Today in Madonna History: May 6, 1995

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On May 6 1995, the first of a two-day shoot for the music video for Human Nature took place at Raleigh Studios in Hollywood, California.

The video was directed by Jean-Baptiste Mondino, while the work of S&M comic artist Eric Stanton provided inspiration. Human Nature was Madonna’s third collaboration with Mondino following his music videos for Open Your Heart (1986) and Justify My Love (1990).

“Mondino found this book by this illustrator named Stanton who did kinda S&M drawings and stuff, but we didn’t want to go with the straight S&M; we wanted to have it be more about making fun of it.” – Madonna

“All I know is…my main problem is I don’t like videos when somebody’s dancing, that the camera is moving a lot. I’m more like an old-time, classic guy, because I remember most of the video you had shot with the crane, some Steadicam, plus some panning. So you have about five different cameras shooting a performance, and after they edit like crazy. It gives you a lot of freedom, but I feel very frustrated because I like to see somebody dancing. I hate when there’s too much editing. I like the steadiness of the performance because then you can really enjoy the movement of the body. You see the skill. I like to shrink — as much as I can — the stage because I can grab her. If not, everyone is running around and I’m not good with this. So I came up with the boxes [laughs] and I knew that with the boxes I had to do with something quite unexpectable because there’s not too much stage to dance in. So there’s something beautiful about it and they looked like bees or something. And the rest of it was how to create some kind of choreography and some graphic imagery with the S&M outfits, but with humor. So she has a little dog and she has some funny moments where she drops down, there’s some Charlie Chaplin-esque moments in it. Because S&M is a game, you know? It’s dark, it looks dark, but I think people have fun. When you wear rubber like this, you better have fun. If not, you stop using it for sex and you become a diver, you know?” – Jean-Baptiste Mondino

Today in Madonna History: April 20, 1991

On April 20 1991, Rescue Me peaked at #3 on the UK Singles Chart after making its debut at #4 the previous week. It slid to #5 in its third week before falling out of the Top 10.

Rescue Me was the third single release from The Immaculate Collection in the UK, where it was issued in between re-releases of Crazy For You and Holiday.

Because the photo on international pressings of Rescue Me had already graced the cover of the Crazy For You reissue, Warner UK chose to market the single using an alternate shot taken from Jean-Baptiste Mondino’s June 1990 spread in Harper’s Bazaar. Ironically, the international Rescue Me cover photo was snapped on the set of the Mondino-directed music video for Justify My Love, although not by Mondino himself. It was instead photographed by another (future) Madonna music video director, Stephane Sednaoui.

Today in Madonna History: July 14, 2003

On July 14 2003, Madonna’s Hollywood was released as the second single from the American Life album (excluding Die Another Day, since its release as a single was intended to promote the Bond film and soundtrack album of the same name).

Hollywood was written and produced by Madonna & Mirwais Ahmadzaï. The music video was directed by Jean-Baptiste Mondino.

Today in Madonna History: June 2, 2003

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On June 2 2003, Madonna began filming the Hollywood music video in Los Angeles, California. The music video was directed by Jean-Baptiste Mondino, and portrays Madonna highlighting the highs and lows of Hollywood.

Jean-Baptiste Mondino said this about the concept of the video:

“Some kind of artifice that Hollywood can provide, that is so wide and has a graphic story-line about it as well as some humour about it, and to show the beauty, the scariness, the sexiness and the loneliness that one’s success can be, ’cause everybody’s dreaming about Hollywood, no matter what. The expectation can be very dangerous, and maybe for somebody like Madonna, who might be at a point, to realize that to be on the top is maybe not that important. That’s what I feel about the video.”

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Today In Madonna History: February 22, 1991

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On February 22 1991, Madonna’s  Justify My Love VHS single was certified 4x platinum (400,000 units) in the USA.

Today in Madonna History: December 17, 1990

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On December 17 1990, Madonna’s Justify My Love video was the subject of a feature by Steve Dougherty, in People magazine: Madonna Exposes, MTV Opposes: Is her new, naughty video art or just a Boy Toy marketing ploy? 

How does Justify My Love differ from other skin-with-a-beat videos? Let us count the ways. Here’s Madonna, in black bra, stockings and stiletto heels, putting the moves on her real-life boyfriend, model Tony Ward. Moments later she’s lip-synching with Parisian model Amanda Cazalet, 25, who is dressed like a Nazi hooker with suspenders that barely cover her nipples. Now Madonna, Cazalet and Ward are offering free instruction in a certain Kama Sutra technique while two very androgynous gents pat each other more affectionately than football players after a big play. All of which has left fans hot, censors bothered and fearless news programmers lined up to air the forbidden footage. The video single will be on sale before holiday shopping malls close; could it have been teed up better?

Today in Madonna History: November 27, 1999

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On November 27 1999, Madonna: The Video Collection 1993-99 hit #3 on the Billboard Top Music Videos chart.

Heather Phares from Allmusic gave the release five out of five stars and said:

Madonna’s Video Collection: 1993-1999 adds to her status as one of the best represented artists on DVD. Though it doesn’t offer much in the way of DVD-specific features, the artistry of directors like Mark Romanek, Stephane Sednaoui, David Fincher, Jean-Baptiste Mondino, as well as Madonna herself, is on full display with videos like ‘Take a Bow’, ‘Bedtime Story’, ‘Human Nature’, ‘Frozen’, and ‘Ray of Light’. All in all, it’s a worthwhile collection of memorable videos from one of pop’s trendsetters.”  

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