Today in Madonna History: November 15, 1986

On November 15 1986, Billboard reported that a 6-track Madonna remix EP titled You Can Dance, initially scheduled for a 1986 pre-Christmas release, would be delayed until the following year to avoid affecting holiday sales of her still red-hot True Blue LP.

The article also mentions Madonna’s upcoming film, Slammer (later retitled Who’s That Girl), her track for Nick Kamen, the video for her next single, Open Your Heart, touring plans and more.

Stay tuned for a third and final installment on the You Can Dance delay…

Today in Madonna History: October 25, 1986

On October 25 1986, Billboard magazine reported that Madonna visited Larrabee Sound studios in Santa Monica to co-produce a track for Nick Kamen with Stephen Bray – and to oversee the mixing of Spotlight and the remixing of Holiday with Jellybean Benitez.

Billboard had previously announced in their October 4th issue that Sire Records planned to release a six-song Madonna EP titled You Can Dance ahead of the 1986 holiday season, featuring a previously unreleased cut Spotlight and five mixes of previously released songs.

But as we all know, You Can Dance would instead be promoted as full-length remix LP and would not hit the record store shelves until November of 1987.

(More on this next month!)

Today in Madonna History: April 21, 2018

On April 21 2018, Rhino Warner released two limited edition Madonna albums for Record Store Day:

  • You Can Dance – re-released on vinyl for the first time in 30 years. The Record Store Day version was pressed on red vinyl and included the obi strip, custom hype sticker and folded poster.
  • The First Album – re-released replica of the Japanese picture disc, repressed for the first time since 1987. Originally part of a 3-picture disc reissue set along with Like A Virgin and True Blue. Includes lyric insert notes in English and Japanese.

Today in Madonna History: January 20, 1988

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On January 20 1988, Madonna’s You Can Dance remix album was certified platinum in the USA for sales of 1,000,000 copies.

Patrick Leonard had this to say about working on the album:

“Remixing is a form of secondary creativity. Dance music elevates the DJ and the mixer to being almost on a level with the musician. In my opinion this is false. Manipulation of pre-recorded sound sources may be creative in a secondary sense, and may be valid in its own field, but it is pseudo musicianship. That’s why we tried to have a fresh approach to the songs for You Can Dance, as if we were developing and composing them for the first time.

Today in Madonna History: January 16, 1988

On January 16 1988, Spotlight entered Billboard’s Airplay chart at #37. The track would reach a peak of #32 three weeks later before falling to #40 in its final week.

Although Spotlight was not actively promoted to radio by Warner Bros. in the North America, radio’s eagerness to spin the cut regardless serves as a good indication that it likely would have continued Madonna’s hit streak at the time if it had been granted a proper single release.

Today in Madonna History: December 4, 1987

On December 4 1987, Madonna filed for divorce from Sean Penn in Los Angeles County Superior Court, California. Twelve days later, Madonna withdrew the divorce papers and the couple stayed together until January 5 1989, when Madonna filed new divorce papers citing “irreconcilable differences”.

Jay’s Note: I often wondered why Madonna released You Can Dance with so little promotion behind it (You Can Dance was released November 17/1987). Understanding that her personal life was falling apart at the time, it makes sense that she wouldn’t have been concerned with releasing singles or filming music videos to promote the remix collection.

I also found this quote from her about You Can Dance:

“I don’t know that I like it, people screwing with my records, remixing them. The jury is out on it for me. But the fans like it, and really, this one was for the fans, for the kids in the clubs who like these songs and wanted to hear them in a new, fresh way.”

Today in Madonna History: January 9, 1988

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On January 9 1988, Spotlight peaked at #15 on Billboard’s Hot Crossover Singles chart in the U.S.

Despite not being released as a single commercially outside Japan and receiving no direct promotion in the U.S., Spotlight managed to garner enough airplay for an eight-week run on the Crossover chart. It also appeared on the Hot 100 Airplay chart for five weeks, peaking at #32 in February, 1988.

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