Hmm... in fact, no. I've made up my mind. I'm-- SCORE: 9.367 11 x 2 @Joe. @Drew 2015 PLACEMENT: DOWN 5 - 7 of 210 (9.331) HIGHEST SCORE: 10 x 82 (@nikkysan @funkyg @Andreas @Tigerlily @aux @cheida @Raichu @No hay banda @eatyourself @HEARTCORE @m_dimitrov @discoteca @Dangerous Maknae @Sprockrooster @maverick_79 @OSHi @2014 @Cutlery @gezza76 @Mjg0806 @Jonathan27 @elear @paullypaul @Ana Raquel @Andy French @WoW73 @Up Down Suite @CasperFan @torontodj @1991 @Sail On @Babylon @Aester @Skyline @Modeblock @Daniel_O @DominoDancing @Hurricane Drunk @letuinmybackdoor @Robsolete @Fortune @Sideout @unnameable @RetroPhysical @Zdarlight @citoig @joeee @Xanax @TrueBeliever @DinahLee @Bleu Noir @Jimmyandroid @JonBcn @paperboyfriendd @Miss Lange @BTG @Mister_G @phoenix123 @Lila @Pop Life @K94 @clowezra @Rogue @ABoy’sGot2Suffer4Fashion @wintersleep @TheChoirgirlHotel @KingBruno @eliminathan @Remorque @Digital Ghost @Trinu 3.0 @ufint @nametag @Markus1981 @happiestgirl @Music Is Life @FrozenNight @Chezam @fancygreen @Bangers&Bops @Weslicious @tommylander) LOWEST SCORE: 6 x 1 (@Euphoria) MY SCORE: 9.5/10 And we have another drop from the Top 10! "Papa Don't Preach" drops five places from its spot in 2015 to land just outside of the Top 10 in 2020, with an almost static score to boot. The competition just seems to be fiercer this time around, I guess. You can see from the score spread that it's maybe the lack of full marks that did it in eventually despite a relatively high lowest score. I guess y'all really just wanted Papa to shut up this time around, huh. Hmm would it be fair to say that "Papa Don't Preach" was the first time Madonna actively courted controversy? She had, of course, already had her fair share across the Like A Virgin era, but it felt like a lot of that was mostly down to the fact that her just being herself was enough to push people's buttons. Here, it feels like there was a more conscious effort to make people clutch their pearls rather than just have it happen from the sheer virtue of being. The song was originally written by Brian Elliot, with Madonna only providing a few additional lyrics. Apparently Miss Brian's recording studio had a massive double sided mirror as a window, which teenage girls would frequently stop in front of to double check their appearance and to have torrid gossip in front of, which Brian overheard and then turned into a pop song. So... basically a grown ass man was watching young girls inspect their reflection without their knowledge and listening in on their private conversations in the process. ... These 80s industry CREEPS oh my God. Anyway, it fast got snatched up by Madonna, who then co-produced with Stephen Bray the song we know now, which is iconic in the grandest sense of the word. It's true, it's very true. It hit #1 on both sides of The Atlantic, and is probably one of Madonna's biggest, most recognisable songs. It was also the track that would usher in what is probably classed as Madonna's first re-invention, when in reality she just got a haircut. After "Live To Tell" had presented us with a fairly demure but still recognisably Madonna Madonna, "Papa Don't Preach" gave to us the full on iconic True Blue silhouette; the short, choppy hair, the jeans, the tight t-shirt. All of a sudden every girl in the world was found ripping off their fishnet gloves, shaking their eighteen bangles off, and unbuckling their Boy Toy belts. But we'll get to more of that when we're talking about the video later on. As most will know, the song was controversial back in the day because it rather frankly approaches the idea of an unplanned pregnancy. I mean obviously if you squint the song can just be about a girl determined to stay with her man despite her father's judgement, but the popular reading is that the girl has ended up pregnant, and is going to go through with having a child despite her father's protestations about the whole situation. It caught heat from the usual suspects like conservatives etc. who literally just seem to shit with rage whenever Madonna breathes, but I've always been surprised that the song caught heat from pro-choice activists at the time, who felt Madonna's portrayal was irresponsible, which... I don't really understand. I'll admit to not being the most clued up about how prominent abortion was as a subject in the media at the time (I mean it's always a prominent subject in America but still.) but perhaps its coverage was still a pretty precarious thing. However, I don't see what Madonna does wrong with its portrayal here. The protagonist of the story is never once portrayed as trapped, or coerced, or forced into anything she does. In fact, she exercises her right to choose, she makes up her mind, acknowledging that there is a choice to make in the first place. It's just that she chooses to keep her baby. Which is... fine. So I'm not entirely sure what the beef was at the time. Before looking into it more, I always thought that the controversy came from pro-lifers who were angry she had such a massive hit where abortion is even considered an option, but oh well. Perhaps some of y'all who were there in real time can shed some light on the issue. The song... is a storm. I spoke about this over the weekend, but it was with the True Blue singles where it felt like a true level up had occurred, and a forward-thinking, untouchable, unpredictable goddess of pop was born. Girls, the drama. The strings, Madonna at her throatiest, most pleading, 80s voice best. That ear worm of a chorus. That glorious breakdown where the backing vocals take centre stage. The ten minute plus maxi version on the single. Gone were Nile Rodgers' weirdly cheap pastiche production jobs and in their place was a work of art by M and Stephen Bray. This is A-Grade pop music, ladies. There's also the additional angle of feeling like another one of Madonna's meditations on the male authority figures in her life, and about how she strives for equality and respect from them. Through the entire song, she's sympathetic to her father's feelings, but she's not going to be swayed or divert from her own course. "But is it about God?" is also almost-permanent question in regards to Madonna, but it works in that regard too. The layers. More than deserving of such a high spot here, and in its place in the upper echelon in pop as a whole. Is this the first time everyone who gave a song their 11/10 has actually submitted commentary? I have no idea, but maybe! First up is @Joe., "I could only ever really have given my 11 to this. Not only is it my favourite Madonna song, but I think it might be my favourite song of all time? I often fall for songs that have an unusual point of view, and this song, clearly has that (still to this day!) The desperation, optimism, empowerment, sadness...It has it all, all tied in with an absolute belter of a chorus (not to mention the "Daddy Daddy" key change). The orchestral introduction..iconic, luv." Hmm I low-key wanted another story of adolescent faggotry but I'll take what I can get. Finally, it's @Drew with the tea, "My head says Like A Prayer, but my heart knows Papa Don't Preach is my favorite Madonna song. The cinematic strings at the start of the song, her pleading vocals that should have put to rest any criticism that she can't sing, her voice so full of character and personality (and would never be the same after Evita). True Blue is one of history's classic albums and really set the gold standard for a stellar run of singles off one album (I mean, even Thriller had some whatever singles so I'm standing by this), and Papa Don't Preach is the crown jewel of those 5 singles. It is my most played Madonna song and it is criminally underrepresented in her tour setlists. A perfect song." I really kind of is underperformed considering how huge it was, but then... the True Blue singles in general kind of got a rough time of it outside of "La Isla Bonita" for years. Like I said above, the video was our first taste of Madonna truly overhauling her image, along with seemingly serving BUDGET and giving us a full on Oscar bait NARRATIVE for the first time ever. Definitely her first foray into videos with MEANING (okay, I'll stop now) and my, what a home run. Madonna plays an Italian-American, working-class New Yorker who is a total daddy's girl who falls in love with the neighbourhood Bad Boy and gets knocked up, but is determined to make it work with all the men in her life. She looks outstanding in both setups. The iconic Danny Aiello plays Papa, and was so taken by his role in the whole thing that he recorded a response song to the track called "Papa Wants The Best For You" complete with video! Damn, man. This bitch is a stan! The song was also performed during Who's That Girl, Blond Ambition, Re-Invention, and for about twenty seconds on MDNA purely, it seemed, to piss people off that she wasn't doing the hits before proceeding to absolutely butcher "Hung Up" sksksk. Enjoy!