40 not out – Madonna through the decades: 1983-2023
Madonna is ‘celebrating’ 40 years of hits in 2023 with her first, full greatest hits tour, spanning five decades of US Dance chart number ones and commercially successful global hit singles. It all started back in 1983 with “Everybody” and comes bang up-to-date with the recent release of a recording from a few years back that has only just been made public.
“Celebration” was, of course, the title track of her 2009 best of collection that was itself a big chart hit around the world, more over with the Paul Oakenfold club remix that put Madonna and her fans back on the dance floor for the first time since the “Confessions” album in 2005. With hundreds of millions of singles sold, which ones are the best and most memorable? It’s not easy is it!
1983 – “Everybody”
Madonna’s music career was not an instant hit as you would assume. It took a few singles before she caught the eye and ear of the general public with “Holiday”, which finally became a hit in 1984. It was “Everybody” and then “Burning Up” that Madonna put out as the taster of her self-titled debut album (also known as “The First Album“). “Everybody” hit No.3 on the US Dance chart, which was replicated by “Burning Up” later in 1983.
Best of the 80’s:
Which is the definitive Madonna song of the 1980’s? Could it be “Holiday”, or “Material Girl”, or “Into The Groove”, or perhaps “Like A Prayer”? We’re going for “Lucky Star”, a bold new sound from a bold new wannabe star that is still addictive today as it was back then.
1993 – “Rain”
Ten years on and Madonna was definitely in control of her career and her musical output. Following the hugely successful first greatest hits album “The Immaculate Collection“, Madonna’s 1992 album “Erotica” met with equal amounts of praise and distain, but there were some gems to be found within and one of them was the epic ballad “Rain”, which was released in the late Spring of 1993 and reached No.7 in the UK and No.14 in America.
Best of the 90’s:
Which is the definitive Madonna song of the 1990’s? Again, where do you start? “Deeper And Deeper”, or “Take A Bow”, or “Frozen”, or maybe “Beautiful Stranger”? By a small margin, it has to be her entry into the decade with “Vogue”, the production and timing all spot on for the sound of a new era.
2003 – “Hollywood”
Following Madonna’s “Music” album and her Bond theme and appearance in ‘Die Another Day’, Madonna kept one step ahead of the rest with her “American Life” album in 2003. By now she was working heavily with French producer Mirwais Ahmadzaï and the electro-synth production of the album comes to bear with the second single, “Hollywood”, released in May and peaking at No.2 in the UK and No.1 on the US Dance chart.
Best of the 00’s:
Which is the definitive Madonna song of the 2000’s? This decade was experimental moving from “Music” itself to the ABBA sampled “Hung Up”, to the Justin Timberlake smash “4 Minutes” and the clubtastic “Celebration”, but it could be something more refined and understated like “What It Feels Like For A Girl” that wins this round…
2013 – “Superstar”
Madonna was justified in the 2010’s to write and record songs like “Superstar” and “Masterpiece” with 30 years of proven success now behind her. “Superstar” featured on her 2012 album “MDNA” which had also given us the latter mentioned track, used in the film ‘WE’, which Madonna directed herself. “Superstar” was released at the very end of 2012 in Brazil and was a hit in the early weeks of 2013.
Best of the 10’s:
Which is the definitive Madonna song of the 2010’s? The decade kicked off with “Give Me All Your Luvin'” and included “Ghosttown”, “Girl Gone Wild” and “Crave” from her “Madame X” album. But it is to the song “Masterpiece” that we look for that killer tune that really stands out for Madonna in this period.
2023 – “Back That Up To The Beat”
The 2020’s have so far revealed a number of mixes that have brought a new following to classic Madonna hits, not least with the Sickkick remix of “Frozen” in 2022. Madonna herself put out a greatest hits of remixes with the “Finally Enough Love” album of 50 US Dance chart number ones that same year, while 2023 has seen the unveiling of a previously recorded demo track with “Back That Up To The Beat” before Madonna thinks about her next move…
Best of the 20’s:
Which is the definitive Madonna song of the 2020’s? Only three years into the decade, there isn’t much to choose from so far and, as yet, no new material with which to consider, but it has to be the Sickkick remix of “Frozen” that stands out as a Madonna milestone to date.
Madonna begins her Celebration Tour in July in Canada with dates up to the very end of 2023 in Europe. Just how many of the 92 singles will she perform and which ones will be left out remains to be seen, but with tickets selling out at many venues, this could equal her record breaking Sticky & Sweet Tour of 2008-09 for attendance and ticket sales. It will be a celebration no matter what!
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