Express Yourself: The 10 Best Deep Tracks of Madonna's Career
Photo by Daniel Kramer.
Madonna is one of those artists that does it all: she sings, dances, acts, and occasionally writes. The main thing that keeps her fans begging for more is that she always seeks to reinvent herself - whether it be her 'Borderline'-era '80s street-style or the sleekness that defined her videos in the late '90s. Her albums have sold millions worldwide. Also, she has influenced many female artists including Britney Spears, Deborah Gibson, Katy Perry, and countless others.
Madge has also been a rather controversial figure too since ever since she performed her wedding night dance routine to "Like A Virgin" in a wedding dress at the 1984 MTV VMA Awards. She's continued this controversy well into her career with such controversial videos as "Justify My Love," "Like A Prayer," and "What It Feels Like For A Girl," among others. Heck she still is a polarizing figure among some conservative circles.
10. Buenos Aires
In 1996 Madonna took on the role of Eva Perón in the film version of the hit broadway musical Evita. The film itself was nominated for many Oscars in 1997 including "Best Sound," among others.
9. Live To Tell
Written for the movie At Close Range starring then-husband Sean Penn, this is Madonna at her most honest and poignant. During her 2006 "Confessions" tour, she performed this while suspended on a cross with a crown of thorns. This became a source of much controversy among Christians who viewed it as sacrilegious. She told Rolling Stone in 2009 that "when I performed "Live to Tell" on a cross, I was supporting Jesus, paying homage to his message, which is to love your neighbor as yourself, to treat people with dignity. The Christians didn't like that."
"Cherish" is a throwback to Madonna's early work from her 1983 self-titled debut album. With the release of Like A Prayer in 1989, her overall sound and lyrics matured considerably. However this was a small reminder that this is the same Madonna people made popular from 1984.
7. Love Song (w/Prince)
Once upon a time, the Queen of Pop teamed up with the one and only Prince. They briefly dated in 1985. "Love Song" was featured on her 1989 release Like A Prayer. Kind of hard to believe considering the fact they recently patched up an ages old dispute according to a 2011 article by Rolling Stone.
6. Think of Me
This is Madonna pre-"Like A Virgin" era from 1983 from her self-titled debut album. "Think of Me" has a disco-infused sound, making it more of a dance track.
"Angel" takes cues from the new wave era of the '80's. After all, when Madonna arrived in New York in the '70's, she started as a drummer for the punk band Emmy and later, the Breakfast Club. Here, she and legendary producer Nile Rogers seem to be influenced by acts as The Psychedelic Furs and David Bowie. Either way, it fits Madge well.
4. Into The Hollywood Groove (The Passengerz Mix w/Missy Elliott)
In 2003, Madonna released an EP entitled Remixed and Revisited which contained remixed versions of her songs both past and present. This version was featured in a 2003 Gap Jeans commercial featuring both Madonna and Elliott.
3. Who's That Girl
Since Madonna rose to fame in the mid-80's, she's also tried her hand at acting and directing. Some have been hits - A League of Their Own, Desperately Seeking Susan, and Evita. Others - Shanghai Surprise (with ex-husband Sean Penn), The Next Best Thing, and Who's That Girl - were box office bombs. However, the soundtrack for Who's That Girl was a success. It gave her another number-one Billboard hit in June 1987. Madge, though, only performed it on the "Who's That Girl World Tour" in 1987.
2. Beautiful Stranger
In 1999, Madonna contributed a song to the soundtrack to Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me. The video for the song involved Powers (played by Mike Meyers) being informed by Basil Exposition (played by Michael York) that there's a chameleon-like seductress overpowering all of the secret agents and that he should on guard against her seductive ways. Of course, he does the exact opposite.
Shortly after Madonna made her memorable mark on MTV history at the VMA Awards, she recorded "Crazy For You" for the hit film Vision Quest. She asked the producer, John "Jellybean" Benitez to produce "Gambler" and he obliged. However, it was only released on the original soundtrack to the film, but never as a single in the US. Additionally, she only performed it on her first US tour, the aptly titled "Virgin Tour."
Get the Music Newsletter
Keep your thumb on the local music scene with music features, additional online music listings and show picks. We'll also send special ticket offers and music promotions available only to our Music Newsletter subscribers.