Today in Madonna History: January 16, 1993

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On January 16 1993, Madonna was musical guest on NBC-TV’s Saturday Night Live, performing Fever and Bad Girl. She also appeared in the show’s opening skit – a humorous homage to Marilyn Monroe – alongside the late comedians Phil Hartman and Jan Hooks.

Perhaps a little too into character or, more likely, a little too nervous – she managed to flub the show’s signature intro tag line during the live broadcast, with the mistake being subsequently edited out of all repeated airings of the episode.

Fortunately any nervous energy quickly dissipated once Madonna took to the musical stage, where she delivered a stunningly confident and nuanced vocal performance backed by an equally impressive new band (which included several members that would be recruited for her Girlie Show tour later in the year). It was Madonna’s only live performance of Bad Girl to date, and despite many appearances on SNL, her only inclusion as featured musical guest.

The episode was hosted by Harvey Keitel, who was only weeks away from working with Madonna again in the film Dangerous Game (then known as Snake Eyes) which began shooting in February.

Would you like to see Madonna return to SNL as musical guest?

Today in Madonna History: January 11, 2007

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On January 11 2007, Warner Bros. Records announced the release of The Confessions Tour live CD+DVD on January 30, 2007 in North America with the following press statement:

Madonna’s record-breaking Confessions Tour filmed at London’s Wembley Arena during her worldwide sold-out 25-City run in 2006 is scheduled to be released as a DVD/CD on sale January 30th, it was announced today by Warner Bros. Records. The highest-grossing tour ever by a female artist, ‘The Confessions Tour – Live from London’ DVD, first broadcast on NBC last November, includes songs that span the course of Madonna’s extraordinary career. ‘Like A Virgin,’ ‘Hung Up,’ ‘Erotica’ and ‘Music’ are just a few of the hits that can be seen on the DVD and heard on the bonus CD included in the package as well as several songs from her ‘Confessions On A Dance Floor’ CD which debuted at No. 1 in 29 countries. In addition, ‘The Confessions Tour’ DVD includes bonus footage, which did not appear on the broadcast, including Madonna’s early classic hit ‘Lucky Star’ as well as the full unedited version of the controversial performance of ‘Live To Tell.’ The ‘Confessions’ DVD will have never before seen rehearsal footage and a unique photo gallery. The DVD was directed by Jonas Åkerlund. The show was directed for the stage by Jamie King. Musical Director was Stuart Price. ‘The pop spectacle of the year – a politically charged combination of Cirque du Soleil, performance-art commentary and dance party explosion that more or less sums up everything she has been striving to say and show this decade….it’s quite possibly the best production she’s ever concocted,’ raved the Orange County Register in their review of Madonna’s show. Madonna is scheduled to appear on tomorrow’s (January 11th) airing of ‘The Late Show with David Letterman,’ make a live appearance on the ‘Today’ Show and ‘Live with Regis and Kelly’ – to promote the film, ‘Arthur and The Invisibles’ – and will also host a screening of the film in Tribecca. ‘I want to turn the world into one big dance floor,’ claimed the Material Girl when The Confessions Tour began. Now, the singer, songwriter, video visionary, designer, producer, children’s book author and artist, who has enthralled millions of fans all over the world and has sold 200 million plus CDs, is extending that commitment to the living rooms of the world.

The CD+DVD edition was packaged as a double-disc digipak. The show was also issued as a stand-alone DVD packaged in a keep case without the accompanying live CD in many countries outside North America.

The concert film was the first release associated with Madonna’s production company, Semtex Films. It went on to win a Grammy for Best Long Form Music Video in 2008.

Today in Madonna History: December 26, 1987

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On December 26 1987, RPM magazine – Canada’s definitive music industry publication at the time – issued its year-end singles tally.

All four of Madonna’s eligible Canadian singles charting in 1987 made the list:

  • Who’s That Girl – #12
  • La Isla Bonita – #22
  • Causing A Commotion – #42
  • Open Your Heart – #68

Today in Madonna History: November 26, 1987

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On November 26 1987, Who’s That Girl – Live In Japan was released on VHS and LaserDisc by Warner-Pioneer Video, exclusively for the Japanese market. Recorded in Tokyo on June 22 1987, the show initially aired as a television special in Japan in conjunction with Madonna’s sponsorship agreement with Mitsubishi. The special was the first ever television broadcast to make use of Dolby Surround Sound technology.

Elements of the Japanese release were also incorporated into the international 1988 release of the Who’s That Girl World Tour, Ciao Italia: Live From Italy, which was also released in Japan on LaserDisc in 1988 and on DVD in 2001. Meanwhile, the complete Live In Japan release has since been deleted from circulation.

Today in Madonna History: November 15, 2005

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On November 15 2005, Madonna’s tenth studio album, Confessions On A Dance Floor, was released in North America by Warner Bros Records. The majority of the album was co-produced and co-written by Madonna & Stuart Price, with additional contributions by Mirwais, Bloodshy & Avant, Joe Henry and Anders Bagge & Peer Åström. It featured the singles Hung Up, Sorry, Get Together and Jump.

Madonna performed a small club show at Koko in London, UK on November 15th to celebrate the album’s release, with the set being streamed online to fans around the world. The live webcast was preceded by an exclusive mini-documentary titled Confessions…On A Promo Tour.

 

Today in Madonna History: November 11, 1985

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On November 11 1985, Madonna Live: The Virgin Tour was released on home video in France and the U.K. The was was filmed on May 25th, 1985 at Cobo Arena in Madonna’s home town of Detroit, Michigan. The concert film was directed by Daniel Kleinman while the music was produced by Madonna & Patrick Leonard, making this their first commercially released collaboration.

At the beginning of the video Madonna declares:

“I went to New York. I had a dream. I wanted to be a big star, I didn’t know anybody, I wanted to dance, I wanted to sing, I wanted to do all those things, I wanted to make people happy, I wanted to be famous, I wanted everybody to love me. I wanted to be a star. I worked really hard, and my dream came true.”

An alternate cut of the live performance of Dress You Up was issued as the music video for the single several months before the release of the film, while the live performance of Like A Virgin from the film was serviced to MTV in conjunction with the home video release. Both videos were nominated for Best Choreography at the 1986 MTV Video Music Awards.

For unknown reasons, the release excluded the setlist’s performances of Angel, Borderline and Burning Up. At the time of its release, home videos were often priced according to their running time, and it was not unusual for concert films of that era to be edited down to a more marketable length – in this case, one hour. This would have allowed a price point that was more accessible to her age demographic and offers a possible explanation for the exclusion of these performances.

Though the concert film was also released on laserdisc in some countries, to date it has sadly not been officially reissued for DVD or digital download.

Today in Madonna History: November 8, 2005

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On November 8 2005, Madonna recorded an interview with Michael Parkinson for an episode of the British television series Parkinson, for broadcast on November 12th.

Madonna was in great spirits during the appearance, which also included performances of two songs from her soon-to-be-released album, Confessions On A Dance Floor: lead single Hung Up along with the very first live performance of Get Together.

(Thanks Amalio for sharing the video!)

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