On July 12 1986, Madonna’s third album, True Blue, debuted at #1 on the UK Albums Chart.
Here’s the AllMusic review of True Blue by Stephen Thomas Erlewine:
True Blue is the album where Madonna truly became Madonna the Superstar — the endlessly ambitious, fearlessly provocative entertainer that knew how to outrage, spark debates, get good reviews — and make good music while she’s at it. To complain that True Blue is calculated is to not get Madonna — that’s a large part of what she does, and she is exceptional at it, but she also makes fine music. What’s brilliant about True Blue is that she does both here, using the music to hook in critics just as she’s baiting a mass audience with such masterstrokes as “Papa Don’t Preach,” where she defiantly states she’s keeping her baby. It’s easy to position anti-abortionism as feminism, but what’s tricky is to transcend your status as a dance-pop diva by consciously recalling classic girl-group pop (“True Blue,” “Jimmy Jimmy”) to snag the critics, while deepening the dance grooves (“Open Your Heart,” “Where’s the Party”), touching on Latin rhythms (“La Isla Bonita”), making a plea for world peace (“Love Makes the World Go Round”), and delivering a tremendous ballad that rewrites the rules of adult contemporary crossover (“Live to Tell”). It’s even harder to have the entire album play as an organic, cohesive work. Certainly, there’s some calculation behind the entire thing, but what matters is the end result, one of the great dance-pop albums, a record that demonstrates Madonna’s true skills as a songwriter, record-maker, provocateur, and entertainer through its wide reach, accomplishment, and sheer sense of fun.
On June 28 1986, Madonna’s Papa Don’t Preach debuted at #42 on the Billboard Hot 100. The single was released on June 11.
Sal Cinquemani from Slant Magazine said that “with songs like Papa Don’t Preach, Madonna made the transition from pop tart to consummate artist, joining the ranks of 80s icons like Michael Jackson and Prince.”
On June 19 1986, the music video for Papa Don’t Preach had its broadcast premiere on Entertainment Tonight. It began airing on MTV the following day.
On June 7 1986, Madonna’s Live To Tell hit #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the USA, giving Madonna her third #1 single.
Written by Madonna and Patrick Leonard, Live To Tell was Madonna’s fourth soundtrack song in two years (Crazy For You, Into The Groove, Gambler + Live To Tell), and it was also the lead single from Madonna’s True Blue album.
What is your favourite Madonna soundtrack song?
On May 16 1988, Madonna’s Spotlight reached a peak of #3 on the Oricon International Singles Chart in Japan. The single was released on 7″ vinyl and 3″ mini CD single by Sire and Warner-Pioneer Japan on April 25 1988.
Spotlight was originally planned to be included on the True Blue album, but was cut from the line-up and eventually appeared on Madonna’s You Can Dance remix album, released on November 17 1988.
The song was written by Madonna, Stephen Bray and Curtis Hudson. The song was remixed by Shep Pettibone, with additional mixing done by John “Jellybean” Benitez.
On February 25 1987, Madonna’s La Isla Bonita was released as the fifth and final single from the True Blue album.
An instrumental version of the song, written by Bruce Gaitsch, was first offered to Michael Jackson for his Bad album, but Jackson declined to use the track.
While working with Patrick Leonard on the True Blue album, Madonna accepted the instrumental track and then wrote the lyrics and melody, giving her a co-writing credit with Leonard and Gaitsch. The track was also produced by Madonna and Patrick Leonard.
On January 26 1987, Madonna won Favorite Female Pop/Rock Video for Papa Don’t Preach at the 14th annual American Music Awards at the Scottish Rite Auditorium, Los Angeles, CA.
One of the award presenters, Mister Mister’s Richard Page, would later collaborate with Madonna & Patrick Leonard on the 1994 soundtrack hit, I’ll Remember.
Isn’t she adorable?