Madonna album-by-album thread

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by aseriesofsneaks, Jan 12, 2017.

  1. aseriesofsneaks

    aseriesofsneaks Forum Resident Thread Starter

    St. Catharines, ON
    While there have been a number of great discussions here about Madonna, I was surprised to find that there hasn't been an album-by-album thread yet. Madonna is one of the greatest pop artists of all-time, with a rich and varied discography, and I thought it would be great to have a place where we could discuss all of her albums at length.

    My goal is to cover an album a week. While the primary focus will be her studio albums, I'd also like to spend some time on each of her compilations, as they all contain either new material and/or non-album singles. I'm not sure whether to make the occasional detour for releases like the Who's That Girl soundtrack or save them for the end. I guess we can figure it out as we go.

    Without further ado, on to Madonna's self-titled debut...


    Release date: July 27, 1983
    Billboard 200 Chart Peak: No. 8

    Track list:

    1. Lucky Star (Madonna)
    2. Borderline (Lucas)
    3. Burning Up (Madonna)
    4. I Know It (Madonna)
    5. Holiday (Hudson/Stevens)
    6. Think of Me (Madonna)
    7. Physical Attraction (Lucas)
    8. Everybody (Madonna)

    Note: Original vinyl pressings included a different mix of "Burning Up" clocking in at 4:48 with production similar to the version released on the 12" single that preceded the album. The cassette, CD and subsequent vinyl pressings contained the more commonly known version used in the song's video.

    Known outtake(s):
    "Ain't No Big Deal" (initially released on the various artists compilation Revenge of the Killer B's Vol. 2 compilation, then later as the b-side of either "Papa Don't Preach" or "True Blue" in different markets)

    Singles (in order of US release):

    1. Everybody (US Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles: No. 7; US Dance: No. 3)
    2. Burning Up (US Dance: No. 3)
    3. Holiday (Billboard Hot 100: No. 16; US Dance: No. 1)
    4. Borderline (Billboard Hot 100: No. 10, US Dance: No. 2)
    5. Lucky Star (Billboard Hot 100: No. 4; US Dance: No. 1)

    My memories of Madonna's first three albums are somewhat intertwined, as they were cornerstones of much of my childhood listening. Like a Virgin was the first one I owned, followed shortly after by this album, and seemingly not long after, True Blue. While Like a Virgin and True Blue were more polished and ambitious, with the latter in particular showing Madonna's growth as an artist, when I want to revisit Madonna's earlier material these days, this is the album I usually gravitate to. I find this record has a certain charm and infectiousness that the other two can't match. "Holiday", "Borderline" and "Lucky Star" are rightfully regarded as classics, but I would say that "Burning Up", "Everybody" and "Physical Attraction" are all essential as well. Even the lesser tracks here ("I Know It" and "Think of Me") are enjoyable enough and don't wear out their welcome; that can't always be said of the filler on some of Madonna's later albums.

    A few questions:
    Where does this album rank for you among Madonna's discography? When did you first hear it and has your impression of it changed over time? Any other thoughts or remembrances about this album?
  2. aseriesofsneaks

    aseriesofsneaks Forum Resident Thread Starter

    St. Catharines, ON

    SammyJoe, WilliamWes, Thom and 2 others like this.
  3. aseriesofsneaks

    aseriesofsneaks Forum Resident Thread Starter

    St. Catharines, ON
  4. aseriesofsneaks

    aseriesofsneaks Forum Resident Thread Starter

    St. Catharines, ON
  5. aseriesofsneaks

    aseriesofsneaks Forum Resident Thread Starter

    St. Catharines, ON
  6. aseriesofsneaks

    aseriesofsneaks Forum Resident Thread Starter

    St. Catharines, ON
  7. SITKOL'76

    SITKOL'76 Forum Resident

    Colombia, SC
    My favorite of her 80's albums. The production isn't great but I think singles like 'Borderline', 'Holiday' and 'Lucky Star' are such staples in her discography and fully represent her early personna and drive for fame and recognition.

    It wasn't a big hit but 'Burnin Up' is one of my favorite Madonna videos. I love how convincingly she embodies the role and makes you believe every word she says. The way she sings the 'I'm not the same, I have no shame' line on all fours while writhing back and fourth on the floor is CLASSIC Madonna. She had no limits and she was willing to do ANYTHING to get to where she wanted to. And not a soul could stop her.
  8. Bobby Morrow

    Bobby Morrow Forum Resident

    Thanks for starting this thread.:)

    I actually bought "Madonna" on the same day as "Like A Virgin" when the latter was released around November 1984. As a result, I probably didn't give the former a fair crack of the whip at the time. Possibly concentrating more on the newer LP. Even then I thought they were very different. I liked the rawer sound of "Madonna". It has at least three undisputed classics amongst it's tight, 8 tracks. I miss the days of 'short' albums... If "Madonna" was released in 2017 it would probably have 17 songs and be 70 minutes long. The latter is rarely a good thing..

    1984 was a good year for Madonna in the UK, but nothing on 1985. For some reason, in this year WEA in the UK decided to scrap the beautiful LP artwork and retiitle the record "The First Album" The artwork for the new edition was vastly inferior. I still don't know why they made the change.. Perhaps they thought Madonna's fans wouldn't be able to recognise her in black and white.:D

    I love "Madonna". It hasn't aged for me at all. It still sounds fresh and although Madonna would become a far better singer over the years, her untrained voice somehow suits the material here. It would be in my top 5 favourite albums by her for sure. There isn't a track I dislike. Even something like "I Know It', which is clearly filler is an essential part of the LP for me.

    Noting the LP was released in July 1983, it obviously took a while to 'get going'. It was certainly worth it, though. I'm sure there are many people out there who feel Madonna peaked with this record. I don't agree with that, but it's a fantastic start to a wonderful career.
  9. Bobby Morrow

    Bobby Morrow Forum Resident

  10. JohnnyQuest

    JohnnyQuest Forum Resident

    This is my least played Madonna album of the 80's but it's a fun listen nonetheless. :) My only issue with Madonna is the bare bones production.

    I also wish "Ain't No Big Deal" made the final cut. It was omitted in favor of "Everybody", I believe. The 2001 remastered version is my go-to. It's far beefier than the original.

    I watched a few of the music videos from this era (Borderline, Lucky Star) and it was kind of strange to see how normal Madonna once was.

    Just a year later and she was the biggest Pop star (with the exception of MJ) on this planet. The rest is history.

    Last edited: Jan 12, 2017
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  11. Bobby Morrow

    Bobby Morrow Forum Resident

    I like the fact that "Madonna" is a short album, but I wouldn't have minded "Ain't No Big Deal" being added to the tracklisting.
  12. JohnnyQuest

    JohnnyQuest Forum Resident

    The version that we know and have come to love is actually a remix. It was issued as a b-side to "Papa Don't Preach" and "True Blue".

    There's three versions of "Ain't No Big Deal" and I love each one. Check out this alternate version.

  13. Bobby Morrow

    Bobby Morrow Forum Resident

    It's time we got a deluxe edition of "Madonna" with things like this attached. I've just realised I don't own "Ain't No Big Deal" on CD at all.:yikes:
  14. JohnnyQuest

    JohnnyQuest Forum Resident

    Get on it, Bobby! Do you collect singles? "Madonna" is due for a deluxe edition with a few demo goodies and music videos. :waiting:

    Dick Clark: We are a couple weeks into the new year, what do you hope will happen? Not only in 1984, but the rest for the rest of your professional life? What are your dreams?

    Madonna: To rule the word. :D

    MDNA4ever, Binni, WilliamWes and 8 others like this.
  15. MadamAdam

    MadamAdam Forum Resident

    Sydney, Australia
    Well, that ain't no big deal. Innit.
  16. Bobby Morrow

    Bobby Morrow Forum Resident

    No, I don't collect singles. I'm not starting now. She's done hundreds!:D
  17. bartels76

    bartels76 Forum Hall Of Fame

    I think this is her strongest album overall in the 80's. The rest of her albums had a lot of filler on it while this one has just one-"I Know It." Were her later singles stronger? Yes, but overall this album is great listen while I skip quickly over dated material like "Over and Over", "Pretender", "Love Makes The World Go Around,"etc. on her other albums. I remember this being played on a boom box in my neighborhood when it came out. "Burning Up", "Borderline", and "Lucky Star" we played heavily on MTV. Were the other 2 ever played on MTV aside from maybe a clip?

    I wish Warner would at least digitally release all her singles digitally so we get these great OOP versions. I don't see why they wouldn't have the rights to do that.
    sunspot42 and aseriesofsneaks like this.
  18. RevUp64

    RevUp64 Forum Resident

    Atlanta, GA, US
    Will always be my favorite Madonna album. Everything about it was fresh and new at the time and the album still flows beautifully, from start to finish, with no filler. My only gripe has ever been taking that original version of "Burning Up" and replacing it with one that it both shorter and less of a fit with the rest of the tracks. Perhaps a future edition will put it back where it belongs.
    aseriesofsneaks likes this.
  19. 905

    905 Senior Member

    St. Louis
    My favorite Madonna album until we get to Ray of Light about fifteen years later.
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  20. Bobby Morrow

    Bobby Morrow Forum Resident

    Wasn't it Madonna's decision to change "Burning Up" on the CD releases? Do you want to tell her she's wrong?:D
    Jarleboy likes this.
  21. OberonOz

    OberonOz Forum Resident

    I remember when this album came out. I remember thinking at first that Madonna was not going to go far. There were a couple of catchy songs by the latest helium-voiced girl singer who was probably a producer's puppet. All the same, when I bought the album, I really liked it. I already particularly liked Holiday and when I read the credits on the album I thought maybe there is something here. Maybe she will last. This year is 35 years since the release of Everybody, her first single, so yeah, I guess she lasted! :D :love: :righton: :cheers:
    By the time of the next album, I was pretty sure she would go the distance and by True Blue I was a major fan. But the self-titled first album, especially with the original cover, is a little gem of an album. Great songs. Love Borderline and Lucky Star too. Theres really almost no filler on this. I think Madonna is LONG overdue for some career recognition in the form of box sets etc. If they want to do super deluxe editions of all the albums starting with this one Id be thrilled. My wallet wouldnt be, but I really believe that Madonna deserves this kind of recognition, which almost any other artist of similar calibre has had at least once and in some cases several times over.
    Heres hoping! Looking forward to the rest of this thread too :)
  22. PlushFieldHarpy

    PlushFieldHarpy Forum Resident

    This is the first album that ever got, on cassette, when I was about 10. It was closer to around the Like A Virgin days, but I liked Borderline, so I bought this.
    I actually just listened to the vinyl last night. It's amazing how much of an improbable masterpiece this sounds, despite being the lightest of so-called "pop". There was so much going on there besides just a pretty girl working the industry machinery to propel her to stardom.
    Madonna has always been about spirit rather than musicality. I think the album sounds like a punk record with its energy, its cheap tinny synth production almost DIY, its boldness of personality. I compare her with the early Beatles, without the claims to sophisticated songwriting of course. Both use the energy of dance music to tap into something bigger, deeper, almost cosmic, under the simple pretensions of teen pop music. It's impossible to imagine any of the pop stars who came after her maintaining the same musical cred 35 years on. Madonna deserves her place at the top. I think the first album ranks as one of her best, if not the best.
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2017
  23. Psychedelic Good Trip

    Psychedelic Good Trip Senior Member

    New York
    Like a Virgin

    John Grimes likes this.
  24. John Adam

    John Adam An Introvert In Paradise

    Yeah collecting singles by an artist as prolific as Madonna can be quite daunting.....and expensive!

    12" singles started making a comeback by this time and it made it fun to collect again. This is my favorite Madonna album as documented elsewhere. It had quite a run and really started something in pop/dance music, breathed some new life into it.
  25. Bobby Morrow

    Bobby Morrow Forum Resident

    The unfortunately named Dave Rimmer reviews "Madonna" for Smash Hits in 1983.


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