“Live to Tell” is a song by American singer-songwriter Madonna. It was released as the lead single from Madonna’s third studio album True Blue (1986) on March 26, 1986, by Sire Records. It later appeared on compilation albums The Immaculate Collection (1990), Something to Remember (1995), and Celebration (2009).
Originally composed by Patrick Leonard for the score of the film Fire with Fire, the instrumental was shown to Madonna, who decided to use it for then-husband Sean Penn’s film At Close Range. Madonna wrote all the lyrics, co-composed the melodies, and co-produced it with Leonard.
The music video, directed by James Foley, shows Madonna’s first image makeover, featuring her with a cleaner look, shoulder-length wavy golden blond hair, conservative wardrobe and subtle make-up. This toned down blond appearance was inspired by Marilyn Monroe, a performer Madonna had previously been influenced by.
“Live to Tell” was generally well received by music critics, who frequently referred to it as the best ballad of her career. It was also a commercial success, becoming Madonna’s third number-one single on the Billboard Hot 100 and her first number-one on the Adult Contemporary chart.
Here below is a beautiful photo selection of Madonna taken by Herb Ritts on set “Live to Tell” music video in 1986.