Today in Madonna History: January 7, 1998

On January 7 1998, filming began for Madonna’s Frozen music video in the California desert with director Chris Cunningham.

Cunningham recalled the initial concept for the video in his book, Directors Label:

“The original treatment was, like, massive piles of bodies in the desert. All these figurative sculptures made up of bodies that were all multiple Madonnas. They were all going to split and break up and change into ravens and then change into dogs. Just a performance video, but a really elaborate one using her, her clothes, and any shapes that would come out of her clothes.”

Today in Madonna History: December 29, 2005

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On December 29 2005, Madonna’s Official Fan Club, ICON, published an interview with Stuart Price about his experiences working with Madonna on Confessions on a Dance Floor.

Here’s part of the interview they posted:

ICON: What’s the best part in being involved with Madonna’s new album?

STUART: Watching it take shape from a few demos done for fun into an entire spectacle with dancers, videos and nightclubs full of people!

ICON: What made you want to record this album in your home studio? Why not a big studio instead?

STUART: It wasn’t really thought about that much, we just found that we had got into several songs before we even thought about it. But that was the thing for much of the album concept; it wasn’t over-thought or analyzed. We liked the sound of my studio and so thought why go elsewhere?

ICON: How would you describe your collaboration with Madonna?

STUART: Like finding your favourite musician, comedian and friend all in one!

ICON: How is working on a Madonna project different from working with a new artist?

STUART: It’s not in many ways. She is very fresh, exciting and full of ideas the same way as someone is when they do their first record. The difference is she has the experience and integrity of someone who understands the creative process very deeply and can therefore suggest directions and ideas that can inspire greater heights.

Today in Madonna History: December 22, 1984

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On December 22 1984, Madonna’s Like A Virgin single hit #1 in the USA.  It was her first number one single in the USA, and it remained at number one for six weeks.

In 2000, Like A Virgin, was honored by Rolling Stone and MTV, as the fourth song on their list of the 100 Greatest Pop Songs. It was voted ten on VH1’s 100 Best Songs of the Past 25 Years. The song was listed at ninety-five on Billboard’s Hot 100 All-Time Top Songs. In 2003, Madonna fans were asked to vote for their Top 20 Madonna Singles of All-Time, by Q magazine. Like A Virgin was allocated the fifth spot on the list.

Today in Madonna History: December 16, 1989

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On December 16 1989, Dear Jessie debuted at #9 on the UK Singles Chart.

The single would climb to its peak position of #5 on December 30th, where it remained for three weeks before beginning its descent.

Today in Madonna History: December 8, 2003

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On December 8 2003, Love Profusion was released as the final U.K. single from the American Life album. The track was written and produced by Madonna & Mirwais.

 

Today in Madonna History: December 7, 1990

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On December 7 1990, Madonna’s Justify My Love was released as the first-ever video single, priced at $9.98.

The music video was considered too sexually explicit for MTV and was banned from the network. Madonna responded to the banning: “Why is it that people are willing to go and watch a movie about someone getting blown to bits for no reason at all, and nobody wants to see two girls kissing and two men snuggling?”

On December 3, 1990, ABC’s Nightline played the video in its entirety, then interviewed Madonna live about the video’s sexual content and censorship. When asked whether she stood to make more money selling the video than airing it on MTV, she appeared impatient and answered, “Yeah, so? Lucky me.” She also expressed during the interview that she did not understand why the video was banned, while videos containing violence and degradation to women continued to receive regular airplay. The video was then released on VHS, and became a bestselling “video single” of all time.

The Justify My Love maxi-single was an especially memorable one, featuring remixes by future songwriting collaborators William Orbit and Andre Betts, a Q-Sound mix, a remix by Madonna & Lenny Kravitz titled The Beast Within which featured Madonna reciting passages from the Book of Revelations, and a new Shep Pettibone remix of Express Yourself.

A second Justify My Love remix by Andre Betts, titled The English Mix, was sadly shelved but eventually surfaced on bootlegs and the internet, in varying degrees of quality.

Today in Madonna History: December 3, 2005

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On December 3 2005, Confessions On A Dance Floor entered the Billboard 200 album chart at number-one with sales of of over 350,000. It was her third consecutive studio album to reach the top and her sixth chart-topping album overall in the US.

Internationally the album hit number-one in 40 countries, including Canada, the UK, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Poland, Brazil and Australia.

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