Madonna’s Top 10 Singles – Ranked!

In many ways, Madonna is the source of modern pop stardom. Delivering bop after bop while being creative, provocative and shameless female dog (her term), she wrote the book. Beyoncé is right, as she so often is, when she calls him “Queen Mother Madonna” on a new remix. As Madge prepares to drop “Finally Enough Love: 50 Number Ones,” a compilation album celebrating her unprecedented success on the US Billboard Dance Club Songs chart, we’re rounding up her 10 most undeniable bangers. It was also Madonna’s birthday this week (August 16), so let’s mark the occasion by playing them loud and clear.


“Deeper and Deeper” (1992)

A little underrated by his standards, this single from the ‘Erotica’ album deserves to be considered a classic Madgebanger. It’s not just the intoxicating house beat; it’s also Madonna’s way of throwing a nod to “Vogue” — nothing screams confidence like a self-referential moment — and queer subtext in her lyrics. Co-producer Shep Pettibone objected to the inclusion of the flamenco cast because he disliked “taking a house song from Philadelphia and putting ‘La Isla Bonita’ in the middle.” Needless to say he lost.

Crazy moment: The Completely Happy Bridge: “But my love is alive, and I will never hide it again!”


“Express Yourself” (1989)

It’s a real shame that a song celebrating female agency briefly drove a wedge between Madonna and Lady Gaga, one of the many new generation pop queens inspired by the former. (Madonna called Gaga’s “Born This Way” “reductive” because it sounds a bit like “Express Yourself,” but thankfully that’s all behind them now). Either way, ‘Express Yourself’ is a virtuous banger that Madge urges her daughters not to settle for “second best” in their relationships. The David Fincher-directed video, which features Madonna as the mayor of a futuristic city populated by bare-breasted male workers, serves high camp with Hollywood production values.

Crazy moment: “Satin sheets are very romantic – what happens when you’re not in bed?” Well said, Mr.


‘Don’t Tell Me’ (2000)

The surprising blend of country and electronica in this song – countrytronica? – only gets better with age. Again, “Don’t Tell Me” helped pave the way for future bangers mixing folk and dance elements by artists like Diplo and Avicii, with whom Madge continued to work. In 2014, Madonna and Miley Cyrus even interpreted it as to crush with the latter’s ‘We Can’t Stop’. Oddly, Boris Johnson quoted his poetic words in a 2003 interview with The Guardian, but don’t let that put you off. Sometimes even an asshole knows a good tune when he hears one.

Crazy moment: “Tell the leaves not to turn / But never tell me I’ll learn.Is she saying it’s easier to change nature than your own mind? Most likely.

She didn’t write it, but Madonna knows that debut single is a chilling classic. A few years ago when she went on Jimmy Fallon’s chat show just to meet Barack Obama, she performed it in a really nice stripped down way. My mom always claimed that “Borderline” is “actually about reaching orgasm” – a rendition I didn’t like hearing from her when I was a teenager. I still think it’s probably a song about getting a wayward partner to commit: “Honey, don’t be silly.” But hey, it’s Madonna, so a sex-positive reading still stands.

Crazy moment: The video, in which Madonna must choose between two very different love interests. From the start, she takes the lead.

Over the years, Madonna’s voice has often been used as a baton to beat her. And guess what – it’s often rooted in sexism: Many highly respected male artists have avoided similar criticism without ever singing as well as she does here. The lead single from her era-defining ‘Ray Of Light’ album is a stunning electronic ballad that Madonna urges us to, not for the first time, to open our hearts. Co-produced by the great William Orbit, it was edgy pop when it was released, and still sounds great almost 25 years later.

Crazy moment: The way she sings every “mmm-mmm-mmm-mmm” on the chorus. Madonna is a master of melody and once again she proves it here.


‘La Isla Bonita’ (1986)

Madonna’s deep-rooted relationship with queer culture is well documented, but she’s also had a long love affair with all things Latin. “She’s not just an artist; she’s a movement,” Colombian superstar Maluma said when he dueted with her on “Medellín” in 2019. That song should be categorized as “underrated Madonna bops,” but everyone knows that “La Isla Bonita” is downright amazing. It’s a shimmering Latin pop gem that’s both effortlessly romantic and slightly melancholy, which is why it’s one of his most streamed songs on Spotify.

Crazy moment: Inventing an island called San Pedro in the lyrics. Well why not?

Always a kid’s club at heart, Madonna knows that a simple word can ring deep on the dance floor. This is certainly true of this song’s iconic chorus: “Music brings people together.” Co-produced by French electro musician Mirwais Ahmadzai, whom she reunited with for 2019’s ‘Madame X’ album, ‘Music’ is a glitzy disco banger infused with Madge’s trademark camp abandon. But this being Madonna, it’s also deadly serious at the same time. when she sings “don’t think about yesterday and I don’t look at the clock”you know she means it.

Crazy moment: Probably sneak the word “bourgeoisie” in a dance-pop song. She always had an intellectual side.


The lead single from “Confessions On A Dance Floor,” one of Madonna’s finest albums, is a daring masterstroke that only she could pull off. Who else would dare to taste ABBA? Who else could persuade Benny and Björn to erase it? Co-produced by Stuart Price, ‘Hung Up’ uses that unmistakable slab of ‘Gimme! Give me ! Give me ! (A Man After Midnight)’ as a staple of a transcendent disco banger about romantic and sexual frustration. The lyrics might sound frothy, but they also contain a very Madonna show of agency: “And I’m done – I’m hanging up on you.”

Crazy moment: The way she rhymes “expect” with “hesitate” on the bridge. As fans know, this is one of Mr. Ciccone’s favorite lyrical tropes.

Like Madonna herself, “Vogue” is not only iconic, but also controversial. Inspired by a style of dance that originated in New York’s ballroom cultural scene, it’s a beautifully crafted homage that has long faced accusations of cultural appropriation: the video may be black and white, but the problem is not. What we do know for sure is that Madonna truly believed in the healing power of clubbing, especially after losing so many aids friends. There’s also no doubt that “Vogue” continues to be synonymous with escapism on the dance floor, which is why Beyoncé just sampled it on her “Break My Soul” remix. ” What are you watching ? » A pop star in its imperial phase, that’s what.

Crazy moment: “I know a place where you can get away – it’s called a dance floor.” It’s basically a mantra for his entire career.


“Like a Prayer” (1989)

On one level, “Like A Prayer” takes the top spot because it’s Madonna’s song that fills the room at any wedding nightclub. (This also fills the floor at any LGBTQ club, but the same could be said for his 2012 EDM banger ‘Girl Gone Wild’). On another level, “Like A Prayer” is number one because it confuses religious devotion with sexual ecstasy in an incredibly clever, subversive, and life-affirming way. The stunning video, in which Madonna kisses a black saint and dances in front of flaming crosses, is a provocative masterpiece. But ‘Like A Prayer’ would be incredibly brilliant without him.

Most Madonna moment: “I’m on my knees / I want to take you there.” Need we say more?

– ‘Finally Enough Love: 50 Number Ones’ is now available via Warner Records

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