1999 – Madison Avenue debut in Australia… Its only the beginning!!!
Madison Avenue burst onto the scene in 1999, featuring Vicious co-founder Andy Van, along with Melbourne singer/ songwriter Cheyne Coates.
The long-time friends worked on disco edged demos together, with Andy creating the sound while Cheyne’s focus was on lyrics. Cheyne initially recorded ‘Don’t Call Me Baby’ as a demo with the full intention of other singers recording the vocal. After several female artists recorded the song everyone agreed it sounded best with Cheyne and Madison Avenue was born.
Initially, 10 white label 12” pressings dropped in January 1999 and the song started to build in Australia.
Later that month, numerous European record labels heard the track at Midem and amazingly, only two out of 10 labels tried to sign the song being FFRR and Virgin UK. The song continued grew around the world and subsequently a deal was done with Virgin for the UK and Sony Music for the rest of the world excluding Australia where it remained on Vicious.
As mentioned earlier, “Don’t Call Me Baby” first grew momentum in Australian nightclubs, where the vinyl built a huge demand. From the ten initial test pressings, multiple represses were ordered, and all very quickly sold out as a result of the DJ led exposure, leading to a CD single release.
On the Australian pop chart, the CD single release peaked at number 3 on the 31st of October 1999, a huge achievement for a debut single from a brand new artist. As a side note, this represented a 10 month campaign from first test pressings to crossover hit, something unheard of compared to now when tracks come and go in just weeks!
Over in Europe, The Dronez (Harry Romero, Jose’ Nunez and the late Eric Morillo,) remixed the track for clubs and in November of 1999 the single peaked at number 30 on the UK Pop Chart. Quickly deleted and set up for a later re-release, it continued to buzz in clubs over the English winter, before a hugely successful re-release in 2000 which is explained further down this timeline.