The Madonna Songs of The Century
A few days ago we told you about a new book published in Greece by music legend and member of the US Rock ‘n’ Roll hall of Fame Yiannis Petridis and his business partner Kostas Zougris. “The Songs of The Century” is a collection of 2004 songs from the 1910’s up to 2000’s – the main criteria of choice for the songs was the amount of social, artistic and commercial success each song had when it was released and for the years after.
12 Madonna Hits are presented in the book, making her the female artist with the biggest number of songs chosen to be included in this special list. Here are Madonna’s “Songs of the Century“.
Crazy for You (1985)
Crazy for you played an important role in Madonna’s career since it established her as a ballad singer along with her success in the dance
floor. CFY was heard in the movie Vision Quest and
when the song writers heard from the producers that Madonna was going to sing it they couldn’t
believe their ears because CFY was totally different
from what Madonna had sung since then. CFY put Madonna in alternative radio stations’ play lists in USAmany of which never played a Madonna song before.
By 1998 Madonna’s image had changed
dramatically! Many important occasions changed her
life, like the birth of her daughter and her Golden
Globe for Evita. All these gave her another perspective and helped her grow even greater distance from the Material girl image. Her love for electronic music led her back to William Orbit, the producer of Frozen. This song is inspired by the movie “Sheltering Sky”.
Madonna is the most representative sample of the
“Girl Power”; in modern pop with total
control of the image she was launching! Meanwhile she writes or chooses her repertoire something that makes her being on the top of everything. Her first artistic steps led her to Paris where she collaborated with Patrick Hernadez. On her return to NYC she did various jobs in order to survive until singing came along.
Holiday, her third single, was very close to what she
had learned in her short stay in Europe. Holiday was
originally successful in clubs before breaking into a
Into the groove (1985)
There are many rock songs that have managed to stick out from the albums that they were contained simply as album tracks. This does not happen often in pop or dance music albums. One of the songs that broke this rule was Into the Groove which was released commercially only in Europe while in USA it was an incredible success on radio.
Like a prayer (1989)
Madonna took a small turn to a more melodic motive in her songs with the recording of Like a Prayer. This technique was used more and more in her 90’s recordings. The lyrics of LAP combine the sensuality that she wanted to put out with her songs and the devotion to her Catholic faith. The LAP video caused a lot of stir worldwide and a bad reaction from the Vatican.
Like a virgin (1984)
The producer of LAV, Chic’s Nile Rodgers, did
not believe at first that this song was appropriate
for Madonna and he had objections about its lyrics. It took him 4 days to realize the power of the lyrics and he apologized to Madonna for his objections. On the contrary, when Madonna first heard the song was deeply impressed and believed in it. LAV was the song that opened widely the doors for a chain of number ones in USA!
Live to tell (1986)
Live to tell is one of the most important songs of the
whole 80’s decade. It would have an even better
luck if there weren’t this prejudice (fairly or
not) against her. The archetype for this kind of song
was Platters’ Great Pretender but Madonna goes
with its lyrics beyond that point by describing the
relationship between parents and their children and
the phases they go through as time goes by. LTT was originally written for the movie Fire with Fire but
was finally used for At close Range.
Material girl (1985)
One of the most characteristic songs of the 80’s
and the one that helped most the spread of
Madonna’s myth was MG. The video clip was
inspired by Monroe’s movie Diamonds are a
girl’s best friend. MG was featured in the LAV
album and it has the same mood. MG develops in the best way possible Nile Rodgers’ capabilities who
helped that period many stars with his productions
like David Bowie and Diana Ross.
Papa don’t preach (1986)
The most sophisticated move in Madonna’s career
was Papa don’t preach which, in the dance frenzy
of the 80’s, managed to unite those who loved
dance music with those who ignored it. PDP gave
Madonna the title “Whore Queen of the Pop”
according to the American Parents Union. Meanwhile it gave her the artistic recognition by the music
magazine Rolling Stone which, by then, didn’t
value her that much. PDP has a beautiful Beetles-ish
start and everyone gets their own messages from it.
The truth is that after PDP Madonna’s career was
never the same and as such was the relations between single mothers with their parents.
Take a bow (1995)
Madonna has managed throughout her career to lunch many looks and almost every time she got a great success out of them. She was also capable of choosing song composers who had what she was looking for, regardless if they were known or not to a wider audience. So, her collaboration with Babyface in Take a bow surprised no one, in a period that Babyface was already a superstar. TAB was one of her greatest hits ever which lunched one more new style for her.
True Blue (1986)
True blue was probably the most successful Madonna album since it contains many hits like PDP, LTT, OYH, LIB and of course True Blue. TB is a simple but very beautiful Madonna song that reflects a carefreeness that we all went through at some point of our lives.
One great Madonna talent is that she’s always
capable of adjusting to every music progress. The
explanation for that is very simple: she is smart, she has a good taste and she knows the right song
composers who will provide her with the new material she needs to freshen up her sound! Shep Pettibone took over this role for Vogue and gave her one of the best recordings of the 90’s!
Special thanks to our Team member Dimitris
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