Sooner or Later (Madonna song)

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"Sooner or Later"
Song by Madonna from the album I'm Breathless
Released May 21, 1990
Recorded 1990
Genre Pop, jazz
Length 3:20
Writer Stephen Sondheim[1]
I'm Breathless track listing
"He's a Man"
"Sooner or Later"
"Hanky Panky"
"Sooner or Later" won the Academy Award for Best Original Song in 1991 at the 63rd annual Academy Awards.

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"Sooner or Later (I Always Get My Man)" is a song recorded by the American pop singer Madonna, and written by the American composer Stephen Sondheim, for the 1990 film, Dick Tracy.[1] Released that same year on Madonna's album I'm Breathless, the song won Sondheim an Academy Award for Best Original Song in 1991.[1]

The song's title as listed in the film credits, and in the official Academy Award records, includes the subtitle "(I Always Get My Man);" however, this subtitle is not shown on I'm Breathless.

Story context[edit]

The song is the signature song of nightclub singer Breathless Mahoney (portrayed by Madonna), and primarily performed during a montage just after Dick Tracy has placed a microphone in Alphonse "Big Boy" Caprice's boardroom and operator, "Bug" Bailey, in the attic immediately above it while using a police raid of the building as a diversion. With this information source, Tracy begins a wave of arrests much to Big Boy's consternation. However, for all Tracy's success, his girlfriend, Tess Trueheart, has had enough of his apparent valuing his career over their relationship and packs to leave.


In addition to performing the song live at the 1991 Academy Awards, Madonna also performed this song in a lounge setting on her 1990 Blond Ambition Tour. Her performance at the Academy Awards was named by Billboard as the seventh "most awesome Oscar performance."[2]

Cover versions[edit]

"Sooner or Later" has been performed by CSO conductor Erich Kunzel and the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra,[3] Jane Krakowski, and Karen Akers.[4]

Bernadette Peters included the song on her 1997 live album Sondheim, etc.[5]

Karen Ziemba performed the song during the concert "Sondheim: A Celebration at Carnegie Hall," New York City, in 1992.

Credits and personnel[edit]

Credits adapted from I'm Breathless album liner notes, Sire Records and Warner Bros. Records.[6]


  1. ^ a b c Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 137. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 
  2. ^ Billboard 10 Awesome Oscar Live Performance
  3. ^ "Erich Kunzel Discography". Retrieved May 9, 2009. 
  4. ^ "Karen Akers Sooner or Later". CD Universe. Retrieved May 2009. 
  5. ^ "Berndette Peters Merchandise". 
  6. ^ Ciccone, Madonna (1990). "Liner notes". I'm Breathless (CD inlay). Madonna. Los Angeles, California: Sire, Warner Bros. p. 4. 9 26209-2.