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If Madonna Calls

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"If Madonna Calls"
A black telephone against a white background, with the song name written across it.
Single by Junior Vasquez
ReleasedJune 7, 1996 (1996-06-07)
Format
StudioLectrolux Studio
GenreElectronic
Length4:08
LabelGroovilicious
Songwriter(s)Junior Vasquez
Producer(s)
  • Junior Vasquez
  • Michael McDavid (exec.)
Junior Vasquez singles chronology
"Lift Me Up"
(1995)
"If Madonna Calls"
(1996)
"Ab Fab (I Am Thin and Gorgeous)"
(1997)

"If Madonna Calls" is a song by American DJ and record producer Junior Vasquez, released as a single on June 7, 1996, by Groovilicious Records. The track includes a snippet of American singer Madonna's voice recorded from Vasquez's answering machine. It was composed after Madonna allegedly failed to appear at one of Vasquez's performances at the last minute. The singer never approved of the track and ended her professional relationship with Vasquez. The track received positive critical feedback and reached number two on the US Dance Club Songs chart and number 24 on the UK Singles Chart.

Background[edit]

Madonna failed to appear during one of Vasquez's performances held at New York City nightclub Tunnel (pictured) at the last moment, which prompted the creation of "If Madonna Calls"

Junior Vasquez had introduced Madonna to vogue at The Sound Factory Bar in New York City. She became friends with the producer and was later inspired by the dance form to compose her 1990 single "Vogue".[1] Vasquez remixed the singles from Madonna's 1994 studio album, Bedtime Stories, as well as composing many unreleased mixes.[2] Vasquez referred to "If Madonna Calls" as a "bitch track", explaining it as "simply queens reading queens".[1] The track was recorded at Lectrolux Studio[3] and includes a snippet of Madonna's voice recorded from Vasquez's answering machine.[4] The vocal loop repeats the phrases "Are you there?" and "Call me in Miami" while another voice responds "Tell her I'm not here".[5] Fred Jorio assisted Vasquez in the recording of the track, as well as programming and engineering it. Sound engineers Don Grossinger and Greg Vaughn also worked on the song. Tom Moulton did the audio mastering and the editing of the song, with Michael McDavid acting as executive producer. David K. Kessler designed the cover artwork of the CD single.[3]

"If Madonna Calls" was released as a single by Groovilicious Records on June 7, 1996, in the United States and ten days later in the United Kingdom.[6][7] On September 21, 2010, Vasquez released another four remixes of the song after teaming up with German producer duo Fisher & Fiebak.[8] The song was reportedly produced after Madonna failed to appear during one of Vasquez's performances held at New York City nightclub Tunnel at the last moment. Although never confirmed, Madonna did not approve of Vasquez's actions, ending their professional relationship on bad terms.[9] Chances for reconciliation are impossible according to Madonna's longtime publicist Liz Rosenberg, who in a June 2003 news story in New York said "I can assure you that Madonna will never work with Junior again."[10] Vasquez later worked for Madonna and remixed her 2003 single "Hollywood" for a Versace show in Milan.[1] He had also tried to sell copies of his remix of Madonna's 2002 single "Die Another Day", but was stopped by the singer's legal representatives.[11]

Reception[edit]

Author Georges Claude Guilbert noted in his book, Madonna as Postmodern Myth, that the singer occupied a "privileged position" on the track. Along with the singer's vocals, there is other "playfully" sung and spoken commentary by Franklin Fuentes on the single. Guilbert theorized that previously when artists used music samples, they chose known figures like Winston Churchill, Sean Connery or Peter Sellers for commentary in the song. Similarly, using Madonna's voice as a sample in the song was an indication of her growing popularity.[9]

Author John Walton Cotman noted in his book Cuban Transitions at the Millennium that many people in Miami would state that they were in close contact with Madonna. He believed the song was mocking them, with the main vocals in the track dismissing Madonna searching for Vasquez.[12] Larry Flick from Billboard gave positive feedback, calling it the most "anticipated electronic dance music release" of the time. Describing it as "irresistible", Flick commended Vasquez's production, as well as the remixes accompanying the original track, and hoped that the record label would release an edited version for radio programmers.[5]

"If Madonna Calls" was successful on the US Billboard Dance Club Songs chart, where it reached a peak of number two on August 8, 1996, and was present on the chart for a total of 13 weeks.[13] It also reached number eight on the Billboard Dance Singles Sales chart.[14] In Canada, the song reached number seven on the RPM Dance/Urban Singles chart.[15] In the UK, the song debuted and peaked at number 24 on the UK Singles Chart, being present for just two weeks.[16]

Track listings[edit]

Personnel[edit]

Credits adapted from the liner notes of the CD single.[3]

  • Junior Vasquez – songwriter, production, recording
  • Fred Jorio – recording, programming, sound engineering
  • Don Grossinger – engineering
  • Greg Vaughn – engineering
  • Michael McDavid – executive production
  • Tom Moulton – mastering, editing
  • Franklin Fuentes – vocals
  • Kelly Bienvenue – vocals
  • David K. Kessler – cover art design

Charts[edit]

Chart (1996) Peak
position
Canada Dance/Urban (RPM)[15] 7
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[16] 24
US Dance Club Songs (Billboard)[13] 2
US Dance Singles Sales (Billboard)[14] 8

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Paratore, Gregory (February 8, 2012). "The Return of Junior Vasquez". DJ Mag. Retrieved March 20, 2018.
  2. ^ Mason, Kerri (November 12, 2005). "Madonna's Young Remixer". Billboard. Retrieved March 20, 2018.
  3. ^ a b c d If Madonna Calls (CD). Junior Vasquez. New York: Groovilicious Records. 1996. GM011CD.CS1 maint: others (link)
  4. ^ Malkin, Mark S. (September 10, 2001). "Music Makes the People Come Together". New York. Retrieved March 20, 2018.
  5. ^ a b Flick, Larry (June 29, 1996). "Reviews & Previews: Dance Singles". Billboard. Vol. 108 no. 26. p. 80. ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved March 20, 2018.
  6. ^ Junior Vasquez (June 7, 1996). "If Madonna Calls". ASIN B000008R3A. Missing or empty |url= (help)
  7. ^ "Junior Vasquez 'If Madonna Calls' Vinyl". Juno Records. Retrieved March 20, 2018.
  8. ^ Junior Vasquez (September 21, 2010). "If Madonna Calls 2010". ASIN B0042DAW0Y. Missing or empty |url= (help)
  9. ^ a b Guilbert, Georges Claude (2012). Madonna as Postmodern Myth. McFarland & Company. p. 88. ISBN 0-7864-1408-1.
  10. ^ Malkin, Mark S. (June 23, 2003). "Donatella Gets Swept Away by Junior". New York. Archived from the original on March 6, 2005. Retrieved March 20, 2018.
  11. ^ Malkin, Mark S. (November 11, 2002). "Junior Vasquez's Divas du Jour". New York. Retrieved March 20, 2018.
  12. ^ Cotman, John Walton; Linger, Eloise (2008). Cuban Transitions At the Millennium. University of Virginia. p. 109. ISBN 978-0-964-36242-0.
  13. ^ a b "Junior Vasquez Chart History (Dance Club Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved May 1, 2016.
  14. ^ a b "Dance Singles Sales: Week of July 27, 1996". Billboard. Retrieved July 27, 2017.
  15. ^ a b "Top RPM Dance/Urban: Issue 9871." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved March 9, 2018.
  16. ^ a b "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved May 1, 2016.
  17. ^ "If Madonna Calls by Junior Vasquez". United States: iTunes Store. Retrieved July 29, 2017.

External links[edit]