SCORE: 9.67 11 x 4 @paperboyfriendd @ABoy’sGot2Suffer4Fashion @Maki @Push 2015 PLACEMENT: UP 1 - 5 of 210 (9.412) 21ST CENTURY RATE WINNER HIGHEST SCORE: 10 x 108 (@nikkysan @funkyg @cheida @Jwentz @Butterfly @Raichu @P'NutButter @eatyourself @HEARTCORE @m_dimitrov @discoteca @tom71 @Sprockrooster @maverick_79 @tylerc904 @Doenjang @sfmartin @rav4boy @Angeleyes @2014 @Future Lover @JMRGBY @Remyky22 @AllGagaLike @Cutlery @Suburbia @matthew. @gezza76 @madgemad @soratami @GimmeWork @Endothelium @Mirwais Ahmadzaï @Babyface @Andrew.L @Mjg0806 @elear @Ana Raquel @Andy French @fatyoshi @WoW73 @Up Down Suite @CasperFan @torontodj @theelusivechanteuse @1991 @Sail On @Syzygyz @Dreampopboy @Fuchsia @FridayNight @Modeblock @Coochi @DominoDancing @muddleddreams @scottdisick94 @letuinmybackdoor @Drew @Robsolete @Fortune @R27 @Sideout @MilesAngel @unnameable @RetroPhysical @citoig @joeee @Xanax @VeryPSB @TrueBeliever @DinahLee @aaronhansome @SloMover @Jimmyandroid @Candy Perfume Girl @joe_alouder @Miss Lange @Michael17 @Mister_G @Lila @Pop Life @K94 @clowezra @Filippa @Rogue @TheChoirgirlHotel @KingBruno @eliminathan @Remorque @Digital Ghost @Trinu 3.0 @MrMannacroix @LTG @ufint @Verandi @RainOnFire @M24 @nametag @Holly Something @sexercise @Mr Blonde @Music Is Death @strangekin @japanbonustrack @fancygreen @Bangers&Bops @tommylander @beyoncésweave) LOWEST SCORE: 7 x 1 (@Sleepycat) MY SCORE: 9.5/10 And our Top 3 remains intact. "Hung Up" and "Into The Groove" actually traded places a few times during the voting, with "Into The Groove" sitting in its original position until 130 voters, meaning it was actually at #4 approximately two minutes before voting closed. What, more shade about the fact that so many of y'all took the complete piss with the voting period? You bet your ass it is. I've only got three days left to get it in. In what will be the final time this comes up in a write up in this rate, did y'all know that Madonna was working on seventeen different musicals in the early 00s? I know American Life flopping hit her hard, but turning to musical theatre... she must have been in a really dark place. Patrick Leonard, Mirwais Ahmadzaï, and Stuart Price were all enlisted to submit songs for these projects (but not a fucking ALBUM????) only for the entire thing to fall apart because Madonna was never happy with the script. Somewhere, as she twirled around a stripping pole, a young Diablo Cody felt a chill and had no idea why, even though her tiddies were out. But anyway, having a scrapyard of half-finished songs in her possession naturally turned into album sessions, and "Hung Up" was one of the songs that would make out of said scrapyard. For some reason, Stuart had thought that building the song entirely around a sample from ABBA's Benny & Björn, songwriters who were notoriously cagey about clearing samples, was a good idea. These two drama queens honestly required Madonna to send an emissary to Sweden with a letter begging for them to let them use the "Gimme! Gimme! Gimme!" sample, like it was the fucking Middle Ages and no one was allowed to leave their kingdom. Just email, lads. Shockingly, they cleared the sample - only the second ever time they had done so - after a hefty chunk of the royalties were agreed to be theirs. Remember what I said in the write up for "Ray Of Light" about artistic integrity having a price? It seems that the deal was pretty far reaching; giving them a cut if someone so much as hummed the song. No wonder our tight-fisted Queen has mangled it on every tour outing since the inaugural one. Negotiating for a large chunk of the royalties paid off, literally. "Hung Up" was, is, and will always be huge. Over twenty years into her career, Madonna snatched another defining hit that was up there with all her other defining hits. To date, it has sold over nine million copies and, thanks to it coming out around the advent of digital downloads, is most likely Madonna's most successful single on paper, and one of the biggest selling singles of all time. So it feels a bit strange to do this write up now, as the last time I did it, it was the last song to get a write up, and the last song to leave out of all three 2015 rates, winning the 21st Century Rate and bringing to a close what had been a year of rating Madonna's music. But I had breaks in 2015, whereas I have been entrenched in this particular project for six uninterrupted months of the weirdest year of everyone's life, and it only hits me now that I'll have this feeling twice more, with two more rate winners still just over the horizon. Wow. Eliminating winners, now. We really are nearly done. Let's get one thing absolutely straight: "Hung Up" probably should have left last night, but that doesn't make it anything other than absolutely perfect. It is a titan of a pop song; towering, glittering, overwhelming, and terrifying, and it is a credit to both itself and the songs that have surpassed it that it has made it as far as this. It is a thundering, juddering, war machine of pop that blazed across the world and delivered to Madonna what would appear to be her final Hail Mary on the charts. There is not a single second of it that isn't designed for success, whether that be on the charts, on a stage in front of thousands, or in the hearts of homosexuals everywhere. It is glory in music. The argument has been made so many times: it's nothing without the ABBA sample, and... maybe that's correct. But it's a fucking good thing we don't live in a world without the sample then, isn't it. Imagine a world where everything was perfect apart from "Hung Up" containing that sample. It would make you hesitate chucking this world - ravaged by disease and disaster and surely doomed - in, even if only for a moment. Madonna has always been at her absolute best when she's on the attack in her uptempos, and that is crystallised here as she swings maniacally between telling a fuckboi to go fuck himself before admitting that she's hooked on his bullshit, no matter how hard she tries to resist. It emulates that nocturnal neediness of the song it samples perfectly (although not so much it requires another cheque) where you're basically serving: ...before giving that number a ring ring ring at a quarter to two. It's a simple conceit, but an eternal one. In fact, the lyrics are almost inconsequential to the whole thing when you're faced with the impeccably crafted disco drama around it. The breathless verses, the MASSIVE chorus, the breakdown close to the end where it feels like all the air has been sucked out the room only to come whooshing back in just before you pass out, before one last swing round of that chorus and a fade out into ticking that leads onto the best song on the album. PERFECTION. But it was the right time for it to leave. Let's move on to our 11/10 givers, shall we? It would appear we only have one bit of commentary, and it is from... @Maki (NO WAIT COME BACK!) who seems to be doing everything but finishing that demo rate for some singer I used to like. Let's see what he has to say for himself... Or let's do what he's been doing and not read any of the below, make a few comments about the whole ordeal, and read it at a later date! "Choosing an 11 among a discography this broad and consistent, by an artist so monumental and impactful is obviously quite a challenge. In cases like these, when there are so many contenders for 11/10 score (honourable mentions to masterpieces like "Secret", "To Have and Not to Hold", "La Isla Bonita" etc.), I tend to choose a song that has the most sentimental/nostalgic value to it. "Hung Up" is the only song that checks all the boxes. My aunt, who I mentioned a few times before, used to babysit me before I started going to school and before she got married (which happened pretty much simultaneously). This was during the early 00's, when pop behemoths like Kylie and Gwen were spewing out hits, and Madonna was having her great resurgence. She was more of an alt-rock fan at the time, with No Doubt and Green Day being her main preferences. I owe a lot to my aunt when it comes to developing my own tastes in music genres. As someone who was listening to either old French music, mainly France Gall (the goddess who is on my avatar) or folk/doom/symphonic/nu metal during the early teens, suddenly plunging into the pop world, just before joining this forum, and re-discovering all the awesome hits I was exposed to during that time felt very. It seemed like I was missing out on the joys of pop music for years. Like... this is fun. Since then, I further dived into myriad of genres and artists, and still being on my quest for discovering as much music as possible. Okay, rewind to early/mid 00's. My aunt used to play the radio a lot and watched MTV, too. Obviously, some of the pop hits were bound to appear and we danced along. The golden trinity of those songs were Gwen's "What You Waiting For?", Kylie's "Can't Get You Out of My Head" and you guessed it, "Hung Up". Radio on top of the shelf. Speakers on top of a huge cabinet, next to a pair of cast head sculptures she created for her art academy, one at each side. Play. "Hung Up" starts playing. We improvise a choreography. When the song reaches the breakdown, during those fade in/out effects in the middle-8, she says: 'Let's pretend we're underwater!' Moments like these are just engraved in my mind. Those glimpses of past are where I would like to live in forever. Truly some of the best memories are linked to that period of time. Being completely carefree. Possibly the happiest I've ever been (and probably I'll ever be) in my life, too. We often look back on those days with smiles, laughter, and even some tears, especially since we very recently renovated the room where those memories stemmed from. They aren't wrong when they say nostalgia is the worst and the best feeling to exist. That should be enough of a reason to award this song my 11. Besides the fact that "Hung Up" one of the best pop songs of all time. I mean, there's literally nothing less than perfection in that banger - from the first to the last second. Not many songs that can even come close to being so well-crafted. Melody: impeccable. Production: astonishing. Delivery: amazing. Most likely the best and most iconic use of a sample ever, too. It's just an enormous pop moment that was inescapable and undeniably fantastic. Every time I hear the song, it transports me back to those happier times and gives me that distinctive nostalgia punch to the gut. Bonus connection: My aunt, Madonna and me all share the same birthday. Time goes by... so quickly." "Hung Up" received a brilliant and iconic video, which launched a thousand Madonna impressions for a good few years and gave her another iconic look to add to her repertoire. If you go anywhere in a pink leotard with your pussy threatening to pounce, people will know who you're meant to be. The video basically sees her gather a troupe of dancers from all around the world and have them make their way to her for a wee rave in London and... it's so stylish? The entire setup of mum in the rehearsal room is inspired, and some of the best video work of her career. I've never seen a towel thrown into a corner fiercer. If you've never listened to "Hung Up" on your way to or from a party or a night out and not pretended to be Madonna as she struts down a narrow London street during the penultimate chorus, I am going to revoke your homosexuality and give it someone who will appreciate it more. The song also received loads of promo performances, notably the EMAs, Coachella, and the opening of the 2006 Grammys, where she performed with the fucking Gorillaz for maximum randomness. The song was also performed atrociously during Sticky & Sweet and MDNA. However, I'm not even going to waste embed links to those two performances. The only tour performance that matters is the one that happened for its parent album on Confessions. After an absolutely tantalising performance of "Lucky Star" that samples the throbbing verse instrumental of "Hung Up" and closes the main show, Madonna asks if we want to hear some more, and we definitely do. After a brief quick-change and some of her dancers doing parkour through the audience, they eventually jump back onto the catwalk, bolt up to the main stage like they're being chased, and just as they reach it, the teasing finally ends, the music explodes, and everything becomes colour and light. What follows is maybe Madonna's finest uptempo tour performance ever. The moment where she voraciously humps the boombox before falling into the same pose she takes on the album cover is absolute orgasm-inducing fan service at its finest. Enjoy! Confessions On A Dance Floor OUT.