On this day: April 10: 'Fever' video (1990), 'The Virgin Tour' Seattle, US (1985)

Fever

 
April 10, 1993
Madonna's Fever" video is filmed by Stephane Sednaoui in Miami.
 
 
Fever
Single by Madonna
From the album Erotica
Released: March 6, 1993
Format: 7", 12", cassette, CD, maxi-single
Recorded: August 15, 1992 at Soundworks Recording Studio (Astoria, New York)
Genre: Dance-pop, house
Length: 5:00 (album version), 4:27 (album edit)
Label: Maverick Sire Warner Bros.
Writer(s): Eddie Cooley John Davenport Peggy Lee (uncredited)
Producer(s): Madonna Shep Pettibone
 
In 1992, Madonna recorded a cover version of "Fever" for her fifth studio album Erotica. She was in the studio putting down tracks for the album and had just recorded a song called "Goodbye to Innocence". She was going through the final stages of production on it when she suddenly started singing the lyrics to "Fever" over the top of it. Madonna liked the way it sounded so much that she recorded it. "Goodbye to Innocence" was never released on a Madonna album, although it did appear on Just Say Roe, a charity record, and a dub mix of it titled "Up Down Suite" was a bonus track to the "Rain" maxi-single. In September 2008, a remix of "Fever" (known as the Dance Floor Mix) was used in television promos for the fifth season of Desperate Housewives.
 
 
Critical reception
 
The New York Times editor Stephen Holden wrote that "The album's softer moments include a silky hip-hop arrangement of "Fever." The Baltimore Sun's J. D. Considine praised the song as "sassy, house-style remake of "Fever"—that the album really heats up, providing a sound that is body-conscious in the best sense of the term." Alfred Soto of Stylus Magazine wrote that this song has its unique, idiosyncratic "Joni-Mitchell-Blue" energy. Billboard called the song a "house-inflected rendition." David Browne of Entertainment Weekly called Madonna's voice souless: "You and Shep sure do a bang-up job — pun intended — transforming Fever, that old Peggy Lee hit, into a techno drone, but listen to the parched sound emitted from your throat on such tracks."
 
 
Chart performance
 
In the United States, "Fever" was never officially released as a single, but it did become a dance hit, becoming Madonna's 15th song to hit number one on the Billboard Hot Dance Club Play chart. In the United Kingdom, the song debuted at its peak of number six on the UK Singles Chart on the issue dated April 3, 1993. It also peaked at number one in Finland and within the top 10 in Ireland and Japan. It peaked at number 12 in Italy, number 17 in New Zealand, number 31 in France and number 51 in Australia.
 
Music video
 
 
The music video for "Fever", directed by Stéphane Sednaoui, was shot on April 10–11, 1993 at Greenwich Studios in Miami, Florida, and received its world premiere on May 11, 1993, on MTV. It has since been made commercially available on the DVD collection, The Video Collection 93:99. The music video alternately features Madonna with a red wig and silver bodypaint in a variety of costumes dancing in front of funky, kaleidoscopic backgrounds. It showcases her posing like ancient goddesses. She is enveloped in a flame-like atmosphere and eventually burns up. We also see her sticking her tongue out. In a list containing five of Madonna's best music videos, blogger Eduardo Dias from O Grito! magazine pointed out that the "Pop song often speaks of lost, found and refound loves. Madonna spoke of love in zillion different ways. The fever that love causes is in each image of this video. Saturated images, nuanced, and handled, all sorts of effects were used in this game of contrasts that is called Fever'. Beware of prolonged exposure to the video or the reader will stop at the nearest emergency. Use your sunscreen."
 
Live performances
 
 
To start the promotion for Erotica, Madonna performed "Fever" and "Bad Girl" on Saturday Night Live in January 1993. During the 1000th The Arsenio Hall Show, Madonna performed the original version of "Fever" accompanied by a band, wearing a black classic dress and smoking a cigarette. Madonna also performed "Fever" on the 1993 Girlie Show World Tour as the second song from the setlist. After "Erotica", the singer partially strips and proceeds to straddle and dances suggestively with two half-naked male dancers. At the end of the song, Madonna and the two backup dancers descend into a literal ring of fire.
 
Track listing and formats
 
UK cassette single / 7" vinyl / 7" picture disc (W0168/W0168C/W0168P)
"Fever" (Album Edit)
"Fever" (Murk Boys Radio Edit)
 
UK / French CD single (WO168CD, 9362-40846-2)
"Fever" (Album Edit)
"Fever" (Hot Sweat 12")
"Fever" (Extended 12")
"Fever" (Shep's Remedy Dub)
"Fever" (Murk Boys Miami Mix)
"Fever" (Murk Boys Deep South Mix)
 
UK 12" single (W0168T, 9362-40844-0)
"Fever" (Hot Sweat 12")
"Fever" (Extended 12")
"Fever" (Shep's Remedy Dub)
"Fever" (Murk Boys Miami Mix)
"Fever" (Murk Boys Deep South Mix)
"Fever" (Oscar G's Dope Dub)
 
Special DJ Limited Edition - Red Vinyl (PRO-A-674)
"Fever" (Murk Boys Miami Mix)
"Fever" (Oscar G's Dope Dub)
"Fever" (Murk Boys Deep South Mix)
"Fever" (Back to the Dub 2)
"Fever" (12" instrumental)
"Fever" (Extended 12")
"Fever" (T's Extended Dub A)
"Fever" (T's Extended Dub B)
"Fever" (Hot Sweat 12")
"Fever" (Shep's Remedy Dub)
"Fever" (Peggy's Nightclub Mix) (Percapella)
"Fever" (Bugged Out Bonzai Dub)
 
UK 12" vinyl promo (SAM 1131)
"Fever" (Hot Sweat 12" Mix)
"Fever" (Shep's Remedy Dub)
"Fever" (Dub 1)
"Fever" (Bugged Out Bonzai Mix)
"Fever" (Peggy's Nightclub Mix)
"Fever" (Radio Edit)
"Fever" (Murk Boys Miami Mix)
"Fever" (Murk Boys Deep South Mix)
"Fever" (Album Version)
"Fever" (Oscar G's Dope Dub)
"Fever" (Back To The Dub 1)
"Fever" (Back To The Dub 2)
 

The Virgin Tour

April 10, 1985

'The Virgin Tour' was held in Seattle, USA 

Venue : Paramount Theatre
City : Seattle
State : WA
Country : US
 
Promotional poster for Madonna's 1985 North American Tour
 
The Virgin Tour
Tour by Madonna
Associated album: Madonna, Like a Virgin
Start date: April 10, 1985
End date: June 11, 1985
Legs: 1
Shows: 40 in North America
Box office: US $5 million ($10.96 million in 2014 dollars)
 
The Virgin Tour is the debut concert tour by American singer-songwriter Madonna. The tour supported her first two studio albums, Madonna (1983) and Like a Virgin (1984). Although, initially planned for an international audience, the tour was restricted within United States and Canada only. Warner Bros. decided to send Madonna on the tour, after Like a Virgin became a success. After its official announcement on March 15, 1985, Madonna and her team started working on it. Madonna wanted the tour to be a reflection of her own self and collaborated with designer Maripol for the costumes. Beastie Boys were signed as the opening act, while record producer Patrick Leonard was signed as the music director for the tour.
 
The stage was triangular in shape and consisted of ramps around it, with lighting arrangements hanging about 30 feet above the stage. Four giant screens lined the outer perimeter of the stage, on three sides. The set list consisted of songs from Madonna and Like a Virgin; the songs were performed by Madonna, who was backed by two dancers, as she moved energetically across the stage. The show ended with Madonna in a wedding dress, performing "Like a Virgin" and "Material Girl".
 
The Virgin Tour received mixed reception from critics, but was a commercial success. As soon as the tour was announced, tickets were sold everywhere. Macy's New York department store was flooded with buyers, who bought the tour merchandise like the crucifix earrings and fingerless gloves. After its end, the Virgin Tour was reported to have grossed over $5 million ($10.96 million in 2014 dollars), with Billboard Boxscore reporting a gross of $3.3 million ($7.24 million in 2014 dollars). The tour was recorded and released in VHS, as Madonna Live: The Virgin Tour, and received a gold certification by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). With the commencement of the Virgin Tour, people—especially women—thronged to see it, wearing clothes inspired by Madonna. This frenzy regarding Madonna gave rise to a new term called Madonna wannabe—a word that was ultimately officially recognized by the Webster's Dictionary in May 1991.
 
 
Background
 
The Virgin Tour was officially announced on March 15, 1985, by Warner Bros. Records. Prior to the tour, Madonna's only live performances were limited to evening shows at nightclubs like Danceteria, CBGB and Mudd Club, and only the 1984 MTV Video Music Awards, where she performed her song "Like a Virgin". Following the success of the Like a Virgin album, the record label wanted to milk-in the success of the album by sending Madonna on a worldwide tour. However, the tour was restricted within United States and Canada. It did not visit Europe, Asia or other continents. Early on there were plans to schedule dates in Britain and Japan due to Madonna's large fan bases in both countries, however the final schedule did not reflect the idea. In the end several more U.S. dates were added and the tour was moved to larger concert venues due to overwhelmingly strong ticket sales. Madonna was quite nervous to perform in front of a huge audience, and singing with a live band for the first time. During a 2009 interview with Rolling Stone, interviewer Austin Scaggs asked Madonna regarding her feelings and emotions during the tour, since it was the first time she was playing in arenas. Madonna replied saying,
 
"That whole tour was crazy, because I went from playing CBGB and the Mudd Club to playing sporting arenas. I played a small theater in Seattle, and the girls had flap skirts on and the tights cut off below their knees and lace gloves and rosaries and bows in their hair and big hoop earrings. I was like, 'This is insane!' After Seattle, all of the shows were moved to arenas. I've never done a bus tour. Everyone says they are really fun."
 
 
Development
 
After the tour was confirmed, Madonna and her troupe started working on it. Madonna wanted it to be "loud and brazen, and a reflection of my street-style and DGAF attitude." She wanted a concert where people can enjoy themselves as much as she would enjoy performing. Commenting on the development, Madonna said "I normally hate performances where there is just a singer singing, and a lame-ass band playing in the background; or shows where there is a rocker screaming his lungs out and jumping on the crowd. That just plain sucks! That's why I wanted something different, something that would be memorable." For the show, Madonna collaborated with her designer friend Maripol for the clothes and the fashion. Maripol operated a small fabric boutique called Maripolitan in Greenwich Village, where the designs and the clothes for the tour were decided by her and Madonna. Rehearsals for the show started in late February, with auditions and choosing the dancers going on in-between. Madonna specifically wanted male back-up dancers, citing that the "provocating moves that I do on stage works better with men beside me." To further promote the tour, Warner Bros. Entertainers Merchandise Management Corp. introduced the Boy Toy collection, named after the belt buckle Madonna wore on the Like a Virgin album cover picture. It consisted of a rectangular buckle, with the words "Boy" and "Toy" emblazed on it in gold color. For choosing a music director for the tour, Madonna's manager Freddy DeMann contacted record producer Patrick Leonard, who had just returned from the Victory Tour by The Jackson 5. At first Leonard said no, feeling exhausted from the Victory Tour, but after he spoke to Madonna on the phone, he found her charming, and agreed to sign for the tour.
 
"They were very bad boys—they said 'fuck' all the time on the stage. The audience always booed them and they always told everyone to fuck off. I just loved them for that. I couldn't understand why everyone hated them—I thought they were so adorable."
—Madonna reminiscing her experience with the Beastie Boys on the tour.
 
Madonna and the Beastie Boys (Squirt guns at The Virgin Tour 1985)
 
Beastie Boys were signed as the opening act for the tour. Adam "MCA" Yauch of the group recollected: "One day, Russell Simmons, co-founder of Def Jam Recordings, came in and said, 'Hey guess what—Madonna's manager called. Do you guys want to go on tour with her?" DeMann had asked for another group called The Fat Boys, but Simmons did not manage them and lied, saying "Oh, the Fat Boys have another gig that week. What about Run–D.M.C.?" But they were too expensive according to DeMann, and hence ultimately Beastie Boys were chosen. Adam "Ad-Rock" Horovitz from the band commented: "It's not like any of us knew Madonna that much, but we all used to hang out at Dancetaria [club] so we knew about each other. I don't know why she thought it would be a good idea [to open for her tour], though. It was a terrible idea. But it was great for her in a way because we were so awful that by the time she came onstage, the audience had to be happy." The circular stage for the tour, consisted of three ramps around the perimeter, which were connected with each other. A long line of stairs descended to the main stage from the central ramp; it was flanked by the band. About 30 feet above the stage, the speakers were suspended from a circular beam. Four giant screens lined the outer perimeter of the stage, on three sides.
 
 
Critical reception
 
The tour received generally mixed reviews from critics. Jason Stratley from The Philadelphia Inquirer said that "On stage, wiggling and writhing, a rock-video vision of messy, bleached- blond hair, bare skin, sequined paisley and dime store diamonds was the flash-and-trash rock queen Madonna. Behold the Madonna clones—she is turning into one fine legend." Jeff Sewald from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette felt that "the modus operandi [of the tour] was clear. Madonna was not only selling her music to throngs of teen-agers and adults alike, but she was selling herself and the entire package proved to be a joy for the 14,500 screaming fans. Madonna's 'Virgin Tour' had torn the cover off Pittsburgh’s sexuality." Rachel Lee from The Sacramento Bee felt that "more than any pop star in recent memory, even Boy George and Prince, Madonna is an image. Her hour-long concert here Tuesday night, as professionally performed and well-choreographed as it was, did nothing to give her more dimension than the two already bestowed on her." Arthur Daniels from Lexington Herald-Leader felt that "Madonna looked grim, but the fans were delighted when the blond rock star made her first major concert appearance to kick off her 'Virgin Tour'.  She looked blank and did not look up as she passed fans who gathered by the stage door before the show." Robert Hilburn from the Los Angeles Times commented: "Madonna represents a contemporary fantasy figure that revives the glamour, innocence and raw sexuality of many of Madonna's own teen heroes, including Marilyn Monroe and James Dean. Like the early Monroe, Madonna may portray a bimbo, but there she's clearly no pushover. Though the audience was on its feet throughout, it often seemed that Madonna was operating beneath her potential in this pop format. It's important to demonstrate that she can handle herself live, but the simplicity of pop concerts doesn't begin to tax her ambition or talent. In fact, she has so little to do other than express this aggressive, sexy attitude that the show seemed long at just over an hour. Heidi Sherman from Spin commented, "The Virgin Tour was Madonna's first, yet it put her in the same league as Prince and Bruce Springsteen. It proved that Madonna was beyond real. And if her stage presence indicated she was more showgirl than musician, at least she knew how to gussy up her act for the postfeminist MTV age. Boy Toy? Not exactly. She was a bonafide pop star in the process of becoming a cultural icon."
 
 
Laura Fissinger from South Florida Sun-Sentinel felt that "'Virgin Tour' establishes Madonna more as a bimbo, rather than the strong, independent woman people think her to be." David O'Reilly from Philadelphia Daily News said that with the concert "Madonna proved once more why she was called a 'talentless bimbo'; it was utter trash." Richard Defendorf of Orlando Sentinel gave a positive review, saying "Madonna's 'Virgin Tour' was very enjoyable and she put her music video charms in her live performances." Maya Hathoray from The Miami Herald said that "We know Madonna is sexy, exotically beautiful and her funk/pop songs make us want to dance, but on stage, she is extremely tame compared to her raw persona in her music videos. She is like daddy's little girl." Mary Edgar Smith from The Atlanta Journal-Constitution observed that "It was obvious from the apparel of the young girls at last week's Virgin Tour concerts in Tampa and Orlando, Fla., that the 26-year-old singer [Madonna] had more to give to the music world than what others suggest. She will be a force to be reckoned with." Stephen Holden from The New York Times commented, "While her pubescent lookalike fans cheer approvingly, the star's manipulation of such symbols as a wedding gown, a cross, furs and jewels becomes a lighthearted communal psychodrama. Madonna has brought traditional little girl's games of dress-up and playing with dolls (using oneself as model) into the television age by turning them into a public spectacle." A review in Variety by John Gleeson said that "Madonna's singing was like a soundtrack to a more visceral display of herself, her persona, her nonstop dancing and her surprisingly explicit sexual dare, which included a visual climax—so to speak—to every other song." Paul Grein from Billboard said that "Madonna's show was stylish, well-paced and consistently entertaining."
 
 

Recordings
 
he 1985 Madonna Live: The Virgin Tour VHS documents a Detroit, Michigan stop on the tour. "Angel", "Borderline" and "Burning Up" were part of the tour set list but were not included on the official VHS release. It was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) for shipment of 50,000 copies and received a "Video Software Dealers Award" for the Most Popular Music Video in September 1986. The video received mixed reviews from critics. Annie Temple from Philadelphia Daily News said that the release was "not so flattering" and "was a sloppy job". Dennis Hunt from the Los Angeles Times said that "the video is sometimes distracting and blurry, wonder what went wrong during recording. The angles are awkward, especially when the audience members are shown touching Madonna's hand. Was it really necessary to show a fan coming unannounced on the stage?" Terry Atkinson from the same paper said, "This follows the typical concert video format of putting you in the best seat in the hall and letting the aura of a superior performer encaptivate your senses." Joe Logan and Gail Shister from The Wichita Eagle said that "seeing Madonna live in an arena and seeing her up, close and personal in the tour cassette is totally different. The energy, the movements, the provocation—all captures you more." The release debuted at 14 on Billboard's Top Music Videocassettes chart, on December 7, 1985, and reached a peak of 11, the next week. The video started a slow climb on the chart, and on the issue dated January 18, 1986, it reached the top of the chart, replacing Prince & The Revolution: Live by The Revolution. On May 24, 1986, the video again climbed back in the top ten of the chart, at position two. It was present on the chart for a total of 65 weeks. Live – The Virgin Tour was the top selling music videocassette for 1986. The video was certified two-times platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) for shipment of 50,000 copies and received a "Video Software Dealers Award" for the Most Popular Music Video, in September 1986.
 
 
Legacy
 
When the tour first started, people—especially women—thronged to see it wearing clothes inspired by Madonna. Debbi Voller, author of Madonna: The Style Book, observed that "Hundreds of thousands of young girls came to the concert dressed like her, with bleached and tousled hair, see-through tops, bras, fingerless gloves and crucifixes. Magazines and TV shows ran lookalike competitions." This frenzy regarding Madonna gave rise to a new term called Madonna wannabe—a word that was ultimately officially recognized by the Webster's Dictionary in May 1991. Madonna was mystified as to why all the women would want to copy her look. She commented,
 
"I never set out to be a role model. I am a strong woman, a successful woman, and I don't conform to a stereotype. For so long women have been told that there are certain ways they mustn't look if they want to get ahead in life. And there I was dressing in a forbidden way and yet obviously in charge of my life. It was then I realized why were all of them out there in their seats, dressing like me."
 
While the tour was going on, the American lingerie industry reported that their turnover was suddenly up by 40 percent and that Madonna's image was responsible for this underwear revival. Sam Gower from Rolling Stone commented, "In the sixties, women burned their bras, now they wear five at a time, and bare their belly buttons. Madonna has done for the corset and crucifix what punk did for the safety pin. Macy's New York department store was flooded with buyers, who bought the tour merchandise like the crucifix earrings and fingerless gloves." The demand was so huge that Macy's had to refill the merchandise time again. Madonna's subversive antics on the tour provoked fiery and antics among the press. Rolling Stone said: "Like Marilyn Monroe, Madonna is bent on epitomizing and championing a vision of female sexuality, and like Monroe she is often dismissed as an artist for doing so." Suzanne Ferriss, author of On Fashion said that "Virgin Tour exemplified Madonna’s extended desire to treat boys as toys and her chastity belt coming off at her own whim and desire. Her dance numbers with men during the tour shows them as her under linings, accessories that she toys with and totally dominates." (Wiki)
 
Opening acts
 
Beastie Boys
Run–D.M.C.(select venues)
 
Set list
 
1. Dress You Up
2. Holiday
3. Into the Groove
4. Everybody
5. Angel
6. Gambler
7. Borderline
8. Lucky Star
9. Crazy for You
10. Over and Over
11. Burning Up
12. Like a Virgin (contains excerpts from Michael Jackson's "Billie Jean")
13. Material Girl
 
 
 

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