Today in Madonna History: February 25, 1987

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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.

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Today in Madonna History: January 26, 1987

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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?

Today in Madonna History: December 27, 1986

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On December 27 1986, Billboard’s year-end issue hit newsstands with Madonna appearing on the following 1986 chart rankings:

  • Top Pop Artist: #2
  • Top Pop Album: “True Blue” #37
  • Top Pop Album: “Like A Virgin” #52
  • Top Pop Album Artist: #6
  • Top Pop Album Artist – Female: #3
  • Top Pop Singles Artist: #3
  • Top Pop Singles Artist – Female: #2
  • Top Pop Single: “Papa Don’t Preach” #29
  • Top Pop Single: “Live To Tell” #35
  • Top Pop Single: “True Blue” #76
  • Top Pop Compact Disc: “True Blue” #25
  • Top Adult Contemporary Artist: #9
  • Top Adult Contemporary Single: “Live To Tell” #12
  • Top Dance Club Play Single: “Papa Don’t Preach” #43
  • Top Dance Sales Artist: #3
  • Top Dance Sales 12-Inch Single: “Papa Don’t Preach” #29
  • Top Dance Sales 12-Inch Single: “Live To Tell” #37
  • Top Music Video: “Madonna Live: The Virgin Tour” #1

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Today in Madonna History: November 18, 1986

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On November 18 1986, Madonna’s True Blue album was certified 3x platinum, for sales of 3 million units in the United States.  The album was released on June 30 1986.

Here’s what Madonna had to say about the album track, Where’s The Party?

“It’s my ultimate statement about what it’s like to be in the middle of this Press stuff with everybody on my back, my world about to cave in. Whenever I feel like that – and it does get to me sometimes – I say ‘Wait a minute, I’m supposed to be having a good time here, so where’s the party?’ It doesn’t have to be this way. I can still enjoy life.”

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Today in Madonna History: December 12, 1986

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On December 12 1986, Open Your Heart was released in North America as the fourth single from True Blue. The song was written by Madonna, Gardner Cole & Peter Rafelson and produced by Madonna & Patrick Leonard.

The single’s worldwide b-side, White Heat, an album track from True Blue, developed a relatively high profile due to its inclusion as the flip-side to two of Madonna’s #1 hits–the aforementioned Open Your Heart and 1987’s Who’s That Girl, released only six months apart. Gaining further exposure as a set-list staple during the Who’s That Girl Tour, the live performance of White Heat foreshadowed some of the dramatic elements that Madonna would expand upon in future tours.

White Heat’s original submission for copyright was registered to Madonna & Leonard under the working title Get Up, Stand Tall with a 1985 date of creation. Notes from the registration on file also list the title Dangerous–but it is likely just another working title that was being considered rather than a separate recording.  White Heat is thought to have been among the earliest songwriting collaborations between Madonna & Leonard to be completed, coming shortly after their first composition, Love Makes The World Go Round, surfaced during Live Aid in the summer of 1985. The sequence of the registration numbers for the two songs suggests that they may they have been completed within a month or two of each other. Madonna’s version of Open Your Heart (which she revised from the Cole/Rafelson demo) is also thought to have been recorded with Leonard during the same time period.

The liner notes of True Blue dedicated White Heat to actor James Cagney, who in 1949 played ruthless, deranged gang leader Arthur “Cody” Jarrett in the Warner Brothers film, White Heat. Several clips of Cagney’s dialogue from the original motion picture were used in the song for dramatic effect.

Today in Madonna History: September 8, 1986

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On September 8 1986, Madonna’s third album, True Blue, was certified double platinum (for shipment of 2 million units) in the USA.

Here’s a snippet of Davitt Sigerson’s review of True Blue from Rolling Stone (July 17, 1986):

Madonna’s sturdy, dependable, lovable new album remains faithful to her past while shamelessly rising above it. True Blue may generate fewer sales and less attention than Like a Virgin, but it sets her up as an artist for the long run. And like every other brainy move from this best of all possible pop madonnas, it sounds as if it comes from the heart.