Madonna: The Discography Rate - COMPLETE | Page 580 | The Popjustice Forum

Madonna: The Discography Rate - COMPLETE

Discussion in 'Charts, rates etc' started by RJF, Apr 19, 2020.

  1. RJF







    ...or did I?

    Yeah I did.



    SCORE: 9.848

    11 x 7

    @Dangerous Maknae

    2015 PLACEMENT: NON-MOVER - 3 of 210 (9.766)
    HIGHEST SCORE: 10 x 134!!! (@RJF @nikkysan @AshtrayHeart @funkyg @Andreas @Tigerlily @Vasilios @cheida @Jwentz @Raichu @No hay banda @dodoriazarbon @P'NutButter @eatyourself @HEARTCORE @m_dimitrov @djmakemewet @discoteca @Lucy Honeychurch @Sprockrooster @Euphoria @rdp @tylerc904 @Doenjang @sfmartin @rav4boy @2014 @Future Lover @JMRGBY @DJHazey @Remyky22 @Cutlery @Suburbia @matthew. @GimmeWork @Endothelium @Mirwais Ahmadzaï @Babyface @Andrew.L @relby @elear @paullypaul @Ana Raquel @Andy French @fatyoshi @WoW73 @Up Down Suite @godspeed @CasperFan @torontodj @theelusivechanteuse @1991 @Sail On @dancingwithmyself @Babylon @Syzygyz @Dreampopboy @Fuchsia @NightmareBoy @Skyline @BreatheBox @FridayNight @Modeblock @Coochi @DominoDancing @Hurricane Drunk @muddleddreams @scottdisick94 @letuinmybackdoor @Drew @Robsolete @Fortune @R27 @Sideout @MilesAngel @unnameable @RetroPhysical @Zdarlight @citoig @joeee @Xanax @DinahLee @aaronhansome @SloMover @Bleu Noir @Jimmyandroid @JonBcn @paperboyfriendd @joe_alouder @Miss Lange @Michael17 @BTG @Crisp X @Epic Chocolat @Mister_G @Sleepycat @Lila @Pop Life @K94 @clowezra @Filippa @Rogue @ABoy’sGot2Suffer4Fashion @wintersleep @evilsin @TheChoirgirlHotel @KingBruno @Remorque @Digital Ghost @Trinu 3.0 @MrMannacroix @acl @LTG @ufint @Mikl C @M24 @Ramalama @nametag @Markus1981 @sexercise @Mr Blonde @happiestgirl @Music Is Death @FrozenNight @strangekin @Chezam @fancygreen @Bangers&Bops @Weslicious @Beautiful Child 2 @tommylander @Touchofmyhand @Push @beyoncésweave)
    LOWEST SCORE: 6.5 x 1 (@Phonetics Boy)
    MY SCORE: 10/10

    It might leave without the crown, but "Vogue" doesn't leave empty handed. That is the highest amount of 10/10 scores any song received in the rate, including our Top 2, and it'll probably hold onto the record for most tens ever for...ever, possibly. At least until this rate is done again with two hundred plus participants. Thank God I did this while registration was closed. What I think lost things for "Vogue" in the end was that, while it had a record-making amount of 10/10s, it was the 11/10s it needed to vanquish its foes, and it just couldn't get there. Still: what a performance. And it means I'm Breathless is properly dead! Let's celebrate that!

    "Vogue" was produced by none other than Shep Pettibone, who originally caught Madonna's attention through the remixes he did for her singles up to that point, and who of course would go on to co-produce Madonna's next album with her. He would also be responsible for remixing and remastering a bulk of her hits for The Immaculate Collection. Coincidentally, this is also how William Orbit came into Madonna's... orbit, by her liking his work on the remixes of her songs. Which is actually kind of wild to think she was actually keeping abreast of stuff like this. Especially in 1990 when she was basically as big as a popstar would ever be. I don't imagine many artists are giving remixes of their singles a second thought 99% of the time, and especially now when they're tossed out so carelessly. So anyway, Madonna decided to take Shep for a spin on an original. By all accounts, "Vogue" was conceived and birthed in a tiny, grubby New York City studio in about ten minutes, collectively. Shep makes it sound like they just flew from moment to moment, doing whatever felt right. Madonna did vocal takes and wrote lyrics between the eight different other things she was doing, Shep wrapped up production, and they shipped it off to be the b-side to "Keep It Together", the final single to Like A Prayer. End of story.

    ...except, as we all know, it wasn't. Upon hearing "Vogue", the suits at Warner (who to be fair, always did an impeccable job of picking Madonna's singles) instantly heard its smash potential, and labelled it for release as a full blown single. And what a single it was. At the height of the biggest Imperial Phase to ever exist, Madonna netted her biggest hit to date and one of the biggest pop songs of all time. It feels correct that the same year I was born was the same year that "Vogue" was the highest selling single worldwide. It achieved almost instant and universal acclaim, with critics focusing on the fact that it seemed to be the apex of Madonna's tendency for seamlessly blending the underground with the mainstream, with the song borrowing more grimy New York dance floors and ballroom culture than any stale ass trend on pop radio. "Vogue" is basically one of the finest examples of house-pop to ever exist. It's so funny to think that she managed to make an incredible 90s dance record without BloodPop, huh?

    Let's stay on that underground/mainstream blend though. "Vogue" is inspired by, well, voguing, and as a concept and dance style, it was first brought to Madonna by Jose Gutierez at a club called Sound Factory in New York. Jose joined her on Blond Ambition, choreographed and starred in the video for "Vogue", and talks about his experiences in all of the above in Strike A Pose, the documentary about the dancers from Blond Ambition. And here is where things maybe get a little muddy: was Madonna right to essentially co-opt something that was predominantly created by queer people of colour? Was it cultural appropriation? I... honestly don't know. I'm not a queer PoC from the 80s NYC ball scene; I'm a Scottish white fag in 2020. What I will say is that, in terms of Madonna's inspirations, is that she has been fairly consistent in crediting them. I always laugh when I think of that article that came out last year where she said she didn't understand the concept of cultural appropriation... right before she perfectly and succinctly explained how not to do it. And while these cultures were not necessarily Madonna's to expose and yes, exploit, she played a major role in bringing them to a far broader audience and, dare I say it, normalising them. Like, "Vogue" is gay. It is an inherently queer song. It is also one of the most successful songs of all time, and that was down to her being the one to bring this message and ethos to people, despite these things being simple facts of life that we should all share to begin with.

    I can't even put into words how brilliant and vital this song is, but I'm going to try my best. "Vogue" is probably Madonna's finest, most elegant, most powerful clarion call to the dance floor. There is something so inspiring about it; a song all about the democracy of dancing. How it doesn't matter where you are, or how you look, or well you do it, the effects are the same as long as you surrender yourself to it. I mean, that first verse:

    Look around, everywhere you turn is heartache
    It's everywhere that you go (look around)
    You try everything you can to escape
    The pain of life that you know (life that you know)
    When all else fails and you long to be
    Something better than you are today
    I know a place where you can get away
    It's called a dance floor, and here's what it's for, so...

    I've used this word a few times in the last few months, but what a transportive opening salvo. Like the best Madonna songs, she doesn't beat around the bush: the world is shit and is doing its best to grind you into dust... but there is respite to aspire to, there is a future to look to, and a better world to build, and if you want a taste then you better take her hand, because she's going to show you a good time.

    "Vogue", like the scene that inspired it, is an ethos. It's the power of knowing that we can be better and happier no matter who we are or where we are, and that dance floors exist wherever we want them to be. That self-expression is key. That the things we see on television screens and magazines and theatres are attainable, and those stories aren't just for those we see acting them out. That the stories we tell (oop it's a callback!) are valid also. And I don't know; a song all about how fucking shit the world is and how any kind of escapism is important feels more than timely in 2020. But that's because we have yet another Madonna song that is timeless in its execution and message, I guess. Plus... it's just fucking cool. Have y'all ever listened to the instrumental? This isn't just something they made this shit is in different areas! That bass, the clicks, that luxurious, self-indulgent intro, those stabs of brass, the twinkling synths, and the house piano riff ecstasy of the chorus. It's easily Shep Pettibone's finest work for Madonna in terms of just how immaculate it is. It should be hanging in the MoMA with the "Bedtime Story" video in how still manages to sound utterly revolutionary to this day. And Madonna... maybe writes her finest ever capital-P Pop Song on top of it. Every line a fucking profundity. You've gotta just let your body move to the music. All you need is your own imagination; use it that's what it's for, go inside for inspiration, your dreams will open the door. Beauty's where you find it, not just where you bump and grind it. What are you looking at? Don't just stand there! Life's a BALL. STRIKE A POSE! THERE'S NOTHING TO IT!!! And of course...

    Greta Garbo, and Monroe
    Dietrich and DiMaggio
    Marlon Brando, Jimmy Dean
    On the cover of a magazine


    Grace Kelly; Harlow, Jean
    Picture of a beauty queen
    Gene Kelly, Fred Astaire
    Ginger Rogers, dance on air


    They had style, they had grace
    Rita Hayworth gave good face
    Lauren, Katherine, Lana too
    Bette Davis, we love you


    Ladies with an attitude
    Fellows that were in the mood
    Don't just stand there, let's get to it
    Strike a pose, there's nothing to it


    For the first time in this rate, I say this for an eliminated song: it would have been a more than worthy winner.

    Below, @maverick_79 tells us the story of his genesis:

    "This was my introduction to Madonna, and pop music, as an 11 year old seeing the video on TV before school and being utterly transfixed. And could anybody ask for a better introduction? There is not a single thing that isn’t utterly iconic about this release, from the talking middle 8, the black and white video, the single cover, the MTV performance. It was Madonna at her absolute most powerful, and I don’t think a pop star has come close to getting something quite so perfect since."

    And even further below, David Fincher directs one of the finest, most iconic music videos of all time that left everyone's head fucking spinning for decades. There has also never been a single bad performance of "Vogue", but the one I want to draw your attention to the most is Madonna's performance at the 1990 VMAs where, decked out in her finest Parisian court renaissance fantasy excellence, she and her troupe take the stage and perform. Madonna doesn't even fucking bother with a microphone. That's queen shit. It's... pure and utter pop art, and maybe her finest awards show performance ever. Enjoy!

    I'm Breathless OUT LMAO.

    Sticky & Sweet
    Rebel Heart
    evilsin, R27, Raichu and 86 others like this.
  2. I really thought Frozen was out third and was very thrilled for Vogue but never mind.

    Now Like a Prayer better remain the winner.
  3. RJF



    1. American Life - 8.361
    2. Erotica - 8.13
    3. True Blue - 7.932
    4. Music - 7.916
    5. Confessions On A Dance Floor - 7.892
    6. Bedtime Stories - 7.878
    7. Madonna - 7.767
    8. Madame X - 7.205
    9. Like A Virgin - 6.959
    10. Hard Candy - 6.825
    11. Rebel Heart - 6.822
    12. MDNA - 6.12
    13. I'm Breathless - 5.133 5.561

    Like A Prayer
    Ray Of Light​
  4. RJF


    Tomorrow, I will be posting the write ups for Like A Prayer and Ray Of Light ahead of our last reveals on Thursday night, where we will finally crown our winner just a week shy of six months since the thread opened.

    See you soon.



    Thursday 8th October, 9PM BST

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Last edited: Oct 6, 2020
  5. Vogue is proof that Madonna is queer culture, and queer culture is Madonna.

    Every single element of it, lyrics, instrumental, that spoken word breakdown, vocals, the video is unapologetically queer. When we inevitably secede and form our own nation, it will be our national anthem, and we will be better for it.
  6. RJF


    Four write ups and done
    Four write ups and done
    Four write ups and done
    Four write ups and done
    Four write ups and done
    Four write ups and done
    Four write ups and done
    Four write ups and done
    Four write ups and done
    Four write ups and done
    Four write ups and done
    Four write ups and done​
  7. Wow. I will forever feel the inspiration and impact Vogue has had on me.. one of the few examples of popular and celebrated queerness I can remember from early childhood. I felt seen. I felt safe and encouraged. Oh and I felt my wig ripped away forever.

    I think Vogue is her most iconic single, video..etc. It's perhaps even more synonymous with her than "Like a Virgin" "Material Girl"..etc. I mean talk about a quintessential image. FUCK! That's Madonna!

    Chezam, Lila, Coochi and 6 others like this.
  8. BTG


    It can’t be said enough but the MTV Awards performance of Vogue is one of the all time greatest award show performances. The aesthetic! The costuming! The fan flip! It’s art. It’s drag. It’s faggotry.
    evilsin, Womanizer, Chezam and 16 others like this.
  9. People trying to make the "Madonna stole voguing" argument in recent times make me so angry still.

    Beyond the fact that it willfully ignores her giving credit where credit was due from the start, it also implies the playing field was that of current times where say, a show like Pose can exist and it's black flamboyant homosexual star can be an Emmy winner. The reality of 1990 was that the black gay community was not only so economically disenfranchised, but the sheer violence of the bigotry they faced by society and the damn government was so crushing and brutal that it assured they stayed economically disenfranchised. Madonna's relationship with her black gay dancers/the gay club scene at large was clearly genuine, and making a song like Vogue was probably the closest thing to using your privilege and platform to uplift silenced voices at that point in history.

    Did she exploit black gay culture for monetary gain? I suppose the answer is yes, she did but... that's capitalism. I think people sometimes read "Vogue" as "Madonna saw the opportunity to steal voguing and make lots of money from it" in a deliberately sinister way when clearly that wasn't the case. (I mean it was almost a B-side!).

    The question that's more important to pose is whether or not she uplifted and celebrated black gay culture at a time when nobody else would've dared to, and that answer is also yes.
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2020
  10. I know we all hate GLEE but I still love that Jane Lynch pulled this off.

    Sprockrooster likes this.
  11. 2014

    2014 Staff Member

  12. BTG


    It's 2020. This forum's obsession with Glee needs to cease.
  13. phbyxxpo38zzsvkxshjc.jpg
  14. All us redacteds at age 7, having got that spoken word middle 8 down by heart, and really hoping we will one day get to Vogue on a dancefloor when we grow up, not quite understanding what a solid gold classic it would become...
    Womanizer, Coochi, stuaw and 2 others like this.
  15. [​IMG]
    evilsin, K94, Womanizer and 27 others like this.
  16. matthew.

    matthew. Staff Member

    Shout out to another one of Vogue's greatest performances, and to think she did it at all of the ~4000 dates of Sticky and Sweet!

    Last edited: Oct 6, 2020
  17. LTG


    Whew, it’s one thing almost getting teary about the write up of the more emotional ballads, but it’s a powerful bop that elicit the same feeling. So many of the songs M’s released tackle this very theme, and Vogue is its distillation.

    So many of us home oh sexuals know the urgency, the power of the line “I know a place where you can get away, it’s called a dancefloor, and here’s what it’s for.”

    She’s progressed beyond dancing alone behind locked doors so no one else can see her, she doesn’t even particularly care about dancing with someone else. As long as there are other bodies there and the music’s pumping.

    She’s conquered the dancefloor, she’s giving you new life, she is the superstar. But she shares the ecstasy of the dancefloor with everyone, she brings the glare of visibility to people who have been hidden away. This is such a gay song, but it doesn’t call for acceptance or normality. Madonna calls us to be ourselves and thrive, just like she has.

    Life’s a Ball indeed.

    evilsin, dirtypony, K94 and 29 others like this.
  18. Vogue is majestic.
    Vogue is regal.
    Vogue is larger than life.

    And Vogue is exactly the kind of song a world dominating pop star of Madonna's stature - at the height of her fame and with a firm grasp on the cultural conversation - deserved to release at the time. It just seems to ... right that this is the song she released at that point in her career? The perfect icing on the cake of her imperial phase.

    This is how you do a cultural reset, girls.
    Womanizer, Chezam and discoteca like this.
  19. Whew, I had a heart attack with that reveal. Twice.

    As much as this post will read like an attempt to trigger everyone: I'm so relieved with "Vogue" missing the final. Yes, it's a great and well-crafted song, but it doesn't hit me as much as I expect. Maybe the problem lies in the fact that I'm not a big fan of that specific dance-house beat of late 80's/early 90's (think of Kylie's "What Do I Have to Do" and such), which was overused at the time and kind of wiped the personality out of a lot of the songs. Not "Vogue", though. It just bursts with confidence and I can definitely understand why it's such an important to some of you, especially given the background of majority of the voters here.
    But, for me, it's not one of her best, just because it doesn't totally resonate with me sonically. It sounds like a slightly improved version of "Express Yourself", since the production and lyrical theme are somewhat similar, though doesn't have anything too special in my opinion. The melody is good and memorable, but nowhere near her best, and the production is obviously great, though doesn't make me feel things in a way, for example, "Frozen" does. It pains me to say this, but I really consider "Vogue" overrated and quite of its time, purely speaking about the sonic aspects (i.e. I can pinpoint the year it was released in just by hearing the song).
    It's an 8 on a good day for me, so my score for the song resulted in 7.5, mainly since I think some of the tracks from "I'm Breathless" charmed me more, so maybe I wanted to make a difference with that. Sorry, can't remember.

    Also, it never really struck me that "Vogue" is considered her most defining and successful hit. Is it really the biggest Madonna hit? For some reason, I always thought that songs like "Like a Prayer", "La Isla Bonita" and "Hung Up" were more defining and popular, purely on the charts/sales base. Though this has to do with personal experience, I could only recall hearing the chorus of "Vogue" before, so perhaps this rate brought me my first front-to-back listen of the song, I think?
    It's amusing to think of it as a B-side, especially when Madonna was the one who used to savior those album and almost leftover tracks which eventually became big hits.

    I actually wouldn't have minded if "Vogue" left the rate before or around top 100. There I said it.

    And, with this, I bring my hot takes to an end, since "Frozen" and "Like a Prayer" are flawless finalists.
    Well done, everybody!
  20. LTG


    evilsin, dirtypony, K94 and 22 others like this.
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