6 May 2011

the inspiration within

From 1986 to 1991, Smash Hits magazine was my childhood pop music “Bible”.

Any self-respecting, 30-something Madonna fan from the UK will tell you that back in the pre-Internet days of the late ‘80s and early ‘90s, Smash Hits was the place for all the latest Madonna news (and posters, song lyrics, stickers and badges) and the magazine helped fuel this 10 year-old’s True Blue-induced “crush” on Madonna every fortnight.

In 1989 Smash Hits featured an article about the making of the Like a Prayer album (my then-all time greatest album in the history of the universe ever – despite Smash Hits’ review that the album was “weird”) and I immediately recognised the names of Steve Bray and Pat Leonard – Madonna’s main co-writers/producers on Like a Prayer and its predecessor, True Blue.

The article by Chris Heath (who has since written books on Kylie Minogue, Robbie Williams and Pet Shop Boys) included all sorts of revelations about Madonna as a songwriter-producer – she works super-fast, she writes all her own lyrics and melodies and co-arranges/produces the music and that there were three songs recorded during the Like a Prayer sessions that didn’t make it on to the album – Supernatural, Love Attack and First is a Kiss.


madonna-tv.com said...

SMASH HITS ruled my world in the 80s!!!

I remember the day I got this one and read about "Supernatural", "Love Attack" and "First is a Kiss". Just when I thought things couldn't get more exciting than they already were back then. I actually don't know how a fan could have survived in the 80s without Smash Hits... Nevermind no internet, over here we didn't have bloody MTV!

Love the new blog! :-) :-)

Anonymous said...

Hey Jamesy! Welcome to the blog - and thanks for my second ever comment!

Smash Hits ruled in the '80s!

Couldn't actually believe it when we actually got to hear Supernatural on the Cherish B-side just a couple of months later.

Not sure whether it's true or not, but didn't Smash Hits later confirm that Niki Haris recorded Love Attack a while before Donna did Just a Dream?

madonna-tv.com said...

Yes getting Supernatural on Cherish a short while after this article was just MEGA!!!

I don't remember the Niki Haris thing - that would be fascinating.

U know she said in a 1991 issue of ICON that her debut album (which never happened) would have at least one song written by Madonna on it. A LAP album out-take track would've been a big treat...!

abyrne79 said...

Smash Hits was my bible when I was growing up in Brisbane, Australia! Nearly every week had something about her in it. I remember my mum just used to buy it automatically for me as soon as it came out when she bought her trash mags! We also had Total Hits (I think it was called) which was basically the same.

Anonymous said...

Definitely needs more investigation!

Rabbitbunny said...

Madonna's first Golden Epoch
-The True Blue/Who's That Girl?/Like a Prayer/I'm Breathless Blonde Ambition Part 1 era was her first Moment of Glory before Blonde Ambition Part 2/Truth or Dare/Sex set in and ushered in her Dark Period. During that first period of innocence, I became fully aware of Madonna's brilliance
-and what songs they will always be
-Live to Tell, Open Your Heart, Where's the Party?, True Blue,
La Isla Bonita, Who's That Girl?, The Look of Love, Spotlight,
Like a Prayer, Express Yourself, Promise to Try, Cherish,
Oh Father, Spanish Eyes,
Something to Remember and Vogue
-all songs among the most memorable and unforgettable Madonna artworks in the Ciccone canon. These musical artworks are certifiable classics in Heartland Rock sung from a female perspective and a vulnerable woman's point of view-in these songs, Madonna not only wants to be happy and have a good time, she also is extremely sad and vulerable on the verge of Tears to Let the Cry Out. I'll never forget that period of time because these classic Pop/Rock songs are the foundation on which Madonna's Detroit empire is built and they set the stage for later brilliant Madonna art songs-among them Rain, Take a Bow, You Must Love Me,
Ray of Light, Music,
Nobody Knows Me, Hung Up and Heartbeat-to name just a couple. Great blog Peter and Brilliant Job Madonna!-Madonna Forever!