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Music / I'm Breathless

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Don’t just stand there, let’s get to it
Strike a pose, there’s nothing to it

I'm Breathless is the soundtrack album created for the 1990 film Dick Tracy. It was released through Sire Records on May 22, 1990.

The album was co-produced and recorded by Madonna, who also co-starred in the film. It features the hits "Vogue" and "Hanky Panky". Actually, only three of the songs from the album — "Sooner Or Later", "More", and "What Can You Lose" — were ever really used in the film, with "Now I'm Following You" re-recorded by a different artist.note  Also, "Vogue" was originally intended to be a B-side to Madonna's "Keep It Together" single from Like a Prayer, but executives thought that it was too good a song to be wasted as a B-side and instead released it as a single prior to the album's release.

I'm Breathless would sell seven million copies worldwide, being certified Double-Platinum by the RIAA. "Vogue" would reach #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 (her eighth) and the UK pop chart (her seventh).

Track listing

  1. "He's The Man"
  2. "Sooner Or Later"
  3. "Hanky Panky"
  4. "I'm Going Bananas"
  5. "Cry Baby"
  6. "Something To Remember"
  7. "Back In Business"
  8. "More"
  9. "What Can You Lose"
  10. "Now I'm Following You (Part 1)"
  11. "Now I'm Following You (Part 2)"
  12. "Vogue"

Strike a trope! There's nothing to it!

  • Alliterative Title: "Back in Business".
  • Bad Girl Song: "Back In Business", only here her badness is established in being a villain.
  • Book Ends: Feather fans at the beginning and end of the video for "Vogue".
  • Break-Up Song: "Something To Remember", where the protagonist is left behind by her loved one.
  • Concept Album: Consists of pastiches of songs from The Roaring '20s. Only "Vogue" doesn't fit because it was released before the album.
  • Dance Sensation: "Vogue", named for the dance style that was popular near the end of the 1980s.
  • Dated History: When her song "Vogue" was released on March 20, 1990, more than half of the people on her list were still alive (Greta Garbo, Marlene Dietrich, Joe DiMaggio, Marlon Brando, Gene Kelly, Ginger Rogers, Lauren Bacall, Katharine Hepburn, and Lana Turner). Garbo became the first to die about a month after "Vogue" was released; and by the time the last person on the list died on August 12, 2014 (Bacall), you'll never listen to the song in the same way again, as the anthem for the lost glamour of Old Hollywood is now turned into a Tear Jerker.
  • Deliberately Monochrome: The "Vogue" music video.
  • Determinator: “Sooner or Later” expresses Breathless Mahoney’s determination to get Dick Tracy to fall in love with her, no matter what the cost.
  • Don't Look At Me: "Vogue", particularly the single version and the later-released Immaculate Collection version.
  • Face on the Cover: Madonna and Warren Beatty. Also alluded to in "Vogue":
    Marlon Brando, Jimmy Dean
    On the cover of a magazine
  • Greed: The subject of "More".
  • "I Want" Song: "More", where the protagonist wants more.
  • Kinky Spanking: The subject of "Hanky Panky".
  • Let's Duet: "What Can You Lose" with Mandy Patinkin and "Now I'm Following You" with Warren Beatty.
  • List Song: "Vogue" features a list near the end of the song of famous celebrities from The Golden Age of Hollywood.
  • Married to the Job: "He's The Man", with her subject being Dick Tracy and her dislike of his job getting in the way of his relationship (or in-universe, the one she would want with him).
  • Men Don't Cry: The subject of "Cry Baby" is a man who cries, which annoys the singer to the point where she might cry herself.
  • One-Word Title: "More", "Vogue".
  • Punny Title: Madonna plays Breathless Mahoney in Dick Tracy, so she's breathless and Breathless.
  • Quit Your Whining: The singer of "Cry Baby" gets so annoyed with the subject's crying that she says, "Will you knock it off, please?", and follows it up with a "thank you" when the crying stops. The same sound bites are later used at the end of "Now I'm Following You (Part 2)".
  • Rearrange the Song: "Now I'm Following You (Part 2)" is a rearrangement of Part 1 to make it a more 1990s-style dance song.
  • Record Producer: Madonna, Patrick Leonard, Bill Bottrell, Kevin Gilbert, and Shep Pettibone.
  • Record Needle Scratch: At the beginning and end of "Now I'm Following You (Part 2)".
  • Repetitive Audio Glitch: "Now I'm Following You (Part 2)" begins with the record skipping, presumably after Part 1 finishes playing if you're listening to the entire album straight from the CD. Madonna says "Oh, dear" and fixes the record player so that it starts with the playing of Part 2's music.
  • Shout-Out: "Vogue" references glamorous Hollywood actors and actresses: Greta Garbo, Marilyn Monroe, Marlene Dietrich and Monroe's husband baseball star Joe DiMaggio, Marlon Brando, James Dean, Jean Harlow, Grace Kelly, Gene Kelly, Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers, Rita Hayworth, Lauren Bacall, Katharine Hepburn, Lana Turner, Bette Davis ("we love you")
  • Special Guest: Mandy Patinkin in "What Can You Lose" and Warren Beatty in "Now I'm Following You".
  • Stock Pose: "Vogue"
    Strike a pose!
  • Villain Song: "Back In Business", where the girl protagonist is a villain.
  • Voice Clip Song: "Now I'm Following You (Part 2)", which uses various Madonna and Dick Tracy voice clips, even Madonna saying "Dick" pitch-shifted into notes for the song's melody.


Video Example(s):


Madonna- Vogue

During the song, "Vogue", Madonna lists several celebrities from Hollywood's Golden Era.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (1 votes)

Example of:

Main / ListSong

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