Wednesday, August 26, 2015

For the Record: Into the Groove

With two hit albums, “Like a Virgin” rising on the charts, and a mesmerizing MTV wedding cake performance behind her, Madonna’s career was in a very sweet spot in 1985. So it’s no wonder the ‘It Girl’ would make moves in Hollywood, starring in Susan Seidelman’s Desperately Seeking Susan. “Into the Groove”, penned by Madonna and songwriter Steve Bray, was written for the film and it’s there, in the closing credits of the movie, that a demo version of “Into the Groove” was not just heard, but also essentially released.

Into The Groove also managed to keep Madonna herself off Number 1 – the rerelease of Holiday sat right behind it from 11–17 August 1985. Coincidentally, that was the week of Madonna’s 27th birthday.

Madonna’s music has always felt as though she’s playing on a completely different field than everyone else, and “Into the Groove” is her ultimate anthem. Although “Holiday” is technically her most popular and mainstream song, recognizable to everyone the world over, “Into the Groove” is the hit that maintains the essence of what makes Madonna so amazing—she’s cooler than you, and you know it.

The fact that Madonna would give the song such an unconventional debut shows how strong her popularity was at the time and how big of a hit the song really is. With filming finishing right before “Like a Virgin” was out, Desperately Seeking Susan swiftly became a Madonna vehicle before its release. Ratings were lowered specifically to accommodate the star’s teen fan base and lead Rosanna Arquette was seen as a supporting actress in Madonna’s shadow. The unpolished demo didn’t even land on the film’s soundtrack and was only available as the B-side to “Angel” in the U.S., but it’s still regarded as one of Madonna’s best dance tracks

It is Madonna’s finest single simply because it epitomizes exactly why she’s maintained such a long and significant career, she’s the queen of the dancefloor. She has made many remarks about it being a very simple tune that she wrote in less than five minutes, and has never understood why it’s become so popular. The songs inspiration was the dance floor, and she wrote it while watching a handsome Puerto Rican man, across her balcony. Initially written for her friend Mark Kamins, Madonna later decided to use it as the soundtrack of her filmDesperately Seeking Susan.
The song was a commercial success, reaching the top of the charts in Australia, Belgium, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, New Zealand, Spain and the United Kingdom, where it was Madonna's first number-one single and started off a run of 13 Number 1 singles, more than any other female artist in British chart history. Despite not having a proper video and thanks in part to not being available on Madonna’s “Like A Virgin” album – until a reissue solved that problem later on – “Into The Groove” stormed to the top of the Official Singles Chart and refused to budge for a month.
In the United States, the song was only available as the B-side of the 12-inch single of "Angel", therefore it was ineligible to chart on theBillboard Hot 100 according to the rules at the time.

The end of the 1980s honored “Into the Groove” honored by Billboard magazine as the Dance Single of the Decade. The end of the 1980s honored “Into the Groove” honored by Billboard magazine as the "Dance Single of the Decade". In 2003, Madonna fans were asked to vote for their top-twenty Madonna singles of all-time by Q magazine; "Into the Groove" was allocated the number-three spot. In 2009, the song was ranked at ninety on Blender magazine's "The 500 Greatest Songs Since You Were Born". Billboard ranked the song number three on a 2015 list of Madonna's top 15 best songs, calling it "the Madonna club track." In 2015 the British public as the nation’s 19th favorite 1980s number one in a poll voted the song for ITV.

The music video is made up of clips from the film, with the lyrics often matching the images. Doug Dowdle of Parallax Productions, a company that pioneered in movie tie-in music videos during the 1980s, created this video from edited footage of the movie, directed by Susan Seidelman. This was done because there were five Madonna videos already on power rotation on MTV, and Warner Bros. did not want the audience to be saturated with any new video. Hence, they decided to use the shots from the film and made a music video. During a 2009 interview with Rolling Stone, Madonna commented: "'Into the Groove' is another song I feel retarded singing, but everybody seems to like it."

Mystified by its serendipitous success, she has tried many times to duplicate the phenomenon that hit with “Into the Groove”—“Vogue”, “Music”, “Deeper and Deeper”, “Where’s the Party?”, “Hung Up”, and “Give it to Me” can all claim to be produced in the hopes of duplicating “Groove’s” brilliance.

RELEASED:  July 23, 1985

SALES: 871,300. Yep, that’s right, it’s not a million-seller. Madonna is one of the most successful acts of all time to still not nab a million-selling single.

CHART FACTS: Into The Groove is tied with Vogue for her longest stint at Number 1 – four weeks. It knocked Eurythmics’ There Must Be An Angel (Playing With My Heart) off the top. It was eventually toppled by UB40 and Chrissie Hynde with their cover of I Got You Babe.

MADGE FACT: Into The Groove would later feature in a jeans commercial, with a guest appearance from Missy Elliott and with refreshed lyrics. Missy would later team up with Madonna, Britney and Christina on that MTV VMAs performance in 2003.