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

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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.

Today in Madonna History: October 3, 1985

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On October 3 1985, Madonna’s second single from the motion picture Vision Quest, Gambler was released by Geffen Records in select markets.

Gambler was entirely self-written by Madonna and produced by John “Jellybean” Benitez.

Gambler was never released in the United States, but it went to #4 in the UK.  The single also reached the top-ten in the charts of Australia, Belgium, Ireland, Ireland, Netherlands and Norway.

The music video for the song is an excerpt from the film.

Madonna has performed the song only once, on her Virgin Tour in 1985.

Alex Henderson from Allmusic called the song “an ultra-infectious gem that, unfortunately, isn’t on any of the Material Girl’s CDs” and felt that Gambler should have been a big hit.  

Would you like to see Madonna perform “Gambler” on a future concert tour?

Today in Madonna History: June 11, 1985

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On June 11 1985, Madonna ended The Virgin Tour with a sold-out concert at New York’s Madison Square Garden.

Today in Madonna History: June 1, 1985

On June 1 1985, Warner Bros. and Sire Records took out a centerfold ad in Billboard magazine to celebrate the resounding success of Madonna’s first concert trek, The Virgin Tour.

Featuring the cover image from her then-current single, Angel, as a backdrop, the spread cheekily alluded to Madonna’s “virgin” moniker with the caption:

“You were wonderful! We’re proud of you. Congratulations on your first tour.
                                                               – Warner Bros. and Sire records.”

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