ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Madonna and her music

Updated on October 29, 2013

Madonna the Icon of my Life

Some people love her and others hate her. However no one can deny the fact that she is the queen of pop. She has been in the industry for longer than most and still has the energy to keep doing what she does best. According to the Guinness Book of World Records, she is the most successful female recording artist of all time. Her latest achievements include honors for her latest tour MDNA that became the tenth highest grossing tour of all time.

My love and respect for Madonna goes way back when she first came onto the scene. Remember when she came out with teased hair, rubber bracelets and a bare tummy? Yeah that's the one. I remember seeing her video for Lucky Star and thought she was way cool. However the first song I really fell in love with was Borderline. I was going through this really bad relationship and ready to call it quits when Borderline started to play on the radio. I remember listening to the lyrics thinking, "that's exactly how I feel". I would have moments like this throughout my life and she would influence my life in a big way.

Photo courtesy of allposters.com

Yes I have every single one of her albums and I'm not ashamed to admit it. I pretty much followed her entire career and at this point in my life, I can't imagine a life without her. I know that makes me sound like a stalker but I assure you I'm not. I also can't imagine a life without Mickey Mouse or cupcakes for that matter! She's just become a part of my life and I've become a devoted fan.

Madonna has come a long way from her first album. She is never afraid to experiment with new sounds and styles but each of her albums will always take you on a different journey.

Her first album is simply called "Madonna". It's a throwback to the 80's and that's what's so good about it. The sound can be described as synthesized disco and the lyrics contain nothing political or controversial like her more recent ones. She utilizes a lot of the new technology that was available back then such as the Linn drum machine, Moog bass and the OB-X synthesizer. Some of her hits from this album are "Borderline", "Lucky Star" and "Holiday".

Her next album, Like a Virgin, catapulted her into international stardom. The title track, "Like a Virgin", stayed at the top of the Billboard Hot 100 chart for six consecutive weeks. Her other hit from the album was "Material Girl". It was from this time that Madonna started to influence fashion trends for young girls and women around the world. They all wanted to be her including me!

True Blue was her third album and became her best selling album of her career to date. This album was inspired and dedicated to her than husband Sean Penn. Some of my favorite Madonna songs are from this album including "Live to Tell", "Open Your Heart" and "La Isla Bonita".

Her next album, Like a Prayer, was one of the most artistic album released by Madonna. I remember listening to the songs on this album and thinking how different they were from her previous albums.The first time I heard the song "Like a Prayer" I was intrigued at how it was unlike any pop song I've ever heard before. There were a number of ballads that were beautiful and haunting such as "Oh Father" and "Live to Tell". Rolling Stones wrote that this was as close to art as pop music gets. Other hits include "Express Yourself" and "Cherish".

She then released a soundtrack for the movie Dick Tracy which she starred in. This album included the international hit "Vogue" which went on to become one ofher most popular songs to date.

*All photos from allposters.com. Clicking on each picture takes you to the original site.

Material Girl Video

A great example of what Madonna was like in the 80's.

Seeing Madonna Live

One fine day back in 1987, I had a call from a good friend of mine in Japan. I was living in Hawaii back then and I was just getting ready for work. His voice was filled with excitement as he told me how he got tickets to a Madonna concert. I immediately said yes without even thinking about it and jotted down the dates on a piece of paper.( We had no computers or cell phones back then) I went to work that day and told my supervisor that I had to go fly to Japan for a family emergency. Yeah right. Anyway, that's how excited I was at going to my very first Madonna's concert, which was her second concert titled "Who's That Girl".

I had one of the worst seats in the house. She always plays in huge stadiums and I got the third seat from the very back so when she came out on stage, she basically looked like a tiny flea running around on stage. Still I managed to watch her on the screens and I was just excited to be there.

After the concert video came out ( we didn't have DVDs yet ) , I was like, "so that's what was going on"! I had a hard time deciding whether it was worth it or not because I basically went to the concert to watch her on screen. In the end though, I did not regret it because I got to go and experience her live even though she was just a tiny speck on stage from where I was sitting.

Like a Prayer Video

I requested the DJ to play the Like a Prayer video on the screen at a local bar in Pago Pago, American Samoa. He told me he coudln't because it was banned!

The Early Years

These are some of her earlier works in music. Notice that her looks changes with each release.

Madonna
Madonna

This is her very first album she released and listening to it brings back so many memories of the innocence of youth. Compare her songs to her most recent ones and you'll see how different she sounds.

 
Like a Virgin
Like a Virgin

This is the album that made her an international superstar. Some standouts are Like a Virgin, Material Girl and Dress You Up.

 
True Blue
True Blue

She came back with True Blue showing off a short blonde hairstyle and a sleeker look. This is also the time when she was married to Sean Penn.

 
Like A Prayer
Like A Prayer

She shows her natural brunette hair for the first time with this critically-acclaimed album. She starts to explore religion, life and love.

 
I'm Breathless: Music From and Inspired by the film Dick Tracy
I'm Breathless: Music From and Inspired by the film Dick Tracy

This album was released at the same time as the film Dick Tracy with one new song which became a hit. Vogue!

 

Vogue

There are many different videos on Vogue but this is the original. One of my favorites!

1992-2002

Erotica
Erotica

Her 5th album was the provocative Erotica. I found this album to be haunting, erotic and some of the darkest songs she's written. Once again, she delves into new territory and this was a huge risk for her. The title song" Erotica" was sung in a style she never did before with only the chorus being sung while she softly speaks the rest of the song. Other singles from the album include "Deeper and Deeper" and a beautiful ballad titled "Rain".

Bedtime Stories, her 6th studio album, showed a softer side of Madonna with songs such as "Secret" and" Take a Bow". I admit I had to learn to like this album as it was too soft for me in the beginning. I guess I was expecting something danceable but Bedtime Stories was full of soft ballads and chill music. Shortly thereafter, she released Something to Remember, a collection of ballads which included three new songs, "You'll See", "One More Chance" and "I Want You". About a year afterwards, she released Evita the soundtrack with the song "You Must Love Me" winning the an academy award for best original song.

Her 7th studio album, Ray of Light, won four Grammy Awards and listed as one of the 500 greatest albums of all time by Rolling Stones. The first single from the album, Frozen, became her first single to debut at number one in the UK. The other hit single from this album was Ray of Light.

This is the one album that I actually didn't like at the start. It's rather strange because it's now one of my favorite albums. Maybe it was too artsy for me or that it didn't seem like the Madonna I knew. She also started to sing differently perhaps because of the voice training she underwent during her filming of Evita.Anyhow, it's a wonderful album so if you haven't heard it, you should as it's one of her better works.

In 2000, she starred in the film, The Next Best Thing and wrote two songs for the soundtrack, "Time Stood Still" and "American Pie".

She released the album Music in the September of 2000. This album became number one in more than 20 countries worldwide and sold four million copies in 10 days since release. Music became one of my favorite albums and I unlike Ray of Light, I liked it from the start. "Music" was the first single but I prefer "Don't Tell Me" and "What It Feels Like for a Girl", her other two singles from the album.

She also released her second best hits collection called GHV2 which debuted at number seven on Billboard.

*All photos from allposters.com. Clicking on each picture takes you to the original site.

Don't Tell Me

One of my most favorite songs from the album. The video's pretty cool too.

A Variety of Styles

Music
Music

Once again, she comes out with a sound so new I had never heard anything like it before. Includes the cool and upbeat Music and the song Tell Me, which makes me want to put on my cowboy boots.

 
Erotica
Erotica

The "sexiest" and more erotic album she released. The way I would describe the sound is that it has a cool chillin vibe.

 
Bedtime Stories
Bedtime Stories

This album shows Madonna's softer side. It's a great album to have playing in the background for a nice cocktail hour with friends.

 
Ray of Light
Ray of Light

This has to be one of her most artistic endeavors to date. Her singing style changes dramatically from this album as she had gone through intense vocal training for her role in the movie Evita.

 
Greatest Hits, Vol. 2 (GHV2)
Greatest Hits, Vol. 2 (GHV2)

A compilation of her greatest hits all in one neat package.

 

American Life was her 9th studio album and it came out to mixed reviews. In fact, it sold only 4 million copies worldide making it the lowest selling album of her career. The album was based on her observations of American society and you could tell she had a thing or two to say. Contrary to what others thought of this album, I really liked it. I actually liked the theme of the album and how "raw" the whole album sounded and felt. One of my favorite songs from this album is a track titled " X-static Process", which was a ballad showcasing her raw voice.

With Confessions on a Dance Floor, the queen of pop had made her comeback. This Grammy Award winning album is set up with no breaks in between songs so you can dance to it non-stop. The title track "Hung Up" is one of her best songs to date and I never get tired of listening to it. The album includes "Sorry" which is also a favorite among her fans. Confessions on a Dance Floor is fun, colorful and full of energy!

In 2008, she released her album Hard Candy. This time around her music included urban pop influences such as R&B and collaborated with Justin Timberlake, Timbaland and Pharrel Williams. This album had generally positive reviews although some critics said that it was an attempt to harness the urban market. Whatever, the album debuted a number one in 37 countries around the world. My favorite tracks from Hard Candy were "4 Minutes" and "Give it To Me".

Here latest album, MDNA, was released in March of 2012. MDNA is a kaleidoscope of various styles with songs that range from upbeat and happy to dark and angry. It's the most personal and "soul-bearing" of all the albums and I feel the most visceral stuff she's ever done. The standouts for me include "Girl Gone Wild", "Addicted", "Turn Up The Radio" and" Masterpiece".

*All photos from allposters.com. Clicking on each picture takes you to the original site.

Hung Up

Hung Up is just fabulous. That's all I have to say!

Her Recent Works

American Life (U.S. Enhanced-Non-PA Version)
American Life (U.S. Enhanced-Non-PA Version)

Her lowest selling album to date, this controversial album was written when she had a lot to say about American going to war.

 
Confessions on a Dance Floor
Confessions on a Dance Floor

One of her most danceable albums with includes the addictive Hung Up. I believe this is one of her best dance albums she's made.

 
Hard Candy
Hard Candy

Madonna doing a bit of R&B with urban pop influences. She collaborated with big names such as Justin Timberlake and Timbalake. Includes the hit 4 Minutes to Save the World.

 
MDNA
MDNA

Her latest album is a kaleidoscope of musical styles and frankly, I like it. The album is provocative, daring and revealing.

 

Girl Gone Wild

This is from MDNA her latest album. It is pure Madonna.

Madonna's Concert Extravaganzas

Many people tell me that they like Madonna more after seeing one of her live concert performances. Her recent shows are simply amazing and mind-blowing to say the least. They incorporate the latest technologies in entertainment, tightly choreographed and keeps your eyes glued to the stage until the very end. For me, her shows are always a journey of sorts and it's no wonder. When Madonna plans a show, it's usually split up into sections so that they tell a story.

Her latest MDNA tour which began in May 2012, was described by Madonna as " a journey from darkness to light". It's divided into four sections, Transgression, Prophecy, Masculine-feminine and Redemption. MDNA became the 9th highest grossing tour of all time and second highest grossing tour of any female artist, behind her own Sticky & Sweet Tour.

The DVD has been released in September of 2013 and I immediately purchased it online as soon as it was made available. Unfortulately she didn't make it to Japan and bad timing prevented me from flying to a far away country to see it. To see a review of the MDNA concert, please visit the lens below.

Madonna MDNA Concert review

Madonna: The MDNA Tour
Madonna: The MDNA Tour

This is the ultimate Madonna tour. This DVD captures all the excitement and amazing spectacle that makes a Madonna concert.

 

What's Your Favorite Madonna Song?

Madonna Poster
Madonna Poster

Which is your favorite album?

See results

Do you have a favorite Madonna song? Which was your favorite concert? - Please feel free to leave your comments. Thanks!

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • asereht1970 profile image

      asereht1970 3 years ago

      Papa Don't Preach is my favorite. Great lens, brings back all the memories of the good ole 80s.

    • smine27 profile image
      Author

      Shinichi Mine 3 years ago from Tokyo, Japan

      @tonyleather: Oh Tony I agree with you 1000%!

    • profile image

      tonyleather 3 years ago

      I think Madonna has a rare and very real talent for the theatrical, as well as an amazing voice! I love her to bits!

    • smine27 profile image
      Author

      Shinichi Mine 3 years ago from Tokyo, Japan

      @VinnWong: Yep, that was one of her best.

    • VinnWong profile image

      VinnWong 3 years ago

      Confessions on the dance floor was when I first listened to her. Got hooked straight away.

    • smine27 profile image
      Author

      Shinichi Mine 3 years ago from Tokyo, Japan

      @VspaBotanicals: We have to be related! hehe. Thanks for reading.

    • VspaBotanicals profile image

      VspaBotanicals 3 years ago

      Material Girl is my favorite!

    • smine27 profile image
      Author

      Shinichi Mine 4 years ago from Tokyo, Japan

      @anonymous: Thanks so much marianneskeeter. I appreciate it.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Great lens!

    • smine27 profile image
      Author

      Shinichi Mine 4 years ago from Tokyo, Japan

      @Minoru10: You said it Minoru. Thanks for visiting!

    • Minoru10 profile image

      Michael Yoshinaka 4 years ago from Honolulu, Hawaii

      Very Awesome Madonna lens !!!

      Oh, the memories.... The 80's Rocks !!!

    • smine27 profile image
      Author

      Shinichi Mine 4 years ago from Tokyo, Japan

      @BrownEyedGirl69: Thanks so much for reading! I think I wanted to create this lens because I'm becoming nostalgic these days.

    • smine27 profile image
      Author

      Shinichi Mine 4 years ago from Tokyo, Japan

      @darkflowers: Thank you for those kind words. Anyone who can remember those songs are great people in my book. ;)

    • josietook profile image

      josietook 4 years ago

      Great lens!!

    • BrownEyedGirl69 profile image

      BrownEyedGirl69 4 years ago

      I was a child of the 80's and grew up listening to Madonna. I think my favorite was Papa Don't Preach. But I did LOVE all the old stuff she did. Great lens. Brings bad some old memories.

    • darkflowers profile image

      Anja Toetenel 4 years ago from The Hague, the Netherlands

      I can remember all those early songs of Madonna. She's a great artist who made great songs. I can still sing a long a lot of them, you just don't forget them. Great Lens!

    • smine27 profile image
      Author

      Shinichi Mine 4 years ago from Tokyo, Japan

      @josietook: thanks for visiting josietook

    • smine27 profile image
      Author

      Shinichi Mine 4 years ago from Tokyo, Japan

      @merfzel: aww thank you for the nice comment.

    • merfzel profile image

      merfzel 4 years ago from Atlanta, GA

      I grew up on Madonna... love her and love this lens.. great job :)

    • smine27 profile image
      Author

      Shinichi Mine 4 years ago from Tokyo, Japan

      @Kim Milai: Thanks so much kimmilai!

    • Kim Milai profile image

      Kim Milai 4 years ago

      What a wonderful tribute to Madonna. Great job!