List item: Listen to the 1000 Most Acclaimed Albums
Whilst it peaked at the release of Confessions on a Dancefloor and then waned upon the release of the subsequent albums, there was a time in my late teens where I listened to an awful lot of Madonna. It’s a big gay cliche for a reason I guess to find joy in Madonna at an informative age, but most of these listens stick to her work from Ray of Light onwards.
It wouldn’t be until university that I would listen to more of her back catalogue, her self-titled debut Madonna included. I had obviously heard ‘Holiday’ in other settings and I knew of ‘Borderline’ and had already thought of it as one of my favourite Madonna songs before hearing the surrounding album.
Honestly, I find it surprising that this and Like A Virgin are in the Top 1000 over True Blue and Music. It is probably for the same reason that Kate Bush’s debut album is here – people really like to rhapsody about a good debut even if their later works break more ground and have more contemporary acclaim (I’ll probably get to that more when I re-listen to and blog about Kate Bush).
Madonna did herald the arrival of an icon and, nearly 40 years later, it stands up incredibly well. Sure some of the production on songs like ‘Lucky Star’ sound unmistakably eighties, but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. In fact, it sounding so quintessential of the decade is more down to the album’s success than anything.
Would this be one of my top Madonna albums? Not really, there are many others that I have played a lot more than this one but this is still a great pop album. With this being released in the same year as Cyndi Lauper’s debut, it shows that there was a musical shift happening towards female pop soloists in the early 1980s – one that I remain grateful for.