The anniversary of the Best Of Ms Ciccone, the album with the controversial “Justify My Love”, offers us a chance to show you more tattoos dedicated to the Diva.
Provocatively entitled The Immaculate Collection (with “Collection” obviously standing for “Conception”), this album first saw the light on 9th November 1990 (which makes it exactly30 years ago) and Madonna fans still consider it the definitive Greatest Hits even though, over the years, there have been other noteworthy compilations (including the fabulous Something to Remember which came out in 1995 and the even more complete Celebration in 2009).
All the same, The Immaculate Collection with its haul of fifteen singles (all of which came out between 1983 and 1990 and were remixed by celebrated producer Shep Pettibone) plus two brand new tracks (the historic “Justify My Love” and less well-known “Rescue me”) still has a special place in the heart of fans the world over. Especially in the UK, seeing as how it topped the charts there for nine weeks in a row, a record only beaten by the second album from Adele, 21.
The Immaculate Collection – which has meanwhile sold 31 million copies worldwide, making it the best-selling record in Madonna’s entire career as well as the best-selling Greatest Hits of all time – came out in the autumn of 1990 as the first ever album to feature QSound, a then new audio technology that gives a recording greater three-dimensionality and dynamics if listened to from right in front of the speakers.
“That was a rush rush job,” recalls producer Shep Pettibone, “and it was one of those – you know – “Hurry up, this has to be out last week!” (laughs) It was no easy job to remix, but I feel that at the end of the day, with the addition of Qsound, the record definitely improved in terms of quality”. Pettibone is right and the best-loved songs (“Like a Virgin”, “Into The Groove”, “Like a Prayer”, “Vogue” etc.) sound faster, more lively and upbeat compared with the original versions. It gives them a different flavour, basically making them more dance-oriented.
In the CD booklet, Madonna (then 32 years old) wrote something which was open to misinterpretation. She dedicated the album to “the Pope, my divine inspiration”. Everyone thought it was a disrespectful remark about the then pope Karol Wojtyla, his Holiness John Paul II but it was actually a reference to the nickname of her brother Christopher Ciccone. Chris had just spent an intense year on the road with his sister on the controversial, unforgettable Blond Ambition World Tour providing so much support during those frenetic months.
The press too raved about The Immaculate Collection and journalist Ross Bennett went so far as to say “this has to be right up there with ABBA Gold as a collection of singles so deeply ingrained in the collective consciousness”. A fellow journalist, Marcus Berkmann, used the word “definitive” to describe The Immaculate Collection some years later when Madonna’s career as an artist had run into some inevitable road bumps.
This is what Marcus had to say about it: “the album was perfect timing because, up until 1990, Madonna hadn’t missed a trick. The Immaculate Collection offers only the best and includes none of the bilge she has recorded since”.
So does it make you feel nostalgic to hear us talking about The Immaculate Collection? Don’t worry, it has the same effect on us. So we’ll leave you with a collection of the best tattoos dedicated to the Queen of Pop. Ladies and gentlemen, Madonna!
The tracklist of The Immaculate Collection (1990):
– Lucky Star
– Like a Virgin
– Material Girl
– Crazy for You
– Into the Groove
– Live to Tell
– Papa Don’t Preach
– Open Your Heart
– La Isla Bonita
– Like a Prayer
– Express Yourself
– Justify My Love
– Rescue Me”