On September 20 1997, the single-disc version of the Evita soundtrack, Music From The Motion Picture Evita, re-entered the Billboard 200 albums chart in the U.S., spending its final charting week at #190.
In the same issue of Billboard, the promo-only remixes of Buenos Aires earned “Hot Shot Debut” status on the Hot Dance/Club Play chart, entering at #35.
On August 23 1986, Papa Don’t Preach spent the first of two weeks at #1 on Billboard’s Hot Maxi-Singles Sales chart.
Despite being more of a pop/rock song than a club-oriented cut – both in its original form and in Stephen Bray’s extended remix version – Papa Don’t Preach nevertheless managed to reach #4 on Billboard’s August 30th Hot Dance/Club Play chart due to the massive buzz surrounding the song and its undeniable crossover appeal.
On June 20 1998, Madonna’s Ray of Light became the #1 dance single on the Billboard Hot Dance Club Songs chart. The hit single remained #1 for 4 weeks!
Ray of Light was written by Madonna, William Orbit, Clive Muldoon, Dave Curtiss, Christine Leach, and produced by Madonna and Orbit. Ray of Light is based on Curtiss Maldoon’s Sepheryn.
“It took a long time to do the album, months. And it wasn’t like we were slacking. We actually did have to work fast, and there were many times when we had to move on. One of Madonna’s favorite phrases was: ‘Don’t gild the lily.’ In other words, keep it rough, and don’t perfect it too much. It’s a natural urge for computer buffs to perfect everything because they can, and we were very wary of that.”—William Orbit on working with Madonna; Keyboard magazine
On April 28 2001, Madonna’s What It Feels Like For A Girl was the Hot Shot Debut (highest new entry) at #38 on Billboard’s Dance/Club Play chart. What It Feels Like For A Girl eventually became Madonna’s 25th #1 Dance hit in the U.S.
Despite the club success of the remixes, some fans and critics were displeased with the use of the Above & Beyond remix in the music video, and with the dark nature of the Guy Ritchie-directed clip, preferring the more subtle and restrained attack of the album version. Others felt that the more aggressive and confrontational feel of the remix and video were natural extensions of the emotions and experiences that Madonna was exploring within the song; feelings that were left bubbling beneath surface of the deceptively gentle and subdued album mix.
Regardless of which side of the fence you’re on, in retrospect one thing is clear: when revisited through the lens of the current “Me Too” movement, the overarching themes that Madonna explored with the release of What It Feels Like For A Girl were ahead of the curve in terms of social discourse. Although the same could be said for so much of Madonna’s work.