Friday, April 10, 2015


Madonna was undoubtedly the biggest female pop star of the 80s, and arguably the biggest of all pop stars, so every time she was gearing up to release a new album we couldn't wait to hear the lead single. Here I have put together the lead singles from all of Madonna's full length albums for you from Madonna (1983) to Like a Prayer (1989). Some of the most exciting, legendary singles in pop music history. So which one was the greatest lead single? In determining this ranking I took into consideration not just which was my favorite song, but how well it represented what was in store for the album, sonically and tonally, and the impact it had on me personally during the era of Madonna's career it kickstarted. I'm complicated. Read below to find out which song fits where, bitch. I'm not just going to list them for you, lazy!! Happy Madonna Friday.
4. Everybody (Madonna) - Though Everybody was released in October '82 and Madonna, the album, wasn't released until July '83, Everybody was officially the first single and its success on the Dance and Club charts was the reason Madonna was able to record her debut full-length album. Even though Everybody is an absolute joy, it didn't quite kick the album into high gear. That honor would go to third single Holiday, which was Madonna's first Hot 100 hit (#16) and moved the newly released album up the chart.

3. Live To Tell (True Blue) - Live To Tell, though officially considered the lead single from True Blue, was ACTUALLY released as a song from Madonna's then-husband Sean Penn's film At Close Range. She wrote it with Patrick Leonard and presented it to Sean for his birthday to help promote the film. It was released right before the album True Blue though and is considered its first single. I LOVE this song. It is dark and moody and one of Madonna's best vocal performances. The only thing that keeps it from being higher on this list is that it doesn't exactly set up the album True Blue as a whole. True Blue is brighter, sunnier and more of a summer album in total than the tone of Live To Tell lets on. Papa Don't Preach, the second single, was a much better representation of what was to come with True Blue.

2. Like A Virgin (Like A Virgin) - As far as setting up an album, it doesn't get (very) much better than this. With the help of producer Nile Rodgers, Madonna combines sound, concept and style all in one hard hitting, sexy punch to set up one of the most iconic albums of the 1980s and of her career. Like A Virgin was naughty, shocking, ironic and. most importantly, iconic from the moment we first heard it. It was the perfect introduction to follow up singles Material Girl, Angel and Dress You Up. There is only one better.

1. Like A Prayer (Like A Prayer) - I mean......COME ON! There is no way to better kick off an album than with a great melody, a perfect beat and a gospel choir. Am I right, ladies? Like A Prayer dwarfed in scope and sound all other previous first singles and set up what was her highest artistic achievement of the 1980s. The album, the single and all following singles (Express Yourself, Cherish, Oh Father, Keep It Together) form as perfect an era as perfect could be. Like A Prayer set the bar for lead singles from that point on, her greatest lead single of the 80s.

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