I had never considered this but...yes.

Living for Love remains my least favourite lead single. It's so..."fine". Love the styling and aesthetic of the single era but like...that's not enough. The album's strengths are not presented well in that single, for me.

Unapologetic Bitch or Bitch I'm Madonna as first single - dream.

Living for Love still feels like the most accessible "radio friendly" hit on the album. BIM sounded a bit dated even then. edit: I do love it though.
BIM never sounded like a Madonna song to me. It sounded more like a tribute song by a drag race contestant or something. That’s not a negative as such but I also think Madonna sounded incredibly insecure as well.

LFL has the ingredients of a great Madonna song but something is missing. I always feel like the leaks tampered with the final product
I like both Living For Love (perfect song, classic sound, kind of a follow-up to Hung Up, thrilling live performances) and Bitch, I'm Madonna (the Initial Talk 90s remix is superior though and I also appreciate the actual demo of the song more for being less glossy and more playful than the finished version) but neither song gives a good enough idea of what the album sounds like on their own. Mayyybe they needed to promote both at the same time, but scrapping Living For Love as a lead single altogether would be a poor choice imo, even just for missing the iconic BRITs performance. What a star, what a hero.
With quite a lot of her leads, I’ve found myself obsessed with them for a few months then they lose their appeal a little and I end up preferring other songs from the parent album a lot more. This is true even of behemoths like Music, Hung Up and Frozen. Living for Love is one that’s always remained interesting to me and I’ve enjoyed it consistently. The same goes for Medellin. I agree there’s a little something missing but this kind of adds to its appeal- it leaves you wanting more. Just talking about it now makes me want to listen to it.
I remember thinking at the time that ‘Living For Love’ sounded precisely what a Madonna Lead Single in 2014 should have sounded like. It had references to past singles - agree with the ‘Hung Up’ comparisons and also the soaring backing vocalists gave me ‘Like A Prayer’ lowkey - but it also sounded mostly like new territory for her, if not for like, the world. It sounds of it’s time now but not in a bad way I don’t think? Some songs from that era of Avicci / Calvin Harris / David Guetta / EDM / Techno / House / whatever sound like absolute mud to modern ears and really have aged like sliced apple, but I think Madonna managed to insert just enough of herself and her musical identity into the song that it hasn’t aged badly at all. It fits more into the [good Madonna songs] canon than it does the [EDM songs from the 10s] canon.

Deleted member 33252

If she'd done that performance for the Brits 15' instead of Capegate, things could've turned out a lot differently.

Imagine the shocked faces of Paloma Faith, Amanda Holden and George Ezra as she twerked her way onstage, various iterations of "She's a BAD BRITch" front page tabloid headlines the next day. Would have been sensational.
Wait this actually sounds so iconic. Imagine the meltdowns if it had been the lead single as well...
I'm in the Lockdown rabbit hole. I typed Madonna Reaction into YouTube and I love that the default reaction to Bedtime Story in every video so far is stunned silence. Literally the gays have no reference points for it. There's a lot of, "She's so ahead of her time," which is accurate, obviously. Oh, and "Madonna said gay rights for six minutes straight in the 90s," is uttered by one commentator. It's interesting to see Madonna's power through the eyes of others.
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Justice for Avicii Heart

Living for Love could never

I like Living For Love (I like the 'Lord Lord lift me' demo the best). But sometimes I think about an alternate history where nothing got leaked and Madonna showed up at the Grammys in 2015 to perform this instead. I feel like a real moment might have happened.