On June 30 1986, Madonna’s True Blue album was released by Sire Records. She worked with Stephen Bray and Patrick Leonard on the album while co-writing and co-producing all the songs.
True Blue was an immediate global success, reaching number one in then record-breaking 28 countries across the world, including Australia, Canada, France, Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States. It spent 34 consecutive weeks at the top of the European Top 100 Albums chart, longer than any other album in history. It became the world’s top-selling album of 1986, as well the biggest selling album of the 1980s by a woman and remains one of the best-selling albums of all time with sales of more than 25 million copies worldwide. All five singles released from the album reached the top five on the Billboard Hot 100, with Live to Tell, Papa Don’t Preach, and Open Your Heart peaking at number one.
On February 7 1987, Open Your Heart hit #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the U.S. It was the 4th international single release from the True Blue album.
The single’s b-side, White Heat, was inspired by the 1949 Warner Bros. film of the same name starring James Cagney, to whom Madonna dedicated the song. Interspersed with dialogue taken directly from the film, Madonna’s lyrics put her love of double entendre to clever use as she compares the film’s themes of trust and betrayal among gang members to affairs of the heart.
White Heat was written and produced by Madonna & Patrick Leonard and was one of the earlier songs developed for the True Blue album, along with Open Your Heart. The initial copyright registration, submitted to the Library Of Congress in 1985, lists the song under its original title, Get Up Stand Tall.
Both songs were performed during 1987’s Who’s That Girl Tour. White Heat was also featured as the b-side for the single, Who’s That Girl, released in the summer of 1987.
On February 4 2018, Vulture.com reviewed every Super Bowl Halftime Show since 1993, and ranked them from worst to best. Madonna’s 2012 Super Bowl Halftime performance ranked #2, behind Prince’s 2007 performance.
Here’s what Brian Moylan (Vulture.com) had to say about Madonna’s Halftime Show:
A year after the halftime show embraced its pop sensibilities with the Black-Eyed Peas, Madonna arrived as a Greek goddess on a giant litter carried by a legion of Spartan soldiers, showing all the kids exactly how it’s done. There was so much on the LED-lit stage at any given time: From the swirling dancers and the gospel choir to the slack-line performer, it was almost too much. Madonna offered new arrangements of her old songs, like a drum-corps version of “Open Your Heart” sung with Cee Lo Green and an LMFAO mashup of “Music” with “Party Rock Anthem.” While she loses points for devoting significant time to the lackluster single “Give Me All Your Luvin,” at least that featured Nicki Minaj and a bird-flipping MIA. Madonna successfully moved through several modes in rapid succession, collaborated with other big artists, and made it all look effortless, as if being at the swirling center of 200 performers is what she does every Tuesday. Maybe because it is.
Read the entire list here.
On July 12 1986, Madonna’s third album, True Blue, debuted at #1 on the UK Albums Chart.
Here’s the AllMusic review of True Blue by Stephen Thomas Erlewine:
True Blue is the album where Madonna truly became Madonna the Superstar — the endlessly ambitious, fearlessly provocative entertainer that knew how to outrage, spark debates, get good reviews — and make good music while she’s at it. To complain that True Blue is calculated is to not get Madonna — that’s a large part of what she does, and she is exceptional at it, but she also makes fine music. What’s brilliant about True Blue is that she does both here, using the music to hook in critics just as she’s baiting a mass audience with such masterstrokes as “Papa Don’t Preach,” where she defiantly states she’s keeping her baby. It’s easy to position anti-abortionism as feminism, but what’s tricky is to transcend your status as a dance-pop diva by consciously recalling classic girl-group pop (“True Blue,” “Jimmy Jimmy”) to snag the critics, while deepening the dance grooves (“Open Your Heart,” “Where’s the Party”), touching on Latin rhythms (“La Isla Bonita”), making a plea for world peace (“Love Makes the World Go Round”), and delivering a tremendous ballad that rewrites the rules of adult contemporary crossover (“Live to Tell”). It’s even harder to have the entire album play as an organic, cohesive work. Certainly, there’s some calculation behind the entire thing, but what matters is the end result, one of the great dance-pop albums, a record that demonstrates Madonna’s true skills as a songwriter, record-maker, provocateur, and entertainer through its wide reach, accomplishment, and sheer sense of fun.