Today in Madonna History: February 7, 1987

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On February 7 1987, Open Your Heart hit number-one on the Billboard Hot 100 in the U.S. The track was the 4th international single release from the True Blue album.

While the song has kept a relatively high-profile amongst Madonna’s hits through the years – having been included on the set-lists of four of her world tours (including her most recent MDNA Tour) and two of her greatest hits albums – the single attained only moderate success on the charts (by Madonna’s own standards) in most countries outside the U.S.

Open Your Heart peaked at number-eight in Canada; at number-six in Australia, Italy, Belgium and The Netherlands; and landed outside the top-ten in France (twenty-four), Switzerland (eleven), Germany (seventeen) and Austria (eighteen). It fared better in the UK, hitting number-four – and it achieved its highest European placement in Ireland, topping out at number-two.

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: August 10, 1985

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On August 10 1985, Into The Groove spent the first of four weeks in the #1 position on the UK Singles Chart. It was Madonna’s first chart-topping single in the UK, where she has collected a total of thirteen #1 hits to date.

As an added validation, Into the Groove was Madonna’s first self-produced release (co-produced with Stephen Bray). While artists co-producing their own work is common today, it was relatively unusual at the time, particularly for female artists. The immense success of the single undoubtedly helped convince the powers at Sire/Warner to grant Madonna the artistic freedom to co-produce her next album, True Blue, together with her collaborators Stephen Bray and Patrick Leonard.

Today in Madonna History: July 19, 1986

On July 19 1986, Billboard dance music columnist Brian Chin profiled Madonna’s recently released True Blue album, highlighting his choices for potential singles with the strongest club/remix potential.

Today in Madonna History: July 12, 1986

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.

Today in Madonna History: June 19, 1986

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.

 

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