Today in Madonna History: July 12, 1986

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.

Today in Madonna History: February 7, 1987

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For the week ending February 7 1987, Madonna’s Open Your Heart spent a second week at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 Airplay Chart and a second week at #2 on the Hot 100 Sales Chart.

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Today in Madonna History: January 4, 1987

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On January 4 1987, Open Your Heart spent its third and final consecutive week at its peak position of #4 on the UK Singles chart.

Today in Madonna History: December 1, 1992

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On December 1 1992, Mayor Tom Bradley of Los Angeles, California, declared the day:  Frederick’s Of Hollywood Day to celebrate the return of Madonna’s bustier which was stolen on April 30 during the Los Angeles riots.

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Today in Madonna History: November 19, 1986

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On November 19 1986, Madonna’s Open Your Heart single was released.  Open Your Heart was the fourth single to be released from the True Blue album.

The single would eventually become Madonna’s fifth number-one hit on the Billboard Hot 100 (topping the chart on February 7, 1987).

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Today in Madonna History: May 2, 2015

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On May 2 2015, Madonna participated in an Ask Me Anything interactive chat with Saturday Night Online – live with Romeo.

During the chat we learned the following:

  • Madonna’s mantra is “Live each day like it’s your last.”
  • She wanted to release Falling Free from MDNA, but didn’t because “it’s not conventional enough.”
  • She most enjoyed filming the music videos for Justify My Love, Open Your Heart, Material Girl and Like A Virgin.
  • Madonna enjoys rosé wine.
  • She would love to release an album (or maybe more than one) of unreleased material.  She said that it would be a “long ass album.”
  • She likes the idea of recording with Britney Spears again.
  • She thinks Drake kisses like a girl, “Don’t kiss Drake, no matter how many times he begs you to.”
  • Her party playlists include: Kaytranada, Grimes, James Blake, Harry Belafonte, Duke Ellington, Major Lazer, Bob Marley and Jimi Hendrix.

Today in Madonna History: December 12, 1986

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On December 12 1986, Open Your Heart was released in North America as the fourth single from True Blue. The song was written by Madonna, Gardner Cole & Peter Rafelson and produced by Madonna & Patrick Leonard.

The single’s worldwide b-side, White Heat, an album track from True Blue, developed a relatively high profile due to its inclusion as the flip-side to two of Madonna’s #1 hits–the aforementioned Open Your Heart and 1987’s Who’s That Girl, released only six months apart. Gaining further exposure as a set-list staple during the Who’s That Girl Tour, the live performance of White Heat foreshadowed some of the dramatic elements that Madonna would expand upon in future tours.

White Heat’s original submission for copyright was registered to Madonna & Leonard under the working title Get Up, Stand Tall with a 1985 date of creation. Notes from the registration on file also list the title Dangerous–but it is likely just another working title that was being considered rather than a separate recording.  White Heat is thought to have been among the earliest songwriting collaborations between Madonna & Leonard to be completed, coming shortly after their first composition, Love Makes The World Go Round, surfaced during Live Aid in the summer of 1985. The sequence of the registration numbers for the two songs suggests that they may they have been completed within a month or two of each other. Madonna’s version of Open Your Heart (which she revised from the Cole/Rafelson demo) is also thought to have been recorded with Leonard during the same time period.

The liner notes of True Blue dedicated White Heat to actor James Cagney, who in 1949 played ruthless, deranged gang leader Arthur “Cody” Jarrett in the Warner Brothers film, White Heat. Several clips of Cagney’s dialogue from the original motion picture were used in the song for dramatic effect.

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