On July 7 1992, Madonna contributed This Used To Be My Playground to the Special Olympics benefit CD, Barcelona Gold.
This Used To Be My Playground was the theme song to the hit film A League of Their Own, but it was not included on the film soundtrack. The soundtrack for the film was released by Columbia Records, while Barcelona Gold was released by Warner Bros., possibly the reason why Madonna’s hit single appeared on the benefit CD instead of the soundtrack.
On December 28 1992, Madonna was named one of the 25 Most Intriguing People In The World For 1992 by People magazine.
Here’s what People had to say about Madonna in 1992:
The Movies! The Album! The Naughty Pictures! Once Again Madonna Was Everywhere, Shouting, “Look at Me—Every Inch of Me!”
Intriguing: suggests an air of mystery. Madonna: does everything in public but floss her teeth.
Intriguing: wrapped in enigma. Madonna: not wrapped in anything.
Intriguing: means doesn’t appear on-camera in romantic encounters with Evian water bottles. Madonna: does.
OK—so what’s so intriguing about somebody who lets you know that her lovers require a five-cent deposit?
For one thing, she made ya look. Consider Sex, the photo book in which she had her picture taken doing everything but blushing. Besides proving that a naked Madonna could arch backward over a pinball machine without mussing her hair, it also pushed the envelope out to the size of a circus tent. And when the crowds came pouring in, there she was at center ring, cracking her whip.
It only served her purposes that Sex earned sniffy reviews like “The Empress Has No Clothes” and that it was banned in places such as Japan and Ireland. Coming on the heels of her summer film hit, A League of Their Own, the fuss over her book helped to launch her new album, Erotica, and primed the movie audience for her next assault on their sensibilities, Body of Evidence. Her success at getting the world to subsidize her sexual preoccupations—to say nothing of her mammoth self-absorption—is what makes her worth the $60 million deal she cut this year with Time Warner (the parent company of PEOPLE). Madonna is not the first star to find the bucks in buck nakedness. But no one before her has capitalized so well on human willingness to have our fears and desires repackaged and sold back to us.
Yet this most public of women still strains to be a mystery. This year she went through more faces than Lon Chaney—one minute in Baby Jane pigtails, a cupcake from hell; the next in sour milkmaid gear, Heidi with a mean streak. Her changing gallery of faces is one reason that she’s a sex symbol who inspires a lot of heavy breathing from intellectuals. One landmark of the 1992 publishing list—The Madonna Connection: Representational Politics, Sub-cultural Identities and Cultural Theory. You didn’t get this sort of thing for Petula Clark.
But does she really throw such a mysterious light on our culture? More likely it’s just the glinting gears of a giant publicity machine. Yet the sheer magnitude of her achievement in that regard is, well, intriguing. And the grinding of those gears is surely too loud to be ignored. “I’m a revolutionary,” she once sighed. “And yes. it’s a burden.”
Sometimes it’s a burden for her, we sigh in return, and sometimes for us.
Madonna was a busy woman in 1992! What did you enjoy most? A League Of Their Own? This Used To Be My Playground? Erotica? Sex? Body Of Evidence?
On August 15 1992, This Used To Be My Playground spent the first of three weeks at #1 on the RPM Canadian Top 100 Singles chart. In RPM’s year-end tally of the biggest hits of 1992 in Canada, the hit placed at #8.
This Used To Be My Playground was written by Madonna, Shep Pettibone & Tony Shimkin (although he was not originally credited) and produced by Madonna & Pettibone.
In an interview with the fan site MadonnaTribe, Shimkin recalled a last-minute dash to complete the recording of the song’s orchestral parts:
“When we recorded it with Al Schmidt at Ocean Way studio in L.A., we had a 30-piece orchestra and Jeremy Lubbock did the string arrangements, (but) we never included the demo that had the solo string part in it when we had him chart everything out for the orchestra,” revealed Shimkin. “On the day we were recording, we thought we were done and realized we forgot the solo. I quickly sang the part to the copyist, who then charted it out for the violin players, and they got it recorded with one minute to spare on the clock. When you have a thirty piece orchestra, it can be super expensive to roll into a second hour of their time!”
On August 8 1992, Madonna’s This Used to Be My Playground (and the theme song for A League of Their Own) hit number-one on the Billboard Hot 100 in the USA, becoming Madonna’s tenth chart-topping single, breaking her tie with Whitney Houston to become the female artist with the most number-one singles at that time.
The song was written and produced by Madonna and Shep Pettibone, and recorded prior to final sessions for Madonna’s 1992 studio album Erotica. Together with Rain and In This Life, This Used To Be My Playground is one of three Pettibone collaborations from the Erotica sessions that was not co-written with Tony Shimkin, according to the ASCAP database.
On October 16 2012, the 20th Anniversary of A League Of Their Own was released on Blu-ray.
The 20th Anniversary edition includes 15 deleted scenes, an exclusive documentary and the music video for Madonna’s This Used To Be My Playground.