and You Can Dance
This month it’s time to celebrate the 20th anniversary from the release of Madonna’s first remix album,
“You Can Dance“, that reached
stores worldwide on November 17, 1987. “And you can dance… for inspiration…”
Let’s go back in time. The idea for a Madonna remix album has been in the can
from for quite some time. In the mid-80s, Warner launched a
series of remix
albums as a bonus release to complement the catalogues
of their big acts. These albums collected together the
‘Extended Remixes‘ which were popular on singles at
and the albums were known as “12”ers”. Simply Red and
Phil Collins are examples of Warner artists who
released 12″ers albums.
Madonna’s “12”ers+2″ album, with hits from her first
two albums, got to the designed artwork stage but was
suddenly cancelled for
Warner Venezuela went ahead with a similar project in
1985, releasing the exclusive remix album
“Madonna Mix“, contaning her
most popular extended versions of the time (Borderline, Angel, Material Girl, Holiday, Dress You Up) plus Into
the Groove. This official album was sequenced just like the yet
to be released “You Can Dance”
“You Can Dance” contains the first “real remixes” of popular madonna songs
from her first three album that didn’t really got a proper remix treatment at the time of release plus “Spotlight“, the opening track, a
song originally produced with Stephen Bray for the True Blue album but later dropped along with “Each Time You Break My Heart“.
“Spotlight” was only released as a single in Japan (on 7″ and as the first Madonna 3″ single cd in snap pack) and as a promo only vinyl 7″
to promote the album in various european countries such as Spain. A video with various footage of Madonna performing during the Who’s That
Girl World Tour was sent to music television but barely got into roatation. Despite the lack of promotion You Can Dance was a successful
album that sold very well all around the globe.
Producer and remixer John “Jellybean” Benitez, who also sequenced the album, treated Spotlight and Holiday to new extended mixes while
remixer Shep Pettibone re-created a six minute long mix of
“Into The Groove“, complete with a piano solo, similar to the version Madonna played live during her Who’s That Girl tour.
Shep’s extended mix of what should have been True Blue’s final single “Where’s The Party” will also inspire the rendition of the song on the following Madonna tour “The Blond Ambition”.
“Sire Records” released promotional 12″ singles to clubs with unmixed versions of the remixes.
A promo version of the album with 4 and a half minute edits of the songs, released on both
Vinyl and cd format, was also sent to US radios, so that they could play shorter and concise tracks to please radio broadcast times.
These promo releases are still very sought after by Madonna collectors today. Additional Dub tracks were added to the Cassette and Cd versions of You Can Dance. Dub versions of Spotlight, Holiday and
“Where’s The Party” were either a bonus to cassette or cd (and promo club 12″), the dub of Over And Over remains exclusive to the
For the cover “You Can Dance” uses a stunning image of Madonna by late photographer Herb Ritts treated to bright red background.
A fold out promo poster with the cover image was given in many countries with the first copies of the Vinyl disc.
True Blue’s art director Jeri Heiden is again in charge of the album design. Jeri’s handwriting is also back on the cover.
Last year we spoke to Jeri about the handwriting that many believed was Madonna’s. Last year she told MadonnaTribe: “Sorry if I am busting a myth – but that’s my handwriting!
I have used my own handwriting on numerous albums, and have had several different fonts created from it.” To read our full chat with Jeri Heiden please click click here
A special thank you goes to Tonybecks.