This Used to Be My Playground

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"This Used to Be My Playground"
Single by Madonna
B-side "This Used to Be My Playground" (long version)
Released June 16, 1992
Format Cassette, CD, CD maxi, 7"
Recorded March 1992
(Manhattan, New York)
May 1992
at Oceanway Recording Studios
(Los Angeles, California)
May 25, 1992
(Los Angeles, California)
Genre Pop
Length 5:08
  • Madonna
  • Shep Pettibone
Madonna singles chronology
"Rescue Me"
"This Used to Be My Playground"
A 30-second sample of "This Used to Be My Playground"

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"This Used to Be My Playground" is a song performed by Madonna. It is the theme for the film A League of Their Own, which starred Madonna as well as Tom Hanks, Geena Davis and Rosie O'Donnell. Though featured in the film during the credits, it is not available on the soundtrack album, due to licensing restrictions that prohibited Madonna material from being mixed or compiled with other singers on albums. It was later available on the Olympics-inspired Barcelona Gold compilation album released that summer, but in a shorter edit than any of the versions on the commercial singles. The version that appeared in A League of Their Own featured an additional minute of new verses and was 6:57 minutes long. It has only appeared on the commercial movie releases. The original commercial short version would later be featured on Madonna's 1995 ballads compilation, Something to Remember. The song was written and produced by Madonna and Shep Pettibone, and recorded prior to final sessions for her 1992 studio album Erotica.[2]

Released in the summer of 1992, the single was a worldwide hit. It spent one week at number one on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100, becoming Madonna's tenth chart-topping single, breaking her tie with Whitney Houston to become the female artist with the most number one singles at that time. It entered the charts in the UK top five, peaking at number three for two weeks, and was another top five hit for Madonna in numerous other markets. The song earned Madonna a Golden Globe Award nomination for Best Original Song.[3] Even though the song was commercially successful, Madonna has never performed it in any of her concerts or media appearances. It did not appear on succeeding greatest hits albums GHV2 (2001) and Celebration (2009) either.


In 1991, Madonna starred in the movie A League of Their Own which was released during the following year. After finishing filming the movie, the recording sessions for her fifth studio album Erotica began. Prior to the final sessions of the album, she wrote and recorded a song for A League of Their Own that became "This Used to Be My Playground".[2] The song, written by Madonna and Pettibone, is a pop ballad. It was released as a single in summer 1992. In an interview with website Madonna Tribe, Tony Shimkin, who co-wrote seven songs from Erotica, claimed in October 2012 that he co-wrote the song along with Madonna and Pettibone but never received credit for it.[1]

Chart performance[edit]

"This Used to Be My Playground" debuted on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart the week of July 4, 1992 at number 35. Five weeks later, on August 8, 1992, it topped the chart for one week, becoming Madonna's tenth number one single, breaking her tie with Whitney Houston to become the female artist with the most number one singles at that time. It eventually charted for a total of 20 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100. It also peaked at number two on the Hot 100 Airplay and at number four on the Adult Contemporary chart, and went on to become the 21st biggest single of 1992, according to Billboard '​s year-end chart. On September 10, 1992 it was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).

The song also achieved great success outside of the United States, hitting number one in various countries including Canada, Italy, Finland, and Sweden and charting within the top ten in other countries. In the United Kingdom, the song debuted at number five. The next week it rose to its peak of number three, where it stayed for two weeks.[4] It charted for a total of nine weeks on the U.K. charts and was certified silver by the BPI on September 1, 1992. According to the Official Charts Company, the song has sold 275,000 copies in the UK.[5]

Music video[edit]

The music video, directed by Alek Keshishian, was filmed in June 1992 at Raleigh Studios in Hollywood, California and Malibu Beach and world premiered on MTV on June 30, 1992, 1 day before the release of A League of Their Own. The video was commercially released in 2004 as a bonus feature on the 2-disc special edition DVD of the film. It shows a young man viewing a photo album, as Madonna sings in different settings from within the various pictures inside the album. Scenes from A League of Their Own also appear on the album during the song's instrumental break. As the video ends, the viewer having reached the end of the album, then scrolls backwards through the previous photo album pages.

  • Director: Alek Keshishian
  • Producer: unknown
  • Director of Photography: unknown
  • Editor: Jim Haygood
  • Production Company: Propaganda Films

The video has been compared to Boy George's video for his 1987 single, "To Be Reborn", released less than five years before "This Used to Be My Playground", in which the singer also appears on pages of a photo album, performing his song. Similarities have been noticed on numerous internet blogs, some claiming that Madonna had copied George's idea.[6][7] Boy George himself stated in his autobiography that he was "furious" after watching Madonna's video and renamed it "This Used to Be My Video".[8][9]

British electronic musician Andi Fraggs has used the same concept for the backdrop video of "Life Follows You" in 2012.[10][11]

Track listing[edit]

Worldwide 7" vinyl, Cassette single / Japanese 3" CD single
  1. "This Used to Be My Playground" (single version)
  2. "This Used to Be My Playground" (long version)
European 12" vinyl / Worldwide CD single
  1. "This Used to Be My Playground" (single version) – 5:08
  2. "This Used to Be My Playground" (instrumental version) – 6:54
  3. "This Used to Be My Playground" (long version) – 6:03
  • In the US, the single was not released on 12" vinyl, instead it was only available on 7" vinyl, CD and cassette formats.


Preceded by
"Baby Got Back" by Sir Mix-a-Lot
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 number-one single
August 8, 1992
Succeeded by
"End of the Road" by Boyz II Men
Preceded by
"I'll Be There" by Mariah Carey
Canadian RPM Singles Chart number-one single
August 15, 1992 - August 29, 1992
Succeeded by
"The One" by Elton John
Preceded by
"Rhythm Is a Dancer" by Snap!
"Hanno Ucciso l'Uomo Ragno" by 883
Italian Singles Chart number-one single
August 15, 1992 – September 5, 1992 (first run)
September 26, 1992 – October 10, 1992 (second run)
Succeeded by
"Hanno Ucciso L'Uomo Ragno" by 883
"It's Probably Me" by Sting and Eric Clapton
Preceded by
"Abba-esque" by Erasure
Swedish Singles Chart number-one single
September 30, 1992 - October 7, 1992
Succeeded by
"Om du Var Min" by Mauro Scocco

Cover versions[edit]

The 2006 compilation The World's Greatest 80s Tribute to Madonna features a cover by British new wave/synthpop band A Flock of Seagulls.


  1. ^ a b "Madonna Tribe meets Tony Shimkin". Madonna Tribe. 2012-10-20. Retrieved 2014-01-23. 
  2. ^ a b Console Confessions: The Great Music Producers in Their Own Words. Hal Leonard Corporation. Retrieved 2014-02-13. 
  3. ^ [1]
  4. ^ "Top 40 Official UK Singles Archive". 
  5. ^ "Madonna: The Official Top 40". MTV. MTV Networks. Retrieved 2010-12-20. 
  6. ^ "This Used to Be My Video. Boy George and Madonna. The Two Greats.". Retrieved 2012-12-28. 
  7. ^ "Madonna Ripped Off Boy George". Retrieved 2012-12-28. 
  8. ^ George, Boy (1995). Take It Like a Man. Pan Books. p. 521. 
  9. ^ "Interview: Boy George on Lady Gaga, Madonna, Adele and Much More!". Retrieved 2012-12-28. 
  10. ^ "LIFE FOLLOWS YOU (PIANO VERSION) - ANDI FRAGGS (LIVE) 02/02/13". YouTube. Retrieved 2013-05-18. 
  11. ^ "Andi Fraggs - "Life Follows You" Live at the Comedy Pub". YouTube. Retrieved 2012-12-28. 
  12. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Madonna - This Used to Be My Playground (song)". Australian Recording Industry Association. Hung Medien. Retrieved 2014-03-15. 
  13. ^ "Volume 56, No. 7, August 15 1992". RPM. August 15, 1992. Retrieved 2014-03-16. 
  14. ^ "De Nederlandse Top 40" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40. Radio 538. Retrieved 2014-03-16. 
  15. ^ Nyman, Jake (2005). Suomi soi 4: Suuri suomalainen listakirja (in Finnish) (1st ed.). Helsinki: Tammi. ISBN 951-31-2503-3. 
  16. ^ "Irish Singles Chart – Search for song". Irish Recorded Music Association. Retrieved 2014-03-16. 
  17. ^ "Madonna: Discografia Italiana" (in Italian). Federation of the Italian Music Industry. 1984–1999. Retrieved 2010-01-08. 
  18. ^ Salaverri, Fernando (September 2005). Sólo éxitos: año a año, 1959–2002 (1st ed.). Spain: Fundación Autor-SGAE. ISBN 84-8048-639-2. 
  19. ^ "The Official Charts Company - This Used To Be My Playground by Madonna Search". The Official Charts Company. 10 June 2014. 
  20. ^ a b "Madonna > Charts & Awards > Billboard Singles". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 2014-03-15. 
  21. ^
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  23. ^ "Top Annuale Singles: 1992" (in Italian). Federation of the Italian Music Industry. Retrieved 2011-07-19. 
  24. ^
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  26. ^ "Billboard Top 100 - 1992". Retrieved 2010-07-30. 
  27. ^ "BPI Searchable Database". British Phonographic Industry. 
  28. ^ "Madonna-This Used To Be My Playground-Single Certification". Recording Industry Association of America. 

External links[edit]