Today in Madonna History: July 26, 1999

On July 26 1999, Beautiful Stranger hit #1 for the first of two weeks on the Top 100 Canadian Singles chart published by RPM.

In the U.S. a commercial single had been withheld for Beautiful Stranger to drive sales of Maverick Records’ Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me soundtrack album, limiting the song’s chart potential on the Hot 100 despite favorable support from radio. In a rare move, Warner Music Canada opted against following the lead of its U.S. counterpart and instead released the song as a CD maxi-single on July 20th, 1999.

During the week of its release, Beautiful Stranger was spending a second week at #4 on the Canadian singles chart based on the strength of its airplay alone, however the loss of its bullet indicated that it had likely peaked at radio. Fortunately, the added boost from sales of the domestic maxi-single was enough to earn Madonna her 17th #1 single in Canada – her first since 1995’s Take A Bow, despite having achieved three Canadian top-5 hits in the interim between 1996 and 1998.

Today in Madonna History: May 20, 1996

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On May 20 1996, Madonna’s Take A Bow was honored as one of the Most Performed Songs Of 1995 at the 13th annual ASCAP Pop Music Awards at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California.

Today in Madonna History: March 10, 2016

On March 10 2016, Madonna performed the first Tears Of A Clown show at the Forum Theatre in Melbourne, Australia. Since Madonna had not performed in Australia since 1993, she decided to put on a unique show for her Australian fans. The show included some of her lesser performed songs, covers, hits and some fan favourites that were not being performed during the Rebel Heart Tour (which was going on a the same time as the Tears Of A Clown show).

Madonna wanted the show to combine music, comedy and storytelling, with a circus or clown theme in mind.

Only members of Madonna’s official fan club, Icon, were able to acquire tickets.  1500 fans attended the show.

Madonna performed the following songs:

  • Send In The Clowns
  • Drowned World/Substitute For Love
  • X-Static Process
  • Between The Bars (Elliot Smith cover)
  • Nobody’s Perfect
  • Easy Ride
  • Intervention
  • I’m So Stupid
  • Paradise (Not For Me)
  • Joan Of Arc
  • Don’t Tell Me
  • Mer Girl
  • Borderline
  • Take A Bow
  • Holiday

Cameron Adams (News.com.au) had this to say about the show:

“Madonna poured much of her sadness into her intimate two-hour Tears Of A Clown show, peppering emotional renditions of her hits with cheeky jokes and banter. It’s the sort of thing you never thought you’d see a superstar do. The show was fascinating — and difficult — to watch. We’re not used to Madonna on stage doing anything less than a fully rehearsed, slick stage show.”

Today in Madonna History: January 7, 1995

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On January 7 1995, Take A Bow slid to #21 on the UK Singles chart after reaching a peak of #16 on December 24th, 1994.

While Take A Bow remains her longest-running #1 hit in the US, its disappointing UK chart performance marked an end to Madonna’s spectacular run of 35 consecutive top-ten UK singles from 1984’s Like A Virgin to 1994’s Secret. Take a bow, indeed!

Today in Madonna History: November 3, 1994

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On November 3 1994, Madonna began filming the Take A Bow music video in Ronda, Spain.

The video was directed by Michael Haussman. Haussman later directed the follow-up video to Take A Bow, You’ll See (in 1996).

Take A Bow was filmed between November 3 and 8 in Ronda. The bullfighting scenes were filmed at Plaza de Toros de Ronda.

The video depicts Madonna as a bullfighter’s neglected lover, yearning for his unrequited love. The bullfighter in the video was played by real-life Spanish bullfighter Emilio Muñoz.

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Today in Madonna History: April 29, 1995

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On April 29, 1995, Bedtime Story peaked at #42 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the U.S.

Released as the follow-up to the longest-running U.S. #1 single of her career (Take A Bow), Madonna & Warner Bros. likely hoped that the momentum would carry over to the cutting-edge Björk penned title track. Despite a respectable reception in Europe (in the U.K. it performed better than Take A Bow) and significant buzz generated by its music video, Bedtime Story proved to be too unconventional for radio in North America, where it became her first fully promoted single to miss the Top 40 since Burning Up in 1983. It fared no better in Canada, peaking at #46 on May 1st, 1995.

The remixes for Bedtime Story, however, were a hit with North American D.J.’s and earned Madonna another #1 on Billboard’s Hot Dance/Club Play chart.

Today in Madonna History: February 22, 1995

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On February 22 1995, Madonna and Babyface performed Take A Bow at the San Remo Music Festival in Italy. At the end of the performance, Madonna thanked the audience in Italian, and received a standing ovation.  

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