Happy Belated 60th Birthday Madonna! Here’s My 50 Favorite Madonna Songs

8.20 Madonna today

On August 16, 2018, the music world lost perhaps the finest the voice of the last half of the 20th century when the “Queen of Soul” Aretha Franklin passed away to join that ever impressive choir of angels in Heaven awaiting us. Can you imagine that choir director telling Mahalia Jackson, Etta James and Whitney Houston to move over, because you are getting a singer every bit each of your equal or perhaps better? I’m sure Aretha’s voice fit in perfectly.

8.20 Madonna 1983

But, August 16 does not belong solely to Aretha. Unfortunately, many significant people in pop culture have passed away on that date. Most famously, August 16, 1977, is the day on which the King of Rock, Elvis Presley passed away. Additionally, the King of the Blues, Robert Johnson left us on August 16, as did the King of Horror Movies, Bela Lugosi died on August 16. Yet, for Gen X-ers, August 16 is significant for this is the date on which the “Queen of Pop,” Madonna, was born 60 years ago in 1958. That means the woman who represented the last sex symbol in my former life as a single man has been around for six decades. And, continues to be radiantly beautiful, as well as one of the most important female figures in rock history, combining a David Bowie-slash-Cher sense of style with a total grasp of danceable pop music, not unlike that most famous Detroit music of Motown. To my generation, Madonna, along with Prince, Michael Jackson, Bruce Springsteen and Daryl Hall & John Oates, defined popular music. Period.

1984 VMAs

Without going through the reams and reams of information about Madonna’s humble beginnings in Bay City, Michigan, to her raise in the New York City underground music scene of the early Eighties, to her coming-out performance at MTV’s very first Video Music Awards in 1984, to her taking-over-the-performance at Live Aid in 1985, to her unforgettable performance at the 2012 Super Bowl Halftime Show, Madonna has changed her image and music with each album, always riding the latest underground music scene to its debut on the pop charts with her latest song. Madonna, without a doubt, has been one of the most exciting and polarizing rock figures in the history of rock music.

8.20 Madonna Super Bowl 2012
What a cheerleader squad! Madonna at the 2012 Super Bowl, with a little help from Nicki Minaj (left) and M.I.A. (right).

So, in honor of my favorite female performer of my generation’s sixtieth birthday, I bring to you my Favorite 50 Madonna Songs. Kick back, because here they come!

8.20 Madonna_-_Turn_Up_the_Radio

50. “Turn Up the Radio” (MDNA, 2012)

49. “Jump” (Confessions on a Dancefloor, 2005)

48. “Nothing Fails” (American Life, 2003)

47. “Me Against the Music (with Britney Spears)” (In the Zone, 2003)

46. “Where’s the Party” (True Blue, 1986)

45. “Promise to Try” (Like a Prayer, 1989)

44. “Physical Attraction” (Madonna, 1983)

43. “Keep It Together” (Like a Prayer, 1989)

42. “La Isla Bonita” (True Blue, 1986)

41. “Bitch I’m Madonna” (Rebel Heart, 2015)

8.20 Madonna_-_Holywood

40. “Hollywood” (American Life, 2003)

39. “Ghosttown” (Rebel Heart, 2015)

38. “Secret” (Bedtime Stories, 1994)

37. “Don’t Tell Me” (Music, 2000)

36. “Hanky Panky” (I’m Breathless, 1994)

35. “I’ll Remember” (With Honors OST, 1994)

34. “Causing a Commotion” (Who’s That Girl? OST, 1987)

33. “Die Another Day” (Die Another Day OST, 2002)

32. “Rescue Me” (The Immaculate Collection, 1991)

31. “Angel” (Like a Virgin, 1984)

8.20 Deeper_and_Deeper_Madonna

30. “Deeper and Deeper” (Bedtime Stories, 1994)

29. “Used to Me Our Playground” (A League of Their Own OST, 1994)

28. “Frozen” (Ray of Light, 1998)

27. “Cherish” (Like a Prayer, 1989)

26. “Lucky Star” (Madonna, 1983)

25. “Drowned World/Substitute for Love” (Ray of Light, 1998)

24. “What It Feels like for a Girl” (Music, 2000)

23. “Material Girl” (Like a Virgin, 1984)

22. “Human Nature” (Bedtime Stories, 1994)

8.20 Madonna_4_Minutes_Coverart

21. “4 Minutes (Feat. Justin Timberlake & Timbaland)” (Hard Candy, 2008)

20. “Erotica” (Erotica, 1992)

19. “Take a Bow” (Bedtime Stories, 1994)

18. “Open Your Heart” (True Blue, 1986)

17. “Ray of Light” (Ray of Light, 1998)

16. “Justify My Love” (The Immaculate Collection, 1991)

15. “Hung Up” (Confessions on a Dancefloor, 2005)

14. “Live to Tell” (True Blue, 1986)

13. “Papa Don’t Preach” (True Blue, 1986)

12. “Crazy for You” (Vision Quest OST, 1985)

11. “Burning Up” (Madonna, 1983)

8.20 Madonna,_Express_Yourself_single_cover

10. “Express Yourself” (Like a Prayer, 1989)

9. “Holiday” (Madonna, 1983)

8. “Like a Virgin” (Like a Virgin, 1984)

7. “Vogue” (I’m Breathless, 1990)

6. “Music” (Music, 2000)

8.20 Madonna,_Beautiful_Stranger_cover

5. “Beautiful Stranger” (Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me OST, 1999)

4. “Borderline” (Madonna, 1983)

3. “Dress You Up” (Like a Virgin, 1984)

2. “Like a Prayer” (Like a Prayer, 1989)

8.20 Madonna_-_Into_the_Groove

1. “Into the Groove” (Desperately Seeking Susan OST, 1984)

8.20 Madonna Live Aid
Live Aid 1985

What a career! And, I really didn’t even tackle many of her great deep cuts from her great album catalog. Yet, I do feel as though this list gives a great overview of Madonna’s groundbreaking career. Go ahead and ask Lady Gaga, Britney Spears or Christina Aguilera which Madonna song was their career’s inspiration, and I bet that song is listed here. Happy belated Madonna for one of your few straight male fans! Hope it was a creative one for you. Can’t wait for your next album.

Author: ifmyalbumscouldtalk

I am just a long-time music fan who used to be a high school science teacher and a varsity coach of several high school athletic teams. Before that, I worked as a medical technologist at three hospitals in their labs, mainly as a microbiologist. I am retired/disabled (Failed Back Surgery Syndrome), and this is my attempt to remain a human. Additionally, I am a serious vinyl aficionado, with a CD addiction and a love of reading about rock history. Finally, I am a fan of Prince, Cheap Trick, Tom Petty, R.E.M., Hall & Oates, Springsteen, Paul Weller & his bands and Power Pop music.

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