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> Justify My Love ● 30 years on
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Liam.k.
post Nov 12 2020, 07:59 PM
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November 6th marked 30 years since the release of 'Justify My Love', the lead single from 'The Immaculate Collection'. The trip-hop, spoken-word song became one of Madonna's most controversial releases after its steamy music video was considered too raunchy for MTV and was banned from the network. This only added to the success; the video was instead released on VHS and became a best seller and the song became a big hit across the world, particularly the US where it earned Madonna her 9th chart topper and sold over 1m copies.

30 years on, what are your thoughts on 'Justify My Love'. Tell me your stories...
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Liam.k.
post Nov 12 2020, 08:02 PM
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Santa Haus
post Nov 12 2020, 08:50 PM
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I have been listening to The Immaculate Collection all week and so have also played this a fair bit as a result. It doesn't rank highly for me on the album but I appreciate its daring and provacotive nature. I much prefer 'Rescue Me' now, but there is no denying how many boundaries she broke with this and how many heads she turned. clap.gif
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vibe
post Nov 12 2020, 08:57 PM
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The Original WAP

What a song and video.

Totally sexy and trailblazing !!
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Hotlady
post Nov 12 2020, 09:00 PM
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This one fantastic song. It's really amazing. Wow. I truly love listen to it.
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Tawdry Hepburn
post Nov 12 2020, 11:00 PM
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CLASSIC wub.gif Love it so much.

I remember as a kid I found it quite shocking, but it's impossible to believe nowadays. laugh.gif
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Liam.k.
post Nov 27 2020, 05:25 PM
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30 years today since MTV banned the music video!

(apologies for the poor quality of the first video)







The last video is probably my favourite Madonna interview of all. A really strong, articulate response to the controversy, with some good humour to her boot:

"But in the end you're going to wind up making more money than you would have"

"Yeah, so lucky me!"
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Liam.k.
post Nov 27 2020, 05:37 PM
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The song took a long time to click with me - as a teen, it just wasn't something I was interested in sonically and I was probably too young to appreciate it properly. Now, I love how sensual and minimalist the song is. Madonna's delivery is perfect here too, she really knows how to sell it and it comes across so effortlessly. Also, the music video is right up there with her best.

I can't begin to imagine the response to hearing this for the first time upon its release; it must have been so daring for an artist at the peak of her career to release something like this, particularly as way of promoting her first proper greatest hits. Maybe I'm missing something obvious, but this must have been the first of its kind for a mainstream artist. I guess there was 'Wicked Game' the year before.
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slowdown73
post Nov 28 2020, 09:14 AM
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Never been a big fan of this song. Vogue was recently on TOTP repeats!
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dandy*
post Nov 28 2020, 10:27 AM
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I love this now, it’s aged so well. I didn’t really understand all of the fuss when it was released as I wasn’t old enough to, and the style of the track just felt really boring to me. In fact I couldn’t really understand why this was on The Immaculate Collection over my fave Dear Jessie! laugh.gif Obviously in retrospect that’s changed a lot and this is now a 10/10 moment for me, the atmosphere that the track creates is really well executed and the layering of the vocals is really effective.

Really looking forward to the re-release of the maxi single next Friday, I imagine those could have some strong remixes.
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Chromaticdisco
post Nov 28 2020, 03:50 PM
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Never been keen on the song but always liked the video a lot
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Liam.k.
post Dec 4 2020, 10:07 PM
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iTunes Album Chart: Justify My Love

#2 Greece
#6 Singapore
#7 Brazil
#8 Mexico
#11 Sweden
#21 Spain
#34 Ireland
#37 United Kingdom
#47 France
#56 Italy
#63 Australia
#65 Belgium
#80 United States
#138 Russia
#162 Germany
#232 Canada
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dandy*
post Dec 5 2020, 01:05 AM
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Not a bad result. No release for Rescue Me though sad.gif
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Sour Candy
post Dec 5 2020, 07:36 AM
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Only one word: a masterpiece heart.gif

Definitely among her top ten.
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dandy*
post Dec 5 2020, 01:21 PM
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Listened to the remixes this morning, 'The Beast Within Mix' is quite interesting and unexpected. I wonder if she was initially toying with taking the song down that sort of route as it's more than a remix to produce an entirely different reading. The 'Hip Hop Mix' isn't too bad either, it's a bit samey at times but you can definitely see that the song could have worked in that way too.
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Liam.k.
post Dec 9 2020, 11:01 AM
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Lenny Kravitz looks back at recording Madonna's 'Justify My Love' 30 years later

QUOTE
It was 30 years ago this week that Madonna’s racy, Jean-Baptiste Mondino-directed “Justify My Love” music video made its television debut, on ABC’s Nightline, after it had been rejected by MTV the week before. Speaking to Yahoo Entertainment while promoting his fascinating new memoir Let Love Rule, Lenny Kravitz, who cowrote the trip-hoppy track with former Prince protégé Ingrid Chavez, still finds it amusing that the artsy clip, which featured fetish imagery and partial nudity, generated so much controversy at the time. But he marvels at how his savvy friend turned what could have been a career setback into a groundbreaking marketing opportunity. “Justify” went on to sell 5 million copies in the U.S., and it still holds the record for best-selling video single of all time.

“The video was banned, which when you look at it now, you wonder why,” says Kravitz from his Bahamas home. “It looks very light now, you know, but it was beautiful and sensual and gritty, a beautiful black-and-white film. And since MTV banned it, [Madonna]decided to sell the video [on VHS, for $9.98], and each video counted as a single. … I remember people being lined up around Tower Records, around the block, to get this video of Madonna, and the thing went No. 1. And it was No. 1, globally, for I don't know how long. It was enormous. In fact, it was her biggest hit at that point in her career.”

Kravitz was just getting started in his own career at that point — his debut album, also titled Let Love Rule, had come out the year before and had peaked at No. 61 on the Billboard 200, mostly on the strength of college radio airplay. And his friendship with Madonna, which had developed while touring that record and hanging out in the European club scene, was still new. Yet he already had the confidence to know that “Justify My Love,” despite not seeming like a typical pop single (and certainly not like a typical Kravitz song), would be a mainstream smash. And he had the confidence to try to talk Madonna into recording it herself.

“It was super-sexy and hard at the same time. I just felt it. I just knew that there was something very special about the track and the minimum quality, because it was so minimal. Just a gut thing,” Kravitz muses, revealing that he is sitting on his own unfinished version of the song, which he might release someday.

“I was working on some demos, and ‘Justify My Love’ came up and I loved it, but I knew it wasn't for me,” Kravitz recalls. “I thought it would be perfect for Madonna. So I called her and I said, ‘I have a No. 1 song for you.’ And she said, ‘No, you don't.’ And I said, ‘Yes, I do. … Where are you? I'll bring it over.’” That very same day, in New York City, Kravitz found himself standing in front of Madonna, “Justify” demo in hand. (The demo included Kravitz’s moaning guide vocal, which ended up on the final version and can be better heard on an amusing fan-made, isolated-vocal YouTube video.)

“She said, ‘Put it in. Go ahead.’ And I put it in the cassette deck, turned the console up to 10, and out it came,” Kravitz recalls of the fateful Madonna meeting. “And the whole room got really quiet. And it ended and she said, ‘Play it again.’ I pushed play, played it again, and she said, ‘Let's record it.’ And I think we started the next day.”

Kravitz, who has always maintained and he and Madonna never dated, gets a sly grin on his face as he recalls the “Justify My Love” recording session — and it seems he’s saving its juicier details for a possible second memoir. “It was just the two of us and my engineers, and it happened in one day. It was very quick. And, uh, there are details about that session that I cannot tell you, but it was fun. It was fun — and very sensual,” he says coyly. “Just know that it was all very authentic.”

Kravitz’s Let Love Rule book instead focuses on his “golden childhood” in New York and Los Angeles, as well as his struggle to find his musical identity in his teens and early twenties. This was a time when he temporarily adopted the cobalt-contact-lensed new wave alter ego Romeo Blue and turned down multiple career opportunities — including an offer from Motown’s Berry Gordy to record the eventual Rockwell smash “Somebody’s Watching Me,” a chance to be in a pop group envisioned as a “Black Duran Duran,” and a Capitol Records deal with a short-lived funk-rock band called Maggie’s Dream. Ironically, it was when Kravitz finally found his real voice, and switched back to his real name, that he had trouble finding the right record label.

“Here was the odd thing: When they were saying I sounded ‘too white,’ they were referring to rock ‘n’ roll, which made no sense, because Black people invented rock ‘n’ roll. So I could never understand,” Kravitz says. “When I was shopping this material, at that time you still had the ‘Black A&R’ [department], and then you had ‘pop.’ So, they'd see the color of my skin and say that I should go see the people in the Black department. I'd play the material, and of course they said it ‘wasn't Black enough.’ And then they sent me over to the pop side, and they’d say ‘it's too Black,’ or whatever. So, I was caught in the middle with all the sounds that I was working with, and it took a moment.”

Kravitz eventually found the right label home at Virgin Records in 1989 — “They said, ‘We don't know how we're going to market this, or really how to approach this, but we believe in the music’” — and he started building a following in Europe. He crossed over to the U.S. mainstream in the early ‘90s with his first top 10 hit, “It Ain’t Over ‘Til It’s Over” (which went to No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100) and, of course, with “Justify My Love.” Kravitz’s Let Love Rule autobiography ends shortly after the release of his debut album and wedding to actress Lisa Bonet — and before that “sensual” Madonna recording session — but its final line is “to be continued...” So, Kravitz quips, “When and if I get to that [second] book, I may let [the “Justify My Love” studio details] out then.”

Kravitz adds: “I didn't want this [first] book to be about fame or anything like that. This is really about me finding my voice and my expression. That's why I ended it when I was embarking on the Let Love Rule tour. … Because from that point on, it gets real interesting. It gets complicated. It gets really complex. And so, that's where the next chapter will begin.”
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Liam.k.
post Dec 9 2020, 11:09 AM
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Ingrid Chavez is releasing her own version of the song on 18th December. There's a decent preview here: https://www.traxsource.com/track/8200273/ju...PSSfNGgbxtukcbg

Sounds so good! ohmy.gif Love the piano melody.

Ingrid has said this of the track:

QUOTE
“There are events in our lives that come to define who we are as an artist, if that is your calling,” Chavez said. “One of those defining moments for me was that day in Los Angeles, just hanging out in the studio with Lenny Kravitz and Andre Betts. I was in the city doing over dubs for the film Graffiti Bridge. It was not planned, I just happened to be in the room while these two artists created what would become one of the most raw and unforgettable tracks of the 90’s.”

“I think what is important to know about this song is that, it is personal, it was written for me. The words were from a letter I had just written so the emotions were strong. It would ultimately wind up in Madonna’s hands and mark a major shift in her own image and musical style for a period of time. In some way, it changed the trajectory of both of our lives. That is the power of a song written from that deeper place that we as writers are forever chasing.”

https://www.outinperth.com/ingrid-chavez-ce...ustify-my-love/
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Liam.k.
post Dec 25 2020, 12:34 AM
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Might love Ingrid's version more than Madonna's! ohmy.gif
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Bjork
post Dec 25 2020, 09:00 AM
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Always liked the song, even back in the day
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Liam.k.
post Jan 5 2021, 05:47 PM
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"HD video coming soon" cheer.gif
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