Rescue Me (Madonna song)
|Single by Madonna|
|from the album The Immaculate Collection|
|Released||February 26, 1991|
|Madonna singles chronology|
"Rescue Me" is a song by American singer and songwriter Madonna from her first greatest hits compilation The Immaculate Collection (1990). It was written by Madonna and Shep Pettibone, who also worked with her on the worldwide chart-topping single "Vogue" (1990), and on her fifth studio album Erotica (1992). Sire Records released "Rescue Me" as the second single on February 26, 1991, and as the third single on April 7 in the United Kingdom. It peaked in the top-five in countries in Ireland, the UK, Italy, and South Africa, and at number nine on the US Billboard Hot 100.
"Rescue Me" was one of two newly-released songs on The Immaculate Collection, the other "Justify My Love". In the United States, it was released as the second single on February 26, 1991, and as the third single on April 7 in the United Kingdom, due to a remix of "Crazy for You" (1985) representing as the second single from the collection. It debuted on the Billboard Hot 100 the week of March 2, 1991 at number fifteen, becoming highest-debuting single on the chart by a female artist at the time.
An official music video was not filmed for "Rescue Me", instead a compilation of footage from Madonna's home video Ciao, Italia! – Live from Italy (1988) of her Who's That Girl World Tour (1987) filled its place. A video of live footage clips from the tour was used to promote the single, and despite the song's moderate international success, Madonna has not performed the song live on any of her tours.
Its artwork for the UK release was changed due to the fact that the same image for the North American release had been used for "Crazy for You", so a photograph by Jean-Baptiste Mondino was used instead.
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"Rescue Me" is an upbeat dance-pop and house track; its composition is similar to that of "Vogue" (1990). According to sheet music published at Musicnotes.com at Alfred Publishing, the song is composed in the key of D-flat major, with Madonna's vocals ranging from B♭3 to E♭5. It is set in the time signature of common time and has a tempo of 116 beats per minute. Lyrically, "Rescue Me" expresses the comfort of being one's self in a relationship and the calming of one's deranged behaviour in the presence of the other.
The song opens with a heartbeat and thunder, followed by a prominent bass line, a piano, snaps, and percussion. Madonna begins singing "I'm talking/I believe in the power of love/I'm singing/ I believe that you can rescue me" before engaging in the breathy, poetic spoken-word first and second verses, and the bridge; this style was also used in "Justify My Love" (1990). She sings "Rescue me/It's hard to believe your love has given me hope/Rescue me/It's hard to believe I'm drowning" over the house-styled chorus structure. A choir, similar to that in Madonna's own "Like a Prayer" single, supports the later part of the pre-bridge chorus and after the bridge until the song's outro.
Some of the remixes for "Rescue Me" include vocal samples from other Madonna songs. The "Houseboat Vocal" remix includes the "Hey/What" call and response from the single "True Blue". The "S.O.S. Mix" includes the "Watch out" from "Open Your Heart", but it is transposed down and distorted. The "Titanic Vocal" and "Demanding Dub" include the "So now what?" sample from "Justify My Love". The "Demanding Dub" also includes a sample of "Ladies" from the single "Vogue".
Billboard called this song a "worthy sensual". Sputnik Music's Nick Buttler gave this song 4 out of 5: "More of the same as Justify My Love, just not as good. It's a shame that this ends the album rather than Justify My Love, but that's the way it goes, I suppose."
In the United States, "Rescue Me" debuted on the Billboard Hot 100 singles survey at number 15 the week of March 2, 1991, and was one of the first singles in the 1990s that would debut at such a high position due to heavy pre-sales airplay. It was the highest debut for a single on the Hot 100 since Michael Jackson debuted at number 20 the week of February 11, 1984 with "Thriller". "Rescue Me" reached the top-five in airplay. However, by the time the single was commercially available, the song had already peaked at radio and eventually placed at number nine on the Hot 100 singles chart. Elsewhere, "Rescue Me" placed within the top-five in countries such as the UK, Ireland, Italy, and South Africa, and peaking at number three on the Eurochart Hot 100 Singles chart. On May 24, 1991, "Rescue Me" was certified gold by the RIAA for shipments of over 500,000 copies; as of August 2008, it has sold 134,767 copies in the United Kingdom according to the Official Charts Company.
The 2000 compilation album Virgin Voices: A Tribute to Madonna, Vol. 2 contains a cover by Adeva.
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