First of all I enjoyed last night's second part of the Countdown special - great interviews, a good selection of clips and very interesting to watch. While I would have loved it to have been longer that we got a 2 part special at all is at least something to be thankful for and am glad Countdown's anniversary has been well celebrated.
But something during last night's special got on my nerves. Yet again it perpetuated the myth that Countdown gave Madonna her first No. 1 single anywhere in the world with 'Holiday'.
Not once in any of the 1984 Countdown episodes have I seen Holiday be No. 1. 'Like A Virgin' became a No. 1 hit, but not Holiday. And yet I have seen several times 'Holiday' as being the song that gave Madonna her first No. 1 hit. I have looked at several other chart books for that period and cannot see 'Holiday' listed as being No. 1 - it did make No. 2 however but not the top spot.
Seems to be a bit of myth-making going on or maybe people were confused as to which song actually got to No. 1. Still, which song was Madonna's first No. 1 and did it come from Australia?
Another thing - I've read elsewhere that when 'Holiday' supposedly became her 'No. 1 worldwide hit due to Countdown', that Madonna requested that she would be interviewed only by Molly for the first 3 years of her fame. Sounds a bit odd to me......
I love Madonna and Molly a lot and their contribution to music has been incalculable....but methinks somewhere along the line the truth has been played around with a little......
I interpreted the 'first #1' to be 'Like a Virgin'... which hit #1 here on 10th December 1984... though the printed top 50 chart for that week has it as week ending 16th December 1984.
Looking through the chart information I know how/where to access, Madonna's first #1's in these countries (ordered chronologically) was:
US - 'Like a Virgin' (17th Dec 1984)
Ireland - 'Into the Groove' (can't get exact date, but it's July 1985 or later)
UK - 'Into the Groove' (3rd Aug 1985)
New Zealand - 'Into the Groove' (11th Aug 1985)
Netherlands - 'Into the Groove' (24th Aug 1985)
Belgium - 'Into the Groove' (14th Sep 1985)
Norway - 'Papa Don't Preach' (31st chart of 1986, not sure of exact date)
Germany - 'La Isla Bonita' (1987, can't get exact date)
Switzerland - 'La Isla Bonita' (31st May 1987)
Austria - 'La Isla Bonita' (1st Jun 1987)
France - 'La Isla Bonita' (11th Jul 1987)
Sweden - 'Like a Prayer' (5th Apr 1989)
Finland - 'Frozen' (7th chart of 1998, not sure of exact date) (*but only have access to data from 1995 onwards)
So, based on the above stats, Australia actually DID give Madonna her 'first #1' (single)... by a whole DAY
And here is the chart for that week (I didn't do the underlining):
edit - well if you want to actually read it, you'll have to click here
I remember Madonna's 2nd single 'Burning Up' did better here than in the U.S, but It didn't reach number 1.
And "Burning Up" was one of her best ever singles - should have been a #1.
Thanks for the interesting info Nathan, much appreciated.
The special seemed to imply that Holiday was the single that was No. 1 - it showed a clip from it while saying she got her first No. 1 tune anywhere in the world via Countdown.
Anyway, yes loved Burning Up too - a great track and clip - one of her early best.
Isn't it always funny when they show the video for 'Holiday' ie the TOTP's performance, they try to give the impression and mislead viewers that it was a Countdown performance.
Molly has a few times said Australia gave Madonna her first No.1 with 'Holiday', both in print and verbally.