Today in Madonna History: December 24, 1995

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On December 24 1995, Oh Father was released as the second UK single from Madonna’s ballads retrospective, Something To Remember.

Warner had initially declined the option to release Oh Father in most European markets when it became the fourth North American single from Like A Prayer in late 1989, instead opting for a more by-the-numbers portrait of childhood innocence with the release of Dear Jessie. Why it was determined to be a better idea in 1995, following its poor showing on the U.S. charts, is anyone’s guess. One possibility is that Oh Father‘s brilliant preexisting music video provided an easy, cost-free means of promoting the song while Madonna remained unavailable due to her recording commitments for the Evita soundtrack.

While I would personally rank Oh Father among Madonna’s very best musical and lyrical efforts, and its music video an underrated classic – it never had the makings of a commercial hit. And history repeated itself when the song’s dark subject matter once again stunted its ability to gain momentum on radio for its British release. It became only her third UK single at the time to peak outside the top-ten when it stalled at #16 in its first charting week. It fared better in Finland and Italy, however, reaching #6 in both countries.

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.

 

Today in Madonna History: October 17, 2005

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On October 17 2005, Hung Up was released by Warner Brothers Records as the lead single from the album Confessions On A Dance Floor.

Written & produced by Madonna & Stuart Price (with additional sampling credits to ABBA’s Benny Andersson & Björn Ulvaeus), Hung Up had initially been previewed instrumentally in a September 2005 commercial for Motorola’s ROKR mobile phone. Price had also teased a dub remix of the track to unknowing audiences during his DJ sets throughout the previous year.

The single was Madonna’s first to be released digitally through iTunes.

In an interview with The Daily Telegraph from October 2005, Benny Andersson spoke about their decision to allow Madonna to sample ABBA’s 1979 hit, Gimme Gimme Gimme (A Man After Midnight):

We get so many requests from people wanting to use our tracks but we normally say ‘no’. This is only the second time we have given permission. We said ‘yes’ this time because we admire Madonna so much and always have done. She has got guts and has been around for 21 years. That is not bad going.”

Today in Madonna History: October 3, 1985

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On October 3 1985, Geffen Records released Gambler as a single in Europe. It was the second Madonna single released from the Vision Quest soundtrack.

Concerned about potential overexposure, Warner Brothers successfully managed to suppress a North American release of the track, although the music video was serviced to MTV. It was issued as a single in most other major markets – including Japan, Australasia & South America.

Gambler was written by Madonna, produced by Jellybean Benitez and arranged by Stephen Bray. Extended and instrumental remixes by Benitez were also issued commercially outside North America.

Today in Madonna History: August 5, 2008

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On August 5 2008, Madonna’s Give It 2 Me was released as a 8-track CD maxi-single by Warner Bros. Records in the U.S. It included amazing club remixes by Eddie Amador, Paul Oakenfold, Fedde Le Grand, Tong & Spoon, Jody den Broeder, as well as a ragga version of the song by Sly & Robbie.

The single was also issued in the U.S. as a double-vinyl 12-inch set, a 12-inch vinyl picture disc and as a double-vinyl 7-inch set coupled with her previous single, 4 Minutes. Though no Canadian pressings of the single were issued, the U.S. CD maxi-single was distributed to Canadian retailers with a Warner Music Canada special import sticker.

Give It 2 Me was the second single from Hard Candy. It was written by Madonna & Pharrell Williams with production by Madonna & The Neptunes.

Today in Madonna History: July 23, 1985

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On July 23 1985, Into The Groove was released as a single in the UK.

Not wanting to draw more attention away from the Like A Virgin album following the release of the soundtrack hit Crazy For You, Sire/Warner notoriously relegated Into The Groove to the b-side of the Angel 12″ single in North America & Australia, although they eventually ceded to issuing it as an A-side in most other international territories.

Into The Groove was written & produced by Madonna & Stephen Bray and was their first released co-production to not be reworked by an outside producer (the pair had already been producing their own demos for years). The original demo version was used over the closing credits of Desperately Seeking Susan (seemingly dubbed from an actual cassette copy of the demo–granted, DAT’s were still a few years away), and although the commercially released mix featured a slightly beefed-up and more polished-sounding musical backing track, it kept Madonna’s original demo vocals intact.

In the UK, and throughout most of Europe, the single was backed by the Madonna-penned ballad Shoo-Bee-Doo, while the original album version of Everybody (another song credited to her alone) rounded out the 12″ single…it would be fair to assume that Madonna likely earned some of the biggest single-generated songwriting royalty cheques of her career thus far with this release. It’s interesting to note that despite being one of Madonna’s most enduring dance floor classics, no remixes were produced for Into The Groove at the time of its release. It wasn’t until 1987’s You Can Dance remix compilation that the song finally received an official extended remix treatment.

Today in Madonna History: June 6, 2006

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On June 6 2006, Get Together was released as the third international single from the album Confessions On A Dance Floor on Warner Bros. Records.

The initial marketing strategy for Confessions On A Dance Floor included plans to release Jump as its third single. Plans shifted when Get Together proved to be the most popular digital download from the album (excluding its previous two singles, Hung Up and Sorry), warranting its release ahead of Jump, which became the fourth single.

Get Together was written by Madonna, Anders Bagge, Peer Åström & Stuart Price with production by Madonna & Price. The final version also includes a small sampling of string elements from the song’s original production (which only became evident once the original demos leaked to the internet several years later), hence the unusual “Original Production by Bagge & Åström” credit inclusion in the liner notes of the album and single.

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