Sunday, 12 June 2011

Madonna: UK Singles 1990/1991

OK, so she is not the only one, but it does seem strange that, with the 30th anniversary of her debut single next year, Madonna still hasn’t got around to doing a career spanning box set yet. Madonna remains one of the few acts who has failed to re-release material that has been ’off catalogue’ for 20 plus years. Last year, I looked at Madonna’s UK single releases from 1982 to the spring of 1990, a period that was subjected to a series of German Only CD Single reissues in 1995, but given that even these have been deleted, it means that if you want to get hold of B-sides like “Ain’t No Big Deal”, you will have to hunt down the original “Papa Don’t Preach” 45, or try to find one of the Japanese CD EP’s that came out years ago.

Even the Japanese Only 3” CD Singles boxset that came out a while back is deleted, but that was fairly expensive to buy in the first place, and when you consider that the likes of The Stones have made all of their singles available again (from 1963 -2006 at least) across just four box sets, it makes you wonder why other acts can’t do it. The argument with Madonna singles is that the extra tracks are usually so-so remixes of the A-side, so the amount of “rare” Madonna songs missing from her currently available CD’s, are technically few and far between.

This is the first of a series of articles picking up where I left off last year. It is worth pointing out that every commercially released Madonna single post-”Like A Prayer” was issued on CD, so if you can find a copy of a particular single on that format, then at least you won’t have to worry about it skipping or getting stuck - unless the CD itself is knackered! This month, we look at the post-”Vogue” period up to (and including) singles from the “Immaculate Collection” best of.

The format is slightly different to the articles I did last year - all UK pressings are mentioned, but overseas rarities will only be mentioned in passing. This is because, in recent years, the number of promos and overseas releases offering mixes unreleased in the UK has become so widespread, I have been simply unable to keep up with it - but items of interest from my own personal collection are listed where appropriate. I have only included scans of the basic 7”/CD format cover, to keep things simple.

Hanky Panky

The only “proper” single from 1990’s “I’m Breathless”, this tongue in cheek romp remains one of Madonna’s more fun 45‘s. The 12” and CD editions featured two remixes of the A-side - a 7” mix, and a 12” mix - and had the album track “More” on the flip. A 12” picture disc was also issued - it came with a card backing insert, so it looked like a “normal” 12” from a distance, and was 12”x24” in size, and was thus folded in half. Reach inside, and you would find a free Madonna poster. To date, “Hanky Panky” is the only Madonna single to be issued in such style.

Many years ago, I bought a rare 12” at the now-defunct “Sounds Familiar” record store in Romford, and when I mentioned to the shop owner that I would play it when I got home, he said “you shouldn’t do that, as it will decrease it’s value”. So, ever since then, if I have bought a single that seemed to contain songs I already own, I don’t play it. This means that, even though there was a 7” remix of “Hanky Panky”, I honestly have no idea if this mix was actually included on the 7” version of the single! I am reliably informed that both the 7” and Cassette editions play the album version instead, and indeed, the sleeves for both formats make no mention of the remix.

There are some minor variants in the UK pressings - in those days, singles sold in such large numbers, that additional pressings had to be done, and these later issues had minor differences to the original 1st press - may I refer you again to the "Dear Jessie" fansite for such info.

Hanky Panky/More (7”, Sire W 9789)
Hanky Panky/More (Cassette, Sire W 9789 C)
Hanky Panky (Bare Bottom 12” Mix)/(Bare Bones 7” Mix)/More (12”, Sire W 9789 T)
Hanky Panky (Bare Bottom 12” Mix)/(Bare Bones 7” Mix)/More (12” Picture Disc with insert + poster, Sire W 9789 TP)
Hanky Panky (Bare Bottom 12” Mix)/(Bare Bones 7” Mix)/More (CD, Sire W 9789 CD)

Justify My Love

The first of the two “new” songs on “Immaculate” to also get issued as a single, “Justify My Love” came with a now famous shag-fest of a video, with Madonna looking stunning throughout. Shame that the single itself comes in one of the worst Madonna picture sleeves ever.

Don’t get too excited about the remix of “Express Yourself” listed on the B-side - it’s exactly the same as the one on “Immaculate”, although an extended version did surface on selected US editions of this single, including the Maxi CD Single (Sire 9 21820). As a result, the 7” and Cassette formats in the UK contain nothing of interest, but both the 12” and CD include a bonus remix of the A-side. There is also a 12” picture disc which features a far superior photo, one of the “cropped hair” shots from the “Immaculate” photoshoot. As mentioned a couple of months ago, a VHS single was also released.

Many years ago, I bought a Madonna book which referred to a second CD Single - the track listing consisted of the album mix and two other versions, but in all my years, I have never seen a copy, nor have any Madonna discographies even mentioned it. There is certainly a German edition in existence (Sire 7599 21851 2)- easily identifiable by it’s light blue tinted cover - so the listing below shows what may be a mythical release.

The Orbit mix first turned up, listed simply as “Remix”, on a 1 sided white label promo 12” prior to the single release (SAM 738), and a (badly) edited version of this mix was issued on a US promo 12” at the same time (Sire PRO A 4613). The single was later issued as part of the US “Backtrax” series, being released on CD in a “vinyl” style sleeve with “Rescue Me” (Sire 9 15988-2).

Justify My Love/Express Yourself (Q Sound Mix) (7”, Sire W 9000)
Justify My Love/Express Yourself (Q Sound Mix) (Cassette, Sire W 9000 C)
Justify My Love (William Orbit Mix)/(Q Sound Mix)/Express Yourself (Q Sound Mix) (12”, Sire W 9000 T)
Justify My Love (William Orbit Mix)/(Q Sound Mix)/Express Yourself (Q Sound Mix) (12“ Picture Disc + insert, Sire W 9000 TP)
Justify My Love (William Orbit Mix)/(Q Sound Mix)/Express Yourself (Q Sound Mix) (CD, Sire W 9000 CD)
Justify My Love (Video)/Vogue (At The 1990 MTV Awards) (Video, Sire 7599 38225 3)
Justify My Love (Hip Hop Mix)/(Q Sound Mix)/(The Beast Within) (Remix CD, Sire W 9000 CDX, existence unconfirmed)

Crazy For You

Apparently, somebody somewhere did a poll at the end of 1990 asking people to vote for their favourite Madonna song. “Crazy For You” won. It just so happened that the track had appeared, in remixed and slightly edited form, on “Immaculate” so that was an excuse for Sire to re-release the single. Perhaps the poll was “what’s your favourite song on the Greatest Hits album?”, as it seems a bit of a coincidence.

“Crazy For You" was thus issued in the UK whilst other countries got ready to release “Rescue Me” as the next 45. The cover photo that was being used overseas for the latter (a still from the “Justify” video) was thus used for “Crazy”. It was a bit of a lazy release, as the B-sides were nothing special - even the remix of “Keep It Together” that appeared on the flip was the same mix as had been used on the B-side of “Vogue” less than a year earlier! It’s been years since I played any of my copies, so again, even though I always thought the different formats all used the same mix of “KIT”, the “extended play” editions use the 12” Remix of "Keep It Together", again, as found on the “Vogue” 12” as well.

There was, however, a bit of a rarity. The 12” and CD editions included the “Shep Pettibone Remix” of “Into The Groove”. This was basically the version off “You Can Dance”, but it was not the original DJ only “unedited” mix that had appeared on a US Promo 12” back in 1987. Nope, it was the basic album version, but it faded out before the next song on the album, “Where’s The Party”, kicked in (the two tracks were segued together on the album). As far as I can make out, this is the only place that this edit has been issued anywhere in the world.

Don’t go paying over the odds for the CD Single - it was only Madonna’s second CD to come with a picture on the disc, but unlike the previous one (“Dear Jessie”), ALL copies were pressed like this so they are not rare. A Shaped Picture Disc was also issued, Madonna’s first for 5 years (and to date, her last) but unlike previous ones, came with both a backing insert and a display plinth. Uncut copies, at one point worth nothing more than 20 quid, are now major rarities like all other uncut discs.

Crazy For You (Remix)/Keep It Together (Single Remix) (7”, Sire W 0008)
Crazy For You (Remix)/Keep It Together (Single Remix) (Shaped Picture Disc with insert + plinth, Sire W 0008 P)
Crazy For You (Remix)/Keep It Together (Single Remix) (Cassette, Sire W 0008 C)
Crazy For You (Remix)/Keep It Together (12” Remix)/Into The Groove (Shep Pettibone Remix Edit) (12”, Sire W 0008 T)
Crazy For You (Remix)/Keep It Together (12” Remix)/Into The Groove (Shep Pettibone Remix Edit) (CD, Sire W 0008 CD)

Rescue Me

The other new song on “Immaculate”, this time around, the version used for the single was edited down from the original album version. Because the cover used on foreign editions of the single had been used on “Crazy For You”, the UK editions came in a photo of Madonna wearing a two piece wetsuit and fishnets. As such, it sometimes get referred to as the “Wetsuit” sleeve.

The 7” and Cassette editions featured the edit along with “Spotlight”, lifted from “You Can Dance”. Again, it was not the original promo mix, nor even the “single edit” version that had appeared as an A-side in Japan, but the LP version which this time faded out AFTER the start of the next song on the LP (“Holiday”) started to play. CD editions added the “Titanic Mix” of the a-side as a bonus. According to the “Dear Jessie” site, certain pressings of the 7” play the album version instead of the edit, whilst all CD copies include the album version.

The 12” opted to include three remixes of the song - and again, there was an instant UK rarity. Chart rules stated that no single could last longer than 20 minutes, but the three mixes had a playing time of just over that. So, to get around this, the “Houseboat” mix was edited - the false ending heard on the US copy of the single was no longer false - in other words, instead of fading out and then in again, it just faded out. Again, this is a UK only rarity AFAIK. Some copies of the 12” came with a free poster, although I recall buying the single in the week it was first released, and mine was the “normal” edition, so I'm not sure if they were released later, or if I simply missed the rare version first time around.

“Rescue Me” was the real start of multi-remixing, and the three remixes released in the UK were just the tip of the iceberg. The Japanese 3” (Sire WPDP-6267) included the “Alternate Single Mix” on the B-side, whilst a US Promo 12” Double Pack contained no less than six mixes not available in the UK (Sire PRO A 4710). This would set the precedent for future Madonna UK 45’s. In Germany, the various mixes were spread out across the formats, with two CD’s appearing with the same cover but differently coloured sleeves (Sire 9362 40034 2, blue cover, Sire 9362 40035 2, black and white).

Rescue Me (7” Mix)/Spotlight (Fade) (7”, Sire W 0024)
Rescue Me (7” Mix)/Spotlight (Fade) (Cassette, Sire W 0024 C)
Rescue Me (LP Version)/(Titanic Mix)/Spotlight (Fade) (CD, Sire W 0024 CD)
Rescue Me (Titanic Mix)/(Houseboat Edit)/(Lifeboat Mix) (12”, Sire W 0024 T)
Rescue Me (Titanic Mix)/(Houseboat Edit)/(Lifeboat Mix) (12” with poster, Sire W 0024 TW)


Given that “Holiday” had been reissued once before, you do have to wonder why Sire thought they should reissue it again? Money, probably. “Holiday” was included - in Q Sound form - on “Immaculate”, but it was the original 7”/12” version that was re-released in the summer of 91.

The 7” and Cassette formats included the original edit with “True Blue” on the flip. By coincidence (maybe), “True Blue” had been backed by “Holiday” when it was issued as a single in 1986. The same two tracks appeared on a 1-sided “Clear” picture disc. The image from the single was more or less ‘glued’ onto the non playing side, and when you flipped it over, the image showed through the disc “in reverse”. Because of the reduced playing time, this explains why it was just the two tracks from the 7” that appeared on this 12”. The single was also issued with a backing card, and remains the only Madonna picture disc of this style to be issued in the UK (although 1993’s “Rain” is similar in design).

There was also a black vinyl 12” - it included the album mixes of “Holiday”, “Where’s The Party” and “Everybody”. According to the back of the sleeve, the version of “Everybody” had a 1987 Publishing date, which suggests there was a plan to include the remixed version from “You Can Dance” on this format, but all copies (as far as I know) play the original 4.57 Album Mix.

Although there was a 1 track CD promo in this sleeve (now worth a small fortune, Sire SAM 800), the commercial CD release for the single was in the form of a 4-track EP, entitled “The Holiday Collection”. It came in the same sleeve as “Immaculate”, but in a claret colour, as opposed to light blue. West Ham colours I say, Aston Villa says the wife. It seemed to be a sort of companion piece, as all three bonus tracks were not on the Greatest Hits, and this release seemed to say “perhaps they should have been”. It included the LP versions of “Holiday”, “True Blue” and “Who’s That Girl”, and the 7” remix of “Causin’ A Commotion”. A Cassette edition was also released, but went virtually unnoticed, and few copies seem to exist, although as nobody seems interested in MC’s anymore, I am not sure how much it is worth.

As an aside, the other “Holiday” cassette was later reissued. The interview label, Baktabak, released a 500-only Twin Cassette release which coupled an interview called “The Immaculate Conversation” with the 1991 “Holiday” release. The box was double sided, so whichever way you looked at it, you would get either the “Holiday” cover or the “Interview” cover (a shot of Madonna from 1987). From what I can gather, the label had acquired unsold copies of the original “Holiday” cassette, all copies came with a deletion cut at the bottom right of the sleeve. They also did a CD edition as well, but this actually used deleted US editions of the “Hanky Panky” CD Single, rather than the UK version.

Holiday (Edit)/True Blue (7”, Sire W 0037)
Holiday (Edit)/True Blue (Cassette, Sire W 0037 C)
Holiday/Where’s The Party/Everybody (12”, Sire W 0037 T)
Holiday (Edit)/True Blue (1-sided 12“ Picture Disc with insert, Sire W 0037 TP)
The Holiday Collection EP: Holiday/True Blue/Who’s That Girl/Causin’ A Commotion (Silver Screen Single Mix) (CD, Sire W 0037 CD)
The Holiday Collection EP: Holiday/True Blue/Who’s That Girl/Causin’ A Commotion (Silver Screen Single Mix) (Cassette, Sire W 0037 CT)
Holiday (Edit)/True Blue (2 x Cassette, Reissue, with “The Immaculate Conversation” interview, Baktabak MBAK 36021)

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