Today in Madonna History: May 23, 1985

Madonna receives Canadian sales award Maple Leaf Gardens-Toronto-1985 (550)

On May 23 1985, Madonna accepted a Canadian Quadruple Platinum certification award for shipment of over 400,000 copies of her second album, Like A Virgin, within Canada. The award was presented by WEA Canada’s VP of sales Garry Newman to Madonna and Sire Records president Seymour Stein prior to her sold-out Toronto concert at Maple Leaf Gardens.

Like A Virgin was eventually certified (in July, 1992) with the rare Canadian Diamond certification for shipment of over one million copies in Canada. The only other Madonna album to date to receive Diamond certification in Canada is True Blue, which managed to achieve the feat within a year of its release. To date, only eighteen albums in total (by any artist or musical group) have received a Diamond certification in Canada.

Today in Madonna History: January 18, 1986

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On January 18 1986, Madonna Live: The Virgin Tour hit #1 on Billboard’s Top Music Videos chart in the US. It went on to become the country’s top-selling music video of 1986.

Today in Madonna History: November 11, 1985

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On November 11 1985, Madonna Live: The Virgin Tour was released on home video in the U.K. and France. The concert was filmed on May 25th, 1985 at Cobo Arena in Madonna’s home town of Detroit, Michigan. The concert film was directed by Daniel Kleinman and the music was produced by Madonna & Patrick Leonard.

At the beginning of the video Madonna declares:

“I went to New York. I had a dream. I wanted to be a big star, I didn’t know anybody, I wanted to dance, I wanted to sing, I wanted to do all those things, I wanted to make people happy, I wanted to be famous, I wanted everybody to love me. I wanted to be a star. I worked really hard, and my dream came true.”

The live performances of Like A Virgin and Dress You Up were released as music videos on MTV to promote the live video release.  Both videos were nominated for Best Choreography at the 1986 MTV Video Music Awards.

Though it was also released on laserdisc in some countries, to date it has sadly not been officially reissued on DVD.

Today in Madonna History: August 14, 2012

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On August 14 2012, Madonna’s first make-up artist, and close friend, Debi Mazar spoke to Allure.com’s beauty editor, Sophia Panych about what Madonna’s hair and make-up was like for The Virgin Tour in 1985:

Her hair was long and wild, and she had just had her bangs cut. She had this thick, curly, gorgeous hair—thicker than anyone else I knew—and it didn’t really need much. I just tried to make sure her bangs nicely framed her face and make sure it moved well, rather than creating a polished look. Really, it was more about the music and the show. We just wanted her to look good, get on stage, and do the damn tour. Plus, she was in her twenties: Her skin was good, and as long as you had bright lipstick and good hair, the crowd didn’t care—they just wanted to dance.

Today in Madonna History: May 25, 1985

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On May 25 1985, Madonna performed The Virgin Tour at Cobo Arena in Detroit, Michigan. The show was filmed by Daniel Kleinman, and released by Warner Music Video and Sire Records on November 13 1985.

Here is the dialog from Madonna’s famous Virgin Tour introduction (filmed by James Foley for the video release, it was not present during the concerts):

“I went to New York. I had a dream. I wanted to be a big star, I didn’t know anybody, I wanted to dance, I wanted to sing, I wanted to do all those things, I wanted to make people happy, I wanted to be famous, I wanted everybody to love me. I wanted to be a star. I worked really hard, and my dream came true.”

Madonna Live: The Virgin Tour was an enormous success.  The home video release was the top selling music video cassette of 1986 in the USA, and the video was certified double platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) for shipment of 100,000 copies.

Today in Madonna History: May 13, 1985

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On May 13 1985, Madonna was featured on the cover of People Magazine.

The headline: That Man-Smasher Madonna! On Tour

Once Madonna was expected to fizzle, but with a hit film and a sold-out tour, she’s now the hottest item in showbiz.

Today in Madonna History: November 11, 1985

virgin-tour-live-vhs-1

On November 11 1985, Madonna Live: The Virgin Tour was released on home video in France and the U.K. The was was filmed on May 25th, 1985 at Cobo Arena in Madonna’s home town of Detroit, Michigan. The concert film was directed by Daniel Kleinman while the music was produced by Madonna & Patrick Leonard, making this their first commercially released collaboration.

At the beginning of the video Madonna declares:

“I went to New York. I had a dream. I wanted to be a big star, I didn’t know anybody, I wanted to dance, I wanted to sing, I wanted to do all those things, I wanted to make people happy, I wanted to be famous, I wanted everybody to love me. I wanted to be a star. I worked really hard, and my dream came true.”

An alternate cut of the live performance of Dress You Up was issued as the music video for the single several months before the release of the film, while the live performance of Like A Virgin from the film was serviced to MTV in conjunction with the home video release. Both videos were nominated for Best Choreography at the 1986 MTV Video Music Awards.

For unknown reasons, the release excluded the setlist’s performances of Angel, Borderline and Burning Up. At the time of its release, home videos were often priced according to their running time, and it was not unusual for concert films of that era to be edited down to a more marketable length – in this case, one hour. This would have allowed a price point that was more accessible to her age demographic and offers a possible explanation for the exclusion of these performances.

Though the concert film was also released on laserdisc in some countries, to date it has sadly not been officially reissued for DVD or digital download.

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