Saturday, March 7, 2020

"La Isla Bonita" by Madonna

Top 10 Alert!
Song#:  3065
Date:  03/21/1987
Debut:  49
Peak:  4
Weeks:  17
Genre:  Pop, Latin Pop

Pop Bits:  By this point, Madonna's third album, True Blue, had generated four Top 10 hits, which matched the successful output from her previous LP Like a Virgin. The label could have called it a day and wrapped up the album's run, but this was Madonna, who liked to push boundaries. So they rolled the dice and issued out this fifth single. It ended up being a wise move. It became her second #1 at AC while extending her streak of consecutive Pop Top 10s to twelve. With other Madonna projects on the horizon, this tune ended the run of singles from True Blue. The LP had already been certified 4x platinum in February of '87. Eight years later, it would reach the 7x platinum mark. It currently remains her second biggest selling studio album of her career following the diamond (10+ million) Like a Virgin.

ReduxReview:  I admit that I did not hear this as a hit. I didn't think the Spanish influenced track would play well on Pop radio and I didn't think it was all that strong of a song. I was obviously wrong. I think what helped it along was that it was a mature outing with a different sound that attracted a wider audience. The AC audience and radio certainly gave this tune a boost and the associated MTV video proved to be another hit. In retrospect the tune sounds better to me now, but it still wouldn't rank alongside my favorite Madonna tracks.

ReduxRating:  6/10

Trivia:  This song was originally written by producer/composer Patrick Leonard. He had intended the song for Michael Jackson and had presented a version of it to the King of Pop. Unfortunately (or fortunately), Jackson didn't like the tune and rejected it. When Leonard began to work with Madonna on the True Blue album, he brought along the song. Madonna thought there was something there and she reworked it to her liking. Songwriter Bruce Gaitsch also lent a hand along the way and received a credit along with Madonna. Jackson's decline ended up giving Madonna another Top 10 hit.

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