Don’t Tell Me was Madonna’s final single to be released on cassette in the U.S. In the U.K., Warner Bros. issued Madonna’s next two singles in the format, with the last being 2002’s Die Another Day. In Canada – the first market to regularly issue Madonna’s singles on cassette (beginning with the cassette maxi-single for Angel in 1985) – her final cassette single was 1995’s Bedtime Story, while her final cassette maxi-single was 1994’s I’ll Remember.
On November 7 1995, Madonna’s Something To Remember greatest ballad hits collection was released. The collection was released on different dates in different markets.
Described as a “love letter from Madonna to her fans and music lovers alike” in the album’s liner note, Madonna further explained:
So much controversy has swirled around my career this past decade that very little attention ever gets paid to my music. The songs are all but forgotten. While I have no regrets regarding the choices I’ve made artistically, I’ve learned to appreciate the idea of doing things in a simpler way. So without a lot of fanfare, without any distractions, I present to you this collection of ballads. Some are old, some are new. All of them are from my heart.
Something To Remember included the following songs:
I Want You
Take A Bow
Crazy for You
This Used to Be My Playground
Live to Tell
Love Don’t Live Here Anymore (Remix)
Something to Remember
One More Chance
I Want You (Orchestral)
The Japanese release included La Isla Bonita.
The Latin release included Verás the Spanish version of You’ll See.
On June 18 1994, Madonna’s I’ll Remember spent a second week at #1 on the Billboard Adult Contemporary chart in the USA. I’ll Remember spent a total of 4 weeks at the top of the chart.
On May 28 1994, Madonna’s I’ll Remember (Theme From With Honors) hit #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the USA.
Madonna’s easy-listening staple I’ll Remember from the hard-to-watch With Honors got a deep remix by Orbit, which could be heard as spacey or as originating at the precipice of a vast ocean. (I’m thinking of Sinead O’Connor’s “Jackie” here.) I’m embarrassed I forgot this remix when I first created this list, but I’m not embarrassed to say I think it’s markedly superior to the lovely but unassuming original.
We love this remix and we love Matthew’s blog (Boy Culture)!
How does this remix rank among your top Madonna favourites?
On March 26 1994, I’ll Remember, Madonna’s theme song from her friend and collaborator Alek Keshishian’s film With Honors, was reviewed by Larry Flick in Billboard magazine.
I’ll Remember would earn “Hot Shot Debut” status on the Hot 100 in Billboard’s April 2nd issue for being the week’s highest debut at #35.
On February 17 1996, the maxi-single for You’ll See spent its final week on the Maxi-Single Sales chart in Billboard magazine at #40.
The release had a notably short run on the Maxi-Single Sales chart (by Madonna’s typically high standards), spending only three weeks on the proper chart, after debuting on the Bubbling Under chart at #52. It peaked at #18 on February 3rd.
There are several potential reasons that could explain the low sales of its maxi-single. Ballads, unless heavily and successfully remixed, naturally generated less interest with this format, which was primarily geared towards attracting dance music listeners. Many of Madonna’s ballads were not released in the format for this reason. You’ll See was not given an officially released remix treatment but instead featured a Spanish-sung version of the song, an instrumental version, and a live version of another previous ballad hit, Live To Tell.
Further reducing any incentive to buy the maxi-single was the fact that standard U.S. CD and cassette single inexplicably included three of the four cuts featured on the maxi-single, leaving only the Spanish version as an exclusive track on the latter. One wonders if the inclusion of the live version of Live To Tell on the normally two-track standard single was possibly due to a pressing error that they decided to go ahead and release, since it is not listed on the sleeve but is instead promoted as a nameless bonus track on an outer label affixed to the CD and cassette single cellophane (its inclusion is noted on the physical disc and cassette).
Only one Madonna maxi-single issued in the U.S. had both a shorter run and a lower peak on the Maxi-Single Sales chart, and it was another hit ballad. I’ll Remember spent only two weeks on the chart (plus its first week on the Bubbling Under chart), peaking at #30 on May 21, 1994. Similarly, it was also padded with a live cut. However, it also included some creative reworkings of the track by William Orbit, making the reason for its dismal placement on the chart more perplexing. In terms of contents value, it easily outshines the You’ll See maxi-single.
In Canada, You’ll See was only issued as a CD maxi-single, with no standard single being issued on cassette or CD.
On May 16, 1994, Madonna’s I’ll Remember (Theme From With Honors) hit #1 on the Canadian Top 100 Singles chart by RPM.
The song remained at the top of the Canadian singles chart for five weeks, surpassing Like A Prayer to become Madonna’s longest-running #1 single on the Canadian charts at that time. It was finally displaced on June 20th by All-4-One’s hit, I Swear – the same song that blocked I’ll Remember from reaching the top spot on the Billboard Hot 100 in the U.S., where it spent four weeks locked at #2.