This lush standout from Rebel Heart is about sticking with a partner after civilization has fallen apart. She locks the melody into her head and memorizes the words immediately. Madonna's stories were getting a lot more serious and intense, driving the creative direction of the songs into deeply personal territory. It was a deal for three singles and an option for albums afterward. I would have gone down to the bank and withdrawn my own money to sign her if I had to. Madonna wrote the song with Patrick Leonard and Bruce Gaitsch.
But Jackson didn't like the title, so Leonard tried it out on Madonna, who tailored the lyrics to fit her own idea of "the beauty and mystery of Latin American people. At that point, I wasn't a person who went on holidays to beautiful islands. I may have been on the way to the studio and seen an exit ramp for San Pedro. Thirteen albums into her career, Madonna issued the ultimate kiss-off: a frantic, grinding jam stocked with tempo changes and attitude for days.
Many songs on 's Rebel Heart react to ageism and sexism in the music industry. I never did, and I'm not going to start. Family comes first," Madonna once said. Let's have fun with it,'" producer Shep Pettibone recalled.
4. ‘Take a Bow’
Pettibone, who also produced "Vogue," wasn't as excited about Madonna's request to throw in a flamenco guitar solo midway through the track but acquiesced to the woman in charge: "I didn't like the idea of taking a Philly house song and putting 'La Isla Bonita' in the middle of it.
But that's what she wanted, so that's what she got. On her Blond Ambition Tour in , Madonna said of "Hanky Panky," "You may not know this song, but you know the pleasures of a good spanking. When some people took her seriously, she shot back, "Try it and I'll knock your fucking head off. With its shimmery synth intro and an inspired double-entendre about a lover's "heavenly body," "Lucky Star" makes for the perfect opening track on Madonna's first album.
She originally wrote the tune for Mark Kamins — the New York club DJ who produced her first single, "Everybody" — in the hope he'd play it in his sets at Danceteria. He in turn polished it off with a funky, jittering guitar line. After MTV put the song's video in rotation, hair ribbons and cut-off gloves became a must-have teenage fashion. From its quaint shuffle rhythm and its twinkling chimes to its charming video, "True Blue" found Madonna sounding blissfully smitten.
At the time, she was. The singer had married Sean Penn the year before, and she named this girl-group-steeped song and the album it appeared on after a favorite expression of Penn's.
By the end of the Eighties, Madonna would both divorce Penn and stop performing the song in concert, but she still looked back at it fondly; in , when an interviewer asked her what the words "true blue" reminded her of, she answered, "Romance. According to Madonna, "I Deserve It" is a love song, but a lonely one. The curiously earnest Music track couples searching lyrics with acoustic strumming and increasingly dissonant keyboards. But what makes the tune a standout is Madonna's vocals, which producer Mirwais chose to leave unsullied by digital processing.
Madonna recorded two songs for the flick Vision Quest — "Crazy for You" and this urgent-sounding dance track. She'd written the song herself and recorded it with Jellybean Benitez around the time her debut album was being released. The song's assertive feel jelled well with the movie's theme, especially the story of its hard-to-get heroine played by Linda Fiorentino.
I think I was more in awe of the fact that I was working with Madonna. It was initially surreal. Then you get to know the person a little bit and you can calm down. Cold and cinematic, the electro-inflected ballad "Frozen" was designed to express Madonna's feelings of "retaliation, revenge, hate [and] regret. The film informed both the song's love-under-pressure theme and its Moroccan-influenced beats. As she wrote it, Madonna became so entranced that her original demo stretched to 10 minutes.
In the video, filmed in California's Mojave Desert, she strove to portray the "embodiment of female angst. By her own account, it came from a pure place. The tune itself had staying power, making it to Number Two, thanks in part to a sleek, playful video directed by fashion photographer Herb Ritts. The success of "Cherish" surprised Madonna.
Madonna surprised listeners with this twangy take on electro pop. But the song originated in another genre entirely. The singer says she was initially drawn in by "the sentiment of it, the defiance, the attitude of it — 'Don't tell me to stop,'" she said. Sharon Stone should play the Marilyn Monroe part, and I'm gonna play the bandleader. Introducing the video on the U.
This flirty early track offered a subtle suggestion of the more provocative statements she had in store. When Madonna needed music for her third movie, tentatively titled Slammer , she quickly came up with a hit.
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I worked out the rest of the parts and she finished the melody and the lyrics. It would soon become Madonna's first Top 20 single. The song opens with a clip of singer-actress Charlotte Gainsbourg's meditation on gender from the film The Cement Garden , making Madonna's point crystal-clear. The calling of angels.
When it was released, Madonna chose not to shoot a video for the song probably because so many of her other videos were still in heavy rotation at the time , but Sire Records created one by stitching together bits of existing clips. With its spare, submerged groove based around a Public Enemy sample and breathless vocal, "Justify My Love" is one of Madonna's most understated hits. The song was written by Lenny Kravitz and Prince-collaborator Ingrid Chavez, who culled most of the original lyrics from a love letter she wrote but didn't mail to Kravitz.
I'm just dealing with the truth here. The Temptations were also in the running to cut the track. But Madonna and Patrick Leonard flipped the arrangement, added a bass line and turned it into a quintessential clipped-beat Eighties dance-pop jam. The PG-rated fifth hit off of Like a Virgin is a snappy love pledge that might be Nile Rodgers' funkiest production on the album, was mystifyingly flagged, alongside W. You can see them in the song's video — a live performance from The Virgin Tour — a pop army in lace gloves and shades. As Rodgers wrote in his memoir: "In a low-res world, she was high-definition hyperrealism.
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A piano ballad with a lush string backdrop, Madonna's great tearjerker was written with help from wingman Patrick Leonard about her mother, Madonna Fortin Ciccone, who died of breast cancer when her daughter was five years old. They call her the Material Girl. Madonna's great girl-power anthem springboards off the Staple Singers' "Respect Yourself" into Eighties dancepop heaven. Madonna urges ladies to be more assertive with their men "If you don't say what you want, then you're not going to get it," she testified.
It hit Number Two in the U.
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And no surprise, it sounded just as grand. Final Say. Long reads. Lib Dems. US Politics. Theresa May. Jeremy Corbyn. Robert Fisk. Mark Steel. Janet Street-Porter. John Rentoul. Chuka Ummuna. Shappi Khorsandi. Gina Miller. Our view. Sign the petition. Spread the word. Steve Coogan.
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