Today in Madonna History: October 10, 2002

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On October 10 2002, the music video for Die Another Day premiered on MTV. Helmed by Swedish directing team Traktor, the action-packed short for Madonna’s James Bond theme remains the second most expensive music video of all-time, with production costs surpassing the six-million dollar mark. The clip made its debut as part of an episode of MTV’s Making The Video – Madonna’s first appearance on the series.

Traktor’s Ole Sanders spoke to Norwegian newspaper Dagbladet about Madonna’s involvement in the clip’s development:

“We received daily e-mails with feedback that was concise, unambiguous and occasionally entertaining. She works extremely hard with gumption and detail, and it was clear to us how she has remained on top for twenty years. It was no use being unprepared with vague ideas disguised as creativity, as there was no place to hide.”

The video was filmed at Hollywood Center Studios in Hollywood, California between August 22 and August 27, 2002 – an atypically lengthy shoot by Madonna’s standards, likely due to the complexities of capturing the special effects and stunts featured throughout the Bond-influenced clip.

Today in Madonna History: October 3, 1985

On October 3 1985, the film A Certain Sacrifice was released on home video – at a retail price of $59.95.

Today in Madonna History: September 28, 1985


On September 28 1985, Dress You Up peaked at #3 on the Billboard Hot 100 Airplay chart in the U.S.

Despite a four-week reign at #1 on the maxi-single sales chart (beginning the week of October 5th), a more modest #12 peak on the regular Singles Sales chart prevented Dress You Up from rising above #5 on the Hot 100.

Today in Madonna History: September 26, 1988

On September 26 1988, Madonna began recording the Like A Prayer album in Los Angeles, California with collaborators Patrick Leonard and Stephen Bray.

Madonna had begun writing for the album during the down time of her Broadway run in David Mamet’s Speed-The-Plow, for which she gave her final performance in late August. With her marriage to Sean Penn on the rocks, Madonna found herself at a personal and creative crossroads – with plenty to express.

 

Today in Madonna History: August 31, 2006

Confessions Tour

On August 31 2006, Madonna played the fourth of four sold-out dates at the Palais Omnisports de Bercy-Paris during her Confessions Tour. The show played to nearly 68,000 fans at the venue during its tour run.

Madonna has become quite familiar with the Palais Omnisports over the years, having played a combined total of 19 sold-out concerts at the venue between 1990 and 2009 for roughly 320,000 fans.

The venue was also used to film two of her shows – 1990’s Blond Ambition Tour and 2004’s Re-Invention Tour. Ironically, both films were used as part of documentaries – Truth or Dare and I’m Going To Tell You A Secret respectively. Since both documentaries focused equally on behind-the-scenes and on-stage content, only select performances could be featured in each. The complete shows for both tours filmed at the venue remain unreleased, much to the bewilderment of fans.

Today in Madonna History: August 24, 2014

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On August 24 2014, Madonna was featured in a Forbes Magazine piece written by Hugh McIntyre examining the Most Expensive Music Videos Of All Time:

Of all the expensive music videos made over time (and there are quite a few), the top five are created by only two artists: Michael Jackson and Madonna. This shouldn’t come as much of a surprise, as those two legends are some of the only ones who would have enough clout to rustle up millions for a four-minute movie. While other artists typically use music videos as a way of selling more copies of a certain song or album, these two turned the music video into an art form, attempting to top themselves with each new project. (*Adjusted for inflation to 2013 dollars.)

5. Michael Jackson — “Black or White,” $6.9 million* (originally $4 million)
The lead single from Jackson’s Dangerous needed a video that would be many things all at once—fun, meaningful, and above all else, memorable.

4. Madonna — “Bedtime Story,” $7.7 million* (originally $5 million)
“Bedtime Story” is the first of three Madonna music videos on this list, though the single it was made to promote is not one of the singer’s greatest successes. Directed by Mark Romanek, who would also direct the music video that ends up surpassing “Bedtime” as the single most expensive of all time. Not one to miss a publicity opportunity, Madonna premiered the video at movie theatres in New York City, Chicago, and Santa Monica. These days, it is housed permanently in a collection at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

3. Madonna — “Die Another Day,” $7.9 million* (originally $6.1 million)
While the song received mixed reviews from critics, Madonna’s Bond song went on to be the best-selling dance song of 2002 and 2003, and its video was nominated for a Grammy. The James Bond-inspired video has the legendary pop star fighting herself, which was a mixture of green screens and intricate and expensive special effects. A few years ago, Billboard ranked the song the #6 song from the Bond franchise.

2. Madonna — “Express Yourself,” $9.4 million* (originally $5 million)
Madonna’s “Express Yourself” video cost $5 million to make back in 1989, making it the most expensive video ever made at the time. The clip, which was inspired by 1927 German science fiction film Metropolis was directed by David Fincher, who would go on to be nominated for Academy Awards for also directing both The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and The Social Network. The video sees the singer dressing in a masculine fashion, yet being as sexual as ever.

1. Michael Jackson and Janet Jackson — “Scream,” $10.7 million* (originally $7 million)
The video for “Scream,” the first single off Michael’s HIStory: Past, Present and Future, Book I album is really one for the books, and one of the few videos that everybody remembers seeing for the first time.

(Source: Forbes Magazine – The Most Expensive Music Videos of All Time)

Today in Madonna History: August 22, 1992

On August 22 1992, Madonna filmed scenes for the Erotica music video at The Kitchen in New York City with fashion photographer/director/designer Fabien Baron. The scenes filmed consisted of Madonna in the character of her Sex book alter-ego, Dita, miming the lyrics to the song. The remainder of the video consisted of a selection of 8mm footage previously shot by Baron during the making of the Sex book.

Baron also served as art director for the Sex book, the Erotica album and single, and later for the Bedtime Stories album and its singles Secret and Take A Bow. He also directed the commercial for her fragrance, Truth Or Dare by Madonna, in 2012.

“She put that book out at the best moment. She timed it very well. She knows what she’s doing. And such drive. Some people want to lift stones and see what’s under it. She’ll be on a beach with millions of stones and want to lift every one of them.”            – Fabien Baron

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