There is also an unreleased rap for “Id Rather Be Your Lover” by the late 2Pac Shakur which may later surface on a future 2Pac box set. The released version features a different rap by Me’Shell Ndegeocello. The 2Pac rap is currently only found on his bootleg album “East 2 West” which is readily available on the Internet featuring Madonna’s lead vocal. The lyrics to his unreleased rap are: Hey, they minds diff’rent from what they lips say even when the media is gettin’ greedy you make they hips sway hitin’ with the bomb ambition. I caught you peepin’, no more sleepin’ I got you freakin’ through the through whole weekend. Fakes speakin’, is it mashin’ or just they heat try to get me all up in your satan sheets. What they say, a blonde and a thug brotha the way you getting’ paid, I wish I was yo lova.
The late 1995 Madonna ballads collection “Something To Rememeber” spawned the dance remixes for “Love Don’t Live Here Anymore” which were issued to club DJ’s at the promotional level, but not at retail. These are well liked by Madonna collectors, and additional ballads converted to dance anthems were expected to follow. Instead “Evita” took over, but not before dance mixes of the Marvin Gaye remake “I Want You” leaked out. Junior Vasquez may have produced this mix. It is thought to have been officially commissioned due to the high quality of the mix. Other so-called “official/unreleased” remixes are usually of a lower standard, and are actually bootleg versions.
Madonna’s most recent studio album “Ray Of Light” was originally planned as techno project with Robert Miles, Trent Reznor, Nelle Hooper, Babyace, and William Orbit as musical collaborators. In the end, only Orbit was retained. There may be early demos of the “Ray Of Light” songs co-produced with one or more of the original line-up, but none have turned up so far. One track “Skin” is known to have first been titled “Flirtation Dance”, and may have had different lyrics. This alternate title is documented on the songs copyright submission. Ever since this album was released, reports of a never completed dance remix album called “Veronica Electronica” featuring songs from the “Ray Of Light” album have been rather persistent. There are thought to be officially commissioned unreleased remixes of “To Have And Not To Hold” by Goldie, which were never turned back in to Madonna. Another track from “Ray Of Light” called “Has To Be” appears on the album only outside of North America. Other reports of unreleased mixes have not been well supported, and are probably independently produced bootlegs.
The demand for unreleased Madonna recordings has increased greatly in the last few years. Unfortunately misinformation is eventually accepted as fact by the fan base. Sometimes releases label recordings as Madonna or Madonna related when they have nothing to do with her at all. The earliest Madonna bootleg fraud was the inclusion of the song “Lies In Your Eyes” on some collections (such as “Cover Girl”). This song was supposed to feature Madonna with the band I-Level on this supposedly unreleased track from the “Vision Quest Soundtrack”. This has proven not to contain any Madonna vocals. Both Stephen Bray and the Warner-Chappell Publishing have confirmed that the unreleased “Vision Quest” song title is the previously mentioned “Warning Signs”. Bray also informed Goldmine; I-Level sent us a demo and I remember discussing it. We liked it but we never recorded it”. Other reports of lost Madonna songs for the mid 80’s “Fast Forward Soundtrack”, and a tune called “Call Me Mr. Telephone” have also proven to be false according to Bray, even though both claims were printed in a major Madonna biography.
Most bootleg Madonna releases are live performances from 1985 Virgin Tour, The 1987 Who’s That Girl Tour, The 1990 Blond Ambition Tour, or The 1993 Girlie Show. Quality varies greatly as do the track listings. Some come direct from the sound mixing boards at the venue. Not all releases contain the complete show, and some are even mislabeled. It is best to consult with other collectors to know which releases offer the best sound before making a purchase unless you are interested only in the unique photo cover.
Also becoming more common are counterfeit duplicates of Madonna’s official releases on CD and picture discs from countries like Mexico, China, Bulgaria, Russia, and the Ukraine. Other popular items are the illegitimate “Greatest hits” collections that tend to be revised and re-issued in these same countries as Madonna’s career progresses. One release called “Madonna Best 98” from Asia even mistakenly contains tracks by Bananarama. Many of these earn their collectable value from the unique picture covers and alternate graphics. These illegal issues cost the recording industry millions of dollars in lost revenue in those very same markets every year.
The latest bootleg scam is to imply the familiar name of a popular producer onto a bootleg dance remix in an attempt to lend credibility to what is really an unauthorized, and even a homemade version. Rumors of a canceled Madonna remix album have given fuel to bootleggers who try to pass off an unauthorized version, as “one of those unreleased, but official” mixes. I know of at least three cases.
Alternate dance remixes of “Crazy For You ’96”, “Candy Perfume Girl” and “Ray Of Light” are all currently circulating in the collectors market. They were thought by many fans to have been remixed by Tony Moran (on white label vinyl), Todd Terry (found on CD boot collection), and Hani (for “Veronica Electronica”) respectively. The names associated with these mixes are familiar and popular with those who frequent the club scene, and give a sense of quality to the collector who buys them. I recently spoke with an unnamed industry insider who works closely with all three of these producers on a daily basis. He strongly explained to me “They have (had) nothing to do with (those) titles, or any other (Madonna) tittles for that matter.” At that point, I mentioned that Tony Moran does list Gary Barlow’s single “Love Won’t Wait” (written by Madonna and Shep Pettibone) on his remixography (which appears to be truly unreleased). I was then told by my source “Yeah, but the Gary Barlow record was a fiasco, it’s better if you just keep (them) out of anything about (Madonna).” He added “The problem is that Madonna works only with a small group of people, a very small camp, and (they’re) not a part of it. Todd, Hani, and Tony, they’ve never done anything (for) her.”
If a bootleg release implies that a song was remixed by an industry heavyweight like Junior Vasquez, buyer beware is this authors advice! It doesn’t mean that it is really true. Technology has made it possible to produce convincing remixes. Some versions may have been done by that big name for their own dance club as claimed, but they still may not have been officially commissioned. Production qualities can very greatly, and some are simply be the original production with a new drum and bass track mixed on top of it. Don’t be fooled until you have heard it yourself. Some of them are very good.