Today in Madonna History: September 16, 2000

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On September 16 2000, Madonna’s Music hit #1 in the USA and stayed at the top for four consecutive weeks – it was her 12th No. 1 and 33rd Top 10 single in the US.  Music was was written and produced by Madonna and Mirwais Ahmadzaï.

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The Music CD maxi-single was loaded with 9 remixes.  What is your favourite version of Music?

Today in Madonna History: August 10, 1985

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On August 10 1985, Into The Groove spent the first of four weeks in the #1 position on the UK Singles Chart. It was Madonna’s first chart-topping single in the UK, where she has collected a total of thirteen #1 hits to date.

As an added validation, Into the Groove was Madonna’s first self-produced release (co-produced with Stephen Bray). While artists co-producing their own work is common today, it was relatively unusual at the time, particularly for female artists. The immense success of the single undoubtedly helped convince the powers at Sire/Warner to grant Madonna the artistic freedom to co-produce her next album, True Blue, together with her collaborators Stephen Bray and Patrick Leonard.

Today in Madonna History: August 8, 1992

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On August 8 1992, Madonna’s This Used to Be My Playground (and the theme song for A League of Their Own) hit number-one on the Billboard Hot 100 in the USA, becoming Madonna’s tenth chart-topping single, breaking her tie with Whitney Houston to become the female artist with the most number-one singles at that time.

The song was written and produced by Madonna and Shep Pettibone, and recorded prior to final sessions for Madonna’s 1992 studio album Erotica. As with most of Pettibone’s songwriting collaborations with Madonna, Tony Shimkin was later added as co-writer of the song.

Today in Madonna History: July 1, 1989

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On July 1 1989, Express Yourself became Madonna’s sixth number one single on the Eurochart Hot 100 Singles chart in Europe. It remained in the chart’s top position for three weeks.

Today in Madonna History: June 7, 1986

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On June 7 1986, Madonna’s Live To Tell hit #1 in the USA. Live To Tell was written and produced together by Madonna and Patrick Leonard.

Speaking of Patrick Leonard, one of our all-time favourite Madonna collaborators — he currently has a Kickstarter campaign going for a new album called Bring The Circus Home, a collection of re-visited and re-imagined songs (piano-only, no vocals) that he and Madonna worked on and released together. Please check out Patrick’s Kickstarter campaign and donate/pledge if you can — this is an all-or-nothing campaign. He will not be able to proceed with the album if the goal is not met by Wednesday July 4.

Jay’s Note: I’m going to pledge $100 so I can get one of the limited edition vinyl releases! Woo-hoo vinyl! 

This beautiful video shows Madonna collaborator Patrick Leonard playing a solo piano version of Live To Tell:

Today in Madonna History: June 3, 1989

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On June 3 1989, Madonna’s Like A Prayer earned its 11th week at #1, and its 12th week in the Top 10 of the United World Chart (tracks).

Today in Madonna History: May 10, 2003

On May 10 2003, Madonna’s American Life album reached #1 on the Billboard 200 Albums Chart in the USA.

In 2008, Sal Cinquemani had this to say about American Life in Slant magazine:

In hindsight, American Life isn’t the masterpiece that Erotica so quickly revealed itself to be. It’s frequently self-indulgent, misguided, unpleasant, difficult to listen to, silly yet somehow humorless, but it’s also consistent, uncompromising, and unapologetic. The album is a testament to the artist’s willingness to take risks and her refusal to stay inside her comfort zone. In the grand scheme of things, the album might rank as one of the weakest in Madonna’s extensive catalog, and the ones that followed have been as good, if not better, but American Life stands as the last time Madonna seemed to make music without the primary objective of scoring a hit. It’s interesting to imagine what Madonna’s career would look like today had American Life been a success: For better or worse, that pink leotard and Justin duet might never have existed.

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