First four Madonna albums on official Sire 180g vinyl? Yes, please. Seymour Stein signed Madge after listening to “Everybody,” and the self-titled debut, with now-classics like “Lucky Star,” Burning Up,” Holiday,” and “Physical Attraction,” would go on to influence pop-dance forever (not to mention all the karaoke love the tunes get).
How do you follow up a super successful, huuuuuge-pop-moment debut? With Like A Virgin, of course. The god Nile Rodgers handles the production on this massive sophomore LP, and in addition to influencing the likes of Rihanna, Beyonce, Lady Gaga, Britney Spears, and Taylor Swift, the album played a large role in forming Madonna’s iconic persona.
It’s difficult to believe, but there were skeptics (read: old people) after the first two albums. Madonna took on a slightly more mainstream approach to True Blue, and it worked because the record remains one of the best-selling of all time. The singles were “Live To Tell,” “Papa Don’t Preach,” “True Blue”, “Open Your Heart,” and the Cuban-tinged “La Isla Bonita,” and in addition to putting Madge’s vocal and songwriting abilities on a new level, the album irrefutably put her alongside Michael Jackson and Prince as one of the biggest superstars of the ’80s.
The fourth album from Madonna… Venturing in to more “mature” themes, the album’s title track caused much controversy (Vatican wasn’t happy, Pepsi pulled out of a sponsorship), but come on, you can’t touch “Like A Prayer.” The gospel/funk/dance trinity is holy af, and “Express Yourself” is a smash anyway you look at it, especially with the positive message it carries. The third time was a charm, but Madonna managed to create even bigger magic with Like A Prayer, which is probably why she still remains an icon of everything.