Today in Madonna History: December 2, 1995

On December 2 1995, Madonna appeared on the cover of NME (New Music Express) magazine. The cover/interview was part of the Something To Remember promotional plan.

Here are a few questions from the interview:

Is ‘You’ll See’ about revenge?

“No, It’s about empowering yourself. As much as I like a song like ‘Take A Bow’, lyrically it only reflects one side of my personality. I have that side which in completely masochistic and willing to, literally, do anything for love. But there’s another side too which is – ‘Don’t f*** with me, I don’t need anybody. I can do what I want’ and ‘You’ll See’ reflects that.”

Are you getting harder as you get older?

“No, just wiser. I’ve read a couple of reviews that say I’m getting harder in my old age but I don’t think that’s true at all. I think that you can’t help but become a little cynical about life and love but I’m still a romantic, I’m still an idealist. I fall in love quite easily so I don’t think I’ve gotten harder at all. It’s just another thing for people to mention when they want to undermine who I am and what I say. Some people have a really hard time resisting thinking in a one-dimensional way in general.”

For a woman whose first hit was a song about holidays, Madonna implies that she is singularly bad at taking them.

“I despise anyone who looks at me and my lifestyle and thinks – ‘Oh God! Her life is so easy!’ Like I was born into it and it happened overnight. Bullshit! I work so f**ing hard.”

Nor is she deluded about her commercial ranking. Though still one of the most famous women in the world – most people have forgotten more about Madonna than they achieve in their entire lives – her record sales don’t always reflect this.

“I’ve gone from having a huge fan base to losing a huge fan base to having a kind of fluctuating fan base. I’ve always had a core of fans who’ve stuck by me but, depending on the kind of music I do, I end up appealing to certain groups of people and alienating others.”

Does this bother you?

“No. I may not be as popular as I once was but people are starting to pay attention to my music and respect me as an artist more.”

Have you lost your nerve at any point over the years?

“Absolutely!” she laughs. “I panic every time I put out a record. I think every artist does. Every time you have a Number One record you think., ‘Well that was great but I’ll probably never be able to do it again’. It’s never-ending.”

Today in Madonna History: November 29, 1994

On November 29 1994, the second single from Madonna’s Bedtime Stories album, Take A Bow, was released. The song was written and produced by Madonna and Babyface.

In Steve Sullivan’s Encyclopedia of Great Popular Song Recordings Volume 2, he reviews the hit single:

A gorgeous melancholy ballad of unrequited love, with the object of the singer’s affection being someone who hides behind a role playing mask which only she can see. Babyface makes the song virtually a duet with Madonna, echoing her words with his high tenor wafting dreamily behind her, and the song’s minimalist arrangement is impeccably elegant.

Today in Madonna History: October 23, 1993

On October 23 1993, Madonna’s Rain peaked at #7 on Billboard’s Hot Adult Contemporary chart in the USA. Rain is Madonna’s longest charting single on the Hot AC chart, spending 125-weeks on the chart. Her second longest charting Hot AC single is Take A Bow (with 35-weeks on the chart).

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!

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