My tastes regarding Madonna
's tracks seem to change wildly from year to year. Because she had a new album out this year, I decided to make a top 100 song list for the third time in a row. A lot of old songs that weren't on the list in the last few years made their debuts, and some songs that were on the list got kicked off to make room for new songs (both from Hard Candy and not). The only big Madonna hits missing from my list this year are Into the Groove, American Pie and Material Girl, none of which I've ever really liked.
If I could have an extra 25 spots as sort of a "Bubbling Under" chart, I would probably include the following songs: Ain't No Big Deal, Crimes of Passion, I Know It, Over and Over, True Blue, Causing a Commotion, Into the Groove (live from the Who's That Girl tour), Till Death Do Us Part, Sooner or Later, I'm Going Bananas, Bye Bye Baby, Where Life Begins, In This Life, Inside of Me, Forbidden Love '94, Buenos Aires, Swim, To Have and Not to Hold, Time Stood Still, Runaway Lover, I Deserve It, Gone, History, Candy Shop and Heartbeat.
#100 - Miles Away
/She's Not Me
They're a bit too new for me to pick just one; both are seemingly inspired by M's divorce. Miles Away has better lyrics; She's Not Me has better music.
#99 - Nobody's Perfect
I love the lyrics of this song. It's like she's turning an apology upside down by saying that's wrong for HIM to expect somebody to be perfect.
#98 - Spotlight
(2006: #100; 2007: #96)
Spotlight just barely hangs on to represent You Can Dance. A leftover from True Blue, it's definitely good enough to replace Jimmy Jimmy on that album.
#97 - Intervention
(2006: #91; 2007: #90)
It's missing a little pizazz, but the folky sound and lyrics about Madonna's concerns during her pregnancy with her son make for an interesting song.
#96 - Something to Remember
(2006: #31; 2007: #55)
It's a well-performed, well-written song that used to be a lot higher on my lists. Lately, however, it hasn't been flipping my switch as much. Can't figure out why.
#95 - I'll Remember
Making its debut on my top 100, this song has really grown on me. I thought it was pretty bland before, but now I enjoy it. It is subtle and grows on you.
#94 - Another Suitcase in Another Hall
(2006: #51; 2007: #58)
In general, the Evita soundtrack took a major dive this year. All of music from Evita is good, but the soundtrack itself is not speaking to me as much this year.
#93 - Lament
[Live] (2006: #20; 2007: #65)
Another Evita song, but this one is the live version from the Re-Invention Tour. This worked nicely as a sort of reflection on Madonna's career for that tour.
#92 - Revenge
(2006: #19; 2007: #45)
Madonna's best unreleased/demo song. With a little more studio polish and a tad less repetition, it would have fit perfectly onto the Ray of Light album.
#91 - Easy Ride
(2006: #78; 2008: #82)
One of Madonna's most "real" songs. It says a lot about where she was in her life and what she wanted for her family five years ago. Nice strings, too.
#90 - Die Another Day
(2006: #55; 2007: #71)
This is a good song that blends strings and techno nicely, but Madonna's vocals are way overprocessed. It sticks out on American Life like a sore thumb.
#89 - Stay
(2006: #63; 2007: #84)
One of the better tracks on the Like a Virgin album. It's catchy and likable in that silly 80's way; love the stomping effect and Madonna's talking toward the end.
#88 - Amazing
(2006: #79; 2007: #85)
While many have noted similarities to "Beautiful Stranger," this is a perfectly enjoyable song that is different enough from its predecessor to warrant a spot.
#87 - Don't Cry for Me Argentina
[Miami Mix] (2006: #86; 2007: #70)
This was the version that got the most airplay in the United States. The "Evita" chants, the upbeat Latin dance style and Madonna's vocals are all good.
#86 - Fever
(2006: n/a; 2007: #68)
A sexy, laid back performance of a classic song. Love the 90's house music. Both the album version and the slightly altered video remix are equally great.
#85 - Hollywood
[Live] (2006: #65; 2007: #78)
The Re-Invention Tour had the best version of the Stuart Price remix because it's just the right length. It's a good dance song, but it's still only an interlude.
#84 - X-Static Process
This song used to bore me. Now I love that Madonna made such a lo-fi, folk song. It's one of her most personal, well-written lyrics, despite some repetitive guitars.
#83 - Waltz for Eva and Che
(2006: #44; 2007: #44)
Continuing the Evita's plunge this year, Waltz for Eva and Che plummets. I do love the end of the song when Eva releases that something is wrong with her. So emotional.
#82 - Waiting
(2006: #77; 2007: #52)
"I know from experience that if you have to ask for something more than once or twice, it wasn't yours in the first place." Great delivery and lyrics, but a bit repetitive.
#81 - Who's That Girl
(2006: #80; 2007: #83)
Probably Madonna's worst #1 in the United States. It's an infectious, fun 80's tune, but it does sound pretty dated compared to a lot of M's hits from the 80s.
#80 - Promise to Try
(2006: #54; 2007: #51)
The first of many songs about the death of Madonna's mother. A touching, piano-driven ballad that fits perfectly on Like a Prayer and was missing from Something to Remember.
#79 - Dance 2night
Not a particularly original or thought-provoking song; it's Madonna and Justin Timberlake
taking part on a disco duet and it makes for great ear candy.
#78 - Nobody Knows Me
[Live] (2006: #18; 2007: #37)
On American Life, this song is a jumbled mishmash of sound effects. The Re-Invention Tour version adds some much-needed spark to the song, despite the robotic vocals.
#77 - 4 Minutes
I initially felt that this song was very mediocre. It's grown on me a lot, but it's still weird listening to Madonna serving as a guest star on her own track.
#76 - Mother and Father
[Live] (2006: #62; 2007: #72)
Like Nobody Knows Me, this is another song that benefited greatly from the Re-Invention Tour. Love Madonna's raw vocals. Love the added lyrics from Intervention.
#75 - The Look of Love
(2006: #68; 2007: #54)
A forgotten gem and the best song from the Who's That Girl soundtrack. It's got a yearning, tribal atmosphere and isn't as theatrical as many of Madonna's ballads.
#74 - Keep It Together
(2006: #66; 2007: #73)
A pleasant, catchy slice of dance-pop that bring some much-needed positivity to the Like a Prayer album. Family Affair/Keep it Together from Blond Ambition is great too.
#73 - Spanish Eyes
(2006: #47; 2006: #69)
The most underrated song on Like a Prayer. A lovely Latin-inspired ballad that Madonna tackles head-on even though she lacks the vocal range for it (it still works).
#72 - Hanky Panky
(2006: #75; 2007: #76)
One of Madonna's most fun songs, featuring a strong vocal performance. Even though it was a top-ten single (and don't ask me how), it's criminally overlooked.
#71 - Let It Will Be
A great album cut from COADF. Like much of that album, it's great ear candy. I love the part where she goes "Just watch me burn..."; the Paper Faces mix sucks though.
#70 - Cherish
(2006: #53; 2007: #64)
A pure pop song about love. Objectively, it's probably one of Madonna's strongest pop singles. Personally, while I actually do like it a lot, it isn't a top favorite.
#69 - Words
Kind of ironic that the 69th song is an Erotica cut. While this song is little repetitive, it's also damn catchy, and I adore the spoken outro about communication.
#68 - I'd Be Surprisingly Good for You
(2006: #33; 2007: #66)
A song from the Evita soundtrack, this is one of Madonna's few duets. It's an incredibly sexy ballad, with Madonna and Pryce playing their roles convincingly.
#67 - Sanctuary
(2006: #76; 2007: #97)
The second-half of Bedtime Stories had many songs with great lyrics; this is one of them. In addition to loving the lyrics, I find the music and atmosphere hypnotic.
#66 - Paradise (Not for Me)
[Live] (2006: n/a; 2007: #36)
This is the live version from the Confessions Tour. The performance is one of the few low-key moments on the tour and it's a lovely one, thanks in part to Isaac.
#65 - Candy Perfume Girl
(2006: n/a; 2007: #77)
A very strange song that manages to be sensual while being one of the few moments when Madonna "rocks out." The lyrics make no sense, but I'm loving the sound.
#64 - Music Inferno
(2006: #94; 2007: #63)
" is a perfectly good song, it's not a top personal favorite. It would a lot lower on this list if not for this awesome live hybrid with "Disco Inferno."
#63 - Isaac
(2006: #7; 2007: #24)
I adored this song when Confessions was first released. I still really enjoy it, but I have to be in the right mood for it. It's an interesting World music experiment.
#62 - He's a Man
(2006: #85; 2007: #86)
The opening track from I'm Breathless, this is such a gay song and I love it. It's one of Madonna's campiest, most over-the-top moments and she pulls it off flawlessly.
#61 - Nothing Fails
[Nevins Mix] (2006: #46; 2007: #72)
While the album version has those lovely choirs, I love the dance-rock sound of this remix; both versions are great. It's also one of the better American Life lyrics.
#60 - Dear Jessie
(2006: #61; 2007: #43)
A tribute to Pat Leonard's daughter and a sweet track about childhood. I still wonder if Madonna was high when she wrote this song, what with the pink elephant references.
#59 - I Love New York
(2006: #59; 2007: #57)
Yes, this song has stupid lyrics. But who cares? It's just a FUN song. And while Madonna overdid the "rock star" thing on the tour, I loved her little comment about GWB.
#58 - Drowned World/Substitute for Love
(2006: #84; 2007: #53)
Out of Madonna's many "Being famous sucks!" songs from the past decade, this is the first and also the best. A great, introspective look at Madonna's life up to 1998.
#57 - Papa Don't Preach
(2006: #99; 2007: n/a)
This song REALLY used to annoy me, as it seemed pointlessly controversial, until I saw the Blond Ambition performance. Since then, the song has grown on me considerably.
#56 - The Power of Good-Bye
(2006: #49; 2007: #38)
It really annoys me that she says "There's no more places to hide," which isn't grammatically correct. Other than that, it's a great, dramatic break-up ballad.
#55 - White Heat
(2006: #58; 2007: #59)
A great album cut from True Blue and one of her best album-only tracks from the 1980's. With its infectious chorus, it would have made a great pop single.
#54 - What It Feels Like for a Girl
[Above & Beyond Mix] (2006: #96; 2007: n/a)
This is the version that was used in the violent music video. Only using a small sample of the album version's lyrics, this is a great little trance song.
#53 - Justify My Love
/The Beast Within
(2006: #87; 2007: #56)
Justify My Love is the original; The Beast Within is a remix from the single featuring Madonna reading from the Book of Revelations. Both are equally sexy and awesome.
#52 - Secret Garden
(2006: #43; 2007: #29)
A hopeful ending to the mostly sad and detached Erotica album, this jazzy cut balances "arty" and "danceability" masterfully. Everybody wants their rose without a thorn.
#51 - Human Nature
(2006: #45; 2007: #61)
Without a doubt, Madonna's angriest song. It's funny that it's more "hip hop" than a lot of Hard Candy's songs. I absolutely hated that neutered edit on GHV2.
#50 - Holiday
(2006: #29; 2007: #39)
Yes, it's one of Madonna's signature songs. Yes, it's her first worldwide hit. And while it's a damn good song, I think she has surpassed this song many times.
#49 - Skin
(2006: #32; 2007: #27)
Another sensual album cut from Ray of Light. Love the production. Love the lyrics. Love Madonna going, "KISS ME, I'M DYING! PUT YOUR HAAAND ON MYYY SKIIINNN!"
#48 - This Used to Be My Playground
(2006: #83; 2007: #80)
Undeservingly Madonna's most neglected number-one hit in the United States. A wonderfully mature, autumnal track about childhood friends, places and memories.
#47 - Beat Goes On
I really liked this song's demo, but didn't like the album version for months. Now it's a very catchy tune that, unfortunately, probably won't be released as a single.
#46 - You'll See
(2006: #48; 2007: #60)
The sequel to Take a Bow that is just about as good as that song. One of Madonna's most dramatic ballads with a great, powerful vocal that helped earn her Evita gig.
#45 - Angel
(2006: #62; 2007: #40)
A fluffy 80's pop song that is equally sweet and cheesy. Nice to hear Madonna's laughing throughout the song. Much better than its B-side, the overrated "Into the Groove."
#44 - Dress You Up
(2006: #50; 2007: #48)
Another 80's smash from Like a Virgin. My friend once compared it to a Cheeto: it's cheesy and it's corny but it's so great that you want to hear it again and again.
#43 - Take a Bow
(2006: #35; 2007: #42)
Madonna's biggest hit in the United States; a lovely duet between Madonna and Babyface
that mixes gentle music with break-up lyrics that tug the heart strings.
#42 - Rain
(2006: #82; 2007: #75)
A soothing 1993 hit that saw Madonna leaving behind the sexuality of the Erotica period. The best parts are Madonna's higher register and her interwoven spoken interlude.
#41 - Sky Fits Heaven
(2006: #22; 2007: #31)
A great song that showcases a lot of Orbit's cool whirring electronic effects as well as Madonna's improved vocal range and lyrics inspired by her new spirituality.
#40 - Give It 2 Me
One of the best songs from Hard Candy, this is a classic Madonna dance song that, while a little off-kilter, resembles the energy and spirit found in Madonna's 80s work.
#39 - Love Tried to Welcome Me
(2006: #23; 2007: #49)
A defeated R&B ballad from Bedtime Stories with a smooth sound, lovely vocals and amazing lyrics about possessing a broken, lonely heart. Love the Latin touches too.
#38 - Now I'm Following You (Part I)
/Now I'm Following You (Part II)
(2006: #56; 2007: #50)
The first part is short, 30's-style duet with Warren Beatty. The second part is an early 90's pop remix that is one of Madonna's silliest and most awesome moments.
#37 - Love Profusion
[Ralphi Rosario House Remix] (2006: #40; 2007: #30)
The album version is one of the better songs on American Life, despite one or two bad lyrics. This remix highlights the warmth of the song while making it danceable.
#36 - La Isla Bonita
[Extended Version] (2006: #36; 2007: #23)
This version is found on the True Blue remaster. It's basically the original song with some nice vocal samples added throughout to the highlight the "island" aspect.
#35 - Impressive Instant
(2006: #39; 2007: #67)
One of Madonna's most experimental dance songs. The lyrics make no sense, which makes me wonder if this song was drug-influenced. Regardless, I'm loving the music.
#34 - Gambler
(2006: #64; 2007: #35)
A forgotten gem from the Vision Quest soundtrack. A kinetic pop/rock song in the vein of "Burning Up" that shows early Madonna could pull off non-fluffy material.
#33 - Physical Attraction
(2006: #27; 2007: #46)
From her debut, this is the first particularly sexual Madonna song. I really enjoy by Madonna's spoken interludes, the chorus, and the sleazy 80's background music.
#32 - Sorry
(2006: #30; 2007: #34)
COADF's second single that sadly couldn't gain momentum in the US. A great dance song with some of the classic Madonna "attitude" that had been missing since Erotica.
#31 - Forbidden Love
'05 (2006: #71; 2007: #22)
The ballad of Confessions on a Dancefloor with just the right icy, synthesized atmosphere enhanced by Madonna's detached, quiet vocals. Great transition into "Jump," too.
#30 - Your Little Body's Slowly Breaking Down
/You Must Love Me
/Eva's Final Broadcast
(2006: #21; 2007: #41)
This trio of songs from Evita features the most emotive vocals of Madonna's career as Eva Peron accepts that she is dying. "You Must Love Me" is the film's best song.
#29 - Burning Up
(2006: #42; 2007: #32)
An edgy dance/pop/rock hybrid driven by 80's synths, drum machines and guitars as well as Madonna's convincing, yearning vocal delivery. A classic from her debut.
#28 - Frozen
(2006: #3; 2007: #33)
A sparse electronica-meets-Middle Eastern-meets strings song highlighted by Madonna's stronger vocals and a dark video. Unlike anything she has done before or since.
#27 - Devil Wouldn't Recognize You
Despite comparisons to "Cry a Me a River," this is Hard Candy's best song, thanks in part to the songwriting contribution from Joe Henry
and M's impending divorce.
#26 - American Life
[Live] (2006: #41; 2007: #26)
American Life, shelved video and all, was the turning point in Madonna's career. The live performance of this song is dramatic, featuring heavy guitars and raw vocals.
#25 - Hung Up
(2006: #38; 2007: #47)
A modern classic that samples ABBA. I loved this song when it was released in sync with my first crush. I disliked the song after the crush ended, but I love it again.
#24 - Borderline
(2006: #34; 2007: #18)
Although too fast to be a ballad, this was the first Madonna song that had a sweet, slower sentimentality. A classic that was, deservedly, her first top ten hit.
#23 - Rescue Me
(2006: #25; 2007: #25)
Madonna's most sophisticated dance-pop song. And who knew she had that awesome deeper register inside of her? Sadly, we haven't heard vocals like this from her again.
#22 - Erotica
(2006: #26; 2007: #19)
There's the album version. You Thrill Me
, the demo. Erotic
, the alternate version. Erotica/You Thrill Me
, from the Confessions Tour. I love every version of this song.
#21 - Express Yourself
[Immaculate Collection Version] (2006: #10; 2007: #17)
The energetic IC dance remix trumps the comparatively flat album version. Madonna's most liberated song, as well as the one that cemented her status as a strong woman.
#20 - Future Lovers/I Feel Love
(2006: #52; 2007: #11)
The album version of Future Lovers is a favorite. This version, which includes a passage from Donna Summer
's "I Feel Love," bring the song to another level of amazing.
#19 - Crazy for You
(2006: #15; 2007: #12)
A sweet, nostalgic ballad. Although not particularly deep, it's still a lovely song and was the first time that Madonna proved she could handle slower songs.
#18 - Like a Virgin
(2006: #60; 2007: #14)
Do I really need to explain this one? It's Like a fucking Virgin, Madonna's most famous song. That being said, I really enjoy the Confessions Tour's version.
#17 - Beautiful Stranger
(2006: #16; 2007: #21)
No deep revelations. No agenda. No pretentiousness. This is simply Madonna's most FUN song of the 90's as well as a perfect coda to the more serious Ray of Light era.
#16 - Don't Tell Me
(2006: #24; 2007: #16)
Music's best song and the first of three great collaborations between M and Joe Henry. A lovely combination of poetic lyrics, country guitars, beats and strings.
#15 - Vogue
(2006: #12; 2007: #15)
While slightly overrated by fans and critics alike, "Vogue" is an undeniable classic that kicked off the 90's for Madonna in a huge way. A fun, iconic smash hit.
#14 - Open Your Heart
(2006: #13; 2007: #20)
Madonna's strongest pure pop single of the 1980's. Insanely catchy and danceable with a galloping bass line and noticeably stronger vocals from her Minnie Mouse days.
#13 - Get Together
(2006: #14; 2005: #13)
COADF's most irresistably trippy and druggy Eurodance song; a masterfully produced blend of warm bass lines amongst a dizzy electronic haze. 00's Madonna in top form.
#12 - Secret
(2006: #6; 2007: #4)
Madonna tackles acoustic R&B/soul without fear and the result is one of her strongest songs. Supposedly about a transvestite; so good that I don't care what it's about.
#11 - I Want You
(2006: #57; 2007: #79)
A hypnotic, orchestral track of seduction. Madonna was on fire during her sadly brief trip hop period in the mid-90's, as seen by this collaboration with Massive Attack
#10 - Live to Tell
(2006: #5; 2007: #8)
True Blue's best song as well as the first revelation of Madonna's more serious side. This number-one hit has justly become a favorite of both Madonna and her fanbase.
#9 - Deeper and Deeper
(2006: #11; 2007: #9)
A sample from Vogue. An early 90's house masterpiece with Latin guitars and castanets. Lyrics about a young man coming to terms with his sexuality. Madonna's gayest song.
#8 - Ray of Light
(2006: #9; 2007: #7)
An innovative song that mixes guitars and high-energy techno music. Vocally, Madonna is on the top of her game here. Lyrically, it's positive and uplifting. A classic.
#7 - Oh Father
(2006: #8; 2007: #10)
Madonna's most emotional song and video. The fact that a song this confessional and personal became a top 20 hit confirms that Madonna had become a superstar by 1989.
#6 - Lucky Star
[New Mix] (2006: #4; 2007: #6)
The first song on Madonna's first album, and damn if it's not a classic. I'm partial to the remaster's "New Mix" because it gives me two extra minutes of a great song.
#5 - Jump
(2006: #28; 2007: #28)
An inspiring, catchy pop/dance track as well as the best song on COADF. Madonna needs to work with her brother-in-law, Joe Henry, more often. Lame video, though.
#4 - Bedtime Story
(2006: #2; 2007: #3)
A song that blends trance and trip hop and indirectly brings together two of my favorite artists: Madonna and Björk
. One of M's most artistic songs and videos.
#3 - Nothing Really Matters
(2006: #17; 2007: #5)
The best track on my favorite Madonna album (Ray of Light). A song with honest vocals, amazing dance production and enlightening lyrics that really speak to me.
#2 - Like a Prayer
(2006: #1; 2007: #2)
Any version of this song is amazing, but I love the use of the choirs, organs and the dance break on the Immaculate Collection's remix. Her best #1 with a great video.
#1 - Bad Girl
(2006: #37; 2007: #1)
Madonna's best, most "real" song, as well as her best video. I love the high vocals, the lyrics examining human behavior and the music, especially on the extended mix.
How each album did, going by number of allotted ranks per album:
Pre-Madonna/Inthebeginning: 0 Madonna
: 5Like a Virgin
: 4True Blue
: 5Who's That Girl
: 2You Can Dance
: 1Like a Prayer
: 7 I'm Breathless
: 5 (6 tracks)The Immaculate Collection
: 3 (Express Yourself and the new songs)Erotica
: 7Bedtime Stories
: 6Something to Remember
: 5 (IWY, IR, YS, CFY, TUTBMP)Evita
: 5 (7 tracks)Ray of Light
: 8The Next Best Thing
: 1 (Beautiful Stranger)American Life
: 5Remixed and Revisited
: 1 (Nothing Fails)Confessions on a Dance Floor
: 8I'm Going to Tell You a Secret
: 5 (NKM, AL, Hollywood, Lament, M&F)The Confessions Tour
: 3 (Future Lovers, Erotica, Music)Hard Candy
: 6 (7 tracks)
Other: 2 (Gambler and Revenge)