Tuesday, 8 September 2009

Single Madge,

I have a confession. I have not been listening to a lot of new music lately. Instead of transferring all my Madonna CD’s to my iTunes, I just downloaded her entire collection.
And listened to it.
Say what you will about the woman, but she has a bloody strong catalogue, something I do not think anyone could ever argue.

It actually got me thinking about the songs that ended up being released as singles, and the songs that weren’t. There are seriously so many bloody strong album tracks, that I am sure they would have out performed some of the weaker choices for singles, even the ones released overseas and not in the US.

Let’s take it album by album shall we?

Madonna – Madonna

A tough choice as all the singles (‘Lucky Star’, ‘Borderline’, ‘Burning Up’, ‘Holiday’, and ‘Everybody’) are all classics. However, I have always preferred the smouldering ‘Physical Attraction’ over the bubblegum ‘Lucky Star’, and think it is a song that has aged much better.

Madonna – Like a Virgin

‘Material Girl’, ‘Angel’, ‘Like a Virgin’, ‘Over and Over’, ‘Love Don’t Live Here Anymore’ and ‘Dress You Up’ were all singles (Over and Love were released in Italy and Japan respectively) but one of my personal favourites was always the last track ‘Stay’. Sure it sounds dated, but it always makes me do the two things Madonna has always demanded, dance and sing.

Madonna – True Blue

While I can never argue with the choice to release ‘Papa Don’t Preach’, ‘Live to Tell’, ‘Open Your Heart’ and ‘La Isla Bonita’ as singles, I will always pick ‘White Heat’ over ‘True Blue’ any time, any day (I have to apologise to my boy friend as 'True Blue' is his favourite – Sorry Guapo!).

Madonna – Like a Prayer

Here is where things get so fricking difficult as I LOVE every single song on this album, but if I were held at gun point to make a decision on which of the singles to scrap and which album track to replace it with it would have to be the UK single release ‘Dear Jessie’ (which made number 4!) and add her confessional and stunning ‘Till Death do us Part’. Sure it may be tacky to release something so personal like that as a single, but my God is the song outstanding.

Madonna – Erotica

Not so much a work of singles as it is an album you should listen to from beginning to end. However, out of the six singles released I would have to scrap ‘Fever’ (never really loved it, but did like the video) and release the pulsating, grinding ‘Waiting’ if only to hear what the remixes would have been like and the video.

Madonna – Bedtime Stories

After revisiting the album I was so impressed with what I heard. However I am still of the impression that ‘Secret’ was not a strong single. It preformed well, but there were other songs on the album that really spoke to me personally. I would swap ‘Secret’ for ‘Inside of Me’ which sees Madonna almost as baby doll voiced sex kitten. Is the song about her mother or an old lover though?

Madonna – Ray of Light

As much as I love mostly all of the track son this album, I still think she was a little mad not to release ‘Candy Perfume Girl’ which is one of her most lyrically interesting tracks, and a kick ass song to boot. I would probably swap ‘The Power of Goodbye’ for this gem.

Madonna – Music

Easy peasy for what she should have released, but since all three singles were extremely strong I can’t shut one out. Although Warner pushed for her to release ‘Amazing’ she wanted to release ‘Impressive Instant’ which would have been a wise move, especially for club land. One of her most effective dance songs.

Madonna – American Life

This album would have been a much bigger success has she released ‘Hollywood’ or ‘Nothing Fails’ as the first single to take away the sting of ‘American Life’. ‘Love Profusion’ is a great song, but I would have released the song that whenever I play it, people always ask “Who is this?”. ‘X-Static Process’ would have been a smart release as a way of reminding listeners that Madonna can still make an impact with a ballad

Madonna – Confessions on a Dancefloor

I am not a fan of ‘Jump’. After ‘Hung Up’ and ‘Sorry’ it sounded far too pop. I would have gone instead with the superb stormer ‘Let it Will Be’. Not only is it one of the best from the album, the remixes would have kept the dance floors pounding til the wee hours.

Madonna – Hard Candy

‘Incredible’ over ‘Miles Away’ without a doubt. A much more inventive song that would have been a nice change on the global charts, and would have performed much better.

What do you think?



the strength of her catalogue is such that no one can ever agree on these things.

my choices
Madonna -- i'm good with all her choices here.

like a virgin
I'm also big on "stay" but if anything i think "over and over" should have been a worldwide single.

true blue
agree with her choices here. she was obviously right about La Isla Bonita (i seem to be the only Madonna fan who doesn't love it).

like a prayer
absolutely the right choices were made (i think Til Death Do Us Part is great... but it screams "grea album track" rather than "great single"

maybe "waiting" or "thief of hearts" over bad girl or fever

bedtime stories
again i think she made the right choices (though i wish Human Nature had been more successful)

ray of light
i love this album so much. the right choices i think.

ABSOLUTELY it should have been Impressive Instant which is one of her best songs on any record --frustrating that this album only had 3 singles (but i don't think "what it feels like..." was the right choice.

american life
her most misunderstood work and one of her best. agreed that the lead off single was not the right move (though i like the song more than most). I think NOBODY KNOWS ME, X-STATIC PROCESS, MOTHER AND FATHER... would have all been good choices in their own way. but I think HOLLYWOOD should have been the kickoff single (i think "Nothing Fails" is the best but not for a lead off)

I think Get Together should have been the second single... there is no way that song shouldn't have been huge. But i agree that JUMP was the wrong choice for the 4th. I'd go with "how high" or "let it will be"

hard candy
I dislike "Incredible" so i'm glad it was Miles Away instead... although I might've gone straight for "Candy Shop" as the second or third release. I also think SHE'S NOT ME would have been a better choice.

in some ways releasing "Miles Away" as a single feels like releasing "til Death do us part" (which she didn't do)

Michael Parsons said...

'Get Together' did get third single, but you are right, Sorry was far too similar in tone to 'Hung Up'.

Like a Prayer was a tough one, and I almost did not do the post because of it. It was basically eeny meany miney moe.
The choices were right there, hence choosing Dear Jessie. LOL

So many people hate 'Incredible', I never understand that.

Jose said...

I second Nate on "Thief of Hearts", it's such an amazing song and one that hasn't aged as much as others from the album/era.
I have a soft spot for "Love Profusion" so I'm OK with it, even if the video was Madge at her slacking worst.
As for anything from "Hard Candy" I shudder to think how bad this album was marketed.
Madge was trying to be all urban and relevant and "Miles Away" gets released? I do love the song but "Incredible" was infinitely better and more in tune with whatever her record company intended to do with the American market.
As for "Get Together" damn her for not making it the worldwide hit it deserved to be...