30 of Madonna’s Best Deep Cuts in Honor of Her Birthday Today
Yes, that’s right; the Material Girl turns 57 today! And should you feel tempted to make a joke about her age, just remember that at 57 she’s still doing more than you and your fav. Combined.
Madonna’s legacy cannot be overstated. For more than 30 years, she has been the indisputable Queen of Pop, the female pop star to end all female pop stars. Her competition is not Britney Spears or Lady Gaga or Ariana Grande or Justin Bieber or Beyoncé. She is in a league with Michael Jackson and The Beatles. Many have tried to discount her influence, to minimize her contributions (and her staggering sales figures), but the facts and numbers speak for themselves.
Previously, in a feature called Coulda, Shoulda, Woulda Been a Single, we looked back at the discographies of Lady Gaga, Britney Spears, Beyoncé, Rihanna, and Christina Aguilera in search of album cuts that unfortunately never got the single treatment they deserved. Every one of those women owes something to Madonna and her inimitable playbook. When wondering if I could tackle Madonna’s 30+ years of work for that very same feature, I quickly realized I would have to approach things differently. For one thing, there is no arguing about her single output in the ’80s and ’90s. The right choices were made, and the numbers back that up. For another thing, for an artist as singular as Madonna, a singular approach is necessary. So instead of arguing back over 13 albums worth of “missed opportunity” singles, I opted to instead pick 30 non-single songs that people may have forgotten (or, if you’re more of an Immaculate Collection kind of person, never heard in the first place).
With more than 300 million albums sold and 12 Hot 100 No. 1 singles to her name — not to mention 38 Hot 100 top tens and 45 No. 1 Dance Club chart songs — there exists no room for “haters” to argue against her impact. And after all of that, among the songs that never charted or that never made it to the top, there is still so much incredible material.
Sure, some of her recent music has failed to resonate on the same level as her peak-period work, but that fact is minor in the scope of her career and ultimately irrelevant. Does the inconsistency of MDNA or Rebel Heart somehow negate the importance of Like a Prayer or Ray of Light? Absolutely not. And even her worst albums are home to tunes that are superior to run-of-the-mill Top 40 mass-appeal garbage.
So today, on her birthday, we honor Madonna by honoring these incredible songs that are often overlooked only because her iconic singles overshadowed them. I’m not saying these songs should necessarily have been released as singles, that they would have gone No. 1, that they’re better than “Vogue” or “Express Yourself.” All I am saying is that these songs are great, and they deserve to be revisited.
So please, won’t you, light a candle (or 57), get down on your knees, say a prayer, and press play on this playlist containing 30 of Madonna’s timeless deep cuts. Amen.
30 Incredible Madonna Deep Cuts: