RAY OF LIGHT, which should be one of the poll choices.
Everything after that was negligible.
Open Your Heart or Dress You Up
Agree R2. "Take A Bow" would also make my list.
Give It To Me.
Vadge has no masterpiece. She has always been a blight upon the land of music.
Human Nature - Best lyric ever: "I'm not your bitch don't hang your shit on me." Gives me goosebumps.
Like a Prayer was her besr.
Gang Bang. The lyrics proved the old whore is the sex master.
Ray of Light, of course.
The gospel choir and soloist steal Like A Prayer. I'd say one of the ballads:
Live To Tell
This Used To Be My Playground
Take A Bow
Girl Gone Wild-it shows her unlimited vocal and lyrical abilities.
Like a Prayer. One of the very few Madge songs I like but a fucking brilliant one.
It was Holiday. She used to be "fun", remember?
I don't think she's done anything that could rightly be called "a masterpiece."
I'll let you know if she ever releases one.
1st runner-up- Deeper and Deeper. I love the retro sound to it.
the song she never made
Another vote for "Ray of Light".
Dress You Up or Beautiful Stranger; two examples of Pop perfection.
She hasn't been fun since the late 90s. Came close with Confessions, but still lots of anger in her. Music and celebrity changed after Sept 11th. She's been out-of-step ever since.
She made a career of creating iconic music. Like A Virgin, True Blue, Ray of Light ... her records usually signaled a creative twist that marked a progression. I often wonder if she has one more "iconic" song in her left, one that will play no matter the era like Live to Tell, Papa Don't Preach, Like A Virgin, Ray of Light ... I listen to radio alot and always hear these and her other familairs pop up any time of the day. Nothing after 2000, except maybe Hung Up. I just don't think the music is really that important to her anymore. Performing live is her thing - she wants to put on theatre and spectacle. And she will probably be doing that with two iron hips until she runs out of breath.
She made some great pop music back in the day and I admire her for that, but these days she is a stupid idiot with her ass hanging out of her dress.
she is foulllll
Didn't she actually have a song called Masterpiece in that shitty W.E. movie she made??
R29 Yup, and she even managed to win a Golden Globe for it (but her winning speech sounded more like she was accepting a best director award).
For pure funk skank bounce and Borderline Personality Disorder fueled lyrics, I'm going with "Waiting" from Erotica
Another vote for "Holiday."
What R2 said.
In This Life.
Ray of Light
Rescue Me. A minor masterpiece.
Keep it Together is probably the best song off of her best album. Especially when she mashed up sly and Family Stone. Brilliant.
Angel is a great 3 minute retro pop song. I agree R26. Very under-rated.
Vadge has no masterpieces. OP is asking a trick question.
The Immaculate Collection.
No, seriously. No single song on that album is "OMG Masterpiece!" as a standalone, but the whole set confirms what an absolute impact she had on pop music circa 1984-1989.
"Into the Groove" people
Thief of Hearts
This Used To Be My Playground
The Power of Goodbye
Take A Bow
What It Feels Like For A Girl
Justify My Love
Madge's Masterpiece is the "Truth Or Darw" movie. That created "Madonna", as we've known her since.
The "Material Girl" video is behind by a nose.
"Into The Groove" and "Like A Virgin" are her defining songs.
I really like "Love Profusion". Certainly not a masterpiece but the only good track she's made in the last decade or so, together with "Hung Up".
And does anyone know the title of that track where some weird Asian tribal singing was used for background? I liked that track too, though I have no idea which Madge album it was on or the name of the song.
"Masterpice" silly, love theme from W.E.
I agree with R44 about "Truth or Dare"
It was ahead of it's time and preceded "The Real Worlds" fishbowl antics.
R46 maybe you're thinking of Cyber Raga? It was added to some international versions of the Music album.
R50 No, that's not it. The song I'm looking for has a more downtempo feel.
What about the 12" of Burning Up/Physical Attraction... ?
The cover alone is a masterpiece and it was her first cool factor statement...
R54 Nope, that's not the right song either. The song I'm trying to find has some weird repetitive sounds in the background. They sound something like "hoop hoop hoop". Am I making any sense here? And like I said, it's a rather slow song.
OK, now I've decided to download all of Madonna's albums and quickly check out all of the tracks to find that fucking song. I'm not really the biggest Madonna fan so that might give me a slight headache.
I'm not even sure that song is sung by her anymore, but I can still recall it quite vividly and I'm about 85% sure those were her vocals.
Why do people love Like A Prayer so much? I can't stand that song and its over the top gospel sound. Express Yourself is one of her greatest songs in my opinion.
I'm also one of the few Madonna fans I know that plays Lucky Star on repeat. Such a simple yet great song.
The Illuminati scares the crap out of me. I can't listen to her because she rocks for the devil. She scares me so.
Frozen is pretty damn good.
The Erotica album.
La Isla Bonita
La Isla Bonita is great!
"Masterpiece", the song, is great actually.
But "Live to Tell" is the true masterpiece -- and the one that got her career on the right track. Otherwise, she'd have been a forgotten dance artist like Stacy Q or whatever.
Madonna needs to go beg Annie Lennox for advice on aging gracefully.
BEG ON HER KNEES!!!
R57, I think you're thinking of Sanctuary from Bedtime Stories which is a really good album the later half of it had a lot of electronic flourishes.
The IMMACULATE COLLECTION fucks up some classics like "Into The Groove" with needless remixing.
I like Borderline best.
Agree r9 that song is criminally underrated.
Open your heart.
Crazy For You
I agree that Live to Tell changed people's perceptions of her, even the critics' perceptions. People knew she could turn out good ballads after Crazy for You, but Live to Tell took her to another level. Indeed, her True Blue album was the perfect follow up to Like a Virgin and cemented her a huge pop star in the 1980s.
I think Like a Prayer is one of her best overall albums. Ray of Light and Music are both good, too. I also agree with an above poster that Angel is a forgotten and underappreciated pop gem.
I'm not sure she had any masterpieces, but she did have a lot of songs that seem to endure the test of time. She was very smart when she first got in the music business and sat in on meetings, met with many talented people and realized the importance of melody and other aspects that make a song stand up over the years. She also smartly surrounded herself with the most talented writers and musicians.
My brother's ex-fiance knew a lot of people in the entertainment business in New York in the 80s. She always said Madonna slept her way to the top, but unlike other tarts, she made sure she learned from everyone on the way up so that she stayed there.
La Isla Bonita
I miss hearing Madonna on the car stereo.
[quote]She always said Madonna slept her way to the top, but unlike other tarts, she made sure she learned from everyone on the way up so that she stayed there.
I can believe this. People need to learn that JUST sleeping with the right people isn't enough. It might get you to the top but then you'll just fall right off afterwards.
Live to Tell
Tell me about it!
Another for Into the Groove. But Get Together off of Confessions is the one song I can listen to on a loop
It's hard to say, she's had as many memorable songs as the Beatles.
Agree with R78 about Get Together - a very underrated song.
OP is a complete moron. None of the recordings listed are among Madonna's top 10.
Into the Groove which for me defines the 80's
Touch my body and move in time
R75→ Patrick Hernandez
Her Ray of Light album has been the best. Frozen appealed to me at the time.
[quote] I think you're thinking of Sanctuary from Bedtime Stories which is a really good album the later half of it had a lot of electronic flourishes.
YES, that's the one! Thanks so much. I've been looking for that song for quite some time and I was far too lazy to check out all of Madonna's albums to find it.
Apparently that isn't Asian tribal singing in the background as I thought but a sample from Herbie Hancock's Watermelon Man which features some African Pygmy traditional instruments. Thanks again!
Agreed, R72, we must be roughly the same age and watched the ascent as it was happening. I just remember everyone who had shrugged her off sat up with "Live to Tell".
"Desperately Seeking Susan" including "Into the Groove" (which was not on any of her solo albums then) helped a lot too, as much for her as an actor too. People had high hopes.
I agree that "Crazy for You" set up what was to come but I think she was a "whore for hire" on that one, a singer added on to the soundtrack later, right? "Live to Tell" was her as a songwriter too and a very vulnerable one. More importantly, it got me through a HUGE heartbreak at the time, ha.
Seems like the Madonna songs that other people prefer are never my favorites. Live to Tell, La Isla Bonita, and Frozen are just okay to me. I'd sing along if they came on while I was shopping, but they're not my go-to Madonna songs.
I feel like people vastly underrate her 1983 era and self-titled album. I love those minimalist dance-pop songs like Everybody, Lucky Star, Burning Up, and Physical Attraction. She actually looked and seemed cool back then because she had that street-kid NYC feel about her.
By the time 1984 rolled around, she and her team started to remove a lot of her edge and raw appeal. Most of the songs on Like a Virgin and True Blue were just too bubblegum to me (although I did like Dress You Up and Angel from the former and Open Your Heart from the latter). Into the Groove is obviously great but I don't think it was released as part of a studio album.
Along with her early period, her 1989 - 1992 house music is an equal fave: I looove Express Yourself, Vogue, and Deeper and Deeper. I feel like this period is the true grown-up version of her more teenage-esque 1983 image and sound. It was almost as if 1991 Madonna was the big sister or mother to 1982/1983 Madonna.
"This used to be our playground"
We probably are, R87. I'll always remember her ascent, and Live to Tell was her big moment for me. I remember even my brother, who is a musician but has never been a big fan of pop music, was really impressed with Live to Tell when it was released. We used to watch the video on MTV and he's always say, "That song is so haunting." It is still one of the only pop songs he likes from the 80s.
The first song of hers that really caught my attention was Lucky Star. I thought Like a Virgin was catchy, and the video was really fun to watch at the time. Material Girl was OK, never one of my favorites. But I loved Angel and Dress You Up.
I also agree that Into the Groove, along with her role in Desperately Seeking Susan, really set her up nicely for her move to the next level, and True Blue delivered. It was a brilliant move to release Live to Tell as the first single rather than a more upbeat tune. The video, which used to matter far more, also tied into her romance with Sean Penn. The woman always knew how to market herself smartly.
Why does everyone mention the sleeping around? We are all mammals, we can all take a stab at sleeping around. Rather, I think Madonna is CLEVER, that's it. I know it is hard for people on the DL to understand this concept, that you can go places by using your brains.
But obviously she had brains, in terms of marketing, fashion, music, fame, celebrity, she understood all those concepts and how to work them to her advantage before everyone else, before the internet days even.
David Geffen taught a few classes at Yale on the Music industry. They should have also called Madonna to deliver lessons on how to market an artist in the music industry.
She is amazing. I guess people do not see her value bc she is a woman.
Most of her songs are really about the of the moment effect. Remembering that time and the videos many listed here had impact but have lost their effect over time. Videos were new at the time so the visuals combined with the audio gave them greater impact. Now most of those don't hold anything from the past except nice memories of what I was living at the time.
Deeper And Deeper
Take A Bow (really well written by Babyface)
and a favorite of mine from Bedtime Stories,
but lots of fond memories of the past, many of her songs serve as markers for time and place happenings.
Nobody does it better than Madonna.
Holiday was/is a favorite. Ray of Light was a very good album. Her brilliance is her video/MTV work. No one does it better!
Was Madonna the first artist to really use fashion as a vehicle for fame? When she first came out, people talked about the way she dressed just as much as they talked about her music. Also, her personality seemed more "real" than most popstars. I mean, who remembers Tiffany or Debbie Gibson's personalities? Madonna's attitude stood out, and I wonder if that was a conscious marketing ploy on her end.
Can anyone explain the appeal (both now and at the time it came out) of Live To Tell? I'm not a fan of the song, but I'm still curious as to what people mean when they say it was a big change for her. It seems like a standard ballad.
Ah, actually I see now: Live To Tell was released in 1985 BEFORE True Blue and was the first time she didn't have her BoyToy image going on. So it was the first glimpse of "serious Madonna."
Open your heart.
At the time it came out I was a rather lonely, isolated college student deperate to yell at the whole world the words: if you gave me half the chance youd see my desire burning inside of me
Correction R101. It was released in March 1986 per your own link.
Oh whoops. Thanks, R103. I was looking at the date it was recorded, not released.
You're on the right track, R101, though she isn't platinum movie star shocker in the video -- more of an accessible country girl instead. But the music itself, the fact that it was not just fluff lyrically, was something almost everyone could identify with, AND associated with a hot movie with a hot star (that ended up being not so remembered, granted, but still has its moments)...
It felt almost as extreme as, say, Alanis Morrisette doing that bubblegum music early in her career and then delivering "Jagged Little Pill". Except Madonna's bubblegum era was very public.
She kept building on "Live to Tell" so that alone didn't do it (if all it took was one hit, Martika would be a legend too) but I do remember a sense that she was someone to take seriously. And she was a bit of a brat rebel too so always in the press, always in mind. The fashion thing fell to the wayside eventually.
Most importantly, I think a lot of people still love that song 30 years later. Especially since we've all no doubt buried people in the years since.
[quote]What was Madonna's masterpiece?
She never had one. Some of her songs were catchy.
Bitches, go crack your copy of "Bright Lights, Big City." Download it to your Kindle.
Put yourselves in that time and place.
Madge has been at well before "then."
She's still standing.
You might loathe the skanky hoor, but give her her due. Greater yalenys than her have faded under lesser pressures.
Madge is her own masterpiece.
bitch can't sing and her songs worked because of the production of other people. She has no masterpieces.
Look she had all the right things come together for her to push those pop songs up the charts but it's really not correct to say she gets any due praise other than hits. As 108 states too many other people are responsible for her success for her to take major credit.
Elvis is an icon. He didn't write a fucking thing and could barely play that guitar. He's great as an icon, same with Madonna and the bitch could barely sing.
Dress you up
Crazy for You
R110 is a sad, bitter fatso with no friends.
Let's all jump into the looney bin with R108!
R100 Live to Tell was a big surprise to most, she opened her True Blue album with it. It was quite a departure from everything before and it was a huge hit and a really beautiful, affecting song. She never really did a ballad before this and it set the stage for many successful ballads afterward. Patrick Leonard wrote some really lovely stuff.
Bagging Warren Beatty. She got blue chip fast with that move
R114, you're about Live To Tell and Patrick Leonard. What else did you like?
Too lazy to look but pretty sure "Papa Don't Preach" opens the album. Followed by "Open Your Heart" and THEN "Live to Tell." Not hard to remember since there were only eight or so tracks and half of them (over half maybe?) were hit singles.
Shoo Be Do
Cheated and looked it up, "White Heat" comes in at Track Three, then "Live to Tell". And, yes, 9 tracks with 5 hit singles. Back in the album days.
Nice and "Like A Prayer" was coming up and even better. That might've been her peak, certainly for Phase One (with "Ray of Light" for Phase Two).
R114 I meant you're RIGHT about Live To Tell and Leonard. What else of his did you like?
I think the one-two punch of "Live to Tell" followed by "Papa Don't Preach" was really a master stroke on Madonnas part.
Once she was able to change peoples opinion with "Live to Tell" her reinvention with "Papa Don't Preach" practically defined the term.
The song was a statement religiously and politically.
Coupled with the artistically reinvented shock of her platinum blonde hair...
There is a reason why Q magazine called her the Elvis of female recording artists.
How shocking was it to see Madonna's transformation back then? I wasn't around, but it sounds like it was pretty rare for a popstar to change her look whereas now it's commonplace.
I should have stated Live to Tell was the first single off of True Blue.
Live to Tell really is a fabulous song. But that horrible performance of the song on one of her tours (where she is singing on a cross with pictures of starving African babies in the background) is typical preachy-teachy Madonna crap. She also had to ruin her pretty decent Superbowl performance with that cheesy "World Peace" sign in the end.
Yes R126, she has done some really bad arrangements of Live to Tell. Too bad.