Nick Kamen: The Complete Collection, 6CD Boxset (order link available)

Nick Kamen was without doubt, one of the most famous faces of the ‘80s, both as a model, and a pop star. After scoring his first top 5 hit, ‘Each Time You Break My Heart’, Nick went on to have major success across Europe with 4 albums and several number one singles.

Now, for the first time, we’re delighted to present a collection of his entire recorded output during the ‘80s and ‘90s on a 6 CD set.

Now, for the first time, we’re delighted to present a collection of his entire recorded output during the ‘80s and ‘90s on a 6 CD set.

• Featuring the international smash hits ‘Each Time You Break My Heart’ (co-written by Madonna), ‘Loving You Is Sweeter Than Ever’, ‘Nobody Else’, ‘Tell Me’, ‘Bring Me Your Love’, ‘I Promised Myself’ and ‘Oh How Happy’
• Remastered albums “Nick Kamen”, “Us”, “Move Until We Fly”, and “Whatever, Whenever”
• Extended remixes of many hit singles, including several making their debut on CD
• 20 previously unreleased mixes
• Two previously unreleased songs, ‘So Sad’ a cover of the Everly Brothers classic, and ‘Right On Track’, originally a million selling ‘80s hit for The Breakfast Club
• Detailed liner notes, including new contributions from producers Stephen Bray and Toby Andersen
• Discography with pictures

ORDER HERE

TRACK LISTING
DISC ONE
NICK KAMEN

1. WIN YOUR LOVE
2. OPEN THE DOOR TO YOUR HEART
3. NOBODY ELSE
4. INTO THE NIGHT
5. COME SOFTLY TO ME
6. LOVING YOU IS SWEETER THAN EVER
7. EACH TIME YOU BREAK MY HEART
8. THE MAN IN ME
9. ANY DAY NOW
10. HELP ME BABY
11. BABY AFTER TONIGHT
12. MISS YOU
13. EACH TIME YOU BREAK MY HEART (Dance Mix)
14. LOVING YOU IS SWEETER THAN EVER (Extended Dance Mix)
15. NOBODY ELSE (7” Version)
16. OPEN THE DOOR TO YOUR HEART (Extended Version)
17. EACH TIME YOU BREAK MY HEART (Instrumental)

DISC TWO
US

1. BRING ME YOUR LOVE
2. TURN IT UP
3. GUILTY
4. THIS IS REALLY LOVE
5. COUNT ON ME
6. TELL ME
7. I CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT YOUR LOVE
8. WONDERS OF YOU
9. STEAL LOVE
10. BETTER BE GOOD TONITE
11. BRING ME YOUR LOVE
(7” Version)
12. TELL ME (Extended Mix)
13. BRING ME YOUR LOVE (Extended Mix)
14. TURN IT UP (12” Mix)
15. TELL ME (Dub Mix)
16. DON’T HOLD OUT

DISC THREE
MOVE UNTIL WE FLY

1. I PROMISED MYSELF
2. OH HOW HAPPY
3. LOOKING GOOD DIVING
4. SOMEBODY’S ARMS TO HOLD ME
5. UM, UM, UM, UM, UM, UM
6. TAKE BACK MY HAND CHILD
7. WE CAN MAKE IT
8. AGONY & ECSTASY
9. YOU ARE
10. I WANT MORE
11. MOVE UNTIL WE FLY
12. LOVE STREET
13. SACRIFICE YOUR REPUTATION
14. OH HOW HAPPY (7” Version)
15. LOOKING GOOD DIVING
(7” Version)
16. AGONY & ECSTASY (7” Version)
17. I PROMISED MYSELF (Independiente Mix)

DISC FOUR
WHATEVER, WHENEVER

1. WE’LL NEVER LOSE WHAT WE HAVE FOUND
2. WHATEVER, WHENEVER
3. YOU’RE NOT THE ONLY ONE
4. NOTHING RHYMES NOW
5. DID I IMAGINE YOU
6. THIS IS OUR TIME
7. DON’T YOU KNOW
8. I NEED YOU
9. THERE WAS A TIME IN AMERICA
10. YOU AND I ARE HERE
11. I’LL FIND ANOTHER WAY
12. WE’LL NEVER LOSE WHAT WE HAVE FOUND (7” Version)
13. I KNOW WHERE YOU ARE
14. WE’LL NEVER LOSE WHAT WE HAVE FOUND (Club Mix)
15. YOU’RE NOT THE ONLY ONE (Youth Sa Roush Mix)
16. YOU’RE NOT THE ONLY ONE (Extended Mix)

DISC FIVE
REMIXES & RARITIES VOL 1

1. EACH TIME YOU BREAK MY HEART (Shep Pettibone Extended Vers.)
2. WIN YOUR LOVE (The Love Mix)
3. NOBODY ELSE
(Arthur Baker Dance Mix)
4. COME SOFTLY TO ME
(12” Version)
5. NOBODY ELSE
(Jellybean 12” Version)
6. EACH TIME YOU BREAK MY HEART (US Mix)
7. LOVING YOU IS SWEETER THAN EVER (Alternative Mix)
8. OH HOW HAPPY (Bubble Mix)
9. TELL ME (Instrumental)
10. BRING ME YOUR LOVE (Instrumental)
11. AGONY & ECSTASY (Instrumental)
12. LOOKING GOOD DIVING (Instrumental)
13. OH HOW HAPPY (Instrumental)
14. I PROMISED MYSELF (Instrumental)
15. AGONY & ECSTASY (Dawn Mix)
16. LONELY BOY

DISC SIX
REMIXES & RARITIES VOL 2

1. US MEGAMIX
2. NOBODY ELSE
(Alternative 12” Mix)
3. OH HOW HAPPY
(Wow How Hippy Mix)
4. LOOKING GOOD DIVING (Extended Mix)
5. COUNT ON ME (7” Version)
6. SO SAD
7. RIGHT ON TRACK
8. OH HOW HAPPY
(G.U.C.C.I. Mix)
9. TAKE BACK MY HAND CHILD (Alternative Version)
10. WIN YOUR LOVE (Instrumental)
11. WONDERS OF YOU
(Backing Track)
12. SOMEBODY’S ARMS TO HOLD ME (Instrumental)
13. YOU ARE (Instrumental)
14. YOU’RE NOT THE ONLY ONE (Instrumental)
15. COME SOFTLY TO ME
(Backing Track)
16. OH WHAT A NIGHT

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4 Minutes discography online – 38 different items!

Finally we are kicking off a new era in our discography! We are starting with the debut single of Madonna’s 2008 album ‘Hard Candy’.

4 Minutes, a collaboration with Justin Timberlake and Timbaland was released as a digital download first on March 25 2008. The song was a huge hit in Holland and managed to reach the top spot in the charts. Taking a break from her disco dance sound of the previous ‘Confessions on a Dance Floor’, here Madonna experimented with a more urban sound. 

For the discography we have collected 38 different items!

Check them all out HERE

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Ric’key Pageot — “Evgeni’s Waltz”, Abel Korzeniowski

World Premiere: Ladies and gentlemen I’d like to share with you the Steinway & Sons premiere of my performance of Madonna’s Evgeni’s Waltz – from her Golden Globe winning soundtrack of her directorial debut movie W.E. – at the Steinway Hall in New York City. As most of you may know, I had the utmost pleasure of performing this song on stage with the Queen on her #MDNAWorldTour back in 2012-13 as she sang Like A Virgin over it. Evgeni’s Waltz has become one of my favorite classical songs to play on piano. The cherry on the icing regarding this premier, is that this exact performance is available to every owner of a Steinway Spirio R so they can play it back on their own piano at home along with a catalogue of music played by other world renowned Steinway Artists.

I want to thank the great people at Steinway in NYC and around the world for being so supportive. Also shout out Abel Korzeniowski for writing such a beautiful song.

#Madonna #EvgenisWaltz #Classical #Piano #Spirio #Steinway #Premiere #RickeyPageot #SteinwayArtist #LikeAVirgin #LoveSpent #Live

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38 of fashion’s biggest names on the music, films and books that will change your life

Jeremy Scott on Madonna: Truth or Dare and feeling seen
“Growing up in a small town where I was ostracised for loving fashion and being gay, seeing a global superstar be so unabashedly pro-gay made me feel seen; understood; like I mattered, and that all the bigotry I was experiencing was just a microcosm of the larger world that I had yet to discover. Before there were allies, there was only Madonna: she was gorgeous, talented, provocative. She wore the coolest clothes and loved the gays! The documentary Madonna: Truth or Dare (1991) was an opportunity to glimpse behind the curtain into her life and it gave me confidence. Beyond all the emotions I have about the film, it is a great work of art about an amazing artist at the top of her game in the eye of the storm called pop culture! Plus, there’s a lot of great cameo moments — from the likes of Jean Paul Gaultier himself and his wonderful costumes for her tour, and not to mention those iconic Fluevog platform heels — it’s a wonderful portrait of high fashion from the start of the 1990s.”

More at VOGUE Australia

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Madonna’s ‘American Life’ Is An Underrated Gem

 

April has been a big month for Madonna fans. The Queen of Pop’s Hard Candy LP recently celebrated its 12th birthday, while American Life turns 17 today (April 21). Both albums have been relegated to the footnotes of M’s holy discography, which is an injustice — particularly in the case of American Life. Squeezed between the mega-successful Music and Confessions On A Dance Floor eras, the pop icon’s 9th album was a commercial disappointment… at least by her lofty standards. That’s no reflection, however, upon its quality.

My only gripe with American Life is the title track. A commentary on consumerism and the Bush administration, the song seethes with understandable rage. What could have been a watershed moment in pop culture was crippled by clumsy lyrics and a perplexing video. The tongue-in-cheek rap made it an easy target for media mockery, while the original visual, which found Madonna throwing a grenade at George W. Bush, was quickly scrapped after the invasion of Iraq in 2003. Unfortunately, the resulting controversy derailed the whole era.

The gag is that “American Life” is very much an outlier on the album. Instead of politics, most of M9 is concerned with spiritual and personal growth. Take the simultaneously dreamy and dismayed “Love Profusion,” which is a brave profession of love in the face of an existential crisis (“I have lost my illusions, what I want is an explanation”). It’s an unusually adult pop song that contains some of Mirwais’ most intriguing production flourishes. It also boasts an achingly beautiful video — courtesy of director Luc Besson — and my favorite Madonna remix of all time (the Headcleanr Rock Mix from Remixed & Revisited).

Equally majestic is “Nothing Fails.” A stripped-back, gospel-tinged love song, this expresses the same sentiment as “Like A Prayer” — albeit through the lens of a woman with decades of life experience. Pop rarely verges on the profound, but this sure does. While “Love Profusion” and “Nothing Fails” find Madonna at her most introspective, she didn’t scrimp on bangers either. I know a lot of fans have mixed emotions about “Hollywood,” but I love it. Other notable floorfillers are the defiant “Nobody Knows Me” and completely bonkers “X-Static Process.”

When you throw in “Die Another Day” from the similarly-titled James Bond film and hidden gems like “Mother and Father,” you’re left with an incredibly solid album that deserves to be held in the same esteem as other offerings from Madonna’s early ’00s revival. In fact, it pushed the envelope about as far as pop could go at the time, which prompted the queen to take inspiration from the past (i.e. disco) on Confessions. To take in the full scope of the era by playing American Life followed by Remixed & Revisited. It’s a trip down memory lane well worth taking.

“American Life” (original, uncensored video):

Hollywood:

Love Profusion:

How do you rate the album? Let us know below, or by hitting us up on Facebook and Twitter!

More at IDOLATOR

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Madonna and activists send 100,000 surgical masks to jails and prisons

Madonna is partnering with Meek Mill’s advocacy group REFORM Alliance to send much-needed personal protective equipment to jails and prisons which have become coronavirus hotspots across the country.

More than 50,000 surgical masks will be donated to Chicago’s Cook County Jail, which has been hit hard by the pandemic. Six inmates have died, while 210 staffers and 235 inmates have tested positive, according to the county sheriff’s department. Another 192 detainees and 120 staffers have recovered from the virus. 

The Louisiana Department of Corrections will also receive 20,000 masks, while another 30,000 will be sent to California’s Vacaville Prison, FCI Ray Brook in New York and the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department in Massachusetts.

REFORM and Madonna’s Ray of Light Foundation worked with several activist groups for the initiative, including apparel company Pair of Thieves, The Bail Project and #cut50.

“More than 2 million lives in prisons across America are currently at stake due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” REFORM co-chair Michael Rubin said in a statement. “It’s absolutely crucial that we protect our inmates and prison staff, especially since social distancing guidelines are difficult to abide by in these facilities.”

Earlier this month, REFORM sent 100,000 face masks to facilities including the Mississippi State Penitentiary in Parchman and Rikers Island jail complex in New York City.

More at WLNS

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Sticky & Sweet: Madonna’s ‘Hard Candy’ Turns 12

Madonna’s Hard Candy turns 12 this month (on April 19, to be exact) and I decided to mark the occasion by revisiting the divisive opus. Full disclosure. The Queen of Pop’s 11th album didn’t exactly fill me with joy when it arrived in 2008. After the dance-pop mastery of Confessions On A Dance FloorHard Candy felt like a step backwards. Instead of breaking new ground, she decided to tap into the pop-meets-hip-hop sound that The Neptunes and Timbaland were already exploring with the likes of Justin TimberlakeNelly Furtado and Gwen Stefani.
 

As one of the few Madonna albums I don’t regularly play, I was able to reassess Hard Candy with semi-fresh ears. And it’s less one-note than I remember. The production is very much of its time, but there’s an outrageousness to the project that I appreciate more with the benefit of hindsight. Instead of repeating herself (as much as I would have killed for Confessions 2), the living legend decided to dabble in urban beats — without the buffer of house music as she did on Bedtime Stories — at the age of 49. Oh, and she also had the audacity to open the album with a song about her vagina.

“Candy Shop” is, without a doubt, the most iconic moment on Hard Candy — massive hits like “4 Minutes” and “Give It 2 Me,” which has held up incredibly well, can’t compete. The song is such a staple of her live show that its absence from the Madame X Tour felt like a slap in the face. “Don’t pretend you’re not hungry, there’s plenty to eat,” Madonna coos on the Grammy-robbed bop. “Come on into my store, ’cause my sugar is sweet.” The Neptunes’ production is airy and multi-layered, while the bridge (“my sugar is raw, sticky and sweet”) should be carved on the statue of liberty.

Apart from “Candy Shop” and the aforementioned singles, another track that has aged handsomely is “Miles Away.” Co-produced by JT, Timbaland and Danja, there’s an emotional gravitas to this song that other cuts are missing. In some ways, it reminds me of “Love Profusion” — perhaps it’s the palpable sense of longing. Other highlights on Hard Candy include “She’s Not Me,” which really should have been a single, and the lightweight and very lovable “Dance 2Night.” I remember adoring “Incredible” upon release, but it sounds a little creaky in 2020.

The rest of Hard Candy is forgettable by Madonna’s standards. It is lacking the layers and hidden gems of American Life, the insight and creativity of Madame X and the wall-to-wall bangers of Rebel Heart. In its defense, the album is cohesive and achieved what it set out to do. Namely, remind the new wave of divas that Madonna could beat them at their own game. After all, Hard Candy sold four million copies worldwide and the tour remains the highest-grossing by a female artist of all time. Legends only.

What’s your favorite song on the album? Let us know below, or by hitting us up on Facebook and Twitter!

More at IDOLATOR

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Annie Lennox + Madonna ‘SING’ (2007) discography online!

Before we kick off Madonna’s next huge era in our discography (Hard Candy) there was this single:

SING by Annie Lennox.

Remember?

This was Annie Lennox’ charity single released in 2007 to raise money and awareness for the HIV/Aids organisation for which she teamed up with 23 other singers. Madonna recorded the second verse of the song to participate.

The ‘SING’ discography has just been added HERE

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The Story Behind Madonna’s Iconic Jean Paul Gaultier Cone Bra

On the first night of Madonna’s Blond Ambition tour, held in April 1990 in Chiba, Japan, few in the audience could have prepared themselves for the spectacle about to unfold. With its $2 million dollar stage set, explosive choreography by voguing legends from the New York City ballroom scene, and headline-grabbing aesthetic fusion of Catholic imagery and BDSM, the show solidified Madonna’s ascent to the top of the music pantheon—no longer just a pop star, she was now a fully-fledged pop culture icon.

Perhaps they shouldn’t have been so surprised. After all, Madonna was coming off a string of controversies following the previous year’s announcement of her latest album, Like a Prayer. A $5 million sponsorship deal with Pepsi was swiftly pulled after she debuted the video for her lead single “Like a Prayer,” the plot of which implicitly drew a link between racial injustice and organized religion. Featuring Ku Klux Klan-style burning crosses and Madonna receiving the stigmata, it led to a call from the Vatican directly to boycott Pepsi and its subsidiaries. “Art should be controversial, and that’s all there is to it,” Madonna told the New York Times with nonchalance in the lead-up to the album’s release. (This very casual response was likely due to the fact that Pepsi, eager to extricate themselves from the kerfuffle, let Madonna keep the check.)

Yet outside of the pearl-clutching backlash that accompanied the tour’s debut, the image that would come to define it was far more modest, arriving within the first few minutes of the show. Sporting an artfully slashed pinstripe suit, Madonna ascended to the stage via a hydraulic platform. She held a monocle hanging off her necklace up to her eye before launching into “Express Yourself.” Moments later, she and her backup dancers whipped off their jackets to reveal something a little racier.

 

The pink conical bra that Madonna wore underneath is so embedded within the canon of both pop music and fashion that it now requires little introduction. Designed by Jean Paul Gaultier, who Madonna personally requested to create the costumes for the tour (she even handwrote him a letter to express her admiration for his sense of humor), the look was the product of many months of collaboration, with fittings taking place both in New York and Gaultier’s ateliers in Paris.

“When Madonna first called me in 1989, it was two days before my ready-to-wear show, and I thought my assistant was joking,” said Gaultier in a 2001 interview with the New York Times. “I was a big fan. She knew what she wanted—a pinstripe suit, the feminine corsetry. Madonna likes my clothes because they combine the masculine and the feminine.” Indeed, it was this gender-bending spirit that made the tour’s visuals so memorable—just take her male dancers, who threw flamboyant shapes while sporting Tom of Finland-esque leather lace-back tops paired with Bob Fosse bowler hats.

What made Madonna’s iteration of the undergarment truly subversive, though, was its nuances. The cone bra grabbed the public’s attention for the way in which it rebelled against the narrow definition of the beautiful female body that, for so many centuries, had been defined by corsetry’s body-morphing strictures. Sure, designers like Vivienne Westwood had also spent the ’80s exploring a more freeing, playful take on the corset, but Gaultier’s version—first debuted on the runway in 1987, before later being adapted for the Blond Ambition tour—took the piece and made it feel defiant, aggressive even. In place of the soft curves the corset was supposed to create, the female anatomy became a spiky, phallic weapon, one that Madonna celebrated by exerting her dominance, sexual or otherwise, over the dancers of all genders she frolicked with over the course of her one-and-a-half-hour musical extravaganza. This was a pop star in control, and her outfits told the story before she even opened her mouth to sing, or to gyrate wildly across the stage (or even to simulate masturbation, in a sequence that almost resulted in her Toronto leg of the tour being shut down).

Gaultier would go on to collaborate with Madonna on multiple occasions, including a memorable appearance at Gaultier’s 1992 AIDS fundraising gala in support of amFAR, where she walked the runway in Los Angeles before dropping her jacket to reveal a bondage-inspired harness top that left her breasts fully exposed. “I love Madonna,” Gaultier added in his New York Times interview. “She’s the only woman I ever asked to marry me. She said no, of course, but every time she asks me to work on her shows, I can’t say no.” Thirty years after making its first debut, the cone bra is more than just part of fashion history and an artefact hanging in a museum. Its legacy lies in the very real way in which it has encouraged generations of female pop performers in Madonna’s wake to channel their sexuality through the outfits they choose to wear without shame, and on their own terms. To paraphrase Gaultier, who could say no to that?

More at VOGUE

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How Madonna helped The Prodigy conquer America

Madonna’s Maverick, however, showed every sign of being the label that bucked this trend. She had not only her manager, former Michael Jackson consigliere Freddy DeMann running the show, but his protégé, a young and hungry Hollywood go-getter of Israeli descent called Guy Oseary. Freddy and Guy had a powerful combination of youth and experience. And with one of Guy’s very first signings, a Canadian singer-songwriter called Alanis Morissette, they had the single biggest-selling worldwide artist of the 1990s on their roster. 

Read full article at GQ Magazine

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Own Madonna’s Autographed Madame X Tour Jacket

If you’ve ever dreamt of owning an iconic item in your closet, here’s your chance. This one-of-a-kind custom jacket, designed by Elizabeth Emanuel, was worn by Madonna during her recent Madame X tour. She will be autographing it as well. In addition to the jacket, Madonna will personally call the winner on their birthday to deliver a serenade of “Happy Birthday.” 100% of the money raised through this Game/Auction will go directly to Feeding America, Meals On Wheels, World Central Kitchen and No Kid Hungry.

Link HERE

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Medellín celebrates its first anniversary

It was one year ago today that we got to hear what Medellín sounded like. 

The lead single from upcoming album ‘Madame X’ was described as ‘FIRE’ and premiered on Beats 1 Radio. The track with Maluma was an instant hit to some, while others had to get used to the new sound. It for sure was a departure from everything ‘Rebel Heart’.

The incredibly fun track gave that instant summer vibe and brought along an equally stunning video.

To read more about it, check out our Madame X page HERE

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Still Mixing It Up While Clubs Are Closed: Madonna, Ava Max, Fatboy Slim & More Stay-at-Home DJ Picks

Trailblazing DJ/producer Tracy Young, who this year became the first woman to win the Best Remixed Recording Grammy Award for her Pride remix of Madonna’s “I Rise,” says that another recent Madonna single that she remixed, “Crave” (with Swae Lee), has been “one of the most requested songs during my club sets and livestreams.”

The track, which hit No. 1 on Dance Club Songs in November, was also performed live, via Young’s remixed form, by Madonna over the past year. “It was an honor to be a part of the Madame X Tour setlist,” Young tells Billboard.

Young, who lives in Miami and regularly plays at No. 3 Social, as well as other local and national venues, has also been liking Fatboy Slim and Eats Everything’s “All the Ladies.” “This is a club banger and a floor filler for sure,” Young says. “I love Fatboy Slim!”

The DJ, whose remix of Alex Newell’s “Boy, You Can Keep It” was recently released, is additionally grooving to the new ArtBat remix of Sono’s “Keep Control.” Young calls it “such a classic track” that’s “always in rotation in my sets.” The original “Control” spent four weeks at No. 1 on Dance Club Songs in summer 2001.

Full article at Billboard

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How to Recreate Madonna’s Most Iconic Looks, Straight From Her Long-Time Hairstylist

Come on girls, do you believe in love?” It’s hard to fathom it’s been three decades since Madonna rallied the troops in her feminist call to arms Express YourselfCelebrity hairstylist Peter Savic takes a look back on the enduring styles he created with the chameleon-esque star and shares his expert tips on how to recreate them today.

Don’t Go For Second Best
“I used to cut and color her hair, and we had just used this length in the Oh Father video,” the stylist says. She always loved wavy, curly hair. To get the curls, I used a regular curling iron with a one-inch barrel. I liked to put a little bit of conditioner in the ends of her hair to give it more texture and protect it from the heat.”

Full article at New Beauty

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How Madonna’s Blond Ambition Tour Changed Pop Concerts Forever

Madonna
Michel Linssen/Redferns

Madonna performs on stage at the Feyenoord stadium on July 24, 1990.

“I know that I’m not the best singer and I know that I’m not the best dancer. But, I can f—ing push people’s buttons and be as provocative as I want. This tour’s goal is to break useless taboos.” There was only one all-singing, all-dancing chart-topper who could get away with such a bold declaration at the turn of the ’90s, and it wasn’t Paula Abdul.

From the moment that she writhed around suggestively in a wedding dress at the 1984 MTV VMAs, Madonna became the live act that you couldn’t — and didn’t want to — take your eyes off. Singing in front of a traditional guitar-bass-drums trio was never going to cut it for the woman seemingly hellbent on shocking middle America.

Then the undisputed Queen of Pop by quite a margin, Madonna had already toyed with the theatrical on 1987’s Who’s That Girl Tour, a whirlwind of glitzy costume changes, giant video screens and dramatic reenactments that she described as “Broadway in a stadium.” But 1990’s Blond Ambition — which kicked off 30 years ago — took Madge’s natural sense of showmanship to new heights.

Madonna asked Jean-Paul Gaultier to create more than 60 costumes for the tour, an amount which the haute couture designer admits took 350 aspirins to get through. Luckily, all this headache-inducing work paid off. The Frenchman’s conical bra creation, which was later sold at auction for $52,000, became one of the defining fashion statements of the decade. And items such as the polka-dotted blouse, clip-on ponytail and mic headset all became a part of the chart-topper’s style legacy, too.

Unsurprisingly, Madonna was just as fastidious when it came to the tour’s choreography. “Wimps and wannabes need not apply” read the call out seeking “fierce male dancers” for the tour. Led by Vincent Paterson, the chosen army of six were put through boot camp-like rehearsals in preparation for a tour that spanned 57 dates, five months and three continents. And with its large hydraulic platform and multiple elaborate sets, Blond Ambition’s staging essentially cost the same as the GDP of a small country. Simply no one else could compete, not even the King to Madonna’s Queen of Pop. A few years prior, Michael Jackson’s Bad Tour had impressed many with its slick moves and dazzling lights – even the BBC’s cult hero John Peel hailed it as a “performance of matchless virtuosity.” But Madge’s elaborative high-concept, five-act production left it for dust.

Blond Ambition didn’t give fans a single opportunity to get bored or head for the bar. Every four minutes there was something new to digest. Take the opening ‘Metropolis’ section, inspired by the expressionist sci-fi of Fritz Lang, for example. Madonna simulates sex in that bra while performing “Express Yourself,” straddles a chair during “Open Your Heart” and belts out “Causing a Commotion” while playfully wrestling her two backing vocalists to the ground. And this was just the first quarter of an hour.

As you’d expect from an artist whose Pepsi commercial had been yanked amidst calls of blasphemy, the second ‘Religious’ section was even more attention-grabbing. Wildly rubbing her crotch in a red velvet bed, Madonna left little to the imagination on a sensual reworking of “Like a Virgin.” And on “Like a Prayer,” the track whose provocative video had caused the soft drink giants to bail, the star and her crew are kitted out as nuns and priests.

Of course, much of the predominantly Roman Catholic nation of Italy didn’t appreciate this type of cosplay. A second date at the Stadio Flaminio was called off after none other than Pope John Paul II implored citizens to boycott “one of the most satanic shows in the history of humanity.”

The controversial blend of religion and erotica also incurred the wrath of the Toronto police force, particularly the “lewd and obscene” display of “Like a Virgin.” But despite the threat of arrest, Madonna and her management team refused to bow down to authority. The star even referenced the furor during her second show at the city’s SkyDome, asking the crowd “Do you think that I’m a bad girl?… I hope so.”

Madonna famously described Toronto as a fascist state in Truth or Dare, the illuminating backstage documentary which further boosted Blond Ambition’s pop cultural cachet. Who can forget the scene where the star pretends to gag after Kevin Costner – then the biggest movie star in the world – summarizes 105 minutes of sense-assaulting, boundary-pushing entertainment as “neat”?

Thankfully, the sell-out crowds reacted to the tour with a little more enthusiasm, even the Dick Tracy section featuring several numbers that would have been unfamiliar at the time. The comic book adaptation, which co-starred Madonna as femme fatale Breathless Mahoney, hit the big screen half-way through Blond Ambition’s run. And the ever-astute star attempted to guide fans towards the cinema with a high-kicking third act dedicated to the trench coat-wearing detective.

But for sheer entertainment value, the ‘Art Deco’ segment is tough to beat. Sporting a pink bathrobe and curlers while seated under a beauty parlor hair dryer, Madonna performed the whole of “Material Girl” in a comical Noo-Yawk accent before throwing fake dollar bills into the crowd. “Cherish” saw the star take up the harp accompanied by (what else?) a troupe of dancing mermen. And following a West Side Story-inspired routine for arguably her finest pure pop moment, “Into the Groove,” she wrapped things up with a faithful recreation of the iconic “Vogue” video.

By the time each and every crew member bids an on-stage farewell during the Bob Fosse-meets-A Clockwork Orange encore of “Keep it Together,” it’s clear that you’ve just witnessed a spectacle of ground-breaking proportions. As dancer Luis Camacho said, Madonna “wanted to give the audience an experience, rather than them just going to a concert. She set the stage for concert shows and experiences that followed.” The tour even impressed Grammy voters, who were notoriously slow to recognize Madonna’s greatness. The video of the tour won the 1991 award for best music video, long form — Madonna’s very first Grammy Award.

Sure enough, no longer were audiences content to watch their pop idol simply play the hits. Elaborate production values and strong narrative arcs soon became just as integral to the superstar tour as the music itself. You only have to look at Michael Jackson’s Dangerous shows, complete with catapult stunts and ghoulish illusions, two years later to recognize the immediate impact Blond Ambition had. And it has continued to inspire pop’s A-listers ever since. Without Blond Ambition, it’s unlikely we’d have the gravity-defying acrobatics of P!nk, the candy-colored razzmatazz of Katy Perry or the formidable conceptual journeys of Beyoncé. And it goes without saying that its footprints were all over the various balls staged by Lady Gaga.

Madonna herself has refused to rest on her laurels, going even bigger and bolder on the likes of 1993’s The Girlie Show, 2004’s Re-Invention and 2008’s Sticky and Sweet. But nothing has ever changed the game quite like her extremely blond and incredibly ambitious 1990 world tour.

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