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”.
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- Madonna - Erotica - Stickered - UK - 2-LP vinyl set - £75.00, $93.75, €84.00 (Back In Stock) (arrived 21-Sep-2020 12:25)on September 24, 2020 at 5:07 am
MADONNA Erotica (1992 UK 14-track double LP, pressed in Germany for the UK market, complete with illustrated lyric inners, custom stickered gatefold picture sleeve with controversial 'toe job' image on the reverse. The sleeve shows minimal shelfwear & the vinyl remains in superb condition with few signs of play WX491)
- Madonna - What It Feels Like For A Girl - CD 1 + Poster - Australian - CD single - £9.99, $12.49, €11.19 (New Item) (arrived 26-Aug-2020 10:58)on September 24, 2020 at 5:07 am
MADONNA What It Feels Like For A Girl (2001 Australian limited edition 5-track CD single [CD1 of 2] featuring the Album Version, along with Calderone & Quayle, Above & Beyond, Paul Oakenfold and Richard Vission remixes. The disc comes nestled within the hype-stickered card picture sleeve with a bonus fold-out poster)
- Madonna - The Look Of Love - Yellow Sire Label - UK - 7" vinyl - £10.00, $12.50, €11.20 (New Item) (arrived 25-Aug-2020 11:45)on September 24, 2020 at 5:07 am
MADONNA The Look Of Love (1987 UK solid centre 7" vinyl single with the yellow Sire label, also includes I Know It. The vinyl appears in excellent condition issued within the glossy card picture sleeve W8115)
- Madonna - Express Yourself - Yellow Label & Picture Sleeve - UK - 7" vinyl - £8.00, $10.00, €8.96 (New Item) (arrived 25-Aug-2020 11:46)on September 24, 2020 at 5:07 am
MADONNA Express Yourself (1989 UK solid centre 7" vinyl single with the large Sire logo yellow paper label, also including The Look Of Love. The glossy picture sleeve has a little shelfwear and the vinyl has lightsurface scuffs showing evidenceofplay but the vinyl appears in excellent condition W2948)
- Madonna - Cherish - Solid - Card Sleeve - UK - 7" vinyl - £10.00, $12.50, €11.20 (New Item) (arrived 25-Aug-2020 11:47)on September 24, 2020 at 5:07 am
MADONNA Cherish (1989 UK solid centre 7" vinyl single with yellow Sire paper labels, also including the previously unreleased track Supernatural. The glossy picture sleeve has just a little shelfwear and the vinyl appears in excellent condition W2883)
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