Madonna’s 63rd Birthday Present: Makes a Deal to Revive Her Old Record Catalog with Warner Music, Get Ready for Demo Mixes of “Like a Virgin”

Madonna is reeling in the years.

As her recording career turns 40 in the next couple of years, it’s time to button it all up and start releasing box sets and the like to her core fans.

As today is Madonna’s 63rd birthday, she announces a gift — to us? to her? She’s made a big overall deal with her original record company, Warner Music, for all kinds of anniversary releases. The press release says Warner Music but it comes from Rhino, which does all the company’s repackaging rather brilliantly. Madonna is becoming a Rhino artist. Good for her!

The announcement also says she’s made some kind of deal with Warner’s Warner Chappell Publishing for the few hits she co-wrote including “Like A Prayer,” “Vogue,” “Into the Groove,” “La Isla Bonita,” “Live to Tell,” “True Blue,” “Open Your Heart,” “Who’s That Girl,” “Express Yourself,” “Lucky Star,” and “Take a Bow.” But pretty much all those songs had co-writers or main writers. Publishing and writing have never been Madonna’s strong suite. Patrick Leonard, Stephen Bray, Mirwais, et al wrote the songs that made her a star.

Not mentioned in the release are the men who made Madonna possible: Seymour Stein, the head of Sire Records, which was distributed by Warners; and manager Freddie deMann. A lot of eggs were broken to make the omelette known as Madonna. But as the “Respect” movie swept away all people who contributed to her life, so too are the Madonna ingredients. Seymour Stein probably feels a lot of empathy for Ahmet Ertegun reading today’s announcement.

Will fans want all the demos and remixes of “”Material Girl” and “Like a Virgin”? God bless them, they’re coming. But demos and outtakes from the “Sex” book? Now there’s an idea!

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