Friday, 16 August 2013

The Best Of Madonna - part 1

JUMP TO: 55-41 II 40-21 II 20-1

Madonna turns 55 today, so what better time to count down my favourite Madonna singles of all time? And, what better number of songs to list than 55 - after all, there aren't many artists who have released that many singles let alone had 55 good singles in their career.

Spanning from 1982 to 2012, the songs included in this first batch of songs mostly aren't considered Madonna classics, although there are a couple of big hits in here that many would rank much higher than me.

Number 55 "This Used To Be My Playground"

Year: 1992
Album: single only; later included on Something To Remember
Charts: #9 AU, #3 UK, #1 US
Released between the sexual onslaught on 1991's "Justify My Love" (which doesn't make this list) and 1992's Erotica album, this demure ballad came from the soundtrack of baseball flick A League Of Their Own. Madonna also starred in the film, and I'd love to say something about her performance but I never did get round to seeing it.

Number 54 "Give Me All Your Luvin'" (featuring Nicki Minaj & M.I.A.)

Year: 2012
Album: MDNA
Charts: #25 AU, #37 UK, #10 US
It received plenty of publicity thanks to a certain Superbowl performance, but "Give Me All Your Luvin'" became Madge's most disappointing chart performance for an album's lead single since debut release "Everybody".

Number 53 "Take A Bow"

Year: 1994
Album: Bedtime Stories
Charts: #15 AU, #16 UK, #1 US
A massive success in the US, "Take A Bow" received a helping hand (and voice) from superstar producer Babyface.

Number 52 "Bye Bye Baby"

Year: 1993
Album: Erotica
Charts: #15 AU
Only released in a handful of territories (Australia included), this sixth single from Erotica came with a cobbled together clip featuring footage from The Girlie Show tour.

Number 51 "Keep It Together"

Year: 1990
Album: Like A Prayer
Charts: #1 AU, #8 US
In the States, it was issued as a single in its own right, whereas in Australia it was released alongside "Vogue" - but either way, this became the sixth and final hit from Like A Prayer.

Number 50 "Like A Virgin"

Year: 1984
Album: Like A Virgin
Charts: #1 AU, #3 UK, #1 US
The song that turned Madonna from a singer of a few catchy pop tunes into a global phenomenon has never been among my favourites, but there's no denying its place in music history.

Number 49 "Ray Of Light"

Year: 1998
Album: Ray Of Light
Charts: #6 AU, #2 UK, #5 US
Another song that other people seem to like a lot more than me, "Ray Of Light" is possibly the most critically acclaimed of all Madonna's hits and the first to win a Grammy (although she'd previously received an award for Best Long Form Music Video for Blonde Ambition World Tour Live).

Number 48 "Miles Away"

Year: 2008
Album: Hard Candy
Charts: #39 UK
From one of Madonna's most polarising albums comes this track, which flew so under the radar that casual music fans probably wouldn't even have realised it was a single. The song's inspired by her relationship with former husband Guy Ritchie.

Number 47 "What It Feels Like For A Girl"

Year: 2001
Album: Music
Charts: #6 AU, #7 UK, #23 US
Teamed with her most controversial video in some time, this track from Music received a Perfecto makeover - although I've always preferred the more subdued album version.

Number 46 "Everybody"

Year: 1982
Album: Madonna
Charts: #107 US
The single that started it all. Well, it didn't really set the charts alight, but it was Madonna's debut release and still sounds as good today as it did back in the early '80s.

Number 45 "Rescue Me"

Year: 1991
Album:The Immaculate Collection
Charts: #15 AU, #3 UK, #9 US
One of two new tracks recorded for Madonna's first greatest hits album, "Rescue Me" did pretty well considering it never had a video (not even a concert clip) available for music TV play.

Number 44 "Music"

Year: 2000
Charts: #1 AU, #1 UK, #1 US
Madonna kicked off a new decade (although not, technically, a new century or millennium) still on top of just about every major chart around the world and showed no signs of giving up her music crown any time soon. Then, "American Life" happened.

Number 43 "Dear Jessie"

Year: 1989
Album: Like A Prayer
Charts: #51 AU, #5 UK
Released in Britain instead of "Oh Father" (Australia got both singles), this cute track was accompanied by a music video which was the second in Madonna's career (after "Who's That Girl") to feature her in cartoon form.

Number 42 "Rain"

Year: 1993
Album: Erotica
Charts: #5 AU, #7 UK, #14 US
Even Madonna's most sexually charged album had a soft side - and this Erotica single proved she could still score a hit without relying on shock factor.

Number 41 "Hollywood"

Year: 2003
Album: American Life
Charts: #16 AU, #2 UK
Ten years after "Rain", the shock factor of Madonna kissing Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera did nothing to help this single crack the US chart, although that MTV performance probably helped its chart position elsewhere in the world.

In Part 2, I'll continue counting down my favourite Madonna singles from number 40 to number 21, which will include a song that only charted in Japan and one of only two duets released by the Queen of Pop.


  1. When "Like a Virgin" and "Ray of Light" are not near the top of a chart like this, you know the person's taste is a bit