We may be die-hard lambs here at Loverboy, but that doesn’t mean we can’t appreciate all the other female artists out there – I mean, where would be without the birthday girl herself, Madonna?
The Queen of Pop has reigned supreme since releasing her debut album thirty-five years ago and she shows no signs of slowing down. Although she may be preoccupied being a Soccer Mom in Portugal, that doesn’t mean she’s not busy working on her next release due later this year. Excitingly, it sounds like she’s back with Mirwais and the pair are concocting some kind of conceptually cohesive album, something that has been missing of late. So until then, we thought we’d ask some of our favourite people for their favourite Madonna song and why….
One of my favourite songs by Madonna is ‘Beautiful Stranger’ but I really like the Ray of Light album. It reminds me of being a kid & wishing I was in West Hollywood in the 90s dancing with all the Daddys. Ray of Light makes me feel the way drugs do but without the comedown.
Read more from Adore here…
‘Material Girl’ is one of my favourite songs. Hell yeah! When I was younger I used to dress up like that. She reminded me of Marilyn Monroe. She was just so pretty and vibrant. I also love ‘Like A Virgin’, but when she came out with *starts singing Material Girl*, I was like “Oh my God, oh my God oh my God”. Like I love ‘Material Girl‘
More from T-Boz coming soon…
Alan Cumming, Instinct, The Good Wife
‘Express Yourself’ is by far my favourite Madonna song. I love the energy of it. It’s the Madonna who is joyful, carefree and hungry for life. I sometimes DJ and it’s a song that has an immediate connection with the people on the dance floor. Once, I was DJing at a party, after a concert I’d done at the Met Museum. My piano player was in a terrible relationship with a very narcissistic and withholding man at the time and they were dancing together not far from the booth. I put ‘Express Yourself’ on, locked eyes with my friend and when the chorus kicked in he caught my eye. In an instant he knew exactly what I meant and what he needed to do. ‘Don’t go for second best, baby. Put your love to the test. You know, you know, you’ve got to, make him express how he feels, and maybe then you’ll know your love is real.’ Madonna helped him get out of something really toxic. This song is a life lesson!
Read more from Alan here…
Indya Moore, Pose
‘Frozen’ because the lyrics reflect my philosophy on why we can’t come together in America and pretty much how I generally feel about how we, as humans, choose when to use our ability to create connections and bridge gaps between peoples. ‘You only see what your eyes want to see. How can life be what you want it to be? You’re frozen, when your heart’s not open. You’re so consumed with how much you get, you waste your time with hate and regret. You’re broken. When your heart’s not open.‘
‘Secret’! It was released right after my mother died in 1994. The video was a big deal on MTV, it was the first single from Bedtime Stories and very eagerly awaited. The look and feel was new and the lyrics, ‘You knew all along what I never wanted to say, until I learned to love myself, I was never ever loving anybody else!’ I didn’t know at the time that this would be the biggest lesson I was going to learn from my mother. I have always looked to the Arts for guidance. A sort of life imitates art. I see my mother in this image at peace and finally free.
Read more from Boomer here…
Casey Spooner, Fischerspooner
I was just thinking about Madonna today! Her entire first album had a big impact on me. I listened to it on cassette over and over again, up late in my bedroom in High School. But it’s not any one song, it’s so many eras that she has defined for me. Truth or Dare! Blonde Ambition! ‘Vogue‘! Erotica! Sex! All the amazing Shep Pettibone remixes I had on 12” (that got stolen!). The Bruce Weber/Versace campaign! Bedtime Stories! ETC ETC ETC….I could go on and on about her creative output…but now I have great respect for a woman who is so transgressive and is a successful business person. Showbusiness is a bitch and I’ve had my struggles. Now I can relate, appreciate and praise Madonna! KEEP GOING MAMA! We love you!
Read more from Casey here…
I love ‘Vogue’ – it’s camp, the production is super cool and everyone knows that sing-a-long rap that mentions all the Hollywood icons of yesteryear. The moment those strings come in at the beginning, and then the baseline and finger clips, you know you’re in for a fabulous four minutes.
Read more from Jodie in Loverboy Issue #2
Joanne The Scammer
My favourite Madonna song will always be from her legendary Erotica – ‘Bad Girl.’ Who doesn’t love to chain smoke and sleep with strangers? I know I do! It was also the first time a music video by a female artist shook my boots. She hired a hitman to kill her so she could be with her previous lover who died. It was iconic and I’d like the same fate.
Fabio Costa, NotEqual, Project Runway
If I had to pick one it would be ‘Human Nature’. I remember being ten years old and watching the video for the first time and it is still one of my favourite Madonna videos. The latex, corn rows (they weren’t called boxer braids then!), the rope choreography, it was all so bold and daring. What was intended to shock only sparked more interest in the progressive counter culture. And it ends in the best possible way – ‘Absolutely no regrets.’ That’s Madonna for me.
More from Fabio coming soon…
Trace Lysette, Transparent, Pose
‘Lucky Star’ makes me feel good. It’s just a feel good bop. ‘Like A Prayer’ is powerful and the video featured my childhood crush, Leon Robinson, as black Jesus. ‘Vogue’ inspired me in so many ways. Especially seeing Jose and Luis Xtravaganza doing their thing alongside Madge. It was so major for me.
Matthew Risch, Looking, Modern Family
Asking me my favourite Madonna song is a very Sophie’s Choice moment. It’s hard for me to talk about one of her songs and not talk about the video that goes with it. ‘Open Your Heart’ left such an impression on me as a kid. The homage to Fosse, the colours, the wig being slipped off to reveal that shock of platinum blonde. I definitely saw myself as that little boy in the video.
Read more from Matthew here…
I love ‘La Isla Bonita’ because it’s a childhood memory of me on vacation in Africa and I used to always sing along. I was very much into this song until I became completely obsessed with ‘Like A Prayer’ – the moment Madonna introduced me to black Jesus!’
David Russell, Manager @ Crush Music (Sia, Courtney Love, Lorde)
When I was 10 years old Madonna released True Blue. I was already obsessed, having watched her on MTV for the past three years. But it was the ‘Material Girl’ video that took me from enjoying her work to fanatical boytoy. ‘Open Your Heart’ wasn’t released as a single until 1987 but it was instantly my favourite song on the cassette, and when the video came out I was changed. The little boy in the video – Felix Howard, who has become a good friend of mine – felt like me. It opened my eyes to a world where I could see myself. The way Madonna looked at him, danced with him and ultimately included him in her world made it all seem tangible and real to me. I didn’t really appreciate the song itself until a few years later when I listened to the lyrics. ‘I’ve had to work much harder than this for something I want/don’t try to resist me’ has become a manifesto for me and, I think, encapsulates exactly what it is that I love about Madonna.
Cakes Da Killa
I have to say Hard Candy is my favourite Madonna album and it is so slept on. Right now my favourite Madonna song is ‘What It Feels Like For A Girl’, I’ve been playing it on loop. It’s just such a sensual, good vibe with a strong message.
Read more from Cakes in Loverboy Issue #3.
Ángel Vilda, Brain & Beast
It’s difficult to choose a single album by Madonna, but it would definitely not be one of her more recent ones. Forced to choose, I would have to go with Erotica. Not only for her but also the circle she surrounded herself with then: Meisel, Naomi, Isabella Rossellini, Ingrid Casares, Sofia Coppola, Gaultier. It all coincided with the end of my adolescence and my awakening into the world that is my profession today. I love Erotica for its sophistication and that murky side of Madonna.
Pangina Heals, Drag Race Thailand
Hmm I have so many I love but ‘Like A Prayer’ for sure. It’s so forbidden yet damn sexy, the music video and everything is so tabooed. I definitely had sex listening to that song all the way through life. When I hear the song, I just remember orgasming.
Choosing a favorite madonna song is not a very fair question! There are so many and each for very different reasons. For this one I’m gonna come out of left field and say ‘Dear Jessie’. I absolutely love it. This song is pure innocence. I imagine singing the story to my child at bedtime. The whole room filled with sunshine, fantasy and pure imagination. Do I sound corny? Madonna is known for being provocative and creative. Some songs having political or sexuality provocative overtones. This song is about the children. Running through the grass, giggling in the sunshine & playing in the playground. Not a care in the world. Close your eyes and make a wish! Remember those days? To me it means that there’s always hope through the eyes of our children. Life can be simple and wonderful.
Read more from Anthony here…
I’ve been a huge Madonna fan since I was an underage little gay boy dancing to ‘Burning Up’ in my hometown bar in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Over the years Madonna has supplied the soundtrack to my life and each one of her hits brings back so many memories. The most impactful, and I guess I would say one of my favourites, would have to be ‘Like A Prayer’. That song was so controversial and pissed off the Christians big time which is why it immediately became the unofficial theme song of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence. It was a perfect fit! I still love that song.
Read more from Roma here…
Being a young, angry Catholic queer kid, my favourite Madonna song would have to be ‘Like A Prayer’. The video was such joyous sacrilege and her kissing a black saint, the burning crosses and Catholic iconography infuriated the Church and caused her to get fired from Pepsi. She was a total hero to me.
Read more from Peaches here…
MR O Presents
I’m going to be a cliche and say ‘Vogue’ for a few reasons. It’s my favourite Madonna song and the definitive hit in her career with an amazing meaning. The video is iconic, not to mention the impeccable choreography and it brings into the mainstream spotlight, LGBT subculture in such a beautiful way. So for all of the above it’s a clear winner for me!
Read more from Mr O here…
It would be ‘Vogue’. It is one of my favourites, not only because of the music but also for what it represents. I remember I was 17, had just came out and one of my friends showed me the official video. I was fascinated.
Read more from Carlo here…
Most of my favourite Madonna songs are the highly sexual ones that spew sexual freedom and confidence, but one song really resonated with me and spurred a deeper connection to Madonna as a person. It was my first big concert, let alone seeing Madonna for the first time. I made outfits for me and my boyfriend. We wore our short shorts, custom colour-themed glasses and our ‘Bitch, get off my pole’ T shirts. Someone from the tour noticed us and gave us the upgraded seats from the nosebleeds to the floor!!! ‘Rebel Heart’ really helped me feel stronger about dealing with bad things that come my way. It made me realise that the darkness I have gone through has made me stronger today and know that tough love can be the best thing for you to grow and be who you are meant to be.
Read more from Hunter here…
Oly Innes, Daddy Issues
‘Human Nature’ was the first time I heard anyone say the word SEX in a song, and I remember thinking it was so naughty. Then I saw the video and died. I wanted that black plastic catsuit and top knot hair so bad. It was the first time I saw a woman singing and acting like a man, owning her body and sexuality. It was incredibly exciting.
Read more from Oly here…
My Madonna track is a new one – it wasn’t a single and didn’t have a video. It’s ‘Rebel Heart’. Simply because I relate to every part of that track, it’s about not being from not where you are supposed to be but heading over to that place. Going for what your heart wants even though it doesn’t make sense to the people around you.
I’ve been a Madonna fan since I was five. The first album I ever bought was True Blue at an old record sale. I remember listening to it and dancing on top of my coffee table over and over. I didn’t speak English at the time and thought ‘Papa Don’t Preach’ was about the Catholic religion because ‘Papa’ is Pope in Portuguese!
Read more from Eddie here…
And happy birthday Madonna!! I took a few nights this week to revisit some of Madonna’s biggest moments in music and performance that have really stuck with me and honestly it isn’t easy to choose just one. So here’s a quick few to chose from.
Confessions on a Dance Floor (live!) is hands down one of the most experiential pop shows I’ve ever watched on tv. The opening is enough to send chills down your spine…imagine Madonna, dressed in riding gear designed by Jean Paul Gaultier (mind you she’s just recovered from a pretty serious horse riding accident), descending from the sky in an oversized glass disco ball. Her male dancers all dressed in horse-fetish gear and acting like horses….The sheer drama is enough to make you a Madonna fan for life.
The Drowned World Tour still stands as one of my all time favourite shows. It was in support of her album Music. I remember watching this on HBO and feeling so much otherness from her and this show through the screen. It’s pretty much like if they turned the game Bio Shock into like a glam, punk, pop show.
My most controversial Madonna favourite is Hard Candy. I think I’m the only one among my friends who really give this album love, and I’m okay with that. There were so many artists working on this album that I’ve admired. Even though I love a pop star who can do it all, it’s sometimes fun to see/hear what an artist like Pharrell does when creating music for Madonna.
Read more from boy.radio here…
Nehemias De Leon
Well there’s a few but I think ‘Take A Bow‘ would have to be one of the top. I always thought this song was like me talking to myself about when I was in the closet. I would watch the song on VH-1 and think about how ‘I’ve always known’ and that I was in love with myself – ‘I’ve always been in love with you.’ And when the song says, ‘You deserve an award’, I was like, ‘OMG that’s about me being gay and pretending I’m not.’ This is me. A little 10/12 year-old faggot.
Read more from Nehemias here…
Michael Turnbull, Loverboy’s Editor-in-Chief
Well, the obvious choice for me would be ‘Justify My Love‘ as the whole aesthetic was really the starting point for our brand, dragging Francois Sagat up as Madonna for our first front cover. But to be honest the track I keep coming back to is ‘Rescue Me‘. I always think of it as ‘Vogue‘s overlooked little sister. I nearly got some of the lyrics as a tattoo but then I realised ‘I’m drowning, throw me a rope’ was not exactly the most affirming life message to be getting etched permanently on my body. But you can be sure that whenever I DJ this will always make an appearance.