Inside The Groove - Madonna’s Music

The story behind Madonna’s most famous songs

Each episode focuses on a particular track or era and discusses the creative process and how the song was received.

With reference to the videos and live performances, the episode often plays snippets from the song’s multitrack session.

Deep Dive: Living For Love

June 7th, 2020

This stunning house pop track launched the Rebel Heart era, but this time with a controversy not of Madonna's making as it was rushed out early following a leak of 13 songs from Madonna's new project. But this is an opportunity to explore the creation of the song and listen to isolated tracks including the piano played by Alicia Keys. We also get to hear a demo of the song which may be regarded as superior to the released version.

Bonus Beats: Vogue / Babylon

May 30th, 2020

Has Lady Gaga ripped of Madonna? That's what some fans are saying... so I'm hot off the line to NYC where I spoke to Tony Shimkin, the man who recorded and edited Vogue and wrote several other songs with Madonna for the definitive word.

Deep Dive: Hung Up

May 29th, 2020

What happens when you combine Madonna with Stuart Price and ABBA? You get one of the most fantastic pop songs of all time and as her highest-selling digital single, a great commercial success too. The song's origin was as part of a musical written by Luc Besson, but can be traced back even further to the summer of 1979 when ABBA rehearsed their tour at Europa Studios in Stockholm. Hear outtakes from that ABBA record along with the stems from the Madonna song which would hit no. 1 around the world.

Interview: Lucy O’Brien

May 22nd, 2020

Lucy is author of the definitive biography of Madonna, Like An Icon, which charts the singers career and includes interviews with many of the key players from Madonna's times in the studio and on the road. Here, she discusses the book, her research and her own thoughts on Madonna as a songwriter, producer and performer.

Deep Dive: Justify My Love

May 15th, 2020

The song that closed one era of Madonna's career and began another and it still sounds fresh almost 30 years later. Shrouded in controversy, not least of all for its video, which was banned from MTV, but for the fact that three separate legal cases were brought against the song's producer, Lenny Kravitz. Also discussed is the issue of sampling, the singer's Immaculate Collection album and the isolated tracks from the studio session for Justify My Love.

Deep Dive: Live To Tell

May 9th, 2020

The first single from True Blue was also the main song from husband Sean Penn's movie 'At Close Range'. The story behind the writing and recording with collaborator Patrick Leonard is as dramatic as the film itself and, by listening to the isolated tracks from the studio recording, a new depth can be found to one of Madonna's most popular song. 

Deep Dive: Give It 2 Me

May 1st, 2020

Second single from the album Hard Candy, Madonna's co-write and co-sing with Pharrell Williams, has stood the test of time as we deep dive into this 2008 single, listening to demos, multitrack takes and a brief tutorial on pitch correction.

Interview: Darren Hayes

April 28th, 2020

In this special episode, I chat with Madonna fan, musician, and singer Darren Hayes, about his love of the icon and the story behind his astonishing cover of her song Ray of Light. Darren describes the time he met Madonna and gives an in depth appraisal of some of the finest moments of her career. 

Deep Dive: Ray of Light

April 24th, 2020

Second single and title track of Madonna's Grammy award-winning album, Ray of Light also features a stunning vocal performance from the singer. Its origin dates back to a 1971 British folk song which was dramatically reworked by producer William Orbit. 

Deep Dive: Borderline

April 19th, 2020

Borderline was key in launching Madonna's career and this is the story of, not only the artist's signing to Sire records, but the recording with producer Reggie Lucas. Included is a demo recording, isolated track from the session and a brief history of a small, black, orange and wooden box, which would - like Madonna - change the pop music scene... forever!

Bonus Beats: Open Your Heart

April 13th, 2020

Writer Peter Rafelson has contacted Inside The Groove to give his full account of the writing process behind Open Your Heart, which was the subject of confusion when presented in episode 2 of this series. Now we have the full story of the creation of one of Madonna's biggest hits.

Deep Dive: Music

April 12th, 2020

The song that would hit no.1 in over 20 countries was seen as a "success for avant garde music" by the track's co-writer and producer Mirwais as it heralded a new era for the superstar. But how and where was the song recorded? Listen to not only a rarely-heard demo of the song, but also individual, isolated tracks including Madonna' raw vocal takes and outtakes, tracked twenty years ago.

Deep Dive: Open Your Heart

April 4th, 2020

The fourth single from Madonna's hugely acclaimed and highly successful album, True Blue, started out as a demo for Cyndi Lauper. But the writers of the track have very different stories about its origins. Listen to a demo along with studio takes from the original multitrack to find out how Open Your Heart was created and why it's one of her most popular singles to date.

Deep Dive: Vogue

March 29th, 2020

Madonna's 'Vogue' is 30 years old and one of the singer's most popular hits. But did you know it was recorded as a b-side? Did you know that it's backing track is based on a Janet Jackson song? And do you want to hear studio outtakes from the original 1989 recording session?

Inside the Groove has it all. Listen now.

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