Pop-Up Video: Vogue (1990)

Album: I'm Breathless
B-side: Keep It Together
Released: March 27, 1990
Recorded: December 1989
Genre: House.
Songwriters: Madonna, Shep Pettibone

Madonna's hit single, "Vogue," is on the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's list of "500 Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll." It was voted number 5 on VH1's 100 Greatest Songs of the 90s.  

"Vogue" was the Number 1 hit the summer of 1990 and played in clubs across the globe, from London to New York to Bali. Positive, upbeat, and totally inclusive, it made house music mainstream and revived disco.

Perhaps the most famous fashion song of all time is Madonna’s “Vogue.” 
Time magazine: Issue February 07, 2013

Shep Pettibone produced remixes for several Madonna songs and worked with her singles on  "Like A Prayer" and "Express Yourself." He wrote and recorded the backing track for "Vogue" in two weeks on a budget of $5000. Madonna wrote the lyrics and gave it the title. In Rolling Stone's October 29, 2009 issue, she said, 

Warren Beatty & Madonna in Dick Tracy
Warren Beatty & Madonna in Dick Tracy

"I wrote it when I was making Dick Tracy. After we shot the movie, Warren Beatty asked me if I could write a song that would fit my character's point of view, that she could have conjured up. She was obsessed with speakeasies and movie stars and things like that. The idea for the lyrics came through that request."


"Voguing" was popular in the gay community and originated in the "ball culture" of gay black men in Harlem. "Balls" were under-ground parties where different "Houses", like "House of Extravaganza" or "The House of Ninja," competed in different categories (butch, fem, etc.) to see who was the fiercest "Queen of the Ball." 

Dancers used stylistic hand gestures and frequently stopped to pose. Madonna noticed the Vogue craze while out clubbing. Intrigued with the way these men would "Strike a pose" while holding their bodies in strange positions, she took the idea for a song to Shep Pettibone, a DJ at the club where Madonna saw the dancing. 


The video for "Vogue" was directed by David Fincher. It featured the "House Of Extravaganza," a group of New York City dancers who "Vogued" along with Madonna.  

Salim "Slam" Gauwloos
Salim "Slam" Gauwloos

One of the dancers was Salim "Slam" Gauwloos from Belgium. He told Q magazine in June 2009: 

"Shooting a video in two days, 16 hours a day, required a lot of focus. David Fincher told me to stand and hit different poses with my body and face. I was ambitious and became frustrated I wasn't dancing that much and thought, 'Great - no one's going to see me.' So I was really surprised I got so much focus in the video."


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