June 13, 2009

Hardcore: Madonna fans only



Click on the image for a rare behind-the-scenes clip of Madonna on the Blonde Ambition Tour. She was really beautiful, especially at about 1:45ish. And I've never heard this demo until now: Tell Me. Supposedly for Nick Kamen, but not complete.

I remember this from college, 20 years ago in Spring 1989:



A teaser for this, shown only once on March 2, 1989. It's aged really well...



For those a bit young to remember, the premier of the 2-minute Pepsi commercial was the first time most people heard Like A Prayer. There was no Internet then, so it was a big deal to be sure you were in front of a TV for it. We recorded it and watched it like 10 times. The single was released on February 28, 1989, but in my memory the TV commercial was the first time I heard it. The Mary Lambert-directed video with the burning crosses (amazing even now) was aired on MTV only a day later on March 3, 1989.

Did you know the 5:40 album version's bassist was Randy "Dawg" Jackson of American Idol fame? True. My favorite mix is the single version with a great guitar bit at the end. When pushed to name the greatest pop song of my life, I think I'd choose Like A Prayer, with its video included. It's a landmark intersection of pop and art and the album it preceded is arguably her best. My album cassette still smells like patchouli (it's in the glue) and instantly takes me back to this brilliant era.

13 comments:

John said...

Wow...instantly I'm transported back. I remember the excitement in seeing the commercial for the first time. Pepsi did a really great job with those event commercials. I think the only one that really upstaged Madonna's would be the Michael Jackson commercial. Then again, he had the whole "hair on fire" publicity going on.

Yuяi said...

Count me in as a hardcore fan. I remember tuning in as well. Looking at it now, I am surprised at how much of Like A Prayer was in the video - more than I remember. I also remember being shocked by the burning crosses and how different it was from the innocent-ish Pepsi ad. Agreed .. brilliant era (and my fave of them all).

Matt said...

No one does scented releases anymore and that truly saddens me...

xolondon said...

Thank you Sandra. I mean Matt.

Yuri and John, I avoided the question of whether Like A Prayer is really just an artsy song about BJs!

Dan said...

I have that "Tell Me" demo - I can't remember if it's any longer than the one in the You Tube clip.

I remember hearing Like A Prayer and really wondering if it would be a hit. It sounded so different from anything she had done prior (which was a bit of a pattern for her in those days, looking back) It really is one of her signature songs and I'm glad that she seems to have re-embraced it.

DanProject76 said...

I am old enough to remember this...

Shame she didn't change any of the Like A Prayer lyrics to incorporate carbonated beverage themes.

Sorry said...

My Mum often tells the story of her waking me up very early to watch this as a little kid. It even got brought up at my 21st!

Adem With An E said...

Er, "SORRY" is supposed to be me. Whoops...

markie9 said...

I think this just might be Madonna's backing vocals from the track that Nick Kamen recorded. It was the first single off his second album and he's the other voice on this track. Madonna did very pronounced backing vocals on Kamen's track--which makes me think this is just her backing vocals without Kamen's lead vocal.

joe*to*hell said...

SORRY - you have balls of steal to talk about your mum when this came out....shame.

xolondon said...

I myself have balls of STEEL.

mike said...

i cried three times during this post.

Jason said...

I forgot about the patchouli thing!