Top Ten Madonna Songs, AKA Hard Decisions

Before I get to what the title of this post indicates, I want to say I tried out the new live streaming app, Meerkat, yesterday, and it was pretty fun. I have no idea if I’ll use it on a regular basis, but I streamed a short bit, chatting about Madonna and the songs I’ve picked for this list. I had five people watching at one point; one from Mexico and another from The Netherlands. It seems like a pretty cool “on the go” way to stream something and interact with other folks. If you’re reading this because you watched my goofy stream, thanks and hello!

Well, let’s get to it. Madonna has a new album out, Rebel Heart. As you probably know, Madonna Louise Veronica Ciccone has been the queen of pop music, fashion, reinvention, and provocation since the early 80s. It’s hard to remain relevant for such a long period of time, but, despite a few bumps along the way, Madge has managed to do it. Rebel Heart is a pretty decent pop album, more so than the previous two (Hard Candy and MDNA). When a legend releases a new album, however, we like to think back to the beginning. Us music lovers want to compare and contrast the new stuff to the old stuff. Instead of doing that, I began to think about the songs that have meant the most to me over the years. Should I make a top 20 list? Top 10? Ugh, THIS IS HARD! There are so many songs! Seriously, so many. I have a Spotify playlist of 44 favorites, for Pete’s sake!

I grabbed a pen and my trusty notepad, and made a damn list. Because I am an adult and I can do this! *deep breaths* I’ll probably change my mind in the future, or wish the order was different, but who cares. For the most part, these Madonna tunes give me the feels and/or the urge to dance around the room.

10. Don’t Tell Me

The standout track from 2000’s Music. I love the guitar sample at the beginning. I love the strings and the emotional, sweeping ending. The lyrics are great, as well. And who doesn’t think Madonna looks fab in a cowgirl outfit?

 

9. Hung Up

Does this make you want to bust out a leotard and get to grooving? If not, you might be a weirdo. Between the sample of ABBA’s Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man After Midnight) and the actual pounding beat, Hung Up is one of the greatest dance tracks ever. I dig the breakdown towards the end; just that beat and the ticking clocks. A strange thing I love about this song is the way Madonna enunciates “hesitating”. Alrighty then! Fun fact I learned about the video – it was shot only a few weeks after our queen had a horse riding accident and broke some bones. The woman has some determination.

 

8. Beautiful Stranger

Madonna. Austin Powers. Could that combo be wrong? Nope. This uptempo number has a great feel to it. It’s a total ear worm, too. The swingin’ 60s sound mixed with the late 90s production is a win. Let’s talk about the video for a second: How can Madonna make a pair of khakis sexy? I mean, they seriously look like something I sold when I worked at Lerner back in the day. But somehow she throws on a pair of heels and dances like she does, and those pants become HOT.

 

7. Causing A Commotion

This was one of my favorites as a kid in 1987, and has remained so. Back then, I don’t even think I knew exactly what a commotion was, other than it rhymed with motion and sounded fun. I recall memorizing the dance moves and wishing I had a conveyor belt in my living room. I recently learned this song was written about Madonna’s marriage to Sean Penn. Which makes sense.

 

6. The Power of Good-Bye

One of Madonna’s best ballads, for sure, from the Ray of Light record. Perhaps this is a companion to Causing A Commotion? I’ve read rumors that this one was about ol’ Spicoli as well. Regardless, it’s a lovely, sad, but hopeful tune about a breakup. The electronic bleeps and bloops blend well with the guitar. Since we also have to discuss the video as well as the song, how sexy is Goran Visnjic? Talk about hubba hubba. I adore the blue tint of everything, as well. Matthew Rolson always makes things and people look gorgeous in his videos.

 

5. Rain

Damn, this song is pretty, hiding among all the sexy songs on the Erotica album. That awesome crescendo, though! So good. I also love the homage to Here Comes The Sun by The Beatles. I could do without the spoken word part, however. As for the video, it’s beautiful. Madonna in short black hair and perfect eyebrows? Yes please.

 

4. Deeper And Deeper

Put this track on and you are guaranteed to see me start boogying. It’s super fun to sing, too. Deeper And Deeper also gets cool points for referencing Vogue. I have a soft spot for artists dropping their previous hit song lyrics into new songs. Why? Don’t ask me. I have to say that the video for this song is…. weird. I get the Andy Warhol references, but I thought he was weird too, so there you go. Udo Kier is a total creeper and watching Madonna fawn over him disturbs me. At least she looks badass in an afro wig.

 

3. Ray Of Light

Ray of Light is Madonna’s best album, in my humble opinion. The title track blew me away the first time I heard it. It was like she rose like a phoenix from the ashes of a naughty pop princess and became an electronic Mother Earth. The beat is so fast paced, I don’t know if I want to dance or start a mosh pit. The video has that same crazy frantic feel. Brilliant!

 

2. Oh Father

Madonna at her most vulnerable can be incredibly outstanding, and this song is an example. It tells a story about loss and coping with that loss, breaking free, and coming to terms. We all know this is autobiographical. Madonna lost her mom at a young age, and had difficulty with her father as well. The odd sounding violin arrangement complements the melody extremely well; it’s my favorite part of the song. As for the video, there really isn’t much to say, since it’s a perfect representation of the song.

 

1. Live To Tell

This will always be my favorite Madonna song. Period. It was the first song I heard of hers that hit me in the gut. I was 12 years old and had no idea why a man would tell a thousand lies, but I knew that holding a secret until the death was some powerful grownup stuff. I remember being impressed that Madonna could release a serious ballad – she wasn’t just a sexy minx for us girls to admire and the boys to drool over! Now that I’m an adult, the song still packs an emotional punch. I love her soft and simple look in the video, as well. I never did see At Close Range, so I’ve no idea what the hell is going on with the movie scenes. Christopher Walken’s mustache is scary to this day.

 

What did you think? Could you list your favorite Madonna songs? Feel free to leave your list in the comments. I’m curious! I’m glad Madonna has graced us with so many tunes, and I’m proud that she continues to do so.

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Catching Up, Being Thankful

Has it really been over a month since I posted anything here? Wow. I went through a weird, blah-tastic period where all I wanted to do on this laptop was stare at dumb internet crap instead of write. I was unmotivated and numb. No deep, underlying reason for it, I don’t think. I just wanted to do things, watch things, read things, listen to things, and not think about things. So there’s that.

But now it’s time to not only think about things, but WRITE ABOUT THINGS! Let’s catch up, shall we?

Towards the end of April, I interviewed a celebrity for the first time, on the phone. What they call a “phoner” in the entertainment business. I was nervous and not very confident about my questions, but comedian Brian Regan was super nice and was very pleasant to speak with. I am grateful to AltDaily for letting me do the interview, and to my mother, who inspired the theme/title. Read the article: http://www.altdaily.com/features/86-entertainment1/6785-moms-love-brian-regan-you-will-too – If you’re a resident of the 757, I highly suggest you become a loyal reader of AltDaily. Their intentions are pure, the content is great, and you’ll learn a lot. I also got free tickets to see Brian Regan, and the show was hilarious. He is truly one of the best stand ups ever to…. stand up.

In May, I finally cleaned out the desk I’ve had since I was eight. It was put on the curb, picked up by some random stranger who hopefully gave it to their kid to use. There was much nostalgia in that desk. Tons of photos, scraps of paper, ticket stubs, and mementos from the past bajillion years. A lot of the mementos related to U2, my all time favorite band and fangirl focus. I thought about the friends I made and all the amazing experiences I had thanks to those four dudes from Ireland. It was weird, because a week after collecting and organizing all of the nostalgic tidbits from my old desk, I suddenly lost one of those dear friends I made during those younger days. Her name was Lyn, and she was one in a million. We became pen pals in the late 80s/early 90s. Her U2 devotion knew no bounds. She was enthusiastic, kind, and didn’t let her physical limitations deter her from enjoying what she loved. We saw four U2 shows together, and through her I met other fantastic friends. We didn’t stay super close over the years, but I thought of her often, and thanks to Facebook, we kept in touch. In 2009 we reunited for a U2 concert in NC. Lyn’s on the left, I’m on the right, with Kim & Dianne between us.

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Look at us back in 1992!

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Finally, here’s Lyn with Bono in the Joshua Tree days. She’d met him numerous times over the years, but this was my favorite picture. She’ll be missed.

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There are some other things that have been going on lately, but I may write about them separately. Since I’m now sitting here nostalgic and teary eyed thinking about Lyn and our mutual love of music, I’ll end with what I experienced two nights ago: The dude and I got to see Elton John perform. Like the Springsteen show earlier this year, it was a last minute surprise, thanks to the dude’s company having a corporate box at the venue. No clients took the seats, so we got ’em! The show was glorious. Elton put on a fantastic performance; so many hits. We were floored. Check out the setlist: http://www.setlist.fm/setlist/elton-john/2014/farm-bureau-live-virginia-beach-va-13c009f5.html. I have to say, hearing songs like Tiny Dancer, Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, and Levon left me with shivers, but I do have a soft spot for 80s Elton. I kind of went batshit when I’m Still Standing started. But I learned to never take a sweeping musical genius like him for granted.

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Well, I really need to go brush my teeth, because it’s almost noon and that hasn’t happened yet. My mouth feels disgusting. I’ll close with this:  For someone like me, whose senior yearbook quote was “life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans” (thanks John Lennon!), I’m lucky to get cool opportunities. Interviewing a comedian and writing about it for a local magazine, meeting amazing people and having them in my heart forever, and unexpected, once in a lifetime concert experiences. Pretty fortunate for being a lazy girl, sitting in an inner tube, meandering down the river of life.

A Failed Wedding Song?

I have and always will be a Beatles fan.  They shaped the way I listened to music.  Those four dudes from Liverpool and all the people they worked for (and worked for them), were managed by, were married to, and gave birth to feel like family.  Naturally when I got married back in 1998, I danced with my husband to a Beatles song.  In My Life, one of the most beautiful love songs ever written.

 

So what happens when that marriage ends?  Does this ruin the song?  The nostalgic meaning behind it?  I can’t help but remember dancing & singing, looking at my then hubby, while my guests blew bubbles at us.  It was romantic!  But now I almost feel guilty when In My Life starts playing.  Part of me wants to look at my partner of almost twelve years, because obviously, the lyrics are more appropriate in his case.  But I don’t want to diminish the memory.  Sure, me and the ex-husband didn’t work out, but at the time, that song was REAL.  But…..  who wants a sloppy seconds love song?

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Look, we can’t control our feelings when we hear certain tunes.  I’ll just be happy that I had a chance to use In My Life in that way.  But what about you people?  Did you have a special song with your former love that you still enjoy even after that relationship has gone kaputsy?  Do share!