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Old 01-11-2012, 07:29 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Madonna: Madonna- 1983

With all this Madonna talk, I thought I would post a Madonna review...


Madonna, Madonna- 1983
RMR Album Rating- 6


Madonna’s 1983 debut shows her at her most inexperienced, unsophisticated and non-thematic, but— at the same time, she is not in anyway immature, and she is even a bit adventurous on some songs.

If you compare Madonna to many of her successors, her background and path to music superstardom couldn’t be more different. Instead of being almost born into show business like Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera who had been signing for Disney since they were kids and were then packaged as superstars with recording contracts already in place, Madonna’s success took much more work. At 19 and with essentially no money, she moved to New York City to pursue a career in ballet and professional dance. She also played guitar, drums and sang in a hard rock band called the Breakfast club, which gave her a foundation as a songwriter, which is another major difference from her predecessors.

She left the Breakfast Club in 1980 and started to work on her own songs, which she recorded and laid down onto a mix tape that she would pass out at clubs. Through word of mouth, Madonna began to develop a reputation in the club scene, mainly through her song “Everybody,” which became an underground hit, and it eventually led her to be signed by Sire records, at which time she was given a recording contract.

The album, although not nearly as good as her later work, is impressive for a debut. Of the 8 tracks, only 3 them— “I know it,” “Think of Me,” and “Physical Attraction” can really be considered filler. “Physical Attraction” is the most interesting of these. First of all, it runs for almost 7-minutes, which is unheard of for any song on a dance-pop album, especially from an unknown artist on her first release. In addition to its extended 7-minute run time, it is much more of a new-wave track than a typical pop track, and Madonna used new technology such as the Linn drum machine, Moog bass and the OB-X synthesizer to achieve this new-wave feel. Although “Physical Attraction” might be my least favorite track from the album, it might also be the most important because it shows Madonna’s adventurous side and that she was willing to take risks—a key component of her later success.

As for the rest of the tracks, they were all massive hits and were all released as singles. I already mentioned “Everybody,” which put her on the scene. Then, you have “Lucky Star,” “Borderline,” “Burning Up,” and “Holiday.”

Aside from being the highest charting single from the album (and probably the most well known) “Lucky Star” is my least favorite of these, as it has the most “bubble gum” pop sound to it, but it certainly resonated with the pop market, as it reached #4 on the billboard hot 100. “Borderline” and “Holiday” are my favorites from the album, and they both still sound fresh and current. Plus, if they were released today—they would most likely still be chart toppers.

So with 5 massive hit singles, Madonna’s debut was certainly a pop success, but as mentioned, it also foreshadowed her maturity, fearlessness and penchant for risk taking that would all be so instrumental in her future success. I certainly don’t consider it a must own, but it is absolutely a fun listen and an interesting look at where Madonna got her start.



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Old 01-31-2012, 12:03 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Thanks for the great review RMR. I would have given a similar rating, and must admit for a first release it was good. My favourite song on the album would have to be "Holiday". I own all of her albums and would have to say that my favourite one would have to be her 1984 release "Like A Virgin".
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Old 01-31-2012, 11:08 PM   #3 (permalink)
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it's my favourite Madonna album

then again, it's her only album that i have

i have heard "Like A Virgin" but didn't like it much, besides the title track

by "Papa Don't Preach" she had already lost me as a fan
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Old 02-07-2012, 01:40 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Howard the Duck View Post
it's my favourite Madonna album

then again, it's her only album that i have

i have heard "Like A Virgin" but didn't like it much, besides the title track

by "Papa Don't Preach" she had already lost me as a fan
The first album is also my favorite by far. Some of it is nostalgia but I really like the production on it.
I don't think Like A Virgin is nearly as good and I like True Blue a lot better than that one.
I know she became a better technical singer later (vocal training and all) but those first 3 are the only albums of hers that I can take seriously.
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Old 02-07-2012, 03:17 AM   #5 (permalink)
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[I][B]
Aside from being the highest charting single from the album (and probably the most well known) “Lucky Star” is my least favorite of these, as it has the most “bubble gum” pop sound to it, but it certainly resonated with the pop market, as it reached #4 on the billboard hot 100. “Borderline” and “Holiday” are my favorites from the album, and they both still sound fresh and current. Plus, if they were released today—they would most likely still be chart toppers.
I don't know about in America, but in Britain Holiday is probably the most famous. And it is a good dance track, though I prefer Borderline and Lucky Star as songs. I'm not sure I would define Lucky Star as 'bubblegum' (by how I would define that term anyway), it's certainly catchy and and quite punchy which I think is a good thing. Borderline is great though apparently there was a later slower version from 85 or so that has been put on every cd since? I heard an earlier quicker version on youtube and preferred that.
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Old 02-07-2012, 11:08 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Cool review. I probably wouldn't have checked this thread out, but RMR always writes interesting, well thought out reviews and covers a wide range of albums. Good job again, dude!
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Old 02-10-2012, 05:28 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Just reading the names of her songs on the new album makes me miss this old stuff. There was still music involved in it then. Now it's all about headlines and shock value.
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Old 03-15-2012, 08:01 AM   #8 (permalink)
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You guys are right, however i found recently an amazing rework of her new song by my fav band The KDMS It sounds like an original madonna song from 80s! Just take a listen it's really good !




It shows that's only the case of overproduction and stupid featurings, but there's Madonna inside those new songs...
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Old 03-15-2012, 08:43 AM   #9 (permalink)
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“Borderline” and “Holiday” are my favorites from the album, and they both still sound fresh and current. Plus, if they were released today—they would most likely still be chart toppers.



This!

I also love the rawness of the "Holiday" video, with the person laying in bed in the background, and no indication of being on a holiday

fun stuff! i enjoyed the review very much.
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