Any Madonna fan knows “Into the Groove” by heart. It was originally released as a single when “Desperately Seeking Susan” was released in 1985. However, there’s an interesting backstory as to why and how it was included in the film. “Into the Groove” was originally a demo that Madonna had recorded with Stephen Bray. The song was intended for Cheyne, an up-and-coming singer at the time. But Madonna changed her mind.
While filming a scene at the Danceteria nightclub in New York, the film’s director, Susan Seidelman, needed a dance track. Madonna immediately thought of her “Into the Groove” demo and offered it for inclusion in the film. Although Madonna ruffled some feathers by taking the song for herself, she stood her ground. As we now know, it became one of her defining hit singles. Sorry, Cheyne.
Art Imitates Life
As Madonna’s star was rising, she was invited to audition for a little movie called “Desperately Seeking Susan.” She was cast in the role of Susan even though she had never starred in a mainstream movie before. The main reason she got the part was because the studio wanted to cast an “up-and-comer” as Susan.
Interestingly, art imitated life for Madonna’s first big-budget acting role. The movie takes place in New York City and is an homage to the club scene, which Madonna was heavily involved in before her career took off. Her real-life experience brought authenticity to the role. It’s a funny example of how life comes full circle sometimes.
The universe was smiling on Madonna in 1985. The release of her first major film, “Desperately Seeking Susan,” coincided perfectly with her skyrocketing fame. When studio execs cast Madonna as Susan, she was still a relatively unknown pop singer. During the course of filming, more and more people began recognizing her on the streets of New York City.
Her second album, “Like a Virgin,” came out around the time that filming was wrapping up, and she blew up. The studio that produced “Suddenly Seeking Susan” rushed post-production in order to release the movie in tandem with Madonna’s media attention. Apparently, they wanted to ride the high of her publicity as fast as possible because they were afraid it wouldn’t last. How wrong they were!
A Beastie Boys Connection
The 80s certainly had some strange musical collaborations and pairings. Madonna’s “Like a Virgin” tour is a perfect example. A little rap group called the Beastie Boys opened for the megastar on a few tour stops. Ever heard of them? If you know their music, you know that this is a strange pairing.
Madonna and the Beastie Boys are completely different musical genres, so we can’t imagine that many of Madonna’s fans also listened to 80s hip-hop and rap. “I don't know why she thought it would be a good idea though. It was a terrible idea. But it was great for her in a way because we were so awful that by the time she came onstage, the audience had to be happy,” Ad-Rock recalled.
Lauper Vs. Madonna
Any 80s music fan knows that Cyndi Lauper was a big pop star around the same time as Madonna in the 80s. Cyndi’s hit “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” came out in 1983, around the same time that Madonna’s star was rising. As the music industry so often does, it immediately pitted the two female singers against each other.
Despite what the media said back then, the two didn’t actually have a rivalry. The two never became close friends, but they didn’t hate each other, either. In the early 80s, the two women would get mistaken for each other all the time, but it never bothered Cyndi. Eventually, the fake rivalry died down because their careers took different paths.