Saturday, September 01, 2007

Number 571 - Madonna

Number 571


"Papa Don't Preach"

Hard to believe its September already. Every year seems to get faster & faster with weekends getting quicker than ever before. Christmas feels like the event happens twice a year not to mention my hair is greying faster than you can get Micheal Vick with a 3 day pass going to Crufts.
One thing that has remained constant is Madonna. For 22 years she has either been on or damn nearest the top of the heap. With 12 #1 songs, 200 million+ albums & 75 million singles.

After a star reaches a certain point, it's easy to forget what they became famous for and concentrate solely on their persona. Madonna is such a star. Madonna rocketed to stardom so quickly in 1984 that it obscured most of her musical virtues. Appreciating her music became even more difficult as the decade wore on, as discussing her lifestyle became more common than discussing her music. However, one of Madonna's greatest achievements is how she manipulated the media and the public with her music, her videos, her publicity, and her sexuality. Arguably, Madonna was the first female pop star to have complete control of her music and image.
Kamins produced Madonna's first single, "Everybody," which became a club and dance hit at the end of 1982; her second single, 1983's "Physical Attraction," was another club hit. In June of 1983, she had her third club hit with the bubbly "Holiday," which was written by Jellybean Benitez. Madonna's self-titled debut album was released in September of 1983; "Holiday" became her first Top 40 hit the following month. "Borderline" became her first Top Ten hit in March of 1984, beginning a remarkable string of 17 consecutive Top Ten hits. While "Lucky Star" was climbing to number four, Madonna began working on her first starring role in a feature film, Susan Seidelman's Desperately Seeking Susan.
Madonna's second album, the Niles Rodgers-produced Like a Virgin, was released at the end of 1984. The title track hit number one in December, staying at the top of the charts for six weeks; it was the start of a whirlwind year for the singer. During 1985, Madonna became an international celebrity, selling millions of records on the strength of her stylish, sexy videos and forceful personality. After "Material Girl" became a number two hit in March, Madonna began her first tour, supported by the Beastie Boys. "Crazy for You" became her second number one single in May. Desperately Seeking Susan was released in July, becoming a box office hit; it also prompted a planned video release of A Certain Sacrifice, a low-budget erotic drama she filmed in 1979. A Certain Sacrifice wasn't the only embarrassing skeleton in the closet dragged into the light during the summer of 1985 -- both Playboy and Penthouse published nude photos of Madonna that she posed for in 1977. Nevertheless, her popularity continued unabated, with thousands of teenage girls adopting her sexy appearance, being dubbed "Madonna wannabes." In August, she married actor Sean Penn; the couple had a rocky marriage that ended in 1989.
Madonna began collaborating with Patrick Leonard at the beginning
of 1986; Leonard would co-write most of her biggest hits in the '80s, including "Live to Tell," which hit number one in June of 1986. A more ambitious and accomplished record than her two previous albums, True Blue was released the following month, to both more massive commercial success (it was a number one in both the U.S. and the U.K., selling over five million copies in America alone) and critical acclaim. "Papa Don't Preach" became her fourth number one hit in the U.S. While her musical career was thriving, her film career took a savage hit with the November release of Shanghai Surprise. Starring Madonna and Sean Penn, the comedy received terrible reviews, which translated into disastrous box office returns.
During 1997, she worked with producer William Orbit on her first album of new material since 1994's Bedtime Stories. The resulting record, Ray of Light, was heavily influenced by electronica, techno, and trip-hop, thereby updating her classic dance-pop sound for the late '90s. Ray of Light received uniformly excellent reviews upon its March 1998 release and debuted at number two on the charts. Within a month, the record was shaping up to be her biggest album since Like a Prayer. Two years later she returned with Music, which reunited her with Orbit and also featured production work from Mark "Spike" Stent and Mirwais, a French electro-pop producer/musician in the vein of Daft Punk and Air. The year 2000 also saw the birth of Madonna's second child, Rocco, whom she had with filmmaker Guy Ritchie; the two married at the very end of the year. With Ritchie as director and Madonna as star, the pair released a remake of the film Swept Away in 2002. It tanked at the box office, failing to crack seven digits, making it one of the least profitable films of the year. Her sober 2003 album, American Life, fared a little better but was hardly a huge success. That same year she released a successful children's book, -The English Roses (it was followed by several more over the coming years). Confessions on a Dance Floor marked her return to music and to the dance-oriented material that had made her a star; released in late 2005, it topped the Billboard charts, and was accompanied by a worldwide tour in 2006, the same year that I'm Going to Tell You a Secret, a CD/DVD made during her Re-Invention Tour, came out. In 2007 Madonna released another CD/DVD, Confessions Tour, this time chronicling her controversial tour of the same name. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine, All Music Guide.
For more Madonna vist Mellow Mix Volume 1 Number 077
What does Tolling Phone think of Madonna?
Of all current superstars, none has manipulated the apparatus of fame more astutely than Madonna. Like Prince, she recognized the virtue of a one-word name and demonstrated the truth of an old adage – sex sells. She has played America's public morals like a virtuoso, building from starlet to megaslut to bad girl with a heart of gold to New Honest Woman. Produced by Madonna with Pat Leonard and Stephen Bray, the sound of True Blue is yet another canny move. Armed with the success of "Into the Groove" (an unretouched eight-track demo by Bray and Madonna that epitomizes dance-pop perfection), M. resisted any temptation to reach for the kind of tour de force production Nile Rodgers achieved on Like a Virgin. Instead, we have a clean, accessible record assembled by a singer and songwriters to showcase material and performances. And (excepting the "Both Sides Now" rewrite "Live to Tell") it's true blue to Madonna's disco roots.
If there is a problem with Madonna's proke-rock testament, it's the lack of outstanding songs. Only the magnificent "Papa Don't Preach" – Madonna's "Billie Jean" – has the high-profile hook to match "Like a Virgin," "Dress You Up" and "Material Girl." Not coincidentally, all of the above were written by outside contributors. "White Heat," "Jimmy Jimmy" and "World Go Round" are excellent within their aspirations and easily comparable to "Angel" and "Holiday" (though not quite up to "Into the Groove" or "Lucky Star"). But none has the feel of a pop event. "Party" starts well but doesn't ignite, and "True Blue," a cross between "Heaven Must Have Sent You" and "Chapel of Love," squanders a classic beat and an immensely promising title. In commercial terms, it may not matter. "Live to Tell" hit Number One on career momentum, and "Papa Don't Preach" is great enough to carry several of True Blue's solid contenders home. In a clever double-entendre, M. – no longer anything like a virgin – pleads for her father's approval of the decision to keep an unborn child. Given Madonna's conscientiousness and ambition, it's not likely True Blue's dearth of "career records" was intentional. But its integrity and very freedom from attention seeking may turn out to be yet another piece of great timing in a remarkable career. (RS 478/479)
For Prince see Number 812
For more Prince see Mellow Mix Vol 1 Number 136
Rolling Stone Top 500 Songs ranked this song at Number (For Gods sake say nothing) and the Album ranked at Number (Otherwise we are Letterman'd)
This song has a crowbarred rating of 73 out of 108 pts
Search Artist here



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