Hail, Hail Madonna: Our all-time top 10 Madonna tracks
It’s election day, but today is special for another reason. As Madonna fans/obsessives know, today marks the 30th anniversary of the Material Girl’s first appearance on a Billboard chart
Billboard chart editor, No. 1 Madonna fan and all-around good egg Keith Caulfield put together a great primer on Madge’s chart history starting with her Nov. 6, 1982 debut on Billboard’s Dance/Club Play Songs chart at No. 40 with “Everybody.”
Since then, she amassed some amazing stats, including 156 No. 1s culled from her appearances on all of Billboard’s charts. Madonna has logged 56 Hot 100 hits, 38 of which have gone Top 10.
For fun, I compiled my own Top 10 list of Madonna songs culled from her 38 Top 10 hits. See if you agree and post your top 10 in the comments section below.
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10. “Hung Up” (2005) The perfect blend of Madonna and Abba (the song samples “Gimme Gimme Gimme (A Man After Midnight).” Two of the biggest artists in the pop pantheon coming together for this twirling dance hit. What could be better?
9. “Cherish” (1989): A return to the light-hearted dance pop of Madonna’s very early years. It’s a skip-down-the-street kind of song. This is what pure joy sounds like.
8. “Material Girl” (1985) Madonna poked fun at her image perfectly with this peppy ode to all things materialistic. The video turned a catchy song into an iconic one. Plus, her delivery is delightful.
7. “Ray Of Light” (1998) Simply groundbreaking at the time as it helped usher electronic music into the mainstream. If you weren’t into the dance scene, you’d never heard anything like this before coming out of your speakers. It’s also worn very well.
6. “Open Your Heart” (1986) Again, not a great vocal performance from Madonna, but she strikes a convincing vulnerability as she pleads for a little consideration. Yes, it sounds dated, but in the best possible way in that you remember where you were when you first heard it.
5. “Don’t Tell Me” (2000): A great change of pace for Madonna, this country-tinged track, written by Joe Henry, combines a classic country feel with a dance production by Mirwais. Throw in the lack of effects on Madonna’s voice and the occasional silence pauses and it shouldn’t work, but it does. Brilliantly.
4. “Secret” (1994): She’s not really comfortable in that low range, but there’s a wonderful aura around this mysterious, hypnotic long song. This one’s all about the slinky, sultry production more than Madonna’s vocal performance.
3. “Express Yourself” (1989)” One of the greatest female empowerment pop anthems, despite the fact that she’s chained up in the video. But as she explained at the time, she’s the one doing the restraining, so it’s still empowering.
2. “Like a Prayer” (1989): Everything about this single is perfect: Madonna’s delivery, the production, the shifts in tempos and instrumentation throughout. One of the best records ever made. The choir: perfection.
1. “Borderline” (1984): It’s an oldie, but a goodie. Madonna still had a sweet innocence that was soon left in the dust, but here it’s present and delightful. Besides, who hasn’t had a love who deliciously makes them feel like they’re going to lose their mind?
Which songs make your top 10?