411 Music Ten Deep 4.17.14: Top 10 1980s Madonna Songs
Posted by Sean Walker on 04.17.2014
From "Like a Prayer" and "Papa Don't Preach" to "Like a Virgin," "Oh Father" and more, 411's Sean Walker counts down the top 10 Madonna songs of the 1980s!
Hello everyone! Welcome to the Ten Deep. I'm Sean Walker. I dropped my precious phone on the concrete, so to my friends and family, I'm dead. Well that's ok, because I have you guys, right? Right?
Madonna has been in the music industry for 30 years now, lasting longer than any pop star that has ever stepped on the planet. I decided to cover her greatest hits, but because there's so many of them, I decided to split this topic into three parts covering each individual decade of her career. Here we go.
Just Missing the 10:
15. "Material Girl"
14. "Into the Groove"
13. "Express Yourself"
11. "Live to Tell"
The Top Ten Madonna Songs of the 80s
10. "Papa Don't Preach"
Madonna was known as a one trick pony at this point in time because she was simply a pop star who had no depth into her lyrics. Come the True Blue album, she decides her summer single will be a song dedicated to pregnant teenagers who have a hard time wanting to keep it. I remember being shocked hearing it for the first time because it was the girl who was feeling like a virgin. It definitely marked the first evolution for Madonna as she began to be taken more seriously.
9. "La Isla Bonita"
True Blue is definitely my favorite Madonna album of the 80s. Her voice matured more. Her music was more diverse. She brought something new to the pop world at the time. "La Isla Bonita" is a hard example of this diversity. She brought her love for Spanish music and mixed it the dance-pop sound that was thriving, and created something great.
8. "Love Don't Live Here Anymore"
Sure, it's probably the sappiest song on here. But it's also the smoothest song on here too. Everything is flowing with ease as Madonna sounds comfortable as she sings this melancholy of a ballad. Those high notes sounded very difficult to pull off, and she probably had to go on vocal rest afterwards. It would be a sneak peek into the potential her voice as her career progressed.
Coming from her first album (which isn't that great) is the song "Borderline." It has this liberating feel that was definitely the 80s. "Borderline" became Madonna's first top 10 ever, so it deserves a placement on this list, even if it's completely cookie-cutter dance pop.
6. "Crazy for You"
This is one of those "I am alone, so I'll stalk the hell out of you because I saw you across the bar" songs that Madonna is known for. It's lyrically similar to "Open your heart" as she desires someone she can't have. I like the doo-wop vibe that it gives off that breaks it from completely becoming a ballad.
5. "Like a Virgin"
Who doesn't know about "Like a Virgin"? Without this song, I doubt Madonna would have been able to break through to become an internationally renowned superstar. It was tiptoeing on the edge of provocative due to its edgy lyrics, which goes through your ears like a sweet treat. Outside of her debut album (and some newer songs), this has to be the most candy coated pop songs she has ever recorded. And who could ever forget the iconic wedding dress that would forever be ingrained into the song's identity.
4. "Love Song"
Production-wise, the '80s had some of the worst I've ever heard. Not even a platinum deluxe grand remastered edition could save some the shit back then. Now, this song is silky smooth. I haven't looked it up, but I suspect that Prince may have been involved with this song. The guy who is singing with Madonna sure sounds like him. Either way I get a kick out of it because it could be a Prince song, with a few tweaks and a couple more guitars.
3. "Open Your Heart"
This one is my personal favorite song from the 80s Madonna. Written for Cyndi Lauper, "Open Your Heart" was instead given to Madonna who made it into another number one for herself. I have a deep connection to this song for undisclosed reasons. unrequited love
2. "Oh Father"
This is another song with a heavy message as it pertains to child abuse both emotionally and physically. It's one of one Madonna's most powerful songs she has ever made. I'm a sucker for celebrities who use their fame and influence to promote a positive message. Oh father is Madonna's most underrated songs of all time as it wasn't as popular as it should have been.
1. "Like a Prayer"
"Like a Prayer" is considered by most to be Madonna's signature song. Closing out the 80s with bang, Madonna would light up the world with controversy stemming from the music video. She ended up losing Pepsi as a sponsor for her next tour over the controversy, which is a shame because I think it's a great music video that again, had a powerful message to it. Like a prayer isn't just the average pop song. It has influences of Rock and Gospel, while retaining that dance flavor that Madonna is known for. It's songs like this that allowed Madonna to have extreme longevity in her career.
Well that's it for now. Are there any Madonna songs from the 80s that get you going? Share them in the comments below. See you next time as I vogue my way into the 90s when I continue my journey into Madonna's 30 year catalog of classics. Happy Easter everyone!