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4.6 out of 5 stars
Something to Remember
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27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
on November 17, 2002
Format: Audio CD
After the relatively poor success of her previous albums (Erotica and Bedtime Stories), Madonna returned to top form in 1995 with Something To Remember - a stunning collection of beautiful ballads from the Queen of Pop herself. The hits on Something To Remember span a total of 12 years, from 1984's Love Don't Live Here Anymore to 1996's One More Chance. All Madonna's greatest ballads ever are all here in the ultimate collection of Madonna's finest slow-jams. The album peaked at No.3 in the UK in November 1995, and has sold 10 million copies to date worldwide. This album not only portrayed a more mature style to Madonna's vocal and songwriting abilities, but signalled that Madonna's sex-era was coming to an end...

The album starts with the superb and equally haunting I Want You. Madonna guest stars with Massive Attack on this superb ballad, yet it's Madonna's excellent vocals that make this song so exquisite. The song was never released as a single, which in a way can be a good thing; if it had been released, it would've been overplayed (having it just on this album makes it more personal). Track 2 is I'll Remember. This average Madonna song was the soundtrack to the flop film, With Honors and peaked at No.7 in the UK in April 1994. Tracks 3, 4 and 5 are Take A Bow, You'll See and Crazy For You which charted at No.16 in December 1994, No.5 in October 1995 and No.2 in March 1985 respectively. I consider Take A Bow to be one of Madonna's best ballads - and definitely one of the best on Something To Remember. You'll See is a serious and moving ballad with some amazing vocals and powerful basslines. Crazy For You, on the other hand, is another excellent slow-jam that sounds perfect playing it around Christmas time. This trilogy of classic Madonna ballads is followed by track 6, This Used To Be My Playground. Another splendid song, This Used To Be My Playground is my favourite song on the entire album. The song was released in August 1992 and peaked at No.3 in the UK, going two better at No.1 in the US. The song was the theme to the hit baseball movie, A League Of Their Own and has some amazing lyrics and instruments. Tracks 7 and 8 are Live To Tell and Love Don't Live Here Anymore. The former is a poignant and powerful ballad, one of Madonna's most memorable hits to date and peaked at No.2 in the UK in April 1986. The latter however, was never released as a single but featured on Madonna's second album Like A Virgin, yet a video was made for it. Madonna showcases her full vocal ability on this phenomenal cover version - can the album get any better?!

Well the answer to that question is yes! Track 9 is Something To Remember and is quite different to anything Madonna has ever done before. First featured on 1990's I'm Breathless, this smoochy ballad has a superb bassline and is reminiscent of 1950's jazz. Overall, another fantastic ballad from Madge! Track 10 is Forbidden Love. The song was never released as a single and featured on Madonna's 1994 album Bedtime Stories. The song is more up-tempo than slow, so even though it's a great song, I wouldn't have included it on Something To Remember. Track 11 is One More Chance and peaked at a lowly No.11 in the UK in March 1996. The main reason the song probably peaked so low is because of lack of radio airplay with no video to go with it. The song follows a sort of acapella style which exposes Madonna's raw vocals a lot more so than if the song had been studio-produced. Tracks 12 and 13 are Rain and Oh Father. Rain was released in July 1993 from the album Erotica and peaked at No.7 in the UK. The song is superb with some beautiful lyrics. Oh Father originally featured on Madonna's 1989 album Like A Prayer, but was released as a single in January 1996 after featuring on this album, peaking at No.16 in the UK. The video caused a lot of controversy, but unusually (for Madonna) didn't result in making the single a big worldwide hit. Track 14 is I Want You (ORCHESTRAL). This is just the same version as the one earlier in the album, yet (as if it wasn't obvious) is an Orchestral version - not as good as the original, but still good.

OVERALL GRADE: 10/10

All in all, Something To Remember is essential for every Madonna fan - and also those who aren't interested in her. If you're looking for a definitive ballads collection, choose this! Many artists have tried before in the past to do what Madonna has done by releasing a ballads collection, but failed terribly (Elton John springs to mind). Madonna, however, pulls it off with ease. Along with Ray Of Light, Erotica and The Immaculate Collection, this is one of Madonna's most essential albums. Is this better than The Immaculate Collection? Not quite, but time may change all that...
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
Format: Audio CD
Madonna's music has varied from her first album to her last. Her music is probably not evolutionary because there appears to be little in the way of progression from "Material Girl" to the techno tracks of "Music". I do think that Madonna has taken the opportunity as a successful artist to experiment with her music, trying something new, sometimes new age, sometimes progressive, always trying to find what works for her.
Throughout her career, one thing has been a constant for Madonna: She has the voice to carry beautiful ballads. This CD is a collection of some of the most beautiful music Madonna has ever sang. While not truly a greatest hits, many of the songs were in fact hits. The goal of this album appears to be similar to that of Elton John's "Love Songs" CD, where Elton's mellow music was similarly collected. Madonna's CD could also have been titled "Love Songs", but of course that title was already taken, and the title reflects one of her hits included on this CD.
"This Used to Be My Playground" from "A League of Their Own", an outstanding song, "You'll See", perhaps Madonna's best song of all time (my opinion!), "I'll Remember" from "With Honors", "Take a Bow", and "Something to Remember" are among the highlights that exercise a voice that can be as absolutely gorgeous as the artist with the voice. I could include most of the other songs on this CD as well, but these particular songs carry feelings that lesser artists would either have difficult to convey, or be unable to convey at all. I sometimes feel so melancholy after listening to "You'll See", that I sometimes get watery eyes.
Any downsides to this CD? I admit I'm not very enthused about "Forbidden Love". It's not a bad song, but it hardly seems on par with the other songs on this CD. Okay, it's a small thing, hardly worth noticing.
There are so few singers that have a voice that is an instrument by itself. Madonna has a voice that belongs in that small group. This CD gives a sampling of the capability of that instrument. If you enjoy mellow music, and particularly if you enjoy Madonna's mellow music, this CD is a must have.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on April 29, 2000
Format: Audio CD
Smoldering, seductive, plaintive, self-reflective. So many strong emotions overtake the listener as Madonna takes us through the depths of her emotions. "Something to Remember" truly is an unforgettable collection of her greatest ballads.
Opening and closing on takes of the Marvin Gaye classic "I Want You", the listener is taken on a journey of Madonna's abilities as a chameleon of musical styles and interpreter of emotions. Wrapping her vocals around big productions like "Rain" and "You'll See", she presents the same feeling of intimacy as she does the smaller scale tracks, like the jazz-tinted title track and the incredibly spare "One More Chance".
This album is even better than the deservedly successful "Immaculate Collection". Some Madonna fans would account that as blasphemy, but you need only see her growth on this album to show you how incredible an artist she really is. Taken away from the uptempo dance hits that made her a household name, she shows a maturity that cements her as a collaborator, vocalist, writer and producer to be reckoned with.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on February 12, 2000
Format: Audio CD
You will probably know most of the song on here if you have ever turned on an FM radio station. The songs on here are classics! I like this album alot better then the Immaculate Collection for the greatest hits! Songs like, "I'll Remember" and the title track, "Something to Remember" are some of the most beautiful songs! I myself appreciated "You'll See" because I thnk if you are going to write a break up song it should be done in a classy manner...this song tells off whoever she was mad at in a way that she is not trashing anyone! The reason I bought this album was "Take a Bow'', but there are other gems here. Take for instance "Rain" and "this used to be my playground". All I can say is this is a beautiful album...and even if you don't like Madonna, you will like this album!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on August 16, 2005
Format: Audio CD
Many of Madonna's strengths as a songwriter and vocalist are showcased in this compilation of ballads, some previously unreleased. The most surprising of the new material is her cover of "I Want You," which surprisingly holds its own when compared to Marvin Gaye's masterful original. The Latin-tinged hit single "You'll See" (#6 Pop, #5 Adult Contemporary) instantly became one of Madonna's best-loved ballads, and it features one of her best vocal performances. The acoustic-sounding "One More Try" is also a favorite of mine, probably because the stripped down production places the emphasis on her voice. This cut really should have been the second single, in my opinion.

The new material helped SOMETHING TO REMEMBER land in the #6 position on the Hot 200, and the well-produced compilation eventually reached Triple-Platinum status in sales. The previously released material is expertly selected including the big hits ("Crazy For You," "Live To Tell," "Take A Bow"), while still giving time to the first-rate modest hits ("Rain," "Oh Father") and lesser-known album tracks (the title track, "Forbidden Love"). The smash hit soundtrack cuts "This Used To Be My Playground" and "I'll Remember" also make their first appearances on a Madonna album. Every track is presented in it's original album version, which is usually the definite version, although it would have been nice to have had the video mix of "Rain" included.

The non-chronological sequencing of the songs doesn't bother me since this is a specialty compilation and not a singles anthology. The only faulty selection is a remix of the early track "Love Don't Live Here Anymore" (#78 Pop, #16 Dance) which doesn't sit well with the other material (personally, I think either "Promise To Try" or "Inside Of Me" would have been much better alternatives). This is easily forgivable though, when considering the multitude of treasures this chest contains.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on March 6, 2005
Format: Audio CD
-Something to Remember (1995)-

Released back in 1995, one year after Madonna released "Bedtime Stories", she decided to release a collection of some of her greatest ballads, and many people looked at it as an attempt for her to win back some of the fans she lost during the sex controversy. Whatever her intentions were, the album peaked at #6 in the US, and managed to sell about 3 million copies, which is more than both "Erotica" and "Bedtime Stories". The album has songs like "I'll Remember", one of her best ballads, which was the theme song from the movie "With Honors", and was a big hit for her, peaking at #2 in the US, and "This Used to Be My Playgroud", another great ballad, which was featured in the movie "A League of Their Own", was a #1 hit for Madonna. Madonna also made 4 new songs for the album. "I Want You", a very haunting and beautiful techo ballad, wasn't released as a single, but had a video, "You'll See", kind of like the sequel to Take a Bow, an amazing song, peaked at #6 in the US, "One More Chance", a good acoustic ballad, wasn't released in the US, but peaked at #11 in the UK, and "I Want You [Orchestral]", which is the same as "I Want You", except the techno sounds have been removed.

1. I Want You [With Massive Attack] (10/10)

2. I'll Remember (Theme from With Honors) (10/10)

3. Take a Bow (10/10)

4. You'll See (10/10)

5. Crazy for You (10/10)

6. This Used to Be My Playground (10/10)

7. Live to Tell (10/10)

8. Love Don't Live Here Anymore [Remix] (10/10)

9. Something to Remember (10/10)

10. Forbidden Love (8/10)

11. One More Chance (9/10)

12. Rain (10/10)

13. Oh Father (10/10)

14. I Want You [Orchestral] (10/10)

Since I've reviewed most of these songs already, I'll give their chart stats instead. "I'll Remember" (#2), "Take a Bow" (#1 for 7 weeks), "You'll See" (#6), "Crazy for You" (#1 for 1 week), "This Used to Be My Playground" (#1 for 1 week), "Live to Tell" (#1 for 1 week), "Love Don't Live Here Anymore" (#78), "One More Chance" (wasn't released in the US, but hit #11 in the UK), "Rain" (#14), and "Oh Father" (#20). Also, I really love the remix of "Love Don't Live Here Anymore". I actually prefer it to the original. All in all, a great compilation of some of Madonna's best ballads.

My Top 5 off of the album are... (of songs that I haven't rated before)

5) One More Chance

4) This Used to Be My Playground

3) I Want You [With Massive Attack]

2) You'll See

1) I'll Remember
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on June 5, 2001
Format: Audio CD
The attention Madonna receives is almost exclusively directed toward her antics, with the music being largely ignored. With this collection of songs, she quietly diverts the attention from herself to the music. And, believe it or not, Madonna's music can stand proudly on its own.
"Something to Remember" collects ballads, almost all of which have been previously released, and none of which incorporate the controversial persona visible in much of her work, and fuses them together into a cohesive, low-key whole. Presented with little fanfare and spare liner notes, the listener is asked to take Madonna this time for her music, not the persona she has cultivated throughout her career.
Many of the songs in this collection are gems. My personal favorites are "I'll Remember", "Take a Bow", "You'll See", "This Used to Be My Playground", "Live to Tell", "One More Chance", "Rain", and "Oh Father". Above all, I love "One More Chance", which is the only acoustic Madonna song I'm aware of. I hardly play the other songs; after awhile they begin to sound alike. But it was still worth the price of the CD to me.
Check out "Something to Remember" to see Madonna without the fanfare. It's really quite enjoyable.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on August 6, 2005
Format: Audio CD
Released in 1995. Copies sold:- 13,000,000.

Something To Remember was released in November '95, 10 year ago, and is Madonna's ballad collection. Madonna was on her way up from the albums Erotica and Bedtime Stories, which the critics slammed and the albums flopped. Erotica sold 6 million worldwide, whereas Bedtime Stories sold 7 million, however, Madonna's ballad collection has sold 13 million copies to date! The album features fourteen of Madonna's finest slow jams, and you can't find many of these on any other Madonna compilation! The album was a #6 smash in the US, but hit #3 in the UK.

1. I Want You (With Massive Attack) (6:24). 10/10

2. I'll Remember (4:24). #2 in the US. 10/10

3. Take A Bow (5:22). #1 in the US. 10/10

4. You'll See (4:38). #6 in the US. 10/10

5. Crazy For You (4:04). #1 in the US. 10/10

6. This Used To Be My Playground (5:09). #1 in the US. 10/10

7. Live To Tell (5:52). #1 in the US. 10/10

8. Love Don't Live Here Anymore (Remix) (4:54). #78 in the US. 10/10

9. Something To Remember (5:04). 10/10

10. Forbidden Love (4:09). 9/10

11. One More Chance (4:28). #11 in the UK. (Not a single in the US). 10/10

12. Rain (5:29). #14 in the US. 10/10

13. Oh Father (4:59). #20 in the US. 10/10

14. I Want You (With Massive Attack) (Orchestral Version) (6:04). 10/10

Most of the songs on this album are perfect, but like I said on my Bedtime Stories review, Forbidden Love is not one of Madonna's best songs. It's not one of my favourite songs from the Bedtime Stories album, as well as not being my favourite song from this album. My favourite songs, however, are Take A Bow, Crazy For You and Something To Remember, but I also love Rain. These are, for me, Madonna's best and most beautiful ballads, and Take A Bow, Rain and Crazy For You are even classics to this day! All of the tracks are just brilliant, and I recommend Something To Remember to any Madonna fans. I definately recommend this album to any tame lovers of music!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on July 4, 1999
Format: Audio CD
This is one of my favorite Madonna albums! I love every song on it. "You'll See" is my all time favorite song by Madonna. When I heard that this album was coming out, I thought, "Good, a collection of only ballads!" She isn't known just for dance songs, you know! I think that this album is only missing one song, "Spainish Eyes," one of her finest ballads ever!Madonna, I love you and you rule!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on March 18, 2007
Format: Audio CD
"Something to Remember" attempts to counter the claim that Madonna is not a gifted vocalist. It's true that she is no operatic powerhouse, but her vocal gifts come through in nontraditional ways and should be no less respected. Her talent for writing and singing catchy hooks, even on ballads (which is tough for any artist to accomplish), should put her up there with the greatest acts in recorded music.

My biggest qualm with this album is the material that it's missing. In lieu of the double inclusion of "I Want You," I feel one of Madonna's strongest ballads, "The Look of Love" from the Who's That Girl soundtrack, would have been the perfect addition to this album (and as an audiophile I would've loved to own a digitally remastered version).

Other dynamic material missing from this collection includes "Bad Girl," one of the only interesting cuts from Erotica, and "Spanish Eyes" from Like a Prayer, with its noticably pained vocals. Considering the sometimes off-key performance in "Oh Father" that still made it to the final cut, I think the weeping heights of "Spanish Eyes" would have made a more appropriate choice.

As an aside, this is the first CD I ever owned, so I have some bias towards it. Santa brought it for me along with my first CD player and copies of Michael Jackson's "Bad" and "Thriller" on CD in 1995. It was a good Christmas. :)
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