Side details on the Crimes of Passion demo
Here’s an excerpt from an old interview by Paul Myers with songwriter David Frank as featured on Electronic Musician on April 1, 2000 that was submitted today to MadonnaTribe
“One day I got a call from Lou Bolognese, who owned a 24-track studio in Long Island. He wanted me to do a session as a favor, and he offered me some studio time in return. I thought I’d just do some demos and sample commercials with the time, but but Lou said, ‘Why don’t you do a song? You know, a dance song, a 12-inch. Just get a singer, you can do it!'”
Frank programmed a song in a few weeks, but he still needed a singer. Why not ask the girl upstairs? he thought. “The girl upstairs was Madonna,” Frank explains. “This was in 1981, before she had a record deal. We were in a pickup band together, and she was the singer. We rehearsed in the same building, called the Music Building, on 37th Street and 8th Avenue. I was actually paid to write with her. I made $30 for four hours of work,” he laughs.
Frank had only the title for the song, “Crimes of Passion.” He brought in the future mogul to write some words and a melody. Then fate intervened. “We were all set to do it. But the night before we were going to cut the song, Madonna called me and asked if Steve Bray, her drummer, could be in on the session as coproducer. “I love Steve, but I knew he would want to put guitars on the track. I had visualized it as a synth-only song, which was still a bit of a novelty at that time.”
The conflict meant that Madonna was out. “I called up Mic Murphy, a singer I knew,” Frank continues. “He wrote a new melody for the song and changed the words to “In Times of Passion.” We recorded and mixed all of it in one day. He took it to a friend of his, who cut an acetate, a 12-inch, and we got a record deal with Atlantic the next day.”
Notes by Bruce Baron:
Madonna and Bray obviously did thier own version which appeared on the release “Pre-Madonna“.
Mic Murphy and David Frank went on to form the pop duo The System. They charted several dance hits including “Don’t Disturb This Groove”.
Mic Murphy is credited as a co-writer to the “Erotica” era unreleased Madonna song “Dear Father” along with Andre Betts. Mic Murphy also played with Bray and Madonna during her early demo days.
David Frank co-wrote Christina Aguilera’s hit “Genie In A Bottle”.
Stephen Bray recently wrote songs with Brenda Russell for the muscial “The Color Purple”.
Thanks to Bruce Baron