anel_

Top 5 favourite/most appreciated Madonna studio albums?

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Okay so I know it’s hard to pick out of the 13 studio albums Madonna has released so far, however it is quite fun picking them and it’s interesting to know people’s choices and reasons why

my top 5 would be (this has changed over the years and could change again more than once)

1. Music - I feel like this album is HIGHLY underrated amongst the fans and is her most experimental album so far. Standout track has to be AMAZING!!!!!

2. Madonna - Simply good fucking music. Standout track is physical attraction

3. Erotica - all of her albums are a work of art but erotica is a gorgeous painted canvas through audio. Standout track is secret garden (one of the greatest endings to an album of all time)

4. Ray of Light - masterpiece. Standout track is swim

5. Like a Prayer/Hard Candy - can’t pick out of these two and both are very different from each other.

LAP is Madonna’s best layed out track by track album, very consistent. Standout track is oh father (one of Madonna’s best ballads).

HC is a fun album with groovy tunes, great melodies, pure pop music with a mix of urban. Standout track is heartbeat.

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1. Erotica - This will always be my favorite Madonna record. Truly unapologetic, lyrically on point, the speaking bits, the mixture of house, dance, the rawness of her vocals and production. Say what you want about the book or Body of Evidence but outside of a few songs, the album dealt very little with the topic. You had songs like Bad Girl, Words, In This Life (Gay Icon all the time) and other gems that truly were lost in the "Has Madonna gone too far" crap that cluttered the media. Always makes for the perfect companion piece to a dark, cloudy rainy while sitting the tub.

2. Ray of Light - Just an album where motherhood, new responsibilities, new way of thinking and collaborating with producers that truly pushed her to deliver one of the greatest albums of all time. There's Kabbalah teachings throughout of course but from the opening to Drowned World where it sounds like the listener is descending deeper into the ocean. The sadness in Swim before it echos in sheer dance mode on drugs with Ray of Light. The crazy tribal nature of Skin, the thumping Sky Fits Heaven until the majestic strings of Frozen kicks in. Her voice from the Evita training surely paid off and it's a record one can listen to from beginning to end. Well done in every way. Showed that after being written off as being over after Erotica and toning down her image in 94, the success of Evita and unleashing this record brought on her second peak of her career.

3. Madonna - Pure Madonna bliss. You could almost feel the hunger she had while she recorded this. It transports you to the time of early New York where you could catch Madonna on stoops, blasting a boombox, the graffiti on walls, or simply dancing in the legendary clubs to the sounds of Lucky Star, Physical Attraction, Holiday and Everybody. A great introduction to what would be one of pop's greatest visionaries and a non-stop mixture of dance and fun rolled all into one.

4. Like a Prayer - While she enjoyed success with the juggernaut albums Like a Virgin and True Blue, I felt this record finally showed the critics she was more than just a hit maker and could be a respected artist. One of the reviews said "the closest that art in pop could be" or along those lines because it was the first time we the listeners saw behind the star revealing herself while still giving us the dance hits and ballad we had enjoyed. Live To Tell off True Blue was the first truly curve ball we got from Madonna that showed her knack to deliver ballads and surprise with great vocals but with this record we got the beautiful combination of sex and religion (one of her biggest themes of her career) with the title track, the ode to Sly and the Family Stone with Express Yourself, a Prince collab, details about her divorce from Sean Penn, the loss of her mother and the effects of it, the turmoil of her relationship with her father and the message of family unity. Thoughtful, introspective and the first time Madonna peeled back the veil of her superstar persona and showed us Madonna Ciccone.

5. Rebel Heart - This may or may not be agreeable with most but I truly found this record to be one of her best releases despite LeakGate and the whole "it's not cohesive, too many tracks, this demo was better, final version" arguments that have gone on for over three years now. While many fans and critics felt she could no longer deliver strong material after Hard Candy and the reviled MDNA, she stunned us with Rebel Heart, an album so schizophrenic from its changing sound, the random tracklisting, and the multitude of material she gave both legally and illegally. When she began teasing writing sessions with Avicii's team and the first snippet of Messiah on her Instagram, we all were stoked. Then came the song descriptions via a Madonna site before the leaking of 13 tracks and subsequent there after. Leaks aside, I appreciate this record so much because you feel despite her original idea being shot down and situations beyond her control, Madonna truly cared about this album. You have clever nods in several songs, a good mix of every bit of Madonna you can enjoy and some of her strongest work in over a decade. And even if the final tracklisting isn't your fancy, (not advocating) but you can listen to early versions and demos and form your own tracklisting. With the MET Gala showing a new possible album track, I can hope we get another album where she put hard work, a theme (that won't be shut down by the label) and do as much promotion as she did with Rebel Heart.

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1. Rebel Heart: I just can't at this incredible body of work. Honest, introspective, melancholic, nostalgic, self-revealing, sexy and unapologetic, basically what a classic Madonna album is. The passage from Inside Out to RH is one of her absolute best ever. Her voice sounds glorious, the melodies are top notch, the songwriting is the best since Ray of Light. The fact she was able to come up with an album like this after more than 30 years is astonishing. Fav tracks: the entire album, basically....but my absolute favs are Messiah, Wash All Over Me, Living For Love, Ghosttown and Inside Out. Honorable mentions are the title track and Veni Vidi Vici, a genius collaboration between two legends.

2. True Blue: For more than 10 years this was my fav Madonna album, it is the perfect pop album, it almost sounds like a GH. Her pre-Evita voice was at her best here, so pure and clear. The 5 singles are iconic, maybe the greatest string of singles EVER, White Heat and Where's The Party are the smash hits that never were. Live to Tell was her best song up to that point, one of the best ballads of the 80's along with Purple Rain, Careless Whisper and Greatest Love of All. 

3. Bedtime Stories: With RH, this is probably her most underrated and overlooked album. A hidden gem between two career defining eras (Erotica and ROL), her pain during the Erotica era contributed to the brilliance of this record that includes some of her most melancholic and sad lyrics (Inside of Me, Love tried to welcome me, Take a Bow). The ethereal Bedtime Story and Sanctuary are the best songs on here. A remarkable album that I hope will be re-evaluated in the near future. 

4. Like a Prayer: How to take a risk and succeed, this was LAP. Her most personal work up to that point. Love it from start to finish, the title track is legendary and is the best pop song of all time, there's no competition with anybody in my book, Express Yourself is still today a symbol of the girl power movement in pop music history, Promise to Try and Oh Father are among her best lyrics ever. Act of Contrition is a piece of genius and Love Song, a collaboration between my two favorite artists, should have definitely been a single, surreal, bizarre but SO good. 

5. Ray of Light: This is among the biggest comebacks ever and it's the album every female artist dreams to make. A spiritual and introspective body of work that manages to astonish me every time I listen to it with its mix of pop, house, new age, electronica and ambient. Favorite tracks are Frozen, The Power of Good-Bye, Has To Be, Ray of Light and Swim. She also sang in freaking sanskrit on this album, let's all take a bow. 

 

 

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Love this topic!

1. To be a MADONNA fan, it's essential and a prerequisite to appreciate this classic album. This is a true introduction to whom she was at the time, and it shows how far she has come since then. Also, it's he only album that she pretty much wrote completely on her own. From this point on, she brought in countless writers and producers to craft her albums. This is a rarity for a newcomer to have pretty much complete control of their first album. This FIRST ALBUM definitely showcases her talent in coming up with great hooks and melodies that kept one movin'. Each song from "Everybody" to "Lucky Star" to "Holiday" kept us in high spirits and dancing. I don't believe if she just came onto the scene with her sophomore album Like A Virgin, she would have had the same impact. Her earlier songs played a huge role in how she became the phenomenon she was back now and still is. 

2. It's no 'mystery' how LIKE A PRAYER became one of her greatest albums ever. Her transformation on this album gave us a more soulful Madonna. Before this album, we just got a lot of great dance music. This time around she showed us her soul and gave us a personal glimpses of her life from songs like "Promise to Try", "Til Death Do Us Part", "Oh Father" and "Keep It Together".  And while she had already given us some controversial before, this album really started the chain of controversies that would lead up to her peak years as an artist and somewhat after. She surely showed no shame in expressing herself even further with songs like "Like A Prayer", and "Express Yourself".  If she didn't have you dancing to songs like "Cherish" on this album, she sucked you in with some of her most inspiring lyrics to date.  For me, this is another classic album that every fan should appreciate because without it, I don't think we would have experienced Madonna being more controversial or inspiring with her lyrics and songs.

3. One of her most essential dance albums of the 80's would be TRUE BLUE.  Again, this is "classic" Madonna. This is the album which truly defined Madonna as a mega star.  At this point, she was lauded to the likes of other iconic stars that emerged long before her, who were enjoying a string of hits such as Michael Jackson, Tina Turner, Aretha Franklin and David Bowie.  Not only was this a great dance record, but it was her one and only album that showed how much in love she was at the time.  She even dedicated this album to her then-husband (Sean Penn) at the time.  This album also gave us a the first of many "NEW" and tranforming Madonna's.  With each new single and video, she had a different look and sound. This album gave us a more mature sound as well.  If I was to recommend an album to anyone who wanted to experience true 80's Madonna, this would be it.  Not only that, it's the album that truly hooked me as a Madonna fan. 

4.  If Madonna wasn't already deemed an icon before RAY OF LIGHT, that album definitely solidified her ICONIC status. While we've seen Madonna make many transformations before, this is the one that brought her down from the pedestal and show how grounded she can be.  And while she had already gave us a handful of poignant and thoughtful lyrics as far back as the Erotica era, this definitely was a time that she really dug deep into her soul and showed us a "new" enlightened and spiritual Madonna.  She sang about personal struggles with fame and fortune, to social issues regarding violence in the world, to self enlightenment, and what really matters in life.  No doubt, her being a new mother has helped bring out this new Madonna who showed much more vulnerability and that she's a human like anyone else.  It's truly one of her last albums that she brought us a new sound that most mainstream artists weren't using at the time.  And while this album did get some great praise from the beginning, but the popularity of this album especially being known as one of her greatest albums ever, has only grown over the years.  The title track just kept growing as an anthem to her career just as much as "Like A Prayer" (the song) and "Holiday" has become.  

5,  American Life is definitely the album that I've noticed that polarized the fan base.  To me, this is the underdog of all Madonna albums.  And while I do see the rap of the title track and the odd clunky lyric content of "Mother and Father" to be a bit cringe worthy, I still find this to be one solid experimental album for Madonna.  If she ever went rogue, it was with this album. She took a chance during a volatile time to release an album that was far from what is the usual sound from Madonna and a pop artist.  Let's not mistake the fact, she was already experimenting with her sounds with each new record, but this just seemed to be the one time that people just didn't appreciate nor hop on board or care to see how she evolved.  Personally, I love the folksy electronic sound she brought to the record.  Again, no one was doing this at the time.  Unfortunately, between her promotional interviews, the artwork of the album and the chatter about the pulled original video for the title track, it only hurt the success of the album and people incorrectly assumed this was an "Anti-American" album when none of the tracks were anything close to that.  Her voice is just damn cool on this record.  The more folksy tracks like "X-Static Process", "Easy Ride", "Intervention" and "Nothing Fails" are my favorite.  I do think that if this album was released at a better time and didn't draw any negative attention to what was going on in the States at the time, this album would have been more successful.  If any album still sounds fresh as the day it came out, it's this one.  No doubt, this isn't an album for those who just enjoy Classic Madonna and probably aren't for those who enjoy the more urban sounds Madonna has produced over a number of her records.  Note: I love both the title track and "Mother and Father", it's just the lyrics (especially with the latter song) doesn't match the actual composition of the song.  I felt like the lyrics to "Mother and Father" would have worked more with a more folksy guitar sound.  Yet I love the music composition of the song.  Combine the two, it just sounds weird to me. It's like turning "Crazy for You" or "Live to Tell" into a dance song. 

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4 hours ago, LivingForLove94 said:

3. Bedtime Stories: With RH, this is probably her most underrated and overlooked album. A hidden gem between two career defining eras (Erotica and ROL), her pain during the Erotica era contributed to the brilliance of this record that includes some of her most melancholic and sad lyrics (Inside of Me, Love tried to welcome me, Take a Bow). The ethereal Bedtime Story and Sanctuary are the best songs on here. A remarkable album that I hope will be re-evaluated in the near future. 

 

 

Bedtime stories❤️ I met a man at work yesterday who said he’s favourite Madonna album is bedtime stories and that the music is very avant garde

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I don't have a favourite album as i think most of them have amazing songs(Some have just mainly filler tracks - Bedtime Stories,Hard Candy, American Life- sorry i know a lot of fans love these albums )

True Blue, Erotica, Music, Ray Of Light(Japan Release as i love "Has To Be")& Like A Prayer

I wanted to include Confessions but that would be 6 :(

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On 5/12/2018 at 4:33 PM, anel_ said:

Bedtime stories❤️ I met a man at work yesterday who said he’s favourite Madonna album is bedtime stories and that the music is very avant garde

I agree that Bedtime Stories is one of her most avant-grade records. Which is ironic that her co-producers on that record were mostly super top 40 types. Madonna really turned it into an avant-garde Record. Especially Take a Bow and Survival.

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22 hours ago, wtg1987 said:

I don't have a favourite album as i think most of them have amazing songs(Some have just mainly filler tracks - Bedtime Stories,Hard Candy, American Life- sorry i know a lot of fans love these albums )

True Blue, Erotica, Music, Ray Of Light(Japan Release as i love "Has To Be")& Like A Prayer

I wanted to include Confessions but that would be 6 :(

Yeah same I love all her albums but there are just a few differences (in the ones I named as my favourite) that I like more for example the experimentation with music in the music album

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21 hours ago, Rose Mist Stud said:

I agree that Bedtime Stories is one of her most avant-grade records. Which is ironic that her co-producers on that record were mostly super top 40 types. Madonna really turned it into an avant-garde Record. Especially Take a Bow and Survival.

Survival and imo don’t stop. Don’t stop is 100% in the top 20 most underrated madonna tracks 

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There should have been a poll that we input our choices. See how prevalent some albums are. I know Like A Prayer and Ray of Light would be some top picks.

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1. Erotica. This album and era was just brilliant. It was a great time to be a fan because we got so much. Still my all time favourite album, and one I never tire of listening after almost 26 years.

2. like a Prayer. The first time we saw Madonna the artist, as opposed to Madonna the pop starlet. It’s a well structured album with songs that could now be considered her signature songs. It also has my all-time favourite Madonna track, Oh Father. 

3. Ray of Light. Madonna matured, both in body and in music. A new sound for Madonna, and one which opened up her artistic talents to a level which we haven’t seen since...sadly. 

4. I’m Breathless. So many fans discount this album, but I cannot understand why so many fail to see its brilliance. With the exception of Vogue, it’s s concept piece that doesn’t stray from its theme, and is little-corrupted by the Madonna production-ego. It does what it says on the tin, and the songs are fantastic. Great movie too.

5. True Blue. The album that got me into Madonna back when it was released. Full of amazing tracks (yes, I even like Jimmy Jimmy). It’s not hard to see why this album is still her biggest seller.

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On 5/16/2018 at 8:08 AM, gafuller said:

This is a rather unique list! Love it

Why, because of MDNA?   I loved the MDNA Era with a passion.  Give me all your luvin makes me happy, GGW is a club banger, I'm Addicted and Some Girls are Amazing and let me know start on Gang bang.   MDNA was a Great Madonna Era for Me.  :luv:

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On 5/16/2018 at 4:48 PM, anel_ said:

Everyone’s list has been unique tbh

Not really,  the same valid but predictable choices.  Ray of light, Erotica and LAP  there,  that is 90% of the answers 

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7 hours ago, FrozenPenguin said:

Why, because of MDNA?   I loved the MDNA Era with a passion.  Give me all your luvin makes me happy, GGW is a club banger, I'm Addicted and Some Girls are Amazing and let me know start on Gang bang.   MDNA was a Great Madonna Era for Me.  :luv:

MDNA is LIFE :luv: 

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11 hours ago, PWCCA said:

4. I’m Breathless. So many fans discount this album, but I cannot understand why so many fail to see its brilliance. With the exception of Vogue, it’s s concept piece that doesn’t stray from its theme, and is little-corrupted by the Madonna production-ego. It does what it says on the tin, and the songs are fantastic. Great movie too.

I think it’s because it’s a soundtrack album not a studio effort. I’m going bananas is one of my favourtes off this soundtrack and the hanky panky blond ambition tour performance is just wow. Her vocals and stage presence

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10 hours ago, FrozenPenguin said:

Not really,  the same valid but predictable choices.  Ray of light, Erotica and LAP  there,  that is 90% of the answers 

MDNA, LAV, Music...

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