Best Singles of the ’90s
Five Madonna singles are charted in Slant Magazine’s Best Singles Of The 90s.
#42. Madonna, “Secret.”
Despite the common misconception that she often sings about sex, Madonna’s songs aren’t always sexy. “Secret” is perhaps the finest exception to that rule. As it slinks along a simple R&B backbeat and an unfussy acoustic guitar figure, “Secret” is also one of the most organic-sounding singles of Madonna’s career, taking its sweet time to get where it’s going and not giving up too much along the way. The arrangement gets off on being withholding, and, at least for one glorious single, so does Madonna: When she sings, “You knew all along/What I never wanted to say,” she sounds positively rapturous. JK
#36. Madonna, “Deeper and Deeper.”
Among Madonna’s finest achievements, the angsty pop anthem “Deeper and Deeper” is both an acute distillation of Erotica’s smut-glam decadence and the singer’s lifelong blond ambition. The song, like its video, practically plays out as an autobiography of the singer’s life: Atop sambalicious disco, Madonna delivers a burning, poignant fairy tale of yearning and escape in which she plays both Little Red Riding Hood and the Big Bad Wolf. Armond White once praised Madonna for how she took “outsider art inside herself”—which is to say, justified it by personalizing it. The uncontrolled, fierce tension of the song derives from the feeling that Madonna is taking a plunge into some hedonistic abyss of her own liberated, uninhibited making. EG
#34. Madonna, “Erotica.”
Madonna accepts the burden of her throaty, spent-from-touring voice, which makes Erotica’s taunting, aggressive lyrics—an elaborate exploration of sex, from seduction to disease—feel unmistakably honest. The title track, whose opening put-a-record-on scratchiness mirrors that of Madonna’s most divisive instrument, is the singer’s invitation to the dance, a slithering, sinister snake rising from a gaudily ornate chalice. The beats are, by design, hypnotic—at once alluring and devious. With “Erotica,” Madonna promises to get you off, but not without giving you something. EG
#16. Madonna, “Ray of Light.”
Once the Material Girl made it her mission to bring electronica to the masses, she could have named her collaborator. Her decision to work with William Orbit shows that, for all the flack she’s faced for “appropriation,” her interest in underground dance music is deep and not wholly commercial. Madonna discovered techno just as she turned 40 and took up Kabbalah, and listening to “Ray of Light,” it’s easy to imagine Madonna finding in rave culture not just a new image, but a way of expressing her spiritual awakening. The beat is restless and Madonna sings breathlessly, but she exudes contentment: “I feel like I just got home!” Her emotional warmth is what establishes the song as a standout single even in a catalogue as replete with classics as Madonna’s. MC
#10. Madonna, “Vogue.”
Much has been written (specifically on this site) about the cultural impact of the appropriation of queer and nonwhite motifs in Madonna’s “Vogue,” so I’ll focus instead on the song’s musical archaeology and influence. Lest I completely ignore its substance, Madonna’s message is clear (“Beauty is where you find it”), but the track’s origins are part and parcel with its star’s mining of gay club trends and Old Hollywood: Inspired by the Salsoul Orchestra’s “Ooh, I Love It (Love Break)” by way of Danny Krivit’s remix of MFSB’s “Love Is the Message,” the song has a family tree that even includes producer/DJ Shep Pettibone’s remix of Janet Jackson’s “Miss You Much” and serves as a sort of musical map of disco. Pettibone recorded “Vogue” with Madonna as a B-side for her single “Keep It Together,” making its impact all the more impressive (it would go on to inspire a glut of pop-house copycats) and begging the question: If disco died a decade earlier, what the fuck was this big, gay, fuscia drag-queen boa of a dance song sitting on top of the charts for a month for? SC
Katy Perry discusses Madonna and spirituality
According to the Telegraph, Katy Perry said…
“For me, spirituality is something very important and I don’t like it when people take it lightly.
At times, I don’t understand why there are artists who play that card, like when Madonna gets up on a cross to sing.”
Milan’s hotel to the stars
Milan’s most exclusive address is a palace fit for a celebrity, as Madonna, George Clooney and David Beckam can attest.
Website news.com.au explains…
When Madonna stayed at the Hotel Principe di Savoia in Milan she brought with her about 40 staff members. She was in Milan for five nights on a concert tour. The 40-strong entourage did not include her band and back-up singers. They stayed elswhere. Somewhere a little less expensive, I can only presume. Madonna’s personal staff did, however, include a maid. Madge obviously didn’t want the Principe hotel staff to get their hands on her dirty laundry.
Piers Morgan again and again… and again!
In the latest issue of Entertainment Weekly, Piers Morgan answers some questions about Madonna… once again!
Entertainment Weekly: You banned Madonna from the show…
Piers Morgan: It can only be rescinded if she makes a formal apology. For all the grief she’s caused me by being Madonna.
Entertainment Weekly: She says she doesn’t know who you are. Let’s keep this going. Your turn.
Piers Morgan: I was interested to see she doesn’t know who I am because Madonna and I have been feuding for 25 years… When I watched her in the days of “Holiday,” nothing was sexier than Madonna. Watching Madonna at 52 going out with 22-year-old kids called Jesus and stripping her clothes off for magazines, it’s like, Please, it’s over. We have a new one, it’s called Lady Gaga.
He also gave an interview to The Daily Mail and mentioned the feud once again…
“My decision to unilaterally ban Madonna from my new CNN show – on the grounds that she is far more boring and considerably less talented than her new, young doppelganger Lady Gaga – has continued to attract considerable attention in America. So I decided to put my theory to the test on national TV tonight. During an appearance on Chelsea Lately – Chelsea Handler is a wild, crazy, hilarious blonde who hosts a comedy talk show – I asked the studio audience how many of them would rather I interviewed Madonna over Gaga, and not a single person put their hand up or uttered a word. Just total dismissive delicious silence. Then I reversed the question and they all burst into loud cheering. Madonna obviously thought she was being very clever by reacting to my ban by saying she’d never heard of me. But when she sees the clip of that audience, she’s going to realise that there may be a rather unsettling truth to my assertion that she is yesterday’s news.”
UK top role models
A nationwide study of more than 1,200 boys from the UK, and their parents found 14% think Madonna is a role model.
Madame X is available in Box Set, CD, Vinyl and Cassette!
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