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Well it's been a long 46 days, but finally the results can officially be announced. I've put so much sweat, blood, and cum into putting this together, so god damn you all better enjoy it! :D j/k yall! It's been a blessing putting together; I am filled with so much of Christ's love! <3 Even though not everyone (::caugh Hector, Suedehead, GetUnconcsious, Cody, Tuckeye, Scrapple, whoastephen, Monique, ULIZOS, Supernatural ::caugh: :) voted, doing this is a great way to bring everyone together and celebrate the history of this lovely community! We've been through so much over the years, but we've stuck together and outlasted it all (well most of us), So what better way to celebrate than to look at some of the Queens greatest songs, after all, it's always been about the music!

I'll be posting 10 songs a day, so this will run for a 4 day period, enjoy! :p

Labies and genitals, boys and girls, step right up! We've laughed, we've cried, we've moaned and we also groaned, but now it is time for the show to begin!

To kick things off, let's start with the 5 songs that ALMOST made the cut! ;)

trevchambers: "My partner and I have been together for 6 years now. We love traveling and going on long road trips. During those road trips, Madonna always finds her way into our playlist. Especially this song. EVERY TIME this song comes on, my partner has to say "Its Our Song!" And I always sigh and say "I know...you say this every time.." This was the first Madonna song we listened to the night that we met. It was a long night. We were the last people awake at the party because we just met and wanted to get to know each other. We were shuffling through the playlist and I DESERVE IT came on. We just sat in silence and listened to it. This Guy was meant for me...." Corny...but this song puts me into a complete feeling of Bliss.

12:51: Most of MDNA strikes a big chord with me because of the timing it came out. Just a perfect correlation with where I was in my life at the time. Beautiful Killer is 1 of those songs that just has all the ingredients of a good Madonna song in it. It's got a bit of sassiness, a bit of romance, a bit of cinematic influence. And it doesn't get old.

bionic: I'm not particularly fond of the single/Benny Bennasi remix, but there are a lot of fantastic mixes of Celebration (especially the album version). I really loved it on MDNA Tour, despite initially loathing the fact that it was the Benny Bennasi version. I especially adore the final part when everybody (including Rocco) are being the DJs at the end to the "it's a celebration-bration-bra-bra-bra-bration!" part. I always feel like pretending that I'm playing the DJ decks too.

Matt Matt: This one, while a few others beat it on my list for their own reasons, has a very special place in my heart. I was finishing high school in 1993 and while I was a football player, had a girlfriend and heaps of mates, I was suffering from what we now know as depression. I suffered from self-loathing, resenting the feelings of same-sex attraction and doubting every move I made at school or in sports and I went to a very dark place in my head. My M obsession had deepened as a tool to cope and the week after I was finishing school, I would be seeing her for the first and only time in my life to date. The show was amazing and seeing it was a dream come true. Along with it came the "come down" from all the excitement and anticipation and soon enough in early 1994 I was back in my dark place as I searched for work and hid in my room. A couple of months later M released I'll Remember and the lyrics were an affirmation from "I'll Remember the strength that you gave me, now that I'm standing on my own, I'll Remember the way that you changed me". It empowered me and as it played over and over, I believed it and felt stronger and then a few months later came Secret with "Until I learned to love myself, I was never ever loving anybody else" and "Happiness lies in your own hand" and I was changed - I took action and sort medical assistance and all these years later as a strong man, I can close my eyes and look back at that sad school boy and listen to that song and still feel it lifting him.

vande: how to craft a perfect pop song…it was all simple in this song…and all so perfect…an all time high in pop music history…fuck the beatles!!!! ^_^ and the “simpleness” of the song has been transferred to the video too…one of those where Madonna has been the most beautiful…and maybe one of the first where I unconsciously realized to be gay…[consciously, I think at the time I knew I was attracted by men, but I did not fully realized what it meant….as a child/teen I was pretty sexually retarded ^_^

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drunkbysix: I use this song for a lot of situations that happen to me that are difficult to deal with. It has a strong clear message that can be used to comfort a lot of different things, not just relationships. Her vocals are so soothing and I always end up crying when I listen to it. I had to include it.

whoopiedoo: In every artists discography, there's always those few songs that get released as singles but ended up being forgotten over the years by the general public, Physical Attraction is one of those songs. Filled with retro beats and a smoking hot bass line, Physical Attraction is one of Madonna's sexiest songs from her 80's career. Released as a double A-side with the legendary Burning Up, Physical Attraction received the black sheep treatment from it's "better liked" sister. PA received no music video, it didn't even end up on the debut-pussy ruling-Virgin Tour set list. However it's small adoration started to grow in 1987 when it was featured on the highly successful-platinum certfied-second best selling remix album of all time, You Can Dance. Even 30 years after it's release (and still no tour performance) Physical Attraction still remains to be a Madonna classic, defining what Madonna has always been; a sex hungry nymphomaniac slut (like myself)

mat.guy: I confess I only could embrace the greatness of the song this year. Of course this is one of Madonna’s most famous songs and the music video turned it into iconic level. In a mix of voyeurism, androgyny and art, she shocked the world once more since the song was quite innocent. And quite simple. That’s what makes it more perfect for me. I can’t think of another song so simple yet so incredibly terrific. Madonna sings about a desire for loving someone and you can feel it in her voice. She manages to pass all her emotions when she sings and makes everybody who once had a platonic love to connect with the song. Pop perfection.

PRPapi: True story: At a karaoke/talent event with my friends, I was asked to sing. Knowing I'm a true-blue M fan, many moaned and groaned once they knew I was singing an M song, but they figured I'd do that anyway. While everyone sang classic, cheesy, happy-go-lucky dance songs, I surprised everyone by singing Bad Girl (though I changed it to Bad Boy in the lyrics). (They all thought I'd sing something dance-y.) I sang BG a little slowed down, and a little more dramatically with my friend playing piano behind me. Did it change the mood of the event? P'Shaw! But, once I was done, there wasn't a dry eye in the house. I was "crowned" the winner of the event. But, the BEST part for me was that I turned many into either fans of the song or of M since they were impressed with the song itself. SCORE!

bluejean: While Madonna resisted the temptation to follow up 'Erotica' with more button pushing, somewhere in the middle of the much underrated Madonna chill out album otherwise known as Bedtime Stories she fires up and states her case. She was not sorry for her book of erotic fantasies. Why should she be?
'Human Nature' isn't just the anthem of a superstar having just received a public lashing. It's an anthem in general. Many of us are held up to scrutiny by those around us in everyday life. Society constantly tries to box us in and force us to conform or discourage us from speaking our mind. Madonna reminds us here that we didn't make the rules and we don't have to follow them. Easily one of Madonna's most empowering songs although it was not a big hit it is not difficult to understand why Madonna keeps performing this song on tour. Thematically it sums up the very essence of what she represents as an artist. "Absolutely no regrets."

adreeyen: As a young fag, this song was really the first Madonna song that spoke to me about the normalcy of the strange attractions I had been feeling to guys at the time. I first heard this song in 2008 at the age of 16 and was barely trying to figure out who I was. The spoken lyric "Surely whoever speaks to me in the right voice, him or her I shall follow as the water follows the moon, silently will fluid steps around the globe" from Walt Whitman's "Vocalism" blew my mind and made me feel okay about myself and who I was becoming. The production of the song makes you feel as though you're floating through a deep space abyss, wrapped in the comfort of Madonna's longing voice. Every single thing about this song is beautiful.

johnnox: There are occasions when a Madonna video can creep into your psyche without fanfare or controversy. I Want You is such an example - a promo that neither sets out to break the rules nor grab the headlines. And without such an agenda, it has become an enduring, flawless, visual masterpiece.
A cover of a 1976 Marvin Gaye song, I Want You was recorded with Massive Attack and planned as the lead-off single from ballads compilation Something To Remember. With the song ready, a video shot and remixes commissioned, all were all serviced to radio, television and clubs and then… nothing. Thanks to petty legal wranglings between Motown and Madonna’s label, it was shelved and replaced with You’ll See, one of three new recordings and itself a worldwide smash.
After the peculiarity of Bedtime Story and the spiky Human Nature videos, I Want You displayed a softer, warmer Madonna. It was hard to believe the woman who could fuck a dog to death in the Sex book then sprout white doves from her breasts in Bedtime Story could re-invent herself so convincingly in just six minutes and twenty-two seconds. But watching the video for I Want You was no easy feat.
Rewind back to 1996 and the World Wide Web was still an unproven concept. No YouTube, Facebook, Twitter or Madonnanation. No apparatus allowing you to click a mouse and find a link. All you had was a handful of TV music stations and potluck. So it took me a good week to catch the I Want You video in its entirety. Each time I tuned into MTV Europe, my fingers hovered on the play and record button of the VCR, but I’d frustratingly catch the last minute or so without enjoying it in its entirety.
Eventually one Saturday morning, there it was, sandwiched between Toni Braxton and Mariah Carey. Madonna, a hotel room, a telephone, a glass of water and a false eyelash … if there’s any doubt that girl had acting chops, I Want You begged to differ. You felt her aching; her disappointment, her longing and her hand-wringing frustration as she waited for the object of her desire to call. We’ve all been there, but few of us could style it out so successfully.
It’s rare to find Madonna in such a submissive position, dependent on someone else to ease her suffering. But there’s a twist in store for those doubting the power of the woman. Because in the closing scene when he finally does call, she hangs up on him. Poor is the woman who pleasure depends on the phone call of another. Even at her most vulnerable, Madonna still wears the trousers.
If nothing else, the I Want You video simply exists to prove that using a director (God bless you, Earle Sebastian) who truly understands an artist, you can witness the most famous woman in the world in a completely new light.
The song itself? Even without a video, it would stand head and shoulders up there with her best. This is exactly what a cover version should sound like – inspired by the original but not an inferior, hapless, carbon copy. Like Sinead’s Nothing Compares 2 U and Fugee’s Killing Me Softly, it uses the foundation of its predecessor to build a giant tower all of its own.
Madonna mixes sparse, understated vocals with spoken lines, trip-hop drumbeats and Massive Attack’s trademark subtle orchestration that builds and builds and builds to a saddening climax where the instrumentation takes over from the yearning in her voice. One can only imagine the beauty an entire album of Madonna and Massive Attack collaborations could have been. Might we still be discussing it now with the same affection we do for Ray Of Light?
I Want You remains in Madonna history as the first and only one of her songs to get the full video treatment without ever being released. While the masses may have forgotten about it, it’s their loss and the fans’ gain. And 18 years on, rarely has a video by any artist matched so symbiotically with its accompanying song.

loomer: Talking of characters, in the still fantastic video for this which was so good at the time, Madonna took on the role of a pregnant teenager here. But ambiguity was the key: "the baby" could just have been her boyfriend, but nevertheless created dialogue and a mini-uproar at the time, of her first controversies.
But that's beside the point cause this is just a fucking phenomenal pop record. The change was big, she sounded like a different person, looked like a different person and this record was in a whole other league to her prior stuff and showed her ambition, she was in this for the long haul and then some and upped the sophistication considerably both visually and sonically. I have memories of hearing this on the radio on holiday at my Aunt's in Surrey and it was startling stuff, such a change.

XXL: I remember hearing it on radio and thinking wow what is this sound, so unMadonna up to this point. ROL type of electronica was nothing compared to this. I thought after listening to it a handful of times I actually like it NICE
The video I was in awe for weeks and weeks. Her cameo in the film was another cutesy moment. This was 2 years after the massive MUSIC 15m copies album (42yo). After an equally massive, brilliant moment touring wise that came after a long break from concerts. So people were like, what will she do next?
And as usual she gave them MASSIVENESS but something new and different yet again. I also love how huge this single was worldwide amid an era of Disney Club starlets booming and the rent a rapper collabos of the various JLOs, Latin pop, Teen Pop, Boy Band Pop, Manufactured Pop etc etc etc If I am not mistaken it gave Madonna another Top 10 Billboard Hot 100 song (#8) and it was number 1 in 20 other countries
Unfortunately Mr Party Pooper (Smelton John) had to weigh in about it (as per usual) and he made himself look like the usual buffoon
But that's his comedic value I guess

Kurt420: The phrase "MADONNA IS BACK" has probably been uttered about a million times over the past 30 years. That phrase was exactly what I thought the first time I heard this song on that March day in 2012. I wasn't thinking it just because it had been four years since her previous album, it went back further, more like 10+ years. The lyric from I Don't Give A where she says "....diminished myself....swallowed my light" kind of sums it up actually. During the 00's, I mistakenly thought Madonna was always going to be a little more demure, reserved and tame through her 40's-50's and beyond. Still always fabulous and brilliant, but more well....."her age." This song shattered any notion I had of that! Like all her best songs, this song has that fresh yet familiar feeling to it and it has big balls.....in other words it's pure Madonna. A song ONLY she can pull off. In the way that Til Death Do Us Part's frantic production gives you the anxious, sad and uneasy feeling you feel when in a relationship that's dying, Gang Bang is the other side of that. It's hypnotic, slow, pulsating beat that almost grumbles coupled with Madonna's Demonna meets a demented Nikki Finn delivery makes you feel that feeling you feel when you're over the relationship. The I hate you and want you to die motherfucker stage. Aside from Mer Girl, I can't think of another Madonna song that provokes so much vivid imagery just from the lyrics. It really is like a little audio movie. For me this song encapsulates the entire MDNA era and her state of mind at that time. In a way, it's almost as if she was reclaiming her identity. Some may shrug, but to me this song is the most daring she's been in a long time in her music. I hope it's a sign of things to come in the future!
And can I just say, Madonna, girl you get a big FUCK YEAH for this song!

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jonski43: In the UK, this was Madonna's final single in 1985 - her 8th, just in time for Christmas! What a year that was! In line with previous releases, Warner's released a shaped picture disc, this time in the shape of a star for the Christmas tree. There was also a poster sleeve 12" and the US version in a different sleeve which was a dream for me as I was already into collecting the limited editions. The first time I saw the video was as a support for Desperately Seeking Susan and I was blown away. At the time, stage shows were just simple performances so to suddenly see this extended intro and then Madonna appear in silhouette was out of this world! I still love the simplicity of the opening as she comes down the staircase in that fantastic jacket. The choreography is great and the end when she strikes the pose on the stairs is amazing. It remains one my most favorite live performances of all time. As for the song, I still love it. It's a great example of a pure 80s pop song. Great to drive to, simple but fun.

IsaacHarris: For a young fag like myself, Lucky Star is a portal into another decade, into another 'Madonna' I had the misfortune of missing out on. You can hear in her then 20-something voice the urgency, the passion, and the honesty we've all come to expect from her. As far as I'm concerned, its the very song that marked the birth of MADONNA, the mega-star we see before us today.
There's a wonderful simplicity to it, both lyrically & musically: the way she reinvents a bedtime nursery rhyme into a semi-sexual, funky dance track is undeniably clever. The beat itself, though dead-simple, propels the song into quite possibly the catchiest chorus in her discography. Seriously, when that hook hits, I DARE you not to groove. 'C'MON, shine your heavenly body tonight' is a direct command command from the queen herself, one I follow whenever I hear it play.
It's understandably one of her biggest hits & one hell of a good song, but Lucky Star isn't just a Madonna SONG, its an entire experience, especially when paired with that equally-minimal-yet-intensely-fabulous. video. No other song + video combination better captures her energy! Despite the fact that her 80's image seems like a long distant memory, it hasn't aged a bit nor will it ever; it's as timeless as Madonna herself & anyone that underestimates it as a 'simple pop tune' has no soul & a flat ass.

28) GIVE IT 2 ME
CJM69: This is basically my personal theme song. I listen to it when I need to feel motivated and that I CAN do what I want. When I overcame depression I listened to this song non stop. "I can go on and on and on... give it to me.... no one's gonna stop me now." These are all very important lyrics to me. On a lighter note this is a fabulous song to work out to :lol:


MOTHERANDFATHER03: The song, while not a commercially released single from "MUSIC", was preformed on the DWT. It personally sent a shock wave through myself with it's accompanying video interlude for that tour. I loved the continuation from the Ray of Light era (NRM) with respect to the costume and some of the imagery. The distortion to her voice during the song did nothing but improve it from a general ballad to a interesting sound. Who could forget the lyrics "I've been so high...I've been so down", when that was sung you understood that while cliched M still related to the struggle with emotions.

loomer: This is one I’ve had a strange relationship with. Although the constant overexposure on tour has been a source of irritation, like the oft-used “Music” (incidentally I've just popped on that album and yes, its and "Impressive Instant's" placement may be a little low as they sound great :sneaky: , but I've definitely soured on the title track so its placement reflects that so EAT IT :ass: ) it’s not difficult to see why. And although this is one I wouldn’t play much, it’s not one I would criticize either, as all I have to do is hear those opening bars and I’m transported back to pop joy.
It’s also something of an ill-fitting song for Madonna, as while this is a universal party anthem, this workaholic was never one known for taking many holidays! It always works in the summer of course and was a top 10 hit 3 times in the UK – first in the unseasonal January.
“Get Together” is of course the modern day version of this, and Stardust and Chaka’s “Fate” are not dissimilar either – it’s the same old song!

whoopiedoo: I had classes the night MDNA leaked. I recall it being such a rough night, I could have cared less about some of the Primitivism and Fauvism works that we were going over. All I waited was all 12 album tracks and the 4 bonus tracks in my hand, ready to listen to from beginning to end. Little did I know that Madonna had her own form of art waiting for me at home. Once my professor dismissed us, I ran to my 2002 Ford Focus so I could speed on home like a mother fucker to download the album.
Once I downloaded the full album, I played that baby from beginning to end. As soon as the gritty-grindhouse epic that is Gang Bang finished, I was treated to the infectious I'm Addicted. Upon first listen I wanted to hear it again. I was blown away. We've had tracks like Impressive Instant, Nobody Knows Me, and Future Lovers that are these high-energy electronic songs, but nothing like I'm Addicted. Madonna took electronic music to whole other level for her. From the repeating "I'm"s to the MDMA chant, the song is a 4:33 explosion of a non stop music trip. It's become one of my all time favorite songs of Madonna, and quite possibly might become one of her greatest songs of this decade.

MOTHERANDFATHER03: The follow up to the massively big (like mega...) single Music was going to be a challenge for any artist let alone someone who had released so much. It can be viewed as the last time she "got it right" in terms of marketing and song choice for album sales purposes. The combination of Music followed by this somewhat country, but pop sounding jam can keep anyone dancing along wishing to be Madonna with any one of those cowboys as a backup. Everything was right with this song, the look, video and ability to sound fresh long after release makes it one of her better fared songs which was commercially released.

adreeyen: This song ranks among my top five Madonna songs ever. I cannot tell you how many times I have lost my shit to this song, dancing like a damn fool in my room by myself. It's like an audio injection of heroin, you can feel it pumping through every single one of your veins. This is the type of song that gets gradually better as the song progresses, and by the time she gets to the singy wingy part and the breakdown, I'm usually already half naked and humping my bed. Again, I think a thousand angels shriveled up and died the day she took the Impressive Instant/Burning Up mash-up out of the S&S setlist, but she'll have to face God alone on that one.

22) RAIN
rb19: Rain was my first Madonna song. When I mentioned to a friend that I liked Hollywood, they mentioned, as a big fan, that Rain was their favorite M song. I went for it, downloaded it, and for years it was the only song of hers in my library with Hung Up, but it kept me hooked enough to call myself a fan. After Hard Candy, I became a proper loon, and ploughed slowly and thoroughly through her discography, but Erotica stood out, and still does, as something special. Rain, and Erotica, aren't M's strongest works, but they stand my favorite. She's written better lyrics, been in better voice, had more cultural impact, had finer production, but it still pulls me back. Nearly a decade after I heard it for the first time, I still am rendered immobile by Rain's bridge, and the synths which follow; icy and warm at once, it is still my favorite M song. I have to stop whatever I'm doing and just let it wash over me. It stands as a metaphor for my whole understanding of Madonna; I can admire her, understand her, respect her, as an artist, as a businesswoman, as a cultural icon, but at the end of the day, the heart of the matter is something intangible, what makes her so incredible, for me, at least, is something beyond what you can analyze, it just is.

jazzyjan: La Isla Bonita is such a beautiful song. I understand why Madonna loves it so much. The melody is beautiful and the lyrics are full of yearning about a different life. I always find lyrics like that poignant as well. It is also sentimental as was one of my favorite songs as a child. The True Blue album was everything at that time and this song along with Live to tell were just stand-outs as beautiful melodic and different songs to me. Still love them to this day with passion. I also love the video. It is so sad when she is forever reminiscing in her room and then the joy when she leaves the room dressed up in her Spanish dress. She looks so gorgeous in the video.

See you again tomorrow where I'll be posting another 10 tracks of the MadonnaNation Top 40!
Stay tuned!

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Before we continue with the Top 40 list, let's take a look at a song that barely made the cut, but was worthy of inclusion from the users write

up. Our first "Bonus Track" is.....

rb19: MDNA was my first M concert, and I knew Cyberraga was on the setlist so I became determined to learn all the lyrics like I had Shanti/Ashtangi. I went from being casually annoyed by the song as a b side to loving it, and it got firmly lodged in my head. The date I was going to the show, I had my first driving test way too early that morning, I failed, but I just remember having Cyberraga playing over and over like a mantra in my head.

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Dr Lecter: Well, here's the FACTS - this is probably MY favorite Madonna song ever.....it was always up there but over the years it just astounds me what a brilliant song this is. Hmm, so memories...well obviously it didnt do that well over here in the UK originally, but i was aware of it from "THE FIRST ALBUM" (ugh what a horrible title - proves how big she was tho, i think in 1984 EVERYONE got LAV and The First Album LP's)..I think it was the video that first captured my imagination - her look, the storyline, the green heels, kicking the lampost dejectedly, perving over Latino men down the local CHICOS POOL CLUB or whatever, and going up to the newsstand to see a copy of the noted GLOSS with THE FACE onn it - and don't get me started on the accidental over exciting gratifying of a pillar and a sports car...and then it was around January 1986 i think, it EXPLODED over here- she had dominated the charts in 85, releasing nearly everything, twice, and then before the new album we randomly got this....beautiful. The vocals, the lyrics, the "keep pushing me keep pushing me keep pushing my looooove come on babeeh come on darlin yeaaahh....dah dah dah dah dahdah dah dah dah dah dah dah dah dah" - its all about the original version, and it GRATES me its not on THE VIRGIN TOUR LIVE ON VHS and the Sticky and Sweet version sounded like she was having her throat scraped - then again i only saw S&S Part 2 so i missed this, but saw Dress You UP...but Still..

You will also find a lot of "REAL MUSIC" boffin type snobs love this song.....

Thinking about that intro now....gorgeous.



raptor_attack: The first time I heard Bedtime Story was in 2001 and to be perfectly honest, it made me feel a bit grubby. I was only a very casual fan at the time and bought GHV2 off the strength of the ROL/Music era. Hearing Erotica followed by Human Nature and then the throbbing, hypnotic Bedtime Story caused me to loudly exclaim WHO IS THIS WHORE?!

Now it is one of my very favorites. The Bjork penned song heralded Madonna's first foray into "electronic" music. The pulsating beat and existential "new age" lyrics were ahead of their time and don't even get me started on the video BECAUSE I CAN'T EVEN.

A testament to Madonna's adventurousness and versatility.



adreeyen: This is another track that spoke to me on an emotional level as a young, confused homosexual. Even in such simple, straight-forward lyrics, you feel every single thing that Madonna sings in your body. When she belts out "I'm not the same, I have no shame, I'm on FIYAH!" you feel that fire in your fucking soul. It is a real tragedy against humanity that this song wasn't performed alongside fellow career highlight Impressive Instant on Sticky & Sweet.



msig: Apart from GMAYL and GGW, Love Spent was the first MDNA song that I heard in full.

It took me a little while to 'get' the song. After all, the teaser snippet that was posted on YouTube was from the second half of the song, and the first half is just so different in comparison. But after a few listens, I was in love. :inlove: It has become one of my all-time favorite Madonna songs, although I've always considered the album version over-produced. The acoustic version and, even more, the MDNA Tour version both walk all over it.



Shan: This song captured me upon my first listen. I instantly related to the lyrics, which talk about resenting a father figure or man in your life, but getting to a place where he can't hurt you anymore. It could be talking about a father, a man you've been with, or even god. This is the great part about a lot of Madonna's songs, they can be open ended and interpreted different ways, much like Live to Tell. There's always another layer, and it's part of why this song is so amazing.



MOTHERANDFATHER03: Madonna came back strong with this first single from her 6th album. It was a continuation with her R&B sound but sounded new and came across as a softer more "pop" sounding Madonna than the work from her previous album. It was a well choice to accent the album and was received well by music critics and fans alike. (it was also the only song I could get my dad to "bob his head" to in the 90's)



peter: So sings Madonna on the first track on her first album recorded after experiencing the life-altering event that is motherhood. Ray of Light is a watershed album for Madonna, finally garnering for herself the critical acclaim and respect she deserved far earlier in her career, and “Drowned World / Substitute for Love” announces immediately upon arrival that she is no longer the woman she was. Madonna may be among the most famous people on the face of the planet, but here she sings of the isolation, loneliness, and disillusionment which fame and celebrity have created in her life.

In the song’s second verse, the line “I never felt so happy” carries an ambiguous/ambivalent quality, which, for studied fans, may recall a similar sentiment from “Oh Father,” where she sings, “I never felt so good about myself.” In “Drowned World / Substitute for Love,” Madonna admits her love/hate relationship with fame, just as she revealed her troubled relationships with the male figures in her life – paternal, marital, or ecclesiastical – in “Oh Father.”

The bridge leading to the final chorus builds to a barely contained crescendo – the momentum is unstoppable, and it is almost strange that it culminates with humming, but then no one’s humming is quite as lovely, nor as enchanting, as Madonna’s. The carefully crafted and polished song establishes an atmosphere not only for the track, but for the whole album. The poetry featured in the bridge abounds in internal rhymes (not just end rhymes) and gathers forceful intensity even as she recounts the emptiness and vanity of a catalogue of loveless, lacking stimulants: “no famous faces, far-off places, trinkets I can buy / no handsome stranger, heady danger, drug that I can try / no Ferris wheel, no heart to steal, no laughter in the dark / no one-night stand, no far-off land, no fire that I can spark.” If it weren’t for this section, the song would almost be a confessional (and almost conventional) ballad, but the agitated synths and propulsive drumsweeps, punctuated with crashing cymbals, whip the track into a sonic whirlpool, revealing an undercurrent of unrest.

The choppy waters of a stormy sea recede, and a settled calmness is restored on the track as Madonna gently intones the opening lines again in its closing moments. Maternity had led Madonna to a point of intense introspection and personal reflection. In a candid, autobiographical, and direct manner, “Drowned World / Substitute for Love” recounts her life choices and experiences prior to her private epiphany about the uneven exchange she transacted in allowing fame to occupy the void only love can fill. The lyrical content leaves little need for explanation, except for perhaps the curious final line; the accompanying video, however, may provide a clue to interpreting the mysterious last words. After running away from the swirling madness and frenzy of celebrity-crazed fans and persistent paparazzi, Madonna has just arrived home (a grounding, centering sentiment repeated in the title track from the same album: “I feel like I just got home”). As she embraces her daughter (portrayed by a slightly older child than her own at the time, but clearly representing Lourdes), Madonna’s eyes close in a moment of joy, relief, and pure, unselfish love. Indeed, her soul has come home finally after years of wandering throughout the world in search of a maternal relationship. As this hopeful healing settles into her body, she opens her eyes and gazes serenely into the camera to sing: “This is my religion.” Her troubled history with the Church and organized religion had been explored artistically in the past and had caused much consternation in the public eye, but here she embraces the truth she has come to understand and accept – God is love, even as a parent loves a child. So, while she may have issues with the structure and systems of faith on earth, which are at times flawed by human imperfections, she holds to the tender heart of faith itself: Love is divine, and there is no substitute for it.



jonski43: This track takes me right back to Christmas 1992 and trying desperately to see the video. Unless you had satellite TV (which no one really had in the UK) you couldn't watch MTV and so you only ever saw a couple of minutes of a video. At the time, the full version was also banned for TV because of the banana-eating scene which seemed overly prudish but that was the UK at the time. I eventually saw the video in a music store shown on multiple television screens standing outside peering in. It was amazing! Disco and dark! I think that was the only time I saw it until the internet came along some five years later! However, the single release was also a watershed moment in my fan years - firstly, it only came as a 12" picture disc which was odd but then it failed to go top five - the first time since The Look of Love stalled some five years previously. After Erotica failed to go to No.1 and the SEX backlash, this seemed like the beginning of the end. Obviously, it wasn't but the Erotica years were tough for the fans who saw Madonna go through her first real sustained press mauling and less successful chart performances. To this day though, this song remains one of my all time faves (especially to drive to) and so does the video with the Girlie Show live performance also being a top favourite when the glitter balls descend and everyone starts spinning around with the feather boas.



johnnox: I was working as a feature writer for a British tabloid newspaper supplement when I got to know Barbara Charone, Madonna’s fearsome UK-based PR. I’d had many interviews with her other clients over the years, but of course Madonna was out of bounds for tabloid scum like me. Barabra knew I was a fan (I’d mentioned it enough times) and I’d already attended the listening party of American Life a couple of years earlier.

And while my multiple requests to interview Madonna had been politely declined in the run up to the Confessions, she did invite me to come to her North London office to hear Hung Up in its entirety. Til then, there’d only really been a snippet played publicly in her Motorola ad campaign.

Of course I could barely contain my excitement as I sat by Barbara’s stereo and she slipped the Confessions CD inside and hit ‘play.’ With the volume pumped up so high, it made my boots vibrate against the floorboards, it was love at first listen. Then she played it for me again and as a treat, she skipped forward to Sorry and played that in its entirety too. And as soon as I left the building, I sat outside on a brick wall, making as many notes as my shorthand allowed to post on here.

Fast forward a few weeks and Madonna’s playing a 40 minute showcase in Camden and I’ve blagged a press-pass. Expecting a huge queue outside Koko, I arrived early to find nobody there but me. A cursory glance from security at my lanyard and he misread it, telling me, ‘Crew is upstairs and to the right.’ I thought for a split second about correcting him but bit my lip instead to see where the night might take me.

Apart from milling bar staff and actual crew members, I was the only outsider there, watching the stage still being assembled and tinkered with. Then to my surprise, 30 minutes later, the thunderous intro to Hung Up began. And as I leaned over the balcony, Madonna and her army of dancers suddenly appeared and ran through the entire dress rehearsal of the show.

I was a mixture of transfixed and disbelieving, waiting for security to clock me and kick me out on my arse. Instead, I was ignored, and left alone to watch in awe my own private Madonna gig.

Then I waited another couple of hours and got to see it all over again in front of an audience of screaming fans.

Eight years later, each time I hear Hung Up, that song still spirits me back to the highlight of my life as a Madonna fan.



loomer: Sexiest record of all time? It could be, it really drips sex all the way through and also has a haunting vibe with the minor chords that are a hallmark of Madonna records. This certainly has the best ever use of Madonna's speaking voice, compare this with GGW! Sore throat-tastic, she is so believable on this and doesn't sound robotic at all.

The remix package of this is something else then there's the video. The opening and closing scenes, where she enters the sleazy hotel all tired and jaded and leaves triumphantly laughing putting her clothes back on are life itself!

The biggest triumph of all was she released such a forward-thinking, sparse and experimental song that really was the first 90s Madonna record as a new single promoting a Greatest Hits and wound up with one of the biggest and most iconic hits of her career, even selling the banned video. Now that was Businessdonna and Artistdonna at her very best in the biggest year of her career.

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We asked some of today's popstars what they thought about the MadonnaNation Top 40, and here's what they had to say:





Before we finish up here, let's go back and take a look at another track that barely made the cut. With only 7 votes, this song had to be included, it deserved some kind of inclusion since our very own delicious and handsome Kim wrote the narrative.

Kim: One of the few songs on I'm Breathless to transcend it's concept album limitations, Madge in full balladeer mode, serves up a poignant and melancholy song that while maintaining its period flavour, stays true to her pop sensibilities. Employing a gentle bass and percussion, sedate then delicately soaring strings and a bubbling synth pad/electric piano that ebbs and flows towards the slight urgency of the drum track. Like all their best tunes, this collaboration between the ever-amazing combo of Madonna and Pat Leonard, leaves the lyric open to interpretation. Madonna mourning an expired love affair? an unrequited love? a relationship tinged by fame? dejection? pondering her own relationship foibles? Sean? Or just Breathless crooning away in the corner of some smoky nightclub? You decide

Madonna's voice is beautiful here. Never in danger of wallowing in the mellow backing, it's pure and crystal clear, yet still vulnerable and pensive. Here, we once again witness that special Madonna magic in which just the pure unadulterated emotion in her voice is enough to touch us on a visceral level, that memorable, unmistakable thing - a "Madonna Song". Pre-autotune and eclipsing any need for vocal perfection or acrobatics, Madonna's voice reaches luminous highs and the sultriest lows. The full gamut of her range is on display here. From that unmistakable timbre in the line "you gave me, something to remember" to the plaintive strain of "wish I had the chance to know you" and "a little pain can bring you" Left unadulterated, her vocal only serves to strengthen the vulnerability behind the words. Lacking the perfectly executed yet somewhat sterile execution of the accompanying Sondheim numbers, Something To Remember is all the better for it.

Never one for great sentiment, Madonna nevertheless brushed off STR and gave it title track honours on her first and only ballad comp. Perhaps she was determined that we do indeed remember both this special and overlooked gem and its underlying message - that caveat to Madonna from her lost love, and that lesson from Madonna to us (that once or twice I've had to fight to remember myself) :-

I hear her still say...."love yourself "....

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bluejean: Not long after the embarrassment that was Madonna's karaoke version of 'American Pie' the lyrics to 'Music' leaked on the internet and fans were in meltdown mode. "Do you like to boogie boogie?" sounded ridiculous. Back then, file sharing had newly become this huge thing and this song famously leaked months before it's official release
Upon first listen 'Music' sounded so raw, I remember thinking it was like 'Everybody' Part 2. It was said to be just a demo but when the song officially came out it was virtually the same as the leak. Unlike "Give Me A Bucket" though that did not stop it from becoming one her biggest #1 hits ever. Because it was fucking amazing. And it wasn't just fans that thought so. EVERYONE was playing this song. One of the coolest tracks she's ever done it was praised by critics and the public alike. It was played on mainstream and alternative radio. Even today, it sounds so unique and fresh. Retro yet futuristic. I actually didn't imagine it would go to #1 everywhere since it was quite left of field. But it did and it became a Madonna classic.

IsaacHarris: one of those songs that instantly transports me to another place & time; on a far way dancefloor, Madonna being the chameleon that she is, assumes the role of a fellow club-goer & I become the love interest. She asks frankly if I believe in love at first sight as we both groove in unison.This sums up what clubbing is all about; two people face-to-face, for brief moment in time in perfect harmony. It isn't love, but who cares!? And what a lovely contrast between the cold, electronic beats & the warm sensitive lyrics. Despite the dancey delivery, I'd say its one of her more intimate songs and one of my favorites of the last decade.

joe: One of the first Madonna songs I fell in love with. Not only her amazing vocals, but that bassline! Also one of the best remixed Madonna singles. It's one of her most iconic songs, and the opening of the Blond Ambition Tour. It also accompanies one of, if not the best video of her entire 30 year career. A song so brilliant that its the first that someone so unoriginal attempts (but fails) to copy. Madonna is also able to include a blatant message without it being try-hard or cringeworthy, which makes the song so much the better.

Dr Lecter: One of my favourite songs from MY FAVOURITE album by anyone ever anywhere...a just turned 15 year old Dr L had sort of come to terms with the fact that my life was destined to be that of a homosexual with a penchant for comedy nuance and a nice flower arrangement....and THIS was the album that was there for me...and the title song...well, its phenomenal....cruelly underrated and caught up in the whole Album/Book/Crap Film Trilogy, NO ONE has or will do what she did here...what other song is like this...from the sample of the monks or whatever, to the Jungle Boogie soundtrack, to the video (which was another thing passed around on an E60 VHS Cassette back in the classroom)...its just the total package of someone who at the top of their game pushed that envelope too far, and maybe she needed to, but as she said "That was worth a year of being beaten up" - she needed to implode in this slutty dominatrix shadow puppet fellatio giving exhibitionist, because for nearly 10 years thats what people said she was...so she does it and people cant handle it...that whole era to me is amazing...its dark, as a fan it was tense times as she was public enemy number one, written off, "MADONNA - SHES A GONNA" - and this amazing song encapsulates all of that...the "ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh" to me are a highpoint....and also ordering SEX from that mail Order Company "WORLD BOOKS " that advertised on the back of Sunday Supplements, thank God for my Grandads empty house, where i took delivery illegally of a copy of SEX and then the other choices were Schindlers List and three Dictionaries....but still, it was FREE..

bluejean: There was a lot of hype around this song prior to the release of the 'Ray of Light' album. Hype which it certainly lived up to. 'Ray of Light' (the song) can best be described as a kind of Madonna epiphany moment. It's that moment in her life where it all comes together and she just lets loose and screams out like a mad woman, deliriously happy in the midst of some sort of spiritual awakening. A techno style club song incorporating guitar blended with Orbit's psychedelic electronic sounds, 'Ray of Light' is wild and euphoric.
Although not the worldwide #1 smash it should have been (probably because people were already buying the album at that point) it was a decent sized hit and did earn several Grammy nominations including for Record of the Year. Hardcore fans may complain everytime she performs this but at the end of the day (Madonnaism) its one her of her signature songs. The crowd will always want to hear it because it's fabulous.

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vermicious knid: This was when I began experiencing Madonna in real time. I don't know if this is unusual but as a child I paid no attention to music and didn't care for any singer or band. It was circa Ray of Light that this changed. A blurb in the newspaper mentioned her new song Frozen, as well as the day it would be released to radio. So the day I turned on the radio mid-song, I quickly recognized Frozen as being what I was hearing. Soon after the arts section of the newspaper came out with a four star review of the album. At midnight one radio station played the entire album straight through while I laid in bed in the dark. My sister drove me to a music store a day or two after its release. Fin.

Skin: For me this song is the moment when Madonna went from being a pop tart, to a woman creating pop art. Always written off by her harshest critics simply because she can not belt out a tune like the vocal gymnasts that came before and after her, but as usual these people underestimate Madonna, and the raw and real emotion she is able to pour into a song using the voice that she was given. You can not deny the depth, wisdom, and passion that effortlessly flows from Madonna and her vocal on Live to Tell. Without a doubt it remains one of the most haunting, moving and timeless ballads sung by any pop star to this day. A Madonna ballad that I am sure is the envy of many vocal gymnasts out there. Because no matter how loud they sing or how many riffs and runs they pull off in their own songs, it just doesn't compare. Sometimes less really is more.

adreeyen: This is the type of song that I have always liked since I was little, even before being a Madonna fan. It reminds me of driving around in my mom's old beat up car, leaning my head against the window and singing along to this fantastic tune. Whenever I'm out at a restaurant or at the store, there's a 50 percent chance I'll hear this song playing, and I never get tired of it.It's my absolute favorite Madonna song! It is THE gold standard for what a pop song should be, it's infectious, and if you don't like this song, I will pray for your soul.

peter: One of Madonna’s most iconic artistic achievements, the 1990 mega-hit “Vogue” stands out as stellar even amongst the dizzying array of successful singles in the starry constellation that is her oeuvre. Its importance, impact, and impressive performance is intimidating to capture in words, so this verbal exploration will no doubt fall miserably short of the grandeur of “Vogue.”
Madonna and Shep Pettibone set the mood with a daring and dramatic synth-string intro which patiently adds finger snaps, bass, and horn stabs, along with Madonna’s eventual invitations to “strike a pose” and whispered “vogue”s. In addition to an infectious, uplifting melody, catchy pop hooks, and ebullient dance/house sounds, Madonna delivers one of the most memorable and successful spoken sequences (which we might be so bold as to deem a rap) in recorded music history. Even in an age where hip-hop dominates popular music, the “Greta Garbo and Monroe…” passage persists as a powerful piece of pop perfection.
Madonna’s glorious ode to glamour and the transformative power of dance is – to use one of her favorite words – a paradox: a song that simultaneously commands you to stay still (“strike a pose”) and yet defies your body not to move (“you’ve got to let your body move to the music”).
What might seem on the surface to be about little more than “posing” and “faces” – and thus might be deemed superficial – is actually more profound. The song is not exactly as elitist as it seems, either – while namedropping the luminaries of Hollywood’s Golden Era (and, we hasten to add, placing herself seamlessly in their pantheon), she celebrates the celebrity, but she also lifts up the humble and average (“you’re a superstar / yes, that’s what you are”), democratizing the gilded class through dance, music, imagination, and inspiration. Madonna dares to imagine the dancefloor as a limitless space where there are no differences to divide people (“it makes no difference if you’re black or white / if you’re a boy or a girl”) – for, verily, music does make the people come together, and renews their spirits (“if the music’s pumping, it will bring you new life”). As with the best of Madonna, “Vogue” doesn’t sugarcoat the unavoidable sadness of human existence even when celebrating something joyous. While she acknowledges the darker aspects of daily life (“everywhere you turn is heartache,” and “the pain of life that you know”), she also offers a means for transcendence (“long to be something better than you are today”) and escape (“I know a place where you can get away”).
For me personally, ”Vogue” was the first Madonna song I can recall hearing on the radio and falling in love with. If I think hard, I can perhaps recall hearing “Material Girl” at the roller-skating rink as a five-year-old, but I somehow lived in a distinctly Madonna-less bubble until I was ten years old, when “Vogue” was released. I begged my mother to take me to the record store to buy the song, and my older sister even helped to plead my case to our reluctant mother. Eventually she was persuaded, and when the choice came down to the I’m Breathless album or the cassingle (cassette+single for all you young folks out there who have never heard of such a thing), she selected the album for me, I’m sure (at least partially) because Madonna was less scantily clad on the cover. It’s funny in retrospect – because my mother could now probably see her tactical error in that seemingly minor, but ultimately fateful decision. In so doing, she created an insatiable appetite for Madonna and her music, as I listened to I’m Breathless ad infinitum that summer. I still have a fondness for it, though my tastes also have matured in some ways, and my appreciation for her has deepened to embrace her full catalogue, not merely her representation of a cartoon character. Of all the tracks on that album, “Vogue” is clearly the timeless standout and the most superior (with no disrespect to Mr. Stephen Sondheim, intended, even with his Academy Award-winning “Sooner or Later”). Its massive success is made all the more legendary by the anecdote that it could have been relegated to B-side status on the final single from the Like a Prayer album. No offense to “Keep It Together” (which is a fine song and sadly oft-forgotten single due to the chart success of “Vogue”), but “Vogue” was clearly destined to be a single in its own right.
In my latter years, “Vogue” has become the song many of my female friends will play at their wedding receptions for a very performative turn with me on the dancefloor. While I indulge them, it is slightly embarrassing for me. On the other hand, how wonderful to be connected forever in their memories to such an enduring and perfect song about the joys and powers of dance and music!

loomer: The biggest giant by far among all her gigantic songs, this looms large throughout her whole catalogue. If you thought ROL was a great comeback, it had nothing on this.. after 1 ½ years away (pre-internet and as a pre-pubescent this felt like a lifetime away with many new divas seizing the moment on her time off). But when she does finally come back, it really is a new reborn Madonna. Pepsi, THAT video – the best video of all time, no less. But even after all that, the song was the most striking component.
This was an oddly structured song that’s unlike anything she’s done before or since (no mentions of “Nothing Fails” please :bad:), it melded gospel and rock/pop, the sacred and the secular. And indeed the profane, this still stands as something she’s never quite bettered lyrically – look at the oral sex reference in the chorus she sneaks past the censor, even less subtle than “Burning Up”’s come ons. That’s just one thing that makes this a work of towering unparalleled genius.
I will say that I’m not as big as some are on this and I do feel she has better songs melodically, but does she have anything as good as this as an actual record rather than song? Not a chance. It’s always been in my top 5/top 3 and likely always will. All I have to do is hear it again on a live performance, like with the Superbowl to get them chills – one thing I wish is there would be a performance with some guitar in it, at least the intro that’s in the original, a key component! Then they can up the disco ante if they like.
This song more than any other sealed her legend and is the one Madonna song everyone, even haters, love. It practically demanded she was taken seriously and thanks to this, she always will be.


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I'm glad TPOG, IWY and Sanctuary made the top 40...irritated BK didn't!...fuck you people! :laugh::s98:

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Hector, Suedehead, GetUnconcsious, Cody, Tuckeye, Scrapple, whoastephen, Monique, ULIZOS, Supernatural

They deserve a GOOD SPANKY :evil:

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Guest bluejean

No I'll Remember!!! I love that song. And no Cherish :(

And Human Nature should be higher :lol: So should The Power Of Goodbye

Great write ups btw everyone. Love your pics with each song whoopie chook

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I agree, HN should be higher! Also OYH! Motherfuckers! :lol:

Very glad for Gang Bang!

And Cherish deserved too! :angry:

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Guest Rachelle of London

well doen whoopie, looking great so far!!!!

Human Nature, Sanctuary are like my two fave songs, so glad they made it in the top 40!

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Guest bluejean

Wouldn't it be great if the top 20 become the setlist of her next tour :lol:

Or maybe we can submit the top 40 to Madonna/Guy when it comes around so she can get a sense of what songs her fans love the most

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Or maybe we can submit the top 40 to Madonna/Guy when it comes around so she can get a sense of what songs her fans love the most

I thought this as soon as whoopie came with this idea. We should get the final list to Madonna's eye! I know there are people here with Guy O's connections, it wouldnt be that hard...

It would be awesome if M could know all these stories and what are the mn favorites!

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loomer: Talking of characters, in the still fantastic video for this which was so good at the time, Madonna took on the role of a pregnant teenager here. But ambiguity was the key: "the baby" could just have been her boyfriend, but nevertheless created dialogue and a mini-uproar at the time, of her first controversies.

But that's beside the point cause this is just a fucking phenomenal pop record. The change was big, she sounded like a different person, looked like a different person and this record was in a whole other league to her prior stuff and showed her ambition, she was in this for the long haul and then some and upped the sophistication considerably both visually and sonically. I have memories of hearing this on the radio on holiday at my Aunt's in Surrey and it was startling stuff, such a change.

LOOMER voted!? :D

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That's what I've wanted to do since I first started this. I could create a webpage and maybe svperstar could host it on the main site, and we could tweet the link to Guy O?

I've tweeted the unveiling of the Top 40 on my twitter btw, but whoever is running the MadonnaNation twitter hasn't been bothered to re-tweet my tweet or even make a mention of the Top 40...., HOW RUDE!!

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well doen whoopie, looking great so far!!!!

Human Nature, Sanctuary are like my two fave songs, so glad they made it in the top 40!

I knew you would be happy with it!!!! Luv ya gurl!!!

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Okay so no Cherish, BK or IR :confused:

I swear If GGW makes the cut I will hack the forum :americanlife:


I love how XXL is ALWAYS mentioning her sales numbers with anything he's writing :lol:


I only voted for 3 that made it so far... :1251:

me too!!! :1251: or :angry:

surprised by PA....

and is Loomer still here??? :ohmy:


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wheres the fucking list? jeezus. :rotfl:



EAT IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

EAT IT!!!!!!!!!!


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