Once Upon a Time in the Top Spot: Madonna, “Crazy for You”
32 years ago today, Madonna rose to the pinnacle of the Billboard Hot 100 for the second time in her career with a track from a film about a love story between a high-school wrestler and an older woman.
“Crazy for You” featured lyrics by John Bettis, who penned the words for The Carpenters’ “Yesterday Once More,” Michael Jackson’s “Human Nature,” The Pointer Sisters’ “Slow Hand,” and so many other hits. The music, meanwhile, came courtesy of Jon Lind, arguably best known for “Boogie Wonderland,” by Earth, Wind and Fire with The Emotions, and Vanessa Williams’ “Save the Best for Last.” It was legendary producer Phil Ramone, however, who pitched Madonna as the perfect person to sing the track. It took a bit of work behind the scenes to make the track work as well as it ultimately did, but you can credit that success to the combined efforts of producer Jellybean Benitez and arranger Rob Mounsey.
Historically speaking, “Crazy for You” was a very important track for Madonna, as it introduced her to an adult contemporary audience for the first time. It also served to show her existing fans that she wasn’t just destined to spend her career as a dance-pop diva: she was quite capable of turning in an affecting ballad.
“Crazy for You” has been called “the ultimate slow-dance song.” If you came of age in the mid-1980s, this should be a very easy premise to accept, but if you’ve never tried it, find yourself a significant other and hit the dance floor. (You can thank us later.)