the 80s: We did the 90s: Now comes the 00s, baby. Madonna released four albums between 2000 and 2009: Music, American Life, Confessions On A Dance Floor and Hard Candy. The all important lead single, the single that gives the listening public a taste of what's to come, can make or break an album. Here are the four lead singles from each album ranked, girl. AGAIN, 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. Suck on these and enjoy your Madonna Friday.
4. American Life (American Life) - While this lead single failed to hit big in the US (#37), around the world it was a pretty massive song. The album, as good and underrated as it is, did not have the same tone as the title track. More somber and acoustic, the rest of American Life leaned a little more on the folksy side and was more introspective than the lead single. The amazing ballad Nothing Fails, one of Madonna's greatest songs of all time, might have been a better choice as lead single. Of course the American Life era is cited as a backlash to the huge success of her previous two albums, Music and Ray of Light, but in hindsight I think critics are realizing what an amazing piece of work it really is. Also, this music video is an absolute masterpiece. It's a shame not many people got to see it.
3. 4 Minutes (ft. Justin Timberlake) (Hard Candy) - While an excellent single, 4 Minutes actually gave a somewhat false impression of the rest of Hard Candy. The album had many good -- even great -- songs to offer, but it just didn't sound like a Madonna album. 4 Minutes seemed almost like a Justin Timberlake song with Madonna guesting on it, but there were so many more "Madonna-ish" singles, like Miles Away or Heartbeat, that could have set up the album better. Instead it was lead by 4 Minutes and followed up by the frantic Give It 2 Me, which is not my favorite, I must admit. The choices for singles did not serve Hard Candy well.
2. Music (Music) - Music, the album and the song, had a lot riding on it. The follow up to Madonna's most critically acclaimed album of her career, Ray of Light, had to be just right, and as a lead single I don't think you could do much better than Music. While maintaining the electronic sound of RoL, Music ushered in a more Euro-pop element that would be very prevalent on the album, but also gave the fans a break from the intense spirituality of the past couple of years and just let them fucking dance!! Yes, there was some deep shit on Music (Gone, I Deserve It, Nobody's Perfect) but we knew that was on the way. Music let us dance while we got ready for it. It also has one of the best SECOND singles of all time in Don't Tell Me. Jeez that song and video are amazing!!!!
1. Hung Up (Confessions On A Dance Floor) - I mean.....come one! Hung Up not only prepared us for a non-stop dance party full of disco-fied gems to come from COADF, but samples one of the greatest songs of the disco era: Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man After Midnight) by ABBA. Can it get better than that? Not on this list, motherfucker. What followed was an entire album of dance floor perfection, with some pretty deep messages hidden behind the beats. Confessions is definitely one of Madonna's greatest works of her entire career and it was lead off perfectly by Hung Up.