Yes, the “10 Best Madonna Songs” is a bit of an ambitious title but if there’s one thing the Queen of Pop has taught us, it’s to be BOLD. In honour of her new album MDNA (released today!) and in celebration of her general awesomeness, here are our picks for Madonna’s best songs. Tell us yours below!
“You’re so consumed with how much you get / You waste your time with hate and regret / You’re broken when your heart’s not open”
Kicking off our Madonna playlist is one of the pop queen’s most beautiful, haunting songs to date. The lyrics describe an individual who is too afraid to open their heart and feel love, which demonstrates some of Madonna’s most profound songwriting in her enitre career. The Middle-Eastern themed music and dramatic video styling is the icing on the cake to this poignant ballad.
9. Get Together
“Can we get together? / I really, I really wanna be with you / Come on, check it out with me / I hope you, I hope you feel the same way too”
As one of the best songs off her electro-dance-pop album Confessions on a Dance Floor, we kind of love this era of Madonna. If you listen to this song now, the production style is still in fashion today — good ol’ Madge is always a trendsetter! Plus, the lyrics are totally Madonna: if she sang them back in the 80s over a poppy rock beat, it would have been a hit!
“Hey Mister DJ, put a record on / I wanna dance with my baby / And when the music starts / I never wanna stop / It’s gonna drive me crazy”
Madonna is the only person in music who can get away with a song about “Music”, don’t you think? We also think this might have been one of the first tracks to adress the DJ, no? Nowadays we feel like most of the pop songs we hear have pleas to the DJ to play their fave jams, and Madge is to thank for such a phrase.
7. Don’t Tell Me
“Tell me love isn’t true / It’s just something that we do / Tell me everything I’m not / But please don’t tell me to stop”
Everything about Madonna’s 2000 hit “Don’t Tell Me” is awesome: the sassy don’t-tell-me-what-to-do lyrics, the “Sweet Home Alabama”-style guitar licks, and Madge’s amazing cowboy look in the music video. We’re instantly transported back to the beginning of the millennium when we hear this track!
6. Ray Of Light
“Zephyr in the sky at night I wonder / Do my tears of mourning sink beneath the sun? / She’s got herself a universe gone quickly / For the call of thunder threatens everyone”
This song was released during Madonna’s New Age-y phase and was a critical success. It was nominated for three Grammys and won two, including “Best Dance Recording”. Madonna was praised for borrowing from the underground dance music scene for this energetic track.
5. Material Girl
“’Cause everybody’s living in a material world / And I am a material girl / You know that we are living in a material world / And I am a material girl”
Inspired by Madonna’s infatuation with Marilyn Monroe (which pop star doesn’t have one?), “Material Girl” is all about, well, being a material girl and being proud of it! There’s nothing wrong to want to be dripping in diamonds and pearls, right?
“If we took a holiday / Took some time to celebrate / Just one day out of life / It would be, it would be so nice”
The laid-back nature of this early Madonna song is perfectly fitting, considering it’s called “Holiday”. Arguably one of her catchiest songs ever, it was Madonna’s very first hit single (FIRST EVER!) of her long and still-ongoing career.
“Come on, vogue / Let your body move to the music, hey, hey, hey / Come on, vogue / Let your body go with the flow, you know, you can do it”
This song became a club anthem for the wallflowers who just needed a little extra coaxing to get out on the dancefloor and strike a pose. It also helped gain mainstream exposure for an entire dance movement called, what else, “Voguing”!
2. Express Yourself
“You know, you know, you’ve got to / Make him express how he feels / And maybe then you’ll know your love is real / Express yourself”
With lyrics that declare independence, self-respect, and all around power to women, this is one of Madonna’s biggest anthems about, well, being yourself! Released in 1989, the song is still used to empower female kind and has inspired other hit tunes about being proud of who you are (“Born This Way”, much?).
1. Like A Prayer
“When you call my name it’s like a little prayer / I’m down on my knees, I wanna take you there / In the midnight hour I can feel your power / Just like a prayer you know I’ll take you there”
The video for Madonna’s best song (in our opinion!) caused extreme amounts of controversy. It features religious, and specifically Catholic, imagery that upset a lot of people. Madonna is no stranger to being provocative so of course she brushed it off and kept doing her thing! Even without the buzzworthy video, this song holds up.
MDNA is available for download on iTunes and wherever you get your music. Will you be picking up Madonna’s twelfth studio album?