Our last cut... The song that only just didn't get in before the door to the Top 40 shut... Is... 41 SCORE: 8.533 2015 PLACEMENT: UP 24 - 65 of 210 (7.853) HIGHEST SCORE: 10 x 46 (@RJF @nikkysan @Vasilios @aux @No hay banda @djmakemewet @discoteca @Angeleyes @Cutlery @Suburbia @GimmeWork @Endothelium @Mirwais Ahmadzaï @relby @Jonathan27 @elear @Andy French @fatyoshi @theelusivechanteuse @Dreampopboy @Skyline @BreatheBox @Modeblock @Coochi @muddleddreams @scottdisick94 @Fortune @RetroPhysical @Zdarlight @joeee @aaronhansome @BEST FICTION @Mister_G @Sleepycat @clowezra @eliminathan @MrMannacroix @acl @LTG @nametag @Mvnl @Markus1981 @Music Is Life @FrozenNight @Weslicious @Maki) LOWEST SCORE: 4 x 1 (@happiestgirl) MY SCORE: 10/10 Madonna is a hard worker. The evidence? *gestures wildly in the direction of the forty songs left and the two hundred songs gone* She decided at a very young age that she was going to have anything she wanted, because she was simply ready to do whatever it took to get it. I think this is something that is frequently left out of the Madonna legend to kind of backhand compliment her as cunning or calculating; like everything she has was simply down to her playing odds well, or luck, or piggybacking off the success or talent of someone else, which is bullshit. I don't see anyone else's name on the writing credits of the songs she kept on her on cassette at all times in case an opportunity arose to make someone listen, and I don't see anyone else still commanding the pop culture cache she does, albeit diminished from her peak, forty years in. And none of that would be happening if she hadn't worked for it. Basically, what I'm saying is that Madonna's motto from day one has been that if you work hard enough, you can make anything happen for yourself. And on an album that is at least partially about her disillusionment with her home country, a song that, in a roundabout way, references the pillars of The American Dream feels appropriate as an end point. Whether or not this is the intention of "Easy Ride", I honestly don't know, but listening to it in 2020 feels a little revolutionary. Verses all about wanting to work hard for a nice life so you can pass on everything you learned to your children, but an outro all about being trapped in a never-ending, self-perpetuating cycle where you toil and toil to simply keep your head above water, never climbing the class ladder, is kind of staggering to listen to in an age where the wealth gap is a yawning chasm, Americans are filing for unemployment at a record rate, and their administration is hanging them out to dry for their own gain. And all of this is illustrated by the masterful use of a glitching, twitching loop. Round and round and round we go. I think Madonna's slightly mournful tone in the chorus only compounds all of the above, along with the drama of the string-laden production, which ends an album that is frequently about happy things on such a dread-inducing note. I would actually say it's the most succinct and subtle commentary on America at the turn of the century, and now. I... also don't think that Madonna intended for the song to be about any of the above, but I do think she would appreciate that reading in 2020. She seems to be more switched on to these things, these days. Tears Of A Clown is, again, the site of the only outing of "Easy Ride", but given most of the album was inspired by Rocco, it makes sense that a show all about him took its cues from there. And thus, your Top 40 is revealed.