Girl Gone Wild: Madonna's Top 10 Dance/Club Chart-Toppers
For the past two weeks, Madonna's latest single, "Girl Gone Wild," has been sitting pretty at the top of Billboard's Hot Dance/Club Play chart.
That's the chart that tabulates which songs are getting the most spins in discos and dance clubs. It's a cool, upbeat track about losing control of your desire on the dance floor, and its music video includes an extra-strength dose of shirtless dudes dancing in high heels and hose. We're looking forward to hearing it live when Madge hits Toyota Center in October.
What's really incredible about "Girl Gone Wild," though, is that it's Madonna's 42nd (!) No. 1 single on the Dance/Club chart, the most ever by far by any artist. It's a record in no danger of being broken anytime soon, either. Her nearest competitor is Janet Jackson, who's scored 19.
So far, Madonna has spent a total of 73 weeks in the top spot of the Dance/Club chart over the course of her 30-year career. That's damn near a year and a half! Because we're unrepentant Madonna obsessives, Rocks Off has taken the time to go through all 42 of her No. 1 dance singles and pick out our favorites so that you can throw your own little dance party at home, behind closed doors, where no one will laugh at you.
Remember now, this is Madonna we're talking about; the following music videos should be considered NSFW unless you work in a gay discotheque.
10. "Holiday": This one was Madonna's first Dance/Club chart-topper. It peaked at No. 1 along with "Lucky Star" in 1983. Sweetened to perfection by Madonna's producer/boyfriend Jellybean Benitez, "Holiday" was a fresh, effervescent triumph for the budding pop star. It spent five weeks on top of the Dance/Club chart, and would also be her first of a couple crates' worth of singles to enter the Billboard Hot 100 and, by all accounts, is still Madonna's favorite Madonna song.
9. "Open Your Heart": The fourth (and best) single from 1986's True Blue, "Open Your Heart" was a simple little love song that Madonna infused with a sense of erotic longing in her vocals, touching off a dance-floor explosion. It hit No. 1 on the Dance/Club Play chart on Feb. 14, 1987.
The music video for "Open Your Heart" is pretty unforgettable -- The image of a tassled Madonna peeling off her Liza Minnelli wig to reveal platinum blond beneath, dancing and singing in her own little world on the peep-show stage before running off with a kid with whom she had an ambiguous relationship was the kind of thing people were staying home on Friday nights to watch on MTV.
8. "Deeper and Deeper": An upbeat dance track in the best Madonna tradition, "Deeper and Deeper" was the most overtly disco-oriented track of her career. While it didn't achieve the indelible crossover success of her previous club hits, it still went to No. 1 on the Hot Dance/Club Play chart in 1993.
Rather than dating the tune, the disco flourishes highlighting "Deeper and Deeper" instead serve to add a timeless appeal to what was the very epitome of an early-'90s dance track.
7. "Vogue": When "Vogue" topped the Dance/Club Play chart for two weeks in 1990, Madonna was indisputably the biggest female recording artist in the world -- the reigning Queen of Pop. The disco-inflected house single also shot to No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 on its way to selling over six million copies.
In many ways, "Vogue" represents the high-water mark of Madonna's career. If you've never danced to this song, you've never been dancing. Madonna most recently performed "Vogue" live at this year's Super Bowl halftime show.
6. "Hung Up": "Hung Up" represented something of a comeback for Madonna after her disappointing American Life album was greeted mostly with curled lips in 2003. Two years later, she was back on top thanks to this disco-heavy track featuring a prominent sample from ABBA's "Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man After Midnight)." "Hung Up" went to No. 1 on charts in 41 countries, earning a spot in the 2007 Guinness Book of World Records. It spent four weeks atop the U.S. club chart.
5. "Express Yourself": Madonna's great liberation anthem was a club smash, topping the Dance/Club Play chart for three weeks in 1989. "Express Yourself" is a big, brassy exhortation for women to either demand the best from their relationships or walk away -- Madonna's answer to Aretha Franklin's "Respect."
The song received at least as much airplay on MTV as it did in the club thanks to an iconic video directed by David Fincher that saw the pop star stretch and bend feminist conceptions of power and sexuality to shock and titillate her audience. Basically, an instant classic.
4. "What It Feels Like for a Girl": This song was a bit of an interesting case. The album version from 2000's Music was an intimate little trip-hop tune, while the mix for the controversial (duh!) music video (directed by Madonna's then-husband, Guy Ritchie) was an upbeat trance number.
While we happen to prefer the latter version (which you can hear above), both mixes got played in the clubs. "What It Feels Like for a Girl" topped the Dance/Club Play chart in 2001.
3. "Ray of Light": This hyper-speed burst of electronic bleeps and tings is one of Madonna's best ever. It's an electrifying blend of techno, trance and Eurodance, Madge's deepest foray yet into electronic music upon its release in 1998.
Producer William Orbit paired one of the best vocal performances of Madonna's career with as many beeps, whistles and drops as he could cram onto a CD, creating an ecstatic whirlwind of sound that was complemented perfectly by its frenetic music video. The song spent four weeks at the top of the Dance/Club Play chart.
2. "Nothing Really Matters": This was the fifth single from Ray of Light, and it's often overshadowed by its predecessors, but "Nothing Really Matters" is a great house-inflected dance tune that should have been bigger than it was.
It peaked at No. 93 on the Billboard Hot 100, Madonna's lowest-charting single to date at the time, but it still got plenty of play in the clubs. It spent two weeks at No. 1 on the Dance/Club Play chart in 1999.
1. "4 Minutes": Superstar assists from Justin Timberlake and Timbaland made the lead single from Hard Candy a total shoo-in to top the Hot Dance/Club Play chart in 2008. The sound is pure Tim -- upbeat urban dance featuring marching-band brass. The superproducer and Timberlake delivered their lines from giant video screens when Madonna performed the song live on her "Sticky and Sweet" tour the same year.
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