Madonna has been on top of her game for over 30 years now. The Queen of Pop had her first worldwide hit with ‘Holiday’ in 1983. She has been releasing success after success in the charts and launched album number 13, called Rebel Heart in 2015. The Queen of Pop turns 60 today and of course this is the perfect opportunity to look back at her greatest hits and celebrate the pop music that Madonna graced us with. I present you the Ultimate Madonna Singles Top 10. This was quite a hard task and a lot of ‘kill your darlings’ (‘Don’t Tell Me’, ‘Beautiful Stranger’, ‘Ray Of Light’, ‘Papa Don’t Preach’ and ‘Love Profusion’ all just missed the list) but it is here. Let me know what your top 10 looks like in the comment section below or on my social media pages!
10. Like A Virgin (1983)
The top 10 had to be opened by a world famous Madonna classic (well basically they all are, but you know what I mean). This was one of the big 80s tracks that catapulted Madonna into stardom. Take a cheeky subject, a controversial MTV VMA’s performance and a hell of a chorus and a pop star is born!
09. 4 Minutes (2008)
Madonna is known for re-inventing herself over and over again and ‘4 Minutes’ from the album Hard Candy was one of these big moments. She showed how she could still beat her younger competition by working with Justin Timberlake and Timbaland on a great pop song with a hip-hop basis. Show them all how it is done once more, your Madgesty.
08. La Isla Bonita (1987)
Tropical Madonna is delicious Madonna. “Last night I dreamt of San Pedro…” This song is the karaoke track everybody enjoys to sing. The chorus is divine and the atmosphere just sends that warm breeze right out of your speakers. This is still the perfect song to enjoy on a sunny holiday during a warm and sultry summer night. Seriously never gets old!
07. Vogue (1990)
God knows how many gay men all around the world are still vogueing their asses off to this track every single weekend. Of course Madonna was trendsetting again when she incorporated dance music of the 90s into her pop sound. She was one of the first to have a worldwide hit with that typical beat and I can tell you from experience, this is still being played in a lot of clubs in the gay scene. Timeless classic!
06. Secret (1994)
Now this is a track that could be seen as slightly underrated. It is usually not mentioned as one of Madonna’s defining moments, but in all its honesty and simplicity, it is definitely one of her best songs ever recorded. The restrained vocals, the humming in the chorus and that laidback intstrumentation give me chills everytime I hear it.
05. Live to Tell (1986)
The dramatic ballad ‘Live To Tell’ was one of the first signs that showed critics and everyone else that Madonna could do more than just the happy and carefree pop songs (like there is anything wrong with that!). For me, this is still one of the biggest 80s ballads with that enchanting middle-eight and the gorgeous restrained vocals.
04. Material Girl (1985)
In the 80s, Madonna established herself as the flirty, sexy pop singer with big danceable pop songs. In that category, this one is my absolute favourite. Ever since the release of this track, there have not been many songs that match the brilliance of this chorus. If you have the ambition to pen a great pop masterpiece in your life, listen to this and take notes, many notes.
03. Hung Up (2005)
Remember when Madonna taught everyone how to properly use a sample of another song? I am here to refresh your memory. The use of ABBA’s ‘Gimme! Gimme! Gimme!’ was a brilliant move and elevated this track to dazzling heights. The immense production, the sassy lyrics and that chorus (oh my god, that chorus!) all lead up to one of the biggest comebacks in the history of popular music.
02. Like a Prayer (1988)
Of course ‘Like A Prayer’ had to be on this list, because it is without a doubt one of the most iconic singles the Queen of Pop ever released. What makes this song so special is that every single hook throughout the more than five minutes that it lasts is on point. The whole vibe breathes something very special and of course, the video was boundary breaking and controversial to say the least. Long story short, it ticks all the boxes for a legendary pop moment.
01. Frozen (1998)
Speaking of a legendary pop moment, here is one more and arguably her biggest. When ‘Frozen’ was released back in 1998, it was a game changing single. Produced by William Orbit, who also worked with her on the rest of her outstanding Ray Of Light album, the song incorporates elements of electro and breathes a heavenly atmosphere with a dark twist. The lyrics are right from the heart and have a poetic quality. This is one of her greatest achievements ever and I am sure she will be remembered for it.