True Blue, baby we love you!
This month marks the 20 anniversary of the release of the True Blue album. Yes, that great pop album is already 20 years old and it is still so young and fresh. Some of the songs on True Blue have very peculiar stories we would to briefly remember in the following collection of tidbits we have put together for you.
• PAPA DON’T PREACH
The opening song of True Blue was originally written by Brian Elliot and was destined to an upcoming artist called Christina Dent. Michael Ostin from Warner Bros thought Madonna would love the song for the album she was working on at the time and played the demo to her. Madonna loved it and Brian Elliot after some discussions consented to give the song to her. Madonna re-worked some of the song’s lyrics to change them to her taste.
Papa don’t preach gave Madonna her fourth Us number one song on her birthday, August 16, 1986.
Madonna declared to the New York Times: “Immediately they are going to say that I am advising every young girl to go out and get pregnant. When I first heard the song, I thought it was silly. But then I thought, wait a minute, this song is really about a girl who is making a decision in her life. She has a very close relationship with her father and wants to maintain that closeness. To me it is a celebration of life”.
• WHITE HEAT
Inspired by the 1949 movie with the same title starring James Cagney, the fourth song of the True Blue album is a catchy and poppy tune co-written and co-produced by Madonna with Patrick Leonard. The song, that incorporates samples of James Cagney’s voice from the film had its live rendition in Madonna’s first world tour “Who’s That Girl” and it was used as a single b-side for the hit singles Open Your Heart in 1986 and Who’s that Girl in 1987
• OPEN YOUR HEART
Gardner Cole, co-author of Open Your Heart in his exclusive interview to MadonnaTribe told us that the original title was “Follow Your Heart” which is the name of a vegetarian restaurant in Los Angeles. A waitress there named Lisa was the original inspiration for the lyrics. The lead singer of the group Chicago, Jason Scheff sang the original demo of “Open Your Heart”. Freddy Demman overheard the song and thought it would be a hit for Madonna and he asked Cole for a female demo version. Donna Delory Cole’s then girlfriend sang the demo and was later hired on Madonna’s first world tour as a back up vocalist.
• LOVE MAKES THE WORLD GO ROUND
A touching, yet catchy song about the troubles there are in the world, that was premiered at Live Aid in August 1985 with the help of the Thompson Twins, before its studio version was even released.
• LIVE TO TELL
Madonna’s first ever soul searching ballad came from the soundtrack of At Close Range, the James Foley film with Sean Penn and Christopher Walken.
MadonnaTribe friend Dustin Robertson, who has been recently working on tour projection for Madonna, wants to celebrate True Blue’s anniversary with us with the following statement.
“OPEN YOUR HEART was the first major transformation in Madonna’s episodically
reinventive career and it blew me away. Mondino was RIGHT THERE to bravely
navigate that first radical transformation – he told me many fun stories of fond
memories of then. Oh how I yearn to feel that Madonna again… 20 years since
True Blue? Oh my GOD Madonna and I are OLD!!!
I owned about 6 cassette copies of True Blue – I remember them in my memories as just being everywhere, sometimes cover cracked but still shining through the
plastic cases- in the car, in my bedroom, that picture – the cover photo by Herb! That was simply it! … And ‘just when you thought you knew what and
where she’d go next’ was truly born here… HAPPY 20TH TRUE BLUE. You changed
my life that summer of Ciao Italia!!!
Special thanks to Mr.Dustin Robertson, and Mr.Gardner Cole