On May 9 1998, Ray of Light debuted and peaked at #2 on the UK Singles Chart. It was held back from the top spot by another debut entry, All Saints’s double A-side charity single, Under the Bridge/Lady Marmalade.
Ray Of Light was the 68th best-selling song of 1998 in the UK, with the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) certifying it Silver for shipment of 200,000 copies.
On April 3 1993, Fever entered the UK Singles Chart at its peak position of number-six. Without the support of a proper music video at the time of its release (Warner UK instead issued a rarely seen compilation video of previous clips), the single spent only six weeks on the UK charts, dropping to number-seven the following week.
Strangely, Madonna did eventually decide to film a video for the song in late April – nearly a month after its release in Europe. By the time the video premiered during the second week of May, Fever was spending its final week on the UK Singles Chart.
In North America the remixes for Fever had been issued commercially on Madonna’s previous international single, Bad Girl. Fever was also serviced to clubs as a promotional single in its own right, but it was not promoted to radio despite the video being added to into rotation on MTV and MuchMusic. While the release of the music video managed to coincide with Fever’s single week atop the Hot Dance/Club Play chart, its number-one status had already been confirmed several days prior to the clip’s debut, making the video’s intended purpose and the timing of its release all the more puzzling.
On March 3 2000, American Pie was released as a single in the UK. The cover of the Don McLean classic would hit number-one on the UK singles chart the following week.
A huge international hit, American Pie also topped the charts in Canada, Australia, Switzerland, Italy, Germany, Austria and Finland. In the U.S. the track was not released commercially in a strategic move designed to maximize sales of The Next Best Thing soundtrack, however it managed to reach number twenty-nine on the Hot 100 based on the strength of airplay alone.
On January 27 1984, Madonna performed Burning Up and Holiday on the UK television program, The Tube. The show was broadcast live from The Hacienda club in Manchester.
Malcolm Gerrie, executive producer of The Tube, has been quoted as saying that the show paid for Madonna to travel to Manchester because Warner Bros. didn’t yet consider her a “priority artist” and were unwilling to cover her travel costs.
On January 7 1995, Take A Bow slid to #21 on the UK Singles chart after reaching a peak of #16 on December 24th, 1994.
While Take A Bow remains her longest-running #1 hit in the US, its disappointing UK chart performance marked an end to Madonna’s spectacular run of 35 consecutive top-ten UK singles from 1984’s Like A Virgin to 1994’s Secret. Take a bow, indeed!
On December 30 1989, Dear Jessie peaked at number-five on the UK singles chart. The track was released as the fourth single from Like A Prayer in Europe (with the exception of France which instead opted to service the North American/Japanese fourth single, Oh Father) and as the fifth single in Australia.
Dear Jessie was written and produced by Madonna and Patrick Leonard and was inspired by Leonard’s young daughter, Jessie, with whom Madonna had developed a special connection.
The psychedelia-infused reflection on childhood fantasy and innocence was particularly poignant within the context of the Like A Prayer album’s sequencing, with its segue into Oh Father offering a stark musical and emotional contrast that is perhaps one of the most effective in Madonna’s body of work.