On May 11, 1985, Madonna reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart with her first big ballad, “Crazy for You.” The song helped cement her status as a bona fide pop star. She had already raised some eyebrows with “Like a Virgin” in November 1984, but “Crazy for You” was a big departure from her usual sexy dance-pop sound, marking her first foray into the world of sentimental songs.
Madonna, however, was a little-known artist when she signed on to sing “Crazy for You.” The song, recorded in 1983, was part of the soundtrack for the movie Vision Quest. This coming-of-age sports drama was then delayed for more than a year, which meant Madonna’s second album, Like a Virgin, hit record stores months before the film made it to the theaters. Teenage fans had already started wearing rubber bracelets, rosaries and racy outfits by the time Vision Quest debuted in February 1985. Here are a few fun facts about the making of the song:
“Crazy for You” was a bigger hit than the movie it came from
Vision Quest stars Matthew Modine as a high school wrestler who decides to go up against the most feared opponent in the state. But equal time on screen was devoted to Modine pursuing an older woman played by Linda Fiorentino. In all, Vision Quest brought in just over $12 million, according to Box Office Mojo. The filmmakers even tried to capitalize on the success of the song, retitling the picture Crazy for You when it was released in England and several other countries.
You can catch one of Madonna’s early acting appearances in ‘Vision Quest’
She played the singer in a club — not a stretch for her by any measure. According to Rolling Stone, Madonna’s first film was the 1979 offbeat underground work called A Certain Sacrifice. Later in 1985, however, she tackled her first starring role as Susan in Desperately Seeking Susan. She also tied the knot with actor Sean Penn that August. The two would go on to star together in the 1986 box office bomb Shanghai Surprise.
Madonna’s record company didn’t want “Crazy for You” released as a single
She was signed with Sire Records at the time, but the Vision Quest soundtrack was put out by Geffen Records. Her label was concerned about the song competing with other tracks from her second album Like a Virgin. She already had a hit with “Like a Virgin” and “Material Girl” when “Crazy for You” came out. Several of Madonna’s videos were getting a lot of airplay on MTV, and some worried the singer might be overexposed.
Madonna’s then-boyfriend produced the song
John “Jellybean” Benitez also produced her first pop hit, “Holiday,” which made the charts in 1983. They dated for two years, from 1983 to 1985, according to People magazine. Madonna also gave his career a boost, too. She co-wrote his 1984 hit “Sidewalk Talk.”
“Crazy for You” had a second life as a single in 1991
The song returned to the charts after being re-released to promote Madonna’s greatest hits album The Immaculate Collection. “Crazy for You” nearly made it to the top of the UK charts the second time around.