A League of Their Own Dvd Release Day: How TUTBMP was born
Here’s an extract from Shep Pettibone‘s Erotica diary in which he tells how the beautiful ballad This Used To Be My Playground, from the film A League Of Their Own was born:
“The last song we did [during the recording session for Erotica] was for the movie, A League Of Their Own.
Madonna just started singing a melody over and over again into the Shure SM57 microphone while the Mac with Vision was playing strings, organ, piano and a basic rim-shot loop. It sounded really timeless, very nostalgic. I spent all night filling in the verses and the song became This Used To Be My Playground.
The day after Playground was finished, Madonna went to Oregon to work on her next film Body Of Evidence, with Willem Defoe.
I met Madonna at Oceanway Studios in Los Angeles (on May to complete the orchestra parts for This Used To Be My Playground. We had to record a string arrangement – something I was excited about but had never done before. Madonna chose Jeremy Lubock to do the arrangements beacause he had done such a good job with her I’m Breathless material and came highly recomended. Everything went fine until the point when the orchestra played their parts; we didn’t like what we heard. Madonna and I had to change the whole arrangement, right there in the studio, with a full orchestra sitting there getting paid for taking up space – around $15,000 for three hours, $3000 for every half hour over that. And of cource, Lubbock was talking to two people who didn’t know a C from a B natural. The pressure was on.
I can only sing the notes I hear at the moment, so that’s what I did. Madonna and I stood there over my little Mac, singing the notes, and Lubbock would go, ‘Oh, that’s a G. Oh,that’s a B’ and that’s how it got done. We completed the session in two hours and 58 minutes, two minutes away from another three grand. The last day of recording fell on Memorial Day. Madonna wanted to do the lead vocals again, insisting that it would sound better. It did. I finished off some edits before going over to a party Madonna was throwing in her Hollywood mansion”.
The song received an ASCAP Music Award for being the “Most played song from a film” and a Golden Globe nomination for “Best Original Song“.