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The Madonna Thread


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14 minutes ago, KateW said:



If you asked any music fan in the mid 1980s to mid 1990s which of the big three female pop stars (Madonna, Whitney Houston, Janet Jackson) was going to die a shocking drug fueled death before age 50, I bet 99% would have said Madonna. She has outlived Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, Prince, George Michael. I really think that the next big music death is going to be her.

I certainly hope not. As much of caricature as she has become over the past 20-25 years, I can’t deny that the first 10-15 years of her career is one of the greatest runs by any recording artist, and I’m still constantly revisiting it for joy and inspiration. Madonna always felt like she would dodge the self-destruction that affected her peers, but the years of grueling performing have taken their toll on her body, in spite of her well-known obsession with fitness. I hope she takes an opportunity to heal.

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If you weren't around at the time it's difficult to overstate how obsessive the coverage and often condemnation of Madonna was in the late '80s and early '90s, peaking around the time of Erotica/Sex. The past year I've been rewatching old SNL episodes, and the 92-93 season has weekly mentions of her all over the place, from sketches to Weekend Update (the season also has some of her last appearances on the show, including a very controversial sketch where she parodies Marilyn Monroe singing to the Clinton family...). By the end of the decade, American life was rapidly fragmenting and stories would come and go in the blink of an eye, similar to how things are today. None of the Madonna controversies, even those that were endlessly hyped up (like her anti-war/Bush stuff) have ever really hit the same way or had as much long-term impact on American life. 


I'm just glad she was able to have a comeback, because there really did seem to be a systemic effort on the part of the media and/or industry to bury her around the time of Bedtime Stories. 


One of the things not mentioned in all the hand-wringing over Erotica/Sex is that she did address nihilism and self-loathing and the fatal consequences of delving into casual sex in that broken mindset. 


(also featuring a touching performance from pre-self parody Christopher Walken)



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I think the best thing was she didn't apologize for any of it. There's  been a few essays written about it, and how dangerous a precedent it would have been had she disowned it and said she was sorry for doing it. 


At her peak, Madonna was cultural, she wasn't just a mere pop star and she was fully in control of her message. We've not seen that since.

1 hour ago, DRW50 said:





Her final video collaboration with David Fincher (who also directed Express Yourself and Vogue).


The SNL performances of Fever and Bad Girl are some of her best TV performances - very stripped down, very much driven by her interaction with the SNL band, and showing her charisma on full display. 

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The performances are definitely great (which is a nice surprise as the SNL acoustics are notoriously iffy). 


Bad Girl has this classic moment where with a photo of the loathsome media whore Joey Buttafuoco, she does her own version of Sinead O'Connor's photo-ripping that caused so much stupid controversy at the time.



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7 minutes ago, Skylover said:

The media and public have always condemned Madonna. But Madonna didn't let that stop her. She's easily without doubt the best female artist the music scene has ever produced.


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