Throwback Thursday: Madonna – “Into the Groove”

Throwback Thursday: Madonna – “Into the Groove”

If you’ve been on the internet this week, you probably came across the headline about Tory Lanez sampling one of the most recognizable songs of all time without clearing it. Luckily, Madonna is being nice about it.

Released in the summer of ’85, “Into the Groove” was written and produced by Madonna and then-boyfriend Stephen Bray. It was initially written for producer and ex-boyfriend Mark Kamins, who wanted the song to be recorded by his protégée, R&B singer Cheyne. Madonna would end up recording the song herself for the movie Desperately Seeking Susan, in which she co-starred. Kamins is said to have been furious about that decision.

An interesting point to be made about “Into the Groove” is how Black it sounds. So many of the songs we call “pop” today — and more specially, early Madonna hits — were once considered “Black music.” This point is supported by the fact that “Into the Groove” was originally intended for an R&B artist and actually charted on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, which was called the Hot Black Singles chart at the time.

Though a demo version of the song is featured in the movie, “Into the Groove” ended up not being included on the Desperately Seeking Susan soundtrack because her record label at the time, Sire Records, barred her music from appearing on multi-artist projects. “Into the Groove” would eventually be included on the international re-issue of Madonna’s sophomore album, Like a Virgin, and became a huge hit all over the world, topping the charts in the UK, Spain, and various other countries. In the US, the song was only available as a B-side for “Angel,” the third single from Like a Virgin; as a result, it has never charted on the Billboard Hot 100 despite being one of Madonna’s signature songs. Again, charts don’t always tell the full story.

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