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20 Years Of The Blond Ambition Tour



Blond Ambition Tour
On April 13th, 1990 Madonna was about to start her third concert tour in support of her fourth studio album “Like a Prayer” and her second soundtrack album, “I’m Breathless”. Who could have guessed this would become one of the most influential tours of all time, one after which any other tour of a pop star would be measured against?

Where was Madonna’s career in 1990?

Madonna’s entire career is one huge anomaly. Close to 40 years after her career debut we are still talking about her, she still makes headlines and even more importantly, she still makes great music with “Madame X” (2019) ending up on many “best of” lists for 2019 even if she was snubbed for a Grammy.

This is why trying to choose a peak for Madonna’s career is close to impossible but there is one era we can surely say is close to the top: the Blond Ambition Tour era. During this time, Madonna has shown that she isn’t just a very smart businesswoman, but also one of the top artists of her day – in retrospect, we can even say of all times.

While she started as a teen idol in the mid-1980s, by the early 1990s she transformed herself into a woman that adults could look up to, could talk about without sounding like they’re trying to keep up with the kids of the day, but also without alienating her teen fanbase. So when she went on tour in 1990, it was bound to be a success.

Why is this tour so iconic?

If you had to sketch Madonna so another person could guess who you’re drawing, it’s very likely that you’d use a cone bra, a blonde ponytail, and a hands-free microphone that thanks to this tour, it has become known as a “Madonna mike”. There was no use of the cvn300 model yet, but she made it work!

The tour had five segments: “Metropolis” (which was inspired by the German film of the same name), “Religious” (inspired by her Catholic upbringing), “Dick Tracy” (after the movie she starred in 1990), “Art Deco” (her tribute to the early years of Hollywood fashion), and an encore.

Looking at these segments, it’s not hard to see why the tour was such a critical success. Artists thrive when they present work inspired by their real-life emotions and experiences, by their interests, etc. We all know Madonna has a thing for questioning religious dogmas and she loves old Hollywood glamour so the tour imagery fit her like a glove.

By using elaborate sets and costume changes that told a story, Madonna basically combined the worlds of opera and rock’n’roll and created a spectacle that is still entertaining 30 years after its debut. Her progressive views on feminism, racism or queer rights were tabu back then and they’re still controversial today, which makes the tour age like fine wine.

This was a show that was accessible to many and it would make you leave the stadium not only entertained but also asking yourself questions: why is female sexuality such a tabu when Michael Jackson and Prince aren’t doing anything that different and they don’t get the same criticism?

The setlist also reads as a sort-of greatest hits for the Queen of Pop as she performed “Holiday”, “Like a Virgin”, “Papa Don’t Preach”, “Like a Prayer”, “Express Yourself” and “Vogue” among other classics. And we must give a shout-out to the costumes of Jean-Paul Gaultier as they changed how a pop star could look like!

Fortunately, her artistry remains as seen by her next tours such as “The Girlie Show”, “Confessions Tour” and her most recent one, “Madame X Tour”. We just can’t wait to see what she has prepared for us next!

By Erick Ycaza

Hi, my name is Erick Ycaza. I have a BA in Advertising & Graphic Design. This blog is to provide you with daily music news and share my personal style. Surprisingly, I have been blogging and writing about music since 2007.