According to J. Randy Taraborrelli, author of Madonna: An Intimate Biography , by the s record labels started to release albums which were closely associated with a film, thereby gaining double promotion. These were mostly termed as soundtracks although many of them were not related to the film.
After the shooting for Dick Tracy was over, Madonna started working on the soundtrack. She had begun recording three songs by Stephen Sondheim for the film—" Sooner or Later ", "More" and "What Can You Lose"—which would be part of the album, but also had to write and develop new songs comparable in style to the previous. That's what this album is about for me. It's a stretch. Not just pop music, but songs that have a different feel to them, a theatrical feel", she said at the time.
Madonna was in a relationship with Beatty at that time, and her whole acting, recording and singing stemmed from impressing him with the album, which was important to her. At the same time, Madonna and producer Shep Pettibone decided to compose a new song called " Vogue " to be placed on the B-side of " Keep It Together ", the final single from her fourth studio album, Like a Prayer , to ensure that the song would fare better on the charts.
When Warner executives heard the song, they decided to release it as an A-side, and was eventually included on I'm Breathless. I'm Breathless is a jazz , swing and pop album where Madonna and Sondheim tried to recreate the music of the period portrayed in Dick Tracy.
According to Rikky Rooksby, author of The Complete Guide to the Music of Madonna , the harmonic and melodic styles were more "complex" than the songs which Madonna was accustomed to, hence she found it difficult and demanding. She spoke about the "wilderness" of the tunes, saying that she was not confident of doing justice to the songs, and neither was Sondheim.
But he kept on encouraging the singer so that the recording sessions would not be affected. She and Leonard toiled to create music that would fit the style and production of the film, set in the days of the Untouchables law enforcement.
The singer and Leonard enlisted a ten-piece live band and jazz musicians. A studied approach was evident in most of them, which O'Brien compared to "an actress playing a part and performing a vocal exercise in technique".
Some of the songs had Madonna pitching her vocals and belting the notes only when necessary. A dryness was prevalent in most of the singing, which was required for the songs and the setting. Guy Pratt , who also played bass, said that the singer "was in character and started smoking. She actually ponced a cigarette off me. Her character smoked, so therefore she did.
O'Brien said that the songs on I'm Breathless had a "coquettish" and "pandering nature", and was the polar opposite to Madonna's previous release, Like a Prayer , which had an introspective composition. Also, Madonna's "haunting" vocals continue after the music has faded.
Conjuring the atmosphere of a smoky nightclub, the song finds Madonna in her lowest range as the melody shifts continuously. It is performed in an almost comical style, and stemmed from a line in the film, where Breathless says to Tracy, "You don't know whether to hit me or kiss me".
Rooksby explained that Madonna sang about a guy who is "too sensitive and soft", and the chorus employs a chromatic chord sequence. Musically, it has melancholy chords and rambling melody, which according to Taraborrelli made it the most compelling song by Madonna. It contains a "slow-verse-fast-chorus" sequence. The arrangement switches between slow and fast tempo , requiring proper enunciation by Madonna.
With beats atop a riff, Madonna reveals that "Dick" is an "interesting name". At the last chord, the sound of the record getting stuck is heard, and a needle is drawn across the vinyl, leading into the much faster part two. It is a dance number consisting of a "throbbing beat" and lyrically has a theme of escapism. The song also has a rap section, where Madonna names various "golden era" Hollywood celebrities, including Greta Garbo , Marilyn Monroe and Marlene Dietrich.
Madonna had first performed "Vogue" during her Blond ambition from April until August , followed by MTV Video Music Awards set on September 6 , where she and her dancers were clad in 18th century-inspired fashions, inspired by Marie Antoinette. Madonna re-created an 18th-century French court, with sexual innuendo in the performance.
At one point the singer flipped open her large skirt, allowing one of her dancers to crawl inside and come out through the other side. The costumes, the fans, the drama MTV just had no idea, we just came out and rocked. Taraborrelli recalled that Madonna had appropriated every move and mannerisms of Marilyn Monroe for the performance, making it a tribute to the actress. Consisting of 57 dates, the concert was divided into five sections, the first inspired by the German expressionist film Metropolis , the second by religious themes , the third by Dick Tracy and cabaret , the fourth by Art Deco , and the fifth was an encore.
The show contained sexual themes and Catholic imagery, such as in Madonna's performance of " Like a Prayer ", which was based in church-like surroundings with Madonna wearing a crucifix and her backup dancers dressed like priests and nuns. The concert was criticized for its sexual content and religious imagery; in Toronto, Canada, Madonna was threatened of being arrested for obscenity,  and Pope John Paul II later called for a boycott, with one of the three Italian dates being cancelled.
The performance of the I'm Breathless songs began with "Sooner or Later" sung atop a grand piano, followed by "Hanky Panky", where Madonna stood in front of a microphone and sang it. She was dressed in a striped vaudeville-style corset, playing the part of a nightclub singer. Near the end Madonna joked: "You all know the pleasures of a good spanking, don't you? A deep house influenced song, it became Madonna's eighth single to top the Billboard Hot chart. The music video for "Vogue", directed by David Fincher , showed Madonna paying homage to various golden era Hollywood actresses.
Shot in black-and-white , the video takes stylistic inspiration from the s and 30s; in it, Madonna and her dancers can be seen voguing different choreographed scenes. The album's second single, " Hanky Panky ", was released on June 30, Critical response for the song was positive, with The New York Times calling it "a calculated bid for outrage". Posts to:. This amount is subject to change until you make payment. For additional information, see the Global Shipping Program terms and conditions - opens in a new window or tab This amount includes applicable customs duties, taxes, brokerage and other fees.
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Need to sell. Any questions please ask. Skip to main content. Watch this item. Bidding has ended on this item. Mark November 5, at pm. Jan van Amsterdam November 6, at pm.
Where is the magnificant album of Blind Faith. Deric November 7, at am. Lou Buc November 7, at am. TwoWaaka November 7, at pm. David November 7, at pm. Where is Mahogany Rush. Maxoom, 10 CC. Deceptive Bends and Kansas Left Overture to name a few..
Jim November 7, at pm. ROD November 8, at am. Wolfpat December 13, at pm. That was my first thought too. Bill from the 60s July 16, at pm. You suppose she was naked. You were there when the photo was taken? Joe April 27, at pm. Joe Giersher April 28, at pm. FAR better than many of those original covers. Angelo November 8, at am. Bolero November 8, at pm. Gary Hambley November 8, at pm. Dafyn November 8, at pm. Hugh Jaynus November 8, at pm. Don Killaby November 8, at pm.
Margaret November 8, at pm. Brian November 8, at pm. Robert November 8, at pm. Paul November 8, at pm. Joe September 11, at pm. C J November 9, at am. Come on no one has even said Goats Head Soup! Bill November 9, at am. Jim Bergeson November 9, at am. Bolero November 9, at pm. I still like that first Grateful Dead album cover too! Randall M.
Kozitka January 31, at pm. Dennidlky November 9, at am. Brian November 9, at am. What about some of the Moody Blues albums? The artwork is fabulous!! Richard November 9, at pm. Archie April 7, at pm. Nazareth: Hair of The Dog — well done!
One of the best covers ever! Brent Speicher April 21, at pm. Mike November 9, at pm. William November 10, at am.
Patrik December 4, at pm. James December 10, at am. Dave Ginner December 10, at pm. Joe Skotnicki December 10, at pm. Jeff December 10, at pm. Jude collie December 10, at pm. Konstantin December 11, at pm.
JD April 26, at am. Or how about Unknown Pleasures by Joy Division? Ken Clem December 11, at pm. Phil Grabar December 11, at pm. Who is the nitwit in the middle? C J December 12, at am. GES December 12, at am. David Seelig December 12, at am. Michael Ige December 12, at am. I would toss the Asia cover for any of the Yes albums. Dave December 12, at pm. Arnaldo December 12, at pm. Kent December 12, at pm. Tim C December 12, at pm. What about including some Budgie album covers. Bandolier belongs on this list.
Martin J September 18, at pm. Spreckles December 13, at am. Steve December 13, at am. Jerry Wood December 13, at am. The covers are great but I prefer the ones with the best music. Arti December 18, at pm. No Peter Saville or Vaughan Oliver works?
Severn Savage December 19, at pm. Patrick lopez December 23, at pm. Adam Jennings January 25, at pm. Joe Cogan February 11, at pm. Rob Spencer January 7, at pm. Joe Fiedler April 3, at am.
Axel April 3, at pm. Grateful Dead — Blues for Allah? Gravy Train — A Ballad of a peaceful Man? J April 3, at pm. Keith April 6, at am. Wallstein April 6, at am. Tommy Blikeng April 7, at pm. Eric Hall April 7, at pm.
Michael Bounds April 25, at pm. Alan April 8, at pm. How can Steppenwolf 7 not be in the list? Donald April 12, at am.
Darren Winter April 25, at pm. Rootman April 25, at pm. Hans-Werner Terhechte April 25, at pm. William Bernardi April 25, at pm. Ugwamp April 26, at am. Andrew Nichols April 26, at am. Where are any of those incredible Yes covers like Yessongs? Roger Dean was a genius. Dave Marin April 26, at pm. Stuart Ezrin April 26, at pm.
Cover done by Norman Rockwell. Kenny Anderson April 28, at pm. Chaim Caran November 20, at pm. Glenn Speake April 28, at pm.
Nazareth,,,any of them but especially No Mean City! Nick June 28, at pm. Kelly July 16, at pm. IMO best of all time. Rolfie July 16, at pm. Harley July 16, at pm.
Nancy July 17, at am. Pierrock July 17, at am. Ian July 19, at pm. Cris August 11, at pm. Daryl August 11, at pm. Greg MacDonald August 11, at pm. Blown Pig,pigs head,headphones,sunglasses,a smoke,hilarious. Angus Whitehead August 12, at am. Gary August 12, at am.Jerry Lee Lewis - Breathless/Down the Line. LONDON TRI-7" HLS Condition is used but good. Part of late brother in law's collection. Need to sell. Any questions please ask.