Wednesday, November 28, 2018
Monday, November 26, 2018
On June 30, 1986, an album would be released that would go on not only to become Madonna's most successful studio album to date, but one of the top selling albums of all time. Madonna's third studio album, the follow-up to the massively successful LIKE A VIRGIN album, was called TRUE BLUE and dedicated to her new husband, Sean Penn. Madonna stripped off all the makeup and jewelry and delivered a more mature and sophisticated look and sound. Taut and stylish, the album was a bona-fide extravaganza, yielding five top ten smashes, including three #1's.
"Live To Tell" was the first single off the album. A powerful ballad, it was a different direction than before when it came to Madonna's songs. "Crazy For You" had proven Madonna could pull off a ballad, and she took it to another level with "Live To Tell". The song was also featured in Sean Penn's film, AT CLOSE RANGE. "Live To Tell" quickly went to #1 on the charts and is easily one of Madonna's most powerful and beloved songs.
"Papa Don't Preach" was the second single off the album, and repeating the success of "Live To Tell", it quickly shot to the top spot on the charts. Controversial as hell, the song became a smash summer hit, with Madonna delivering some of her most passionate singing to date. Madonna was quickly becoming one of MTV's most daring and artistic video artists, and "Papa Don't Preach" pretty much cemented that fact. Shot like a mini-movie, the clip was immensely popular, sweeping the MTV Video Music Awards as VIDEO OF THE YEAR. A classic video.
The third single off the TRUE BLUE album was the title track- a sweet, catchy ditty dedicated to her husband and gleefully inspired by the girl groups of the 1960's. "True Blue" was a top 5 hit, peaking at #3 on the Billboard charts. It sounded like nothing else on the radio at the time.
Madonna wasn't finished hitting #1 on the charts yet. For her fourth single, she went all out with a knockout song and music video that was daring, sexy, and like nothing we had ever seen before. "Open Your Heart" was relentlessly catchy and tore up the airwaves yet again. The song was a huge hit, and the video was just as successful. She looks absolutely smashing here- yet another timeless, iconic clip that was also nominated for Best Video of the Year.
The fifth and final song released off the album would once again go on to become one of her most legendary and loved songs- "La Isla Bonita". Stalling at #4, the song was a sizzling ode to Latin culture that came with another delicious music video. Madonna delivered another iconic costume and look for the video, looking sensational in that red Spanish dress. Only Madonna could pull this off.
Sunday, November 25, 2018
Wednesday, November 21, 2018
Sunday, November 18, 2018
EROTICA is now considered one of Madonna's most artistic and daring moments- one of her greatest albums. Such a rich era, both sonically and visually. There isn't a dull moment to be found on this masterpiece album, and "Waiting" has long been one of my favorite Madonna tracks. I'm literally obsessed with her spoken word phase- fans, you know what I'm talking about! She did it on "Justify My Love", "Rescue Me", "Erotica", and "Waiting"- and on other tracks off the album. This song is sexy and sassy, with a thumping bass line and those wonderfully raspy, spoken bits... god I love this era.
1991 marked the 10th anniversary of MTV, and a special aired on ABC that year featuring some of the biggest names in music. Madonna appeared in a pre-taped segment, which stood out as all other "performances" were done onstage. Her segment was performance art of the highest order as she reflected back on the last ten years of her career and her first appearances on the music video channel. The clip was highly entertaining, and was by far the most memorable segment of the television special.
Madonna's follow-up album to her debut smash was of course LIKE A VIRGIN, released on November 12, 1984 and produced by legendary Nile Rogers of CHIC fame. The album was extremely successful, becoming her first #1 album that yielded five hit singles. LIKE A VIRGIN set a record in becoming the very first solo album by a female to sell over five million copies in the US alone, and remains one of the biggest selling albums of all time with sales of over 22 million copies worldwide. Her first album introduced the world to Madonna- LIKE A VIRGIN made her a global superstar overnight and one of the most famous women on the planet.
The title track, "Like A Virgin", was a global smash, becoming Madonna's first #1 single and staying there for an astonishing six weeks. The song is one of the most memorable tunes of the decade and one Madonna is probably most associated with.
"Material Girl", the second single, was another monster hit. The song would peak at #2 on the charts, and the video homaged Marilyn Monroe. "Material Girl" became one of Madonna's signature songs and most memorable videos.
The third single off the album was "Angel". The song peaked at #5, even with no official video and no live performances. It's a song Madonna has never performed live, to my knowledge.
Madonna would have another smash hit peaking at #5 with "Dress You Up". The song was the opening number from her VIRGIN tour she launched to promote the album, and the footage from that was used as the music video, which honestly works quite well. Many of her live performances could easily be music videos and this is no exception. Her outfit, the choreography, and colors all scream 1985.
Featured on the re-issue of the LIKE A VIRGIN album, "Into the Groove" was released outside North America as a single and as the B-side of "Angel" in the US. The song was featured in her feature film debut DESPERATELY SEEKING SUSAN and Billboard named the song Dance Single of the Decade.