In The Evidence Of Her Brilliance

Celebrating 36-Years of Madonna’s debut: listen to a never-before-heard rehearsal take of “Borderline”

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36-years ago, today, Madonna released her now-iconic debut album, appropriately titled Madonna, which sold more than 10-million copies, and spawned 5-massive singles. Borderline spent a staggering 30-weeks on the Billboard 100, helping to catapult Madonna into an international superstar.

In 1982, Madonna was working with producer Reggie Lucas on her debut album. She had already composed three songs when Lucas brought one of his own compositions to the project, calling it “Borderline.” After recording the song, Madonna was unhappy with the final version, feeling that Lucas used too many instruments and did not consider her ideas for the song. This led to a dispute between the two. After finishing the album, Lucas left the project without altering the songs to Madonna’s specifications. Madonna brought her then-boyfriend John “Jellybean” Benitez to remix “Borderline” and two other recorded tracks. On hearing the final version, Seymour Stein, head of Sire Records, declared, “I dared to believe this was going to be huge beyond belief, the biggest thing I’d ever had, after I heard ‘Borderline’… The passion that she put into that song, I thought, there’s no stopping this girl”

The song has been performed by Madonna on The Virgin Tour in 1985, in the 2008 Sticky & Sweet Tour which was not included in the 2009 leg of the tour and was replaced by a rock version of “Dress You Up”. The song was also performed at her one-off concert, Madonna: Tears of a Clown, in 2016. She also performed a stripped-back version of the song live on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon in 2016.

At the 1984 Billboard Music Awards,”Borderline” received two nominations, in the categories of Best New Artist and Best Choreography in a Music Video. To celebrate, PopWrapped CEO, Zachary Jaydon, has dug into his personal collection of Madonna Master Tapes, to offer you a rare, never-before-heard rehearsal take of Borderline, the fifth and final single from the record.