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: December 2, 2000

On December 2 2000, Madonna’s Don’t Tell Me single was reviewed by Chuck Taylor in Billboard magazine.

Don’t Tell Me was Madonna’s final single to be released on cassette in the U.S.  In the U.K., Warner Bros. issued Madonna’s next two singles in the format, with the last being 2002’s Die Another Day. In Canada – the first market to regularly issue Madonna’s singles on cassette (beginning with the cassette maxi-single for Angel in 1985) – her final cassette single was 1995’s Bedtime Story, while her final cassette maxi-single was 1994’s I’ll Remember.

Today in Madonna History: October 27, 1996

On October 27 1996, Madonna’s You Must Love Me (the lead single from Evita) was released.

Kathleen Guerdo’s review for Billboard:

“Madonna delivers what is by far one of the strongest vocal performances of her career, comfortably scaling to the song’s demanding soprano heights while infusing it with delicate, heart-rending emotion. This bodes well for the creative potency of the rest of the soundtrack, which is due Nov. 14. Prepare for wall-to-wall airplay of this flawless ballad on pop and AC radio.”

Today in Madonna History: July 4, 1992

On July 4 1992, Madonna’s This Used To Be My Playground single from the film A League Of Their Own was reviewed by Larry Flick in Billboard magazine.

Today in Madonna History: June 28, 1986

On June 28 1986, Madonna’s Papa Don’t Preach single was briefly reviewed in Billboard magazine.

Today in Madonna History: June 3, 1989

On June 3 1989, Madonna’s Express Yourself single was reviewed in Billboard magazine.

Today in Madonna History: May 16, 1998

On May 16 1998, Larry Flick’s glowing review of Madonna’s Ray Of Light single was published in Billboard magazine.

The single would debut at its peak position of #5 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the U.S.

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