo Mix” of “Living For Love,” and more.

In advance of the debut of FINALLY ENOUGH LOVE in June, one of the 50 chart toppers – “Causing A Commotion” – was spotlighted early as an exclusive release for this year’s Record Store Day on April 23. Three remixes of the track appeared on the limited edition, five-track, red vinyl 12” EP Who’s That Girl Super Club Mix.

Expect more surprises to be revealed later this year around the celebration of Madonna’s 40 years in music.

FINALLY ENOUGH LOVE
16-Track Album
Streaming June 24
1-CD, 2-LP & Digital Download Versions Out August 19

Track Listing

1.    “Everybody” (You Can Dance Remix Edit) +#
2.    “Into The Groove” (You Can Dance Remix Edit) +#
3.    “Like A Prayer” (Remix/Edit)
4.    “Express Yourself” (Remix/Edit)
5.    “Vogue” (Single Version) +
6.    “Deeper And Deeper” (David’s Radio Edit) +#
7.    “Secret” (Junior’s Luscious Single Mix)
8.    “Frozen” (Extended Club Mix Edit)
9.    “Music” (Deep Dish Dot Com Radio Edit)
10.    “Hollywood” (Calderone & Quayle Edit) +#
11.    “Hung Up” (SDP Extended Vocal Edit)
12.    “Give It 2 Me” (Eddie Amador Club 5 Edit) °+
13.    “Girl Gone Wild” (Avicii’s UMF Mix)
14.    “Living For Love” (Offer Nissim Promo Mix) *+
15.    “Medellín” (Offer Nissim Madame X In The Sphinx Mix) – Madonna and Maluma
16.    “I Don’t Search I Find” (Honey Dijon Radio Mix)

FINALLY ENOUGH LOVE: 50 NUMBER ONES
50-Track Album
3-CD, 6-LP, Streaming & Digital Download Versions Out August 19

Track Listing

1.    “Holiday” (7” Version) +
2.    “Like A Virgin” (7” Version)
3.    “Material Girl” (7” Version)
4.    “Into The Groove” (You Can Dance Remix Edit) +#
5.    “Open Your Heart” (Video Version) +
6.    “Physical Attraction” (You Can Dance Remix Edit) +#
7.    “Everybody” (You Can Dance Remix Edit) +#
8.    “Like A Prayer” (Remix/Edit)
9.    “Express Yourself” (Remix/Edit)
10.    “Keep It Together” (Alternate Single Remix) *+
11.    “Vogue” (Single Version) +
12.    “Justify My Love” (Orbit Edit)
13.    “Erotica” (Underground Club Mix)
14.    “Deeper And Deeper” (David’s Radio Edit) +#
15.    “Fever” (Radio Edit) +
16.    “Secret” (Junior’s Luscious Single Mix)
17.    “Bedtime Story” (Junior’s Single Mix)
18.    “Don’t Cry For Me Argentina” (Miami Mix Edit)
19.    “Frozen” (Extended Club Mix Edit)
20.    “Ray Of Light” (Sasha Ultra Violet Mix Edit) +#
21.    “Nothing Really Matters” (Club 69 Radio Mix) +
22.    “Beautiful Stranger” (Calderone Radio Mix)
23.    “American Pie” (Richard ‘Humpty’ Vission Radio Mix)
24.    “Music” (Deep Dish Dot Com Radio Edit)
25.    “Don’t Tell Me” (Thunderpuss Video Remix) +#
26.    “What It Feels Like For A Girl” (Above And Beyond Club Radio Edit)
27.    “Impressive Instant” (Peter Rauhofer’s Universal Radio Mixshow Mix) +#
28.    “Die Another Day” (Deepsky Radio Edit) +#
29.    “American Life” (Felix Da Housecat’s Devin Dazzle Edit) *+
30.    “Hollywood” (Calderone & Quayle Edit) +#
31.    “Me Against The Music” (Peter Rauhofer Radio Mix) + – Britney Spears feat. Madonna
32.    “Nothing Fails” (Tracy Young’s Underground Radio Edit) *+
33.    “Love Profusion” (Ralphi Rosario House Vocal Edit) +#
34.    “Hung Up” (SDP Extended Vocal Edit)
35.    “Sorry” (PSB Maxi Mix Edit) +#
36.    “Get Together” (Jacques Lu Cont Vocal Edit) +
37.    “Jump” (Axwell Remix Edit)
38.    “4 Minutes” (Bob Sinclar Space Funk Edit) + – feat. Justin Timberlake & Timbaland
39.    “Give It 2 Me” (Eddie Amador Club 5 Edit) +#
40.    “Celebration” (Benny Benassi Remix Edit)
41.    “Give Me All Your Luvin’” (Party Rock Remix) – feat. LMFAO & Nicki Minaj
42.    “Girl Gone Wild” (Avicii’s UMF Mix)
43.    “Turn Up The Radio” (Offer Nissim Remix Edit) *+#
44.    “Living For Love” (Offer Nissim Promo Mix) *+
45.    “Ghosttown” (Dirty Pop Intro Remix)
46.    “Bitch I’m Madonna” (Sander Kleinenberg Video Edit) +# – feat. Nicki Minaj
47.    “Medellín” (Offer Nissim Madame X In The Sphinx Mix) – Madonna and Maluma
48.    “I Rise” (Tracy Young’s Pride Intro Radio Remix)
49.    “Crave” (Tracy Young Dangerous Remix) – feat. Swae Lee
50.    “I Don’t Search I Find” (Honey Dijon Radio Mix)

* previously unreleased
+available digitally for the first time
# available commercially for the first time

Today in Madonna History: December 23, 1989

On December 23 1989, RPM Magazine published Canada’s Top Singles of 1989. The listing included the following Madonna singles:

  • #1 – Like A Prayer
  • #8 – Express Yourself
  • #9 – Cherish

Today in Madonna History: December 9, 1989

On December 9 1989, Madonna was featured in a two-page spread in Billboard magazine, paid for by her record company and management, congratulating her on being named Artist of the Decade by Musician magazine.

Madonna’s September 1989 performance of Express Yourself at the MTV VMA’s perfectly encapsulates the sentiments expressed in the tribute. As her only live performance that year, it only hinted at Madonna’s next mission: to revolutionize the concert touring industry.

Today in Madonna History: November 26, 1992

On November 26 1992, Rolling Stone magazine published their review of Madonna’s Erotica album, written by Arion Berger:

It took Madonna ten years, but she finally made the record everyone has accused her of making all along. Chilly, deliberate, relentlessly posturing. Erotica is a post-AIDS album about romance — it doesn’t so much evoke sex as provide a fetishistic abstraction of it. She may have intended to rattle America with hot talk about oral gratification and role switching, but sensuality is the last thing on the album’s mind. Moving claustrophobically within the schematic confines of dominance and submission, Erotica plays out its fantasies with astringent aloofness, unhumid and uninviting. The production choices suggest not a celebration of the physical but a critique of commercial representations of sex — whether Paul Verhoeven’s, Bruce Weber’s or Madonna’s — that by definition should not be mistaken for the real thing. It succeeds in a way the innocent post-punk diva of Madonna and the thoughtful songwriter of Like a Prayer could not have imagined. Its cold, remote sound systematically undoes every one of the singer’s intimate promises.

Clinical enough on its own terms when compared with the lushness and romanticism of Madonna’s past grooves, Erotica is stunningly reined in; even when it achieves disco greatness, it’s never heady. Madonna, along with co-producers Andre Betts and Shep Pettibone, tamps down every opportunity to let loose — moments ripe for a crescendo, a soaring instrumental break, a chance for the listener to dance along, are over the instant they are heard. Erotica is Madonna’s show (the music leaves no room for audience participation), and her production teases and then denies with the grim control of a dominatrix.

Against maraca beats and a shimmying horn riff, Erotica introduces Madonna as “Mistress Dita,” whose husky invocations of “do as I say” promise a smorgasbord of sexual experimentation, like the one portrayed in the video for Justify My Love. But the sensibility of Erotica is miles removed from the warm come-ons of Justify My Love, which got its heat from privacy and romance — the singer’s exhortations to “tell me your dreams.” The Madonna of Erotica is in no way interested in your dreams; she’s after compliance, and not merely physical compliance either. The song demands the passivity of a listener, not a sexual partner. It’s insistently self-absorbed — Vogue with a dirty mouth, where all the real action’s on the dance floor.

Look (or listen) but don’t touch sexuality isn’t the only peep-show aspect of this album; Erotica strives for anonymity the way True Blue strove for intimacy. With the exception of the riveting Bad Girl, in which the singer teases out shades of ambiguity in the mind of a girl who’d rather mess herself up than end a relationship she’s too neurotic to handle, the characters remain faceless. It’s as if Madonna recognizes the discomfort we feel when sensing the human character of a woman whose function is purely sexual. A sex symbol herself, she coolly removes the threat of her own personality.

Pure disco moments like the whirligig Deeper and Deeper don’t need emotional resonance to make them race. But the record sustains its icy tone throughout the yearning ballads (Rain, Waiting) and confessional moods (Secret Garden). Relieved of Madonna’s celebrity baggage, they’re abstract nearly to the point of nonexistence — ideas of love songs posing as the real thing. Even when Madonna draws from her own life, she’s all reaction, no feeling: The snippy Thief of Hearts takes swipes at a man stealer but not out of love or loyalty toward the purloined boyfriend, who isn’t even mentioned.

By depersonalizing herself to a mocking extreme, the Madonna of Erotica is sexy in only the most objectified terms, just as the album is only in the most literal sense what it claims to be. Like erotica, Erotica is a tool rather than an experience. Its stridency at once refutes and justifies what her detractors have always said: Every persona is a fake, the self-actualized amazon of Express Yourself no less than the breathless baby doll of Material Girl. Erotica continually subverts this posing to expose its function as pop playacting. The narrator of Bye Bye Baby ostensibly dumps the creep who’s been mistreating her, but Madonna’s infantile vocal and flat delivery are anything but assertive — she could be a drag queen toying with a pop hit of the past. Erotica is everything Madonna has been denounced for being — meticulous, calculated, domineering and artificial. It accepts those charges and answers with a brilliant record to prove them.

 

 

Today in Madonna History: September 16, 2017

On September 15 2017, Madonna spoke to Mark Savage (BBC) about how after a career of huge production shows, she’s thinking about a smaller scale residency style show in the future.

“I’ve done so many shows – world tours, stadiums, sports arenas, you name it – that I feel like I have to reinvent that now too. I like doing intimate shows and being able to talk directly to the audience. This is something I’m exploring right now: the idea of doing a show that doesn’t travel the world, but stays in one place and utilizes not only humour and the music in a more intimate setting but other people’s music, as well, and other entertainment. Kind of a revolving door of amazing, gifted, unique talent – dancers, musicians, singers, comedians, me, humour. I don’t know! Like, I’m trying to come up with all those ideas now.”

Here’s part of their interview:

Before we start, there’s one thing I need to know: Did your FedEx package ever arrive?

Ha ha! Yes, it has. FedEx is blaming customs, customs is blaming FedEx and we’ll never know what happened. But I have it now.

So, I saw the Rebel Heart tour when you were in London and the DVD does a really good job of capturing what it was like to be in the audience. How do you go about that?

I was there every step of the way, every day for months and months. It’s really hard to capture the true feeling of the excitement and the passion and the heat and the blood, sweat and tears. I’m pleased with the way it came out.

There’s a particularly touching sequence during True Blue, where everybody in the audience embraces each other.

I know, it’s a very sweet, emotional moment in the show. I didn’t expect it to be, but when I look back at the DVD it almost brings a tear to my eye because everyone seems so in love.

How do you put a show like this together? Where do you get the ideas?

Everything’s based around my song choice. So first, I go through my catalogue of songs with my band and I start working on things that excite me and inspire me in the moment. Some songs I’m sick of doing and I don’t want to do them. Other songs I say, “No, I did that on the last tour, I don’t want to do it again.”

So I try to rotate things and I also try to reflect my current mood and what I’ve been feeling, and what’s been inspiring me artistically or filmically, politically, philosophically. I try to put songs together in groups that have thematic connection, and then I try to tell a story. And then I do the visuals. It’s quite a process.

What are the songs you don’t want to do again?

Well, I tend to not want to do the songs I did on the tour before. That’s what I mean. So if I did Material Girl on the tour before, or Express Yourself on the tour before, then I’ll say, “OK, I did that for 88 shows. I can’t do it again.”

How do you keep a healthy balance between new songs and your back catalogue?

It’s just playing in rehearsal. It’s really hard for me, especially with my older songs, to do them with the original arrangement. Because 33 years later, after doing it for so long, you just have to reinvent things. Well, I do.

And it’s fun for me to take an ’80s pop song and turn it into a salsa song, or turn it into a samba, or make an uptempo song into a ballad.

The DVD also includes the Tears of a Clown show you did in Melbourne. Was that a one-off or a trial run for a different type of Madonna concert?

I like doing intimate shows and being able to talk directly to the audience; to play with them and use humour and pathos and truth, and share my life – and also make up stories. I like the freedom of it and I like the intimacy of it, and I would like to explore doing it more in the future.

Maybe a residency?

Yeah, a residency. If I look back at the Rebel Heart tour, my favourite part was really the last section where I got to just sit on the stage and play my ukulele and sing La Vie en Rose and talk to the audience. [It was] just more intimate. More audience participation and connecting to human beings – I feel I’m craving that more and more.

Did it feel like there was more room for improvisation in that section?

Yeah, I have freedom and I can make mistakes. That’s another thing I do in Tears of a Clown – if I start a song off wrong and I make a boo-boo, I just turn around and go “Stop! Let’s start again!”

When you’re doing a sports arena show, you’re linked up to video, you can’t stop. Once the train leaves the station, you have to keep going.

There’s a certain kind of adrenalin rush to that – but there’s no room for error. So I like the idea of mistakes and free-styling. Free-falling, really. It’s more exciting to me right now.

You can read the full interview here.

Today in Madonna History: July 22, 1989

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On July 22 1989, Madonna’s Express Yourself reached #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 Singles Chart. Express Yourself was the first song that Madonna and producer Stephen Bray collaborated on for the Like a Prayer album.

“The message of the song is that people should always say what it is they want. The reason relationships don’t work is because they are afraid. That’s been my problem in all my relationships. I’m sure people see me as an outspoken person, and for the most part, if I want something I ask for it. But sometimes you feel that if you ask for too much or ask for the wrong thing from someone you care about that that person won’t like you. And so you censor yourself. I’ve been guilty of that in every meaningful relationship I’ve ever had. The time I learn how not to edit myself will be the time I consider myself a complete adult.”

—Madonna talking to Stephen Holden of The New York Times.
 
Express Yourself (Organic Percapella Mix):
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