Release Date: May 2001
Record Label: Warner Bros. Records (Record Label)
Genre: Dance, DJ & Electronic
Duration: Album or EP
1. Papa Don't Preach
2. Open Your Heart
3. White Heat
4. Live to Tell
5. Where's the Party
6. True Blue
7. Isla Bonita, La - (Spanish)
8. Jimmy, Jimmy
9. Love Makes the World Go Round
10. True Blue - (The Color Mix)
11. Isla Bonita, La - (Extended Remix, extended remix)
Playing time: 52 min.
Contributing artists: Paulinho Da Costa, Richard Marx, Siedah Garrett
Distributor: WEA (Distributor)
Recording type: Studio
Recording mode: Stereo
SPAR Code: n/a
Includes rare 12" dance remixes previously unavailable on CD.
Personnel: Madonna, Richard Marx (vocals); David Williams (vocals, guitar); Johnathan Moffett (vocals, drums, percussion); Dann Huff, Paul Jackson, Jr., Bruce Gaitsch, John Putnam (guitar); Dave Boroff (saxophone); Stephen Bray (keyboards, drums, programming); Pat Leonard (keyboards, programming); Fred Zarr (keyboards); Paulinho Da Costa (percussion); Kiethan Carter, Jackie Jackson, Siedah Garrett, Edie Lehmann (background vocals).
Producers: Pat Leonard, Madonna, Steve Bray.
Digitally remastered by Ted Jensen (Sterling Sound, New York, New York).
Composers: Madonna; Patrick Leonard; Stephen Bray.
Personnel: Madonna (vocals, background vocals); John Putnam (guitar, acoustic guitar, electric guitar); Bruce Gaitsch (guitar, electric guitar); David Williams (guitar, background vocals); Dann Huff, Paul Jackson, Jr. (guitar); Bill Meyers (strings); Dave Boroff (saxophone); Patrick Leonard, Stephen Bray (keyboards, drums, programming, drum programming); Pat Leonard (keyboards, drum programming); Fred Zarr (keyboards); Jonathan Moffett (drums, percussion, background vocals); Paulinho Da Costa (percussion); Edie Lehmann, Jackie Jackson , Keithen Carter, Richard Marx, Siedah Garrett (background vocals).
Audio Mixers: Dan Nebenzal; Michael Verdick.
Photographer: Herb Ritts.
Not to take away from the two fine party albums that preceded it, but TRUE BLUE is arguably the first great Madonna album, the one on which she discovered that great soul music isn't just a beat; it usually requires delving into one's own soul. As originally released on LP, the album's first side, featuring a dizzying single about teen pregnancy ("Papa Don't Preach"), a perfect Tin Pan Alley pop song ("Open Your Heart") and the amazing "Live To Tell," a ballad on which she discovers, for the first time, the low end of her vocal range, is almost undoubtedly the finest album side she ever cut.
TRUE BLUE also includes "Where's The Party," a catchy throwback to the forget-your-cares dance pop of her debut album, and "La Isla Bonita," which represented the beginning of Madonna's fruitful obsession with Latin beats and culture. Five songs from the album, including the girl-groupy title cut, made the top five of the pop chart; three of them hit #1.
True Blue is the album where Madonna truly became Madonna the Superstar -- the endlessly ambitious, fearlessly provocative entertainer who knew how to outrage, spark debates, get good reviews -- and make good music while she's at it. To complain that True Blue is calculated is to not get Madonna -- that's a large part of what she does, and she is exceptional at it, but she also makes fine music. What's brilliant about True Blue is that she does both here, using the music to hook in critics just as she's baiting a mass audience with such masterstrokes as "Papa Don't Preach," where she defiantly states she's keeping her baby. It's easy to position anti-abortionist as feminism, but what's tricky is to transcend your status as a dance-pop diva by consciously recalling classic girl group pop ("True Blue," "Jimmy Jimmy") to snag the critics, while deepening the dance grooves ("Open Your Heart," "Where's the Party"), touching on Latin rhythms ("La Isla Bonita"), making a plea for world peace ("Love Makes the World Go Round"), and delivering a tremendous ballad that rewrites the rules of adult contemporary crossover ("Live to Tell"). It's even harder to have the entire album play as an organic, cohesive work. Certainly, there's some calculation behind the entire thing, but what matters is the end result, one of the great dance-pop albums, a record that demonstrates Madonna's true skills as a songwriter, record-maker, provocateur, and entertainer through its wide reach, accomplishment, and sheer sense of fun. [Warner Bros.' 2001 reissue included two bonus tracks.] ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
4 stars out of 5 - ...A sterling attempt to expand the brand to include bobbysoxing, Latin, ballads as well as the usual high jinx....these are the foundations of her empire...
Used, tested, and error free. Includes CD, Jewel case, and inserts.