Tuesday, 16 August 2016
I'm in so deep
It is Our Glorious Leader Madonna's birthday today. All hail!
As Madge was undoubtedly the Queen of the 80s, I think it appropriate on this day of celebration to take us into another timeslip moment - so, come back thirty years with me to the world of Maggie Thatcher and of Spike Lee, the year of the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster, the Iran-Contra affair and the stock market "Big Bang"...
In the news in August 1986: the mysterious disappearance of estate agent Suzy Lamplugh was all over the headlines (she was never found); unemployment was at an almost record-beating high in the UK; football hooliganism was giving British football a bad name (again); Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson were just back from their honeymoon; 2000 people were killed by poison gas in Cameroon after a seismic eruption under Lake Nyos; in the ascendant were the newly-established Eurotunnel Group, the Statue of Liberty (recently reopened to the public after a refurb) and the UK Conservative Party (who were ahead in the polls again), but the residents of Sydney, Australia were underwater after record rainfall; we said goodbye to beloved actress Hermione Baddeley; but there were celebrations in New Zealand after homosexuality was finally decriminalised. In cinemas: The Money Pit, Murphy's Law and Hannah and Her Sisters. On telly: top soap Eastenders' first gay character Colin made his début, fans were on the edge of their seats for the imminent return of Doctor Who after an 18-month hiatus, and original character Pat Sugden was killed off in Emmerdale Farm.
In the UK charts this week three decades ago: the truly ghastly Lady in Red by Chris de Burgh was in the top slot, forever destined to be a staple of chav weddings across the country, and equally shit was the vocal rendition of the Eastenders theme tune by its former star Anita Dobson at Number 3. Also in the upper echelons of the chart were yet another mixed bag that included Sinitta, Boris Gardiner, Gwen Guthrie, Stan Ridgeway [who???], Five Star and Lulu(!).
But holding on in there was Her Madgesty - enjoying a remarkable year of both popular and critical success [the poor thing has had many more since where it was either one or the other] - with one of her all-time classics Papa Don't Preach.
Before we get to the lady herself, however, how about some other versions of the song?
Here's a sweet jazzy version by BoDa:
Alternatively, Mad'House [sic] decided to take it into Eurodance territory:
And, notoriously, one Kelly Osbourne used it to launch her "career":
But, after all, there is only one Madonna:
My friends keep telling me to give it up
Saying I'm too young, I ought to live it up
Thirty years ago we certainly did "live it up" to this song...
Many happy returns, Madonna Louise Ciccone (born 16th August 1958)