on 25 February 2004
First off i must make the point that im no Madonna 'completist'. I must admit however that i am a sucker for a cool album cover, & this vintage '83' delight caught my attention & prompted me to check out the tunes, (songs i remember from my early teens)...
Now, these tracks are sooo different to the mainstream pop radio friendly songs youve been used to hearing from Madonna over the last,.. well..., nearly 20 years folks!! Blimey, 20yrs! These dont try to be anything more than disco funk dancefloor burners, with some pop thrown in for good measure..not as much though as in LAVirgin & Mgirl. Theres none of the Vogue (house music goes overground), & none of the revelations of inner enlightenment of late, & thats what makes this a perfect piece of landmark dance /pop. Its so totally infectious, & although you can tell its not from 'now' - it still sounds totally fresh & infact.. edgy.. YES EDGY! Put this down to the John 'Jellybean' Benitez' production- synthisizers, electric piano, drum machine programming etc.
Its sexually charged with lots of youthfull cheeky attitude. Maybe some of you remember TOTP back then, Madonna in flat black pixie boots, black skirt over leggings, black cropped top, loads an loads of black rubber bangles, & last but not least the silvery 'disco' wig! Strutting around like a half street urchin, half wanna be sex kitten with only one thing on her mind.... FUN.
I dont own any other M albums & if you had told me a couple of years ago id be here 'bigging it up' id have ignored you. Its a brilliant piece of pop culture - trashy but charming in a good way, before it took itself too seriously. Tracks like Lucky Star, Burning Up , Everybody & Holiday are all 5 star efforts- fuzzed out funk basslines & shimmering synth effects, they could sit next to some of your Earth Wind & Fire and Chic cds in terms of funkability & dancability. Everybody & B Up (remix) are the most edgy tunes- got max turntable exposure in clubs, with the class lyrics ,.. "let the music take controll.. find the groove & let yourself go.. music makes the world go round.. it can turn your troubles upside down.." as deep as it needs to go! Think of Me, Borderline & Physical Attraction are the more poppy ones. BL was the huge hit, but i think pales in comparison to the stunningly phat funky arrangement on PA., "..physical attraction.. its a chemical reaction.." self explanatory really.
All in all the weakest tracks for me are BLine & I know It, but they still dont disturb the flow of the album requiring 'skip' on the remote.
So, guaranteed to put anyone with an ounce of groove in their blood in a happy hyped up mood. Definately a pre requisite for a wickid night out on the tiles... cleaning the house.. having a shower.. doing the dishes.... etc etc. Its high energy (mostly), sexually charged & made for dancing & having a good time! Oh, & the extra remixes are both a worthwhile addition, BUp in particular is better than the original, & the overall album production is great. I was gonna give this 5 stars... its sooo close, but i guess in light of 'Borderline' & 'I Know'...... nahhhhhh........ why not, its just class & puts a spring in my step & a smile on my face..........GO ON WITH THE 5 STARS.
After this - get yourself a copy of The Very Best of Chic, Grace Jones (pull up to the bumpa), MJacksons Off The Wall (yes- really- he too was once knocking out dfloor winners).. throw in some Donna Summer (Hot Stuff/ I Feel Love), etc etc & have yourself a good old knees up!!
on 21 April 2015
I am a particular fan of Madonna's 1980's output. Whilst you can't begin to compare this album with Rebel Heart or anything else since the late 90's really, the songs she produced in the 80's are full of charm and a hunger sometimes lacking in later releases (Erotica, Bedtime Stories). You could argue that 'Madonna', Like and Virgin and True Blue are interchangeable and I can't argue. This is possibly more to do with the production values of the time combined with the same writing team, however in terms of sounding fresh and extremely poppy with a summer vibe, 'Madonna' is the best she released in the 80's. Holiday, Burning Up, Borderline, Lucky Star....all great tracks to this day.
on 1 July 2014
When I was a young teenage boy & a punk rocker I was watching the Tube on C4 & this girl came on stage & danced & sung like no one I had seen before..I was a punk so it was not cool to like this sort of thing but inside something lit up & excited me.. A few weeks later I came home from School & my brother was playing this Album "Madonna" Loud..!!! & it sounded amazing.. From that moment on I was a fan , from the 1st glimpse of her very 1st UK TV appearance I was hooked.
I recently bought this remastered copy to revisit my youth & was not dissapointed in any way..got to be played loud or its not worth playing ...yes some of it sounds a little dated (80's sound) but my god it sounds good.
If you havnt got this album ..you need to get it..the 2 extra tracks are great..12" remixes.. V good...
on 27 December 2005
I won't retrace the steps of the other reviewers - it's Madonna's first album and the content is very good. My comments relate specifically to this CD (called "original recording remastered" by Amazon, usually labelled "digitally remastered").
What you might not realise is that three of the songs on this CD (tracks 1, 3 and 7 - "Lucky Star", "Burning Up", and "Physical Attraction" respectively) are REMIXES. They're not outrageous hard house remixes or anything, but if you know the originals you *will* notice the difference. Some catchy synthesizers for example are missing entirely, and some rather cheesy guitar lines have appeared where I least expected them.
If you've never heard the originals, you will probably enjoy this CD. They're good songs. However if you've got well worn vinyl from the 80's and are looking to replace it with a CD - this will not do the job. It will annoy you every time you play it.
Sorry Madge, but you've let us down. What happened to the originals?
on 19 October 2006
Every once in a while a popstar is born and the rest as they say is history, well thats how it was before Pete Waterman and Simon Cowell came along, they dont make em like they used too!!!! Madonna is the very first album released by an artist who was to become the mother nature of everything celebrity, from magazine covers to newspapers, duvet covers to billboards Madonna inc would become an all powerful media galvonising machine that would let nothing stand in its way, an icon who would stand tall in a league that also included legends such as Elvis, The Beatles and the Stones, Madonna had arrived. However the first offering from this legendary figure would surely have seen many of todays artists to the bottom of the bargain basement but this is Madonna, not Lilly Allen, Britney Spears or indeed Kylie Minogue, Madonna a media man eating machine!!! She was clever, Madonna took disco and made it cool again, whilst Britain swamped itself in new romantisism, punk and electronica Madonna took an underground scene by storm with her happy disco chic that encouraged people to "Dance, Sing, Get Up And Do Your Thang..", light relief from a decade that started of basking in depression. Early eighties America was rife with underground dance scenes something the UK later caught on with during the acid house craze, in 1982 Madonna jumped the wagon and navigated her way around New Yorks dance clubs stopping off at hip jaunts such as Danceteria and the Breakfast club, ensuring her first single releases made healthy top 5 entries on the coverted Dance Play chart, it was official, the girl was cool!! The first single off the album Everybody is simple, eclectic, joyous and downright funky. Produced by Uber cool DJ at the time, Mark Kamins, Madonna rode bareback through a torent of twisting dance synths, it just sounded so cool, its strength was merely in its simplicity!!! To cool though, Madonnas face never made the single cover, best the clubbers thought she was a black artist, white girls didnt produce funky dance that was left to the likes of Grace Jones!! With the success of this track the people of America however became curious, Who was this new Darling of the Disco's???? Hence the second single release Burning Up and its accompanying video, it to charted in the Dance Play top 3 and at last America knew who she was. Styled by french designer Maripol, Madonna immediately forged an identity to partner her music way before, Houston, Jackson or even cyndi lauper, belly buttons, crucifixes, bangles and bleached hair would become her trade mark not to mention that mole! The joyous Holiday became the albums signature tune and her first proper commercially succesful single, odd then that a video never accompanied the song, from here Madonna would go on to become the female everybody wanted to be, even today artists such as Kylie Minogue pilfer the albums look and uber cool street sound, for this disc is one born out of credibility, cool, originality and down right determination when artists were defined by themselves. Lucky Star followed as did Borderline and the rest as they say is history. Madonna the album has gone on to become one of the artists biggest selling to date, 19 million in sales since its release in 1983, more important however is that this is the perfect snapshot of an artist who even at the start of her career inspired and defined a generation and many to come. A bubble gum pop album so perfect in every sense of the word and a firm favorite among many of her fans even celebrities such as the Pet Shop boys cite this as the defining dance album of the 80's, you cant say fairer than that, simple effective and fun.
on 22 October 2011
No faulting the music, just note that the version of Holiday that appears on this download release is the "Immaculate Collection" version from 1990, the original album vesion is over 6 minutes in length.
on 27 December 2010
I'm writing the review mainly to clear up some of the comments about remixes. The remastered release is from what I can tell almost identical to the previous CD version, except for the addition of the 2 extra tracks, the 12 inch versions of 'Burning Up' and 'Lucky Star' (which was originally on the American 12 inch single - the UK equivalent had the album version instead).
I remember the vinyl album from the 80s the first time around, and it sounds exactly the same. 'Lucky Star', 'Borderline' and 'Holiday' were all remixed for the Immaculate Collection (and then used on 'Celebration' too), so perhaps that's where some confusion arises, as radio stations usually play these remixed versions, as the original 80s single versions (edited from these album versions) are difficult to get hold of on CD, if at all. A greatest hits collection featuring all of the original single versions is long overdue.
According to a fan site, originally the European LP contained a different mix of 'Burning up', but the CD had the same version as the American one.
The album is not quite up there with 'True Blue' or 'Like A Prayer', but it's a very good 80s album which is refreshingly under-produced compared to the Madonna-wannabes of today. Brilliant memories!
on 3 August 2010
The First Album is one of the most brilliantly executed debut albums of all time! upon release the album drew negativity and bias due to critics dismissing the album's material too early on and just ultimately drew negativity and stated Madonna as someone who sounded like Minnie Mouse on helium and a One Hit Wonder and wouldn't last more than a year! what those critics FAILED to realize was that Madonna is in fact a credible artist and provided new mediums to the pop music genre and turned it's head on the (then redundant in 1982) Disco genre providing new,distinctive sounds with the help of Reggie Lucas,Jim 'Jellybean' Benitez and Mark Kamins.
Madonna took three years in development since Madonna Veronica Louise Ciccone moved from Michigan to New York City in 1979 and she joined bands Emmy and The Breakfast Club and became an instant hit with crowd's in several clubs and bars around the city including many Black clubs,Gay clubs,Disco bars,rock bars and everyone knew that her style would appeal to ALL major markets and the mainstream. John Benitez acknowledged that Madonna had a talent for appealing towards mainstream and having a connection with each of her audience's as well as being one of the most creative music artists he had collaborated with.
Little did they realise that a few years later when Madonna was signed by the President Of Sire Records Seymour Stein (after presenting two singles Everybody and 'Aint No Big Deal) he loved her singing style as it was different from the mainstream female artists of the time and aknowledged that Madonna had a style that displayed a higher range of singing as well as a lower range (as displayed in Everybody on this album!)which literally commanded the listener to take themselves to the beat!
She was signed in 1982 and had that year to create new music for a fully fledged debut album, the album that beholds us right now!
This album is of historic importance and although Madonna developed as an artist and attributed herself to different styles and genres of music and as noted as The Queen Of Reinvention to the world and it wasn't until Like A Virgin (24 million albums sold WW.),True Blue (26 million albums sold WW.)and Like A Prayer (21 million albums sold WW.)established her as The Queen Of Pop this debut album is where she established herself as something that was anti-contemporary trends that it had it's own against mainstream pop releases and has since shipped over 10 million copies of the album across the globe.
Songs like Holiday,Lucky Star and Borderline reflect Madonna's knack for creating songs that will appear timeless and grow over the years! songs like Everybody and Burning Up show that Madonna can blend genre's within a single song such as Disco one moment and then Rock the next while I Know It,Think Of Me and the dance epic Physical Attraction stand on their own legs and may aswell have been released as singles also!
what the album of course did was show how far Madonna was willing to go to prove herself as an entertainer,showman,musician,artist,vocalist and (within moments) a musical icon and legend, Madonna did it herself through teamwork with her trio of producers, through the aid of Warner Bros. and Sire records and through her (still) ever expanding and ever loyal fanbase! we ALL have our favourite albums,era's,music video's,style's and songs but most importantly it started here with the single most important album of her career and of music history.
With a back catalogue of albums that has the sensational likes of Like A Virgin,True Blue,Like A Prayer,Erotica,Bedtime Stories,Ray Of Light,Music,American Life,Confessions On A Dance Floor and Hard Candy and with 41 UK top 10 hits, 13 #1 singles,12 #1 albums (just behind the Beatles with 15)and inspired hundreds of musicians and millions of fans there is no doubt that Madonna Veronica Louise Ciccone is more than just The undisputed unmatchable Queen Of Pop but she is the definition of a musical legend and currently (in 2010) looking at her 52nd Birthday she has the looks,stamina and strangth and vocals to fill out stadiums,break records and remain the most continually strong musician and icon of all time and 350 million albums and singles shipped worldwide according to Guinnes World Records she is the most successful female artist of all time and the 4th most successful artist behind Elvis,The Beatles and Michael Jackson!
this album is a must have for ANY music collection in itself, and if you're a new fan let your collection grow with each album and live every moment! for 12 of my 18 years i have been a fan and she has inspired me and motivated me in so many ways like loads upon loads of fan's out there and everyday i am thankful! You Can Dance!
on 26 December 2004
Now, alot of people think this is Madonna at the beginning, but she did do some earlier stuff round about 1977 or 79. This included such as 'Give It To Me.' That was at it's best, plain rubbish and absolutely vile but this was excellent. It had alot of success on both the UK and US charts, the UK where it debuted at #6 (Just missed the top 5!) and the US where it shot into the billboard 100 at #8. Despite a little dissapointing chart positions, because all of her other albums seem to go a lot higher into the charts (but this was her debut), on the US charts it spanned an amazing 168 weeks on the chart! This is her most amount of weeks spent on the US charts with her albums, plus compilations. (The Immaculate collection spent 141 weeks, which was the next highest).
Despite lower chart positions, don't think this is duller than her later efforts, because dear me, it's not. It's much better than the last two albums she released which were 'American Life' and 'Remixed And Revisited', which was the rock-remixed EP. These were good, but not as good as other albums like this one - Madonna has changed so much! And in nearly 22 years time (God!) she still remains a genius!
Being the Madonna fan that I am, I had to have all of her main 9 albums, I had 8 before christmas, which was all except from this one. I had most of her remix albums, compilations, plus 12" / Maxi singles too. But I new sooner or later if I didn't get it I never would, because it may well be deleted soon, you never know! So I got it on christmas. These following songs are the tracks. (Re-mastered version): 1. Lucky Star 2. Borderline 3. Burning Up 4. I Know It Inever expected this type of thing from Madonna's early days!) 5. Holiday 6. Think Of Me 7. Physical Attraction (My personal fave!) 8. Everybody (Bonus Tracks): 9. Burning Up (12" Version) 10. Lucky Star ('New' Mix) (Excellent re-make of the song!)
on 14 June 2008
This was Madonna's first ever album from back in 1983 when no one knew who she was. Being the superstar she is today it is hard to imagine there was ever such a time! These songs made her name and image known without setting the world on fire. That was to come later... It is an album full of early 80s dance pop, with influences of old school R&B on certain tracks. I will comment on each track to give my review.
Lucky Star (8 out of 10)
This has never been one of my favourite Madonna songs but it does have a catchy beat and has that early/mid 80s sound. It is a bit simple in style and the lyrics are not the best (however it was entirely penned by Maddy herself). One of her classic singles: Although never a big hit in Britain, became Madonna's first top 5 single in the USA.
Borderline (10 out of 10)
Now this is one amazing song. The bells that introduces this song is pure magic, and it is a song that stands strong 25 years after it was recorded. She proved to the world with this song that she could also do more serious songs. With its mid-tempo beat this is as close as you come to a ballad on this album. Definitely the best song on this collection. Maximum 80s feel and 100% Madonna.
Burning Up (7 out of 10)
This was Maddy's second single in North America, however never released as a single in Britain. This song has a more rocky feel. She might have been inspired by the Go-Go's for this one. Another song Madonna wrote on her own, but the lyrics here are much stronger than on "Lucky Star". Unfortunately the song lacks in its overall appeal hence possibly why it failed to chart. Still a good song and through the years have become a fan favourite. Also the first real music video Madonna ever did was for this song.
I Know It (8 out of 10)
I personally always liked this song despite its somewhat dated feel and simplistic lyrics. Catchy, bitter sweet and innocent all at the same time. Quite different from the other songs, and stands out from the rest of the album. Unfortunately never became a single.
Holiday (9 out of 10)
Madonna's first big hit and another of her classic songs. The perfect party song with easy sing-along lyrics. Certainly the happiest and most carefree song of the album. I think no one who grew up in the 80s could have avoided hearing this on the radio. The definite feel good song of her career and one of Maddy's biggest hits ever in Britain where it reached the Top 10 on 3 different occasions.
Think Of Me (5 out of 10)
This is the song on the album I am least excited about. A bit more monotone than the other songs and offers little new despite being relatively catchy. It is one of Madonna's weaker songs in my opinion, that being said if this song was done by any other artist on their album it would possibly stand out in a positive way. The only track on this album that feels like a filler.
Physical Attraction (8 out of 10)
This was released as a double A sided single back in the summer of 1983 with "Burning Up". While B.U. got the most attention and even a music video, I think this song is the catchiest of the two, a modern beat considering we are in 1983, and the musical style is very Madonna-ish. Reminds of "Lucky Star" in the way the song is put together.
Everybody (6 out of 10)
This was Madonna's first ever single and surprisingly not a very big success reaching only #107 in the USA, failing to make the Hot 100. I am sure Madonna used this song and theme as inspiration when she wrote "Music" in 2000, as it has similar lyrics. It is quite catchy and the type of song that is made for the dancefloor. However I find the song a bit repetative and the refrain is a bit monotoneous. Still quite unbelievable hearing this song now and knowing this was released on single way back in December 1982.
To conclude my impression of this album it is certain that this lady was years ahead of her time. She has become known as a trendsetter and that is quite apparent hearing this album. Upon release this album got mixed reviews and some reviewers predicted she would be gone from the spotlight in six months time. Looking back, how wrong were they...
Overall review: 8 out of 10 (4 stars...)
Anyone who likes 80s pop and wants to own a piece of modern pop history buy this album. It is also a great introduction to Madonna's work. She is an artist who is best appreciated hearing her albums in chronological order to really witness her transformation into the superstar she is today.