On August 8 1984, Madonna’s Lucky Star was released. Lucky Star became Madonna’s first U.S. top five hit (No. 4), and the first in a string of 17 consecutive U.S. top fives. The video was directed by Arthur Pierson, a stark performance piece bringing together her brother Christopher Ciccone and Erica Bell as backup dancers. The clip was filled with black rubber jelly bracelets, lace and a certain gyrating belly button.
Lucky Star was written by Madonna and produced by Reggie Lucas and Jellybean Benitez.
On October 20 1984, Madonna’s Lucky Star hit #4 the Billboard Hot 100 Singles chart in the USA.
Jellybean Benitez said this of the Lucky Star recording session:
“She was unhappy with the whole damn thing, so I went in and sweetened up a lot of music for her, adding some guitars to Lucky Star, some voices, some magic. I just wanted to do the best job I could do for her. When we would play back Holiday or Lucky Star, you could see that she was overwhelmed by how great it all sounded. You wanted to help her, you know? As much as she could be a bitch, when you were in the groove with her, it was very cool, very creative.”
On October 12 1985, Madonna’s Gambler debuted at #20 on the UK Singles Chart. The song was included on the Vision Quest soundtrack (along with Crazy For You) and released by Geffen Records. Madonna’s record company, Sire Records, prevented Gambler from being released as a single in the USA.
After two weeks on the chart, Gambler peaked at #4. It also reached #3 in Italy and #10 in Australia.
With Gambler‘s success, Madonna became the first female artist to rack up 8 UK top-ten singles in one calendar year.
Gambler was Madonna’s highest charting single in the UK that was entirely self-written. In the U.S. Lucky Star earned this distinction, reaching #4 on the Hot 100.
On September 8 1983, Madonna’s Lucky Star single was released in the UK.
Although Lucky Star was issued promotionally as a double A-side with Holiday in the US in September 1983, it was not released commercially in North America until August 1984 when it was issued as the final single from Madonna’s self-titled debut album.
Lucky Star was written by Madonna and produced by Reggie Lucas, with additional remixing by Jellybean Benitez. It is the most successful of her North American singles that were entirely self-written, reaching #4 on the U.S. Hot 100 and #8 in Canada (RPM Top 100). It was also her first Top-5 single in the U.S.
In the U.K., her self-written single Gambler was a bigger hit, reaching #4 in the fall of 1985, while Lucky Star peaked at #14.
Madonna wrote the song in 1982 after landing her first recording contract with Sire Records. It was rumoured to have been written about Mark Kamins, although we’re unsure whether that has ever been confirmed by Madonna herself.
On August 27 1983, Holiday/Lucky Star made its debut on Billboard’s Hot Dance Music/Club Play chart in the U.S., entering at #31.
The promo-only double A-side single was serviced to clubs by Sire/Warner in order to gauge public interest before deciding which track should be promoted to radio. Although technically serving as the B-side, Holiday was given top billing for its chart entry when it proved to be the more popular selection with club DJ’s. It was subsequently issued as Madonna’s third commercial single in North America, while Lucky Star was released as her fifth single a year later.