Borderline was the breakout hit that established Madonna as a pop sensation in the US, but while this 80s classic introduced one of the “Queen Of Pop”’s most enduring personae, it has rarely been performed live… Here’s the story behind one of the most important songs in the Madonna’s career.
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Who wrote Borderline?
The single that established Madonna as a bona fide pop sensation was written by the primary producer of her self-titled debut album. Reggie Lucas had started out as an R&B and jazz guitarist and, along with percussionist James Mtume, successfully relaunched himself in the 70s as a writer and producer. The pair worked with Stephanie Mills and Roberta Flack, before going their separate ways at the start of the next decade; Mtume would lead a band under his own name and enjoy a UK Top 40 hit with Juicy Fruit in 1983 while, that same year, Lucas was drafted in to produce Madonna’s debut album for Sire Records. He would also write one of the other tracks for the record, Physical Attraction, which was a sizeable club success for the rising star.
Was Borderline Madonna’s first hit?
Released on 15 February 1984, Borderline was the fourth US single lifted from Madonna’s debut album. Issued after Holiday, it recached No.10 in June 1984, thanks to MTV’s decision to embrace the promo video and put it into heavy rotation. Giving her the first of a record-breaking run of US Billboard Top 10 hits, the song also made Billboard’s dance and adult contemporary listings – evidence of its dynamic cross-market appeal.