From Mark Savage at the BBC
Madonna’s long-time collaborator Patrick Leonard has posted several demos from the Like A Prayer album online, in an attempt to thwart an auction of the star’s personal effects.
Leonard uploaded the first versions of Like A Prayer and Cherish, recorded on the day they were written, on Monday.
He hopes to stop fans bidding on cassettes of Madonna’s unreleased recordings at an auction this week.
The tapes are being sold by the star’s former art adviser Darlene Lutz.
Lutz is also auctioning intimate personal items including Madonna’s break-up letter from rapper Tupac Shakur, a hairbrush with strands of her hair and “stage-worn” La Perla bra.
The singer tried to stop the auction, filing an emergency court order in 2017, saying she had no idea Lutz was in possession of the items. However, a Manhattan judge ruled earlier this month that the sale could go ahead.
The auction is due to end on 26 July. Current bids on Madonna’s unreleased music have reached $1,283 (£1,031) for the Like A Prayer demos, $446 (£358) for an original recording of Justify My Love and $963 (£774) for a cassette with an early configuration of the setlist for the star’s 1990 Blond Ambition tour.
Although Madonna couldn’t stop the auction, Leonard has taken matters into his own hands.
“I hope these posts stop the sale of that cassette at auction,” he wrote on YouTube. “Not cool at all that someone would sell it. Not theirs to sell.”
The Like A Prayer demo was recorded on “the day it was written,” he added. It lacks the finished version’s gospel choir and electric guitars, but the lyrics and melody are identical. Madonna also provides some celestial background vocals that were eventually erased from the track.
Cherish retains its breezy pop shuffle, even without the harmonica solo and a capella breakdown that elevate the released version into a pop classic.
Leonard also shared an unreleased song, Angels With Dirty Faces, a lightweight, mid-tempo song which has more in common with Madonna’s water-treading Who’s That Girl soundtrack than the confessional pop of Like A Prayer.
The title was taken from a 1938 James Cagney Movie – much like the previous Madonna song White Heat. Leonard previously described the track as one “Madonna and I wrote for the [Like a Prayer] album and ultimately must have decided that wasn’t good enough”.
Earlier this month, Leonard also shared images of a 10-track demo cassettefrom the Like A Prayer sessions, which is presumably the source of the latest release.
It included working versions of Dear Jessie and Promise To Try (then called Little Girl), alongside Like A Prayer, Cherish and others.
“They’re first day versions, so the day we wrote them,” Leonard said of the songs. “They have a lead vocal and some backgrounds. Not produced. Without live players and strings and choirs etc. We worked from these versions and they became the records.”
The cassette also included the unreleased instrumentals Bossa Nova and 20s Jazz, which Leonard described as “sparks that made no fire”.
Collecting rare and out of print Vinyl Records, CDs & Memorabilia by Madonna? Explore what’s in at eil.com today…
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- Madonna - True Blue + Insert - Japanese - picture disc LP - £125.00, $153.75, €146.25 (New Item) (arrived 03-Dec-2022 09:24)on December 3, 2022 at 2:54 pm
MADONNA True Blue (Limited Edition 1986 Japanese first press 9-track Picture Disc LP, complete with Japanese biography, lyrics & Madonna chronology insert & PVC sleeve with the blue heart-shaped obi sticker attached. This is an Excellent collector's example, the disc has reacted slightly to the PVC sleeve, but is only cosmetic & a common occurrence, otherwise shows little signs of play P-15004)
- Madonna - Like A Virgin - UK - vinyl LP - £10.00, $12.30, €11.70 (New Item) (arrived 22-Nov-2022 08:55)on December 3, 2022 at 2:54 pm
MADONNA Like A Virgin (1984 UK 10-track LP, pressed in Germany for the UK market, including Into The Groove & Material Girl, complete with illustrated lyric inner, picture sleeve. The sleeve shows just a little light shelfwear & the vinyl remains in excellent condition with few signs of play WX20)
- Madonna - Rain - EX - UK - 12" picture disc - £20.00, $24.60, €23.40 (New Item) (arrived 10-Nov-2022 13:06)on December 3, 2022 at 2:54 pm
MADONNA Rain (Original 1993 UK limited edition single sided 3-track 12" Picture Disc single, featuring the Shep Pettibone Radio Remix, plus Up Down Suite [Dub] and Open Your Heart, housed in a clear PVC sleeve with hype sticker which mentions that Open Your Heart is featured on the Peugeot TV ad WO190TP)
- Madonna - Express Yourself - UK - 12" picture disc - £35.00, $43.05, €40.95 (New Item) (arrived 10-Nov-2022 13:09)on December 3, 2022 at 2:54 pm
MADONNA Express Yourself (Original 1989 UK limited edition 12" Picture Disc single, featuring the Non-Stop Express Mix and Stop & Go Dubs, housed in a clear PVC sleeve W2948TP)
- Madonna - Borderline - Stickered sleeve - UK - shaped picture disc - £125.00, $153.75, €146.25 (New Item) (arrived 15-Nov-2022 15:50)on December 3, 2022 at 2:54 pm
MADONNA Borderline (Rare 1986 UK limited edition shaped 7" Picture Disc single, featuring the Edit version, also including Physical Attraction, with original hype stickered 12" clear PVC outer sleeve. The disc is in fantastic near mint condition W9260P)
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