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); 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.
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. Her real trick here, however, is transcending her 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. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Q (7/01, p.131) - 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..."
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