Don't go for second best, baby. Put your ILM ARTIST POLL #31: MADONNA to the test.

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There were 57 ballots cast, but a mere 106 tracks voted for. Indicative of just how good her good tracks are? Follow along and see which made the top 50. I'll be counting down 50-36 today, 35-21 tomorrow, and I'll return Monday with the top 20.

Instead of revealing the subpoll results before the countdown, they're coming after. Unorthodox? Yes. Have I simply just not tabulated those results yet? Absolutely.

For audio ecstasy, follow along with this Spotify playlist.

And now, let's get things underway...

Johnny Fever, Thursday, 7 March 2013 15:21 (four years ago) Permalink

http://i.imgur.com/KXWRspO.jpg

50. "WORDS" from Erotica (1992) [7 votes, 136 points]

Johnny Fever, Thursday, 7 March 2013 15:22 (four years ago) Permalink

Here we go!

how's life, Thursday, 7 March 2013 15:28 (four years ago) Permalink

good start! one of my favorites from Erotica, although i ended up only voting for one song from the album and it wasn't that one.

some dude, Thursday, 7 March 2013 15:28 (four years ago) Permalink

Marvelous start.

the little prince of inane false binary hype (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Thursday, 7 March 2013 15:31 (four years ago) Permalink

lol I was just about to post my own collaborative results playlist when I went back and reread the opening post more closely

"Bellini." (DJP), Thursday, 7 March 2013 15:33 (four years ago) Permalink

maybe you should do some of the subpolls over the weekend during the break from the main results?

some dude, Thursday, 7 March 2013 15:34 (four years ago) Permalink

Might be a better idea, yes.

Johnny Fever, Thursday, 7 March 2013 15:37 (four years ago) Permalink

This song never stood out for me in the past, but I never really found myself listening to Erotica a whole lot, either. Now I'm pretty sure it's my favorite on the album.

Johnny Fever, Thursday, 7 March 2013 15:43 (four years ago) Permalink

voted for this: the propulsion + the typewriter clacking at the end (and the way when the typewriter comes in it retroactively makes portions of the beat sound like abstract digitized typewriters clacking)

the white queen and her caustic judgments (difficult listening hour), Thursday, 7 March 2013 15:46 (four years ago) Permalink

http://i.imgur.com/n75d0Ii.jpg

49. "I'LL REMEMBER" from the motion picture soundtrack With Honors (1994) [6 votes, 142 points]

Johnny Fever, Thursday, 7 March 2013 15:46 (four years ago) Permalink

didn't expect "words" to place! i love it, but there's eight or so erotica tracks i'd think of voting for before that

prolego, Thursday, 7 March 2013 15:49 (four years ago) Permalink

i'm just as excited for the images used as the results right now, they look awesome!

prolego, Thursday, 7 March 2013 15:50 (four years ago) Permalink

WHOA GREAT IMAGES

emo canon in twee major (BradNelson), Thursday, 7 March 2013 15:53 (four years ago) Permalink

omg booming start. I love Words! and yeah AWESOME work with the images JF, rollout does not disappoint.

set the controls for the heart of the sun (VegemiteGrrl), Thursday, 7 March 2013 15:54 (four years ago) Permalink

I've done my stretches, got my legwarmers and my leotard on, let's DO this

set the controls for the heart of the sun (VegemiteGrrl), Thursday, 7 March 2013 15:55 (four years ago) Permalink

psyched for this. we not having links tho? i suppose it's just as easy to search regardless.

So: The Answers (or something), Thursday, 7 March 2013 16:00 (four years ago) Permalink

this is an all-Spotify list, see the opening post of the thread

"Bellini." (DJP), Thursday, 7 March 2013 16:02 (four years ago) Permalink

Doesn't mean people can't link to youtube. I'm not doing it, but feel free to take it upon yourselves.

Johnny Fever, Thursday, 7 March 2013 16:04 (four years ago) Permalink

i can only apologise. xp.

So: The Answers (or something), Thursday, 7 March 2013 16:04 (four years ago) Permalink

Totally, ironically, forgot "I'll Remember." Nice. I'm guessing this will be the poll with the most movie soundtrack cuts.

something of an astrological coup (tipsy mothra), Thursday, 7 March 2013 16:04 (four years ago) Permalink

I almost voted for "I'll Remember" but only bcz the Orbit remix is the best thing he's ever done and I realized I don't like the album cut of the song all that much.

ferreira rocher (Stevie D(eux)), Thursday, 7 March 2013 16:04 (four years ago) Permalink

http://i.imgur.com/3OaF7C3.jpg

48. "THE POWER OF GOOD-BYE" from Ray of Light (1998) [8 votes, 144 points]

Johnny Fever, Thursday, 7 March 2013 16:05 (four years ago) Permalink

One thing you may end up noticing is that Madonna is photographed a shit ton with her arms raised.

Johnny Fever, Thursday, 7 March 2013 16:05 (four years ago) Permalink

oof yes, booming images, keep it up

Ismael Klata, Thursday, 7 March 2013 16:06 (four years ago) Permalink

she has really great eyes

prolego, Thursday, 7 March 2013 16:08 (four years ago) Permalink

the image for 'words' will be hard to top already.

So: The Answers (or something), Thursday, 7 March 2013 16:11 (four years ago) Permalink

I don't remember anyone citing "The Power of Goodbye" in the other thread. Prototypical "deep single." The sonics are a warm bath.

the little prince of inane false binary hype (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Thursday, 7 March 2013 16:11 (four years ago) Permalink

really like how aqueous and majestic "the power of goodbye" sounds

prolego, Thursday, 7 March 2013 16:14 (four years ago) Permalink

I also forgot "I'll Remember" from my ballot, but it would have been near the bottom. I was only reminded a couple days ago by my roommate mentioning it as one of his favorite M songs. Then I had to frantically double-check that I hadn't forgotten all of her soundtrack songs for my ballot (I hadn't).

Vinnie, Thursday, 7 March 2013 16:14 (four years ago) Permalink

JF, great work w/ the stills - love the typeface arrangement, colors & subtle halftone pattern!

rocky dennis horror show (Pillbox), Thursday, 7 March 2013 16:22 (four years ago) Permalink

wow I forgot all about I'll Remember.

set the controls for the heart of the sun (VegemiteGrrl), Thursday, 7 March 2013 16:23 (four years ago) Permalink

http://i.imgur.com/WMyto5q.jpg

47. "KEEP IT TOGETHER" from Like a Prayer (1989) [9 votes, 148 points]

Johnny Fever, Thursday, 7 March 2013 16:30 (four years ago) Permalink

YES

the little prince of inane false binary hype (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Thursday, 7 March 2013 16:31 (four years ago) Permalink

^^^

prolego, Thursday, 7 March 2013 16:32 (four years ago) Permalink

can't decide whether I prefer the single mix

the little prince of inane false binary hype (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Thursday, 7 March 2013 16:33 (four years ago) Permalink

Madonna sez Prince played on the album version.

the little prince of inane false binary hype (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Thursday, 7 March 2013 16:34 (four years ago) Permalink

I absolutely prefer the single mix but the album version is also good

"Bellini." (DJP), Thursday, 7 March 2013 16:34 (four years ago) Permalink

I think KiT was like #21 for me :-( it really is a great song

ferreira rocher (Stevie D(eux)), Thursday, 7 March 2013 16:35 (four years ago) Permalink

loving these images sfm

Roz, Thursday, 7 March 2013 16:36 (four years ago) Permalink

I deliberated over KiT, I so wanted it on my ballot. Glad it made it into the 50. So good!

set the controls for the heart of the sun (VegemiteGrrl), Thursday, 7 March 2013 16:41 (four years ago) Permalink

she made it into an amazing closing number for blond ambition

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fhndzqzmstc

prolego, Thursday, 7 March 2013 16:44 (four years ago) Permalink

"I'll Remember" image should've been bearded Joe Pesci, is my only complaint

some dude, Thursday, 7 March 2013 16:45 (four years ago) Permalink

I forgot "I'll Remember" too--a convince-store staple for a few years back there. Good song.

your fretless ways (Eazy), Thursday, 7 March 2013 16:50 (four years ago) Permalink

i never paid attention to "the power of good-bye" till I heard the mashup of it and "bittersweet symphony," which remains one of my favorite examples of the form. the sonics are indeed a warm bath; that's a great description. the vocal is another matter. she sounds like she's trembling all the way through, as if the breakup she's singing about happened the morning she recorded it. she's sure of herself, absolutely sure, and yet she's not at all over it.

fact checking cuz, Thursday, 7 March 2013 16:50 (four years ago) Permalink

http://i.imgur.com/GdnmJDd.jpg

46. "DIE ANOTHER DAY" from the motion picture soundtrack Die Another Day (2002) [7 votes, 149 points]

Johnny Fever, Thursday, 7 March 2013 16:53 (four years ago) Permalink

Didn't see that one coming.

"Power of Good-bye" on my ballot (only thing to place so far).

"Keep It Together" one of very few LAP tracks to *not* make my ballot (though I really like it).

And yes! Great images!!

Public Brooding Closet (cryptosicko), Thursday, 7 March 2013 16:56 (four years ago) Permalink

1) stoked 4 this
2) not stoked that it's started just as i have to leave the house and be offline til tomorrow morning
3) fantastic images
4) DIE ANOTHER DAY!!!! - happy it placed obv but SO SO SO TOO LOW

r&b morcilla (lex pretend), Thursday, 7 March 2013 16:57 (four years ago) Permalink

lol so happy "Die Another Day" placed

some dude, Thursday, 7 March 2013 17:05 (four years ago) Permalink

b/c I'M SAYIN I BELIIIIEVE

The burrito of ennui (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Sunday, 23 August 2015 22:59 (two years ago) Permalink

it would be a travesty if you didnt

whoever shows up last wears the lion head

Flamenco Drop (VegemiteGrrl), Sunday, 23 August 2015 23:03 (two years ago) Permalink

Brad's on the carpet, he'll wear the lion head

The burrito of ennui (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Sunday, 23 August 2015 23:04 (two years ago) Permalink

lol

Flamenco Drop (VegemiteGrrl), Sunday, 23 August 2015 23:06 (two years ago) Permalink

I know this is rockist shit but I wonder why Madonna stopped writing (or claiming to write) songs by herself. I loved her excuse ("I got lazy!") except that if there's one artist who works her ass off it's Madonna. When she started playing ehh to OK electric rhythm guitar on tour in 2001 I had fantasies of her releasing a Neil Young album. It would've been the real surprise at that point in her career.

The burrito of ennui (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Monday, 24 August 2015 00:16 (two years ago) Permalink

btw we haven't given enough props to Patrick Leonard, who showed her how she can adapt her songwriting and singing voice to versees, bridges, and choruses.

The burrito of ennui (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Monday, 24 August 2015 00:17 (two years ago) Permalink

She said some interesting things in her last Rolling Stone interview

I mean, some of it comes off as a bit old fogey, but knowing how she worked on her most successful albums why NOT go back to one producer? I wonder if she's questioning her own writing now?

She should team up with Nile, or someone she knows. Imo

And you had a lot of new people around you this time.
With this particular record, I put myself in a funny position. Because usually I choose a producer to work with, or two, and then I write and produce everything with those people. The whole thing is just done within this little bubble. Whereas this situation was me working with a lot of writers that I'd never met before in my life — literally walking into rooms and sitting down and saying, "OK, let's write a song." Total strangers.

And some people I connected to immediately like ("Wrecking Ball" co-writer) Mozella, for instance, or ("If I Were a Boy" co-writer) Toby Gad. They're very open-hearted people, extremely musical, not inhibited in any way, shape, or form. So they were fun. And then there were other people that were really shy, and I think maybe slightly intimidated by me. I was constantly putting myself in these, like, very awkward situations, to me it was an exercise in letting go, to sit with people I'd never met with before.

How did that affect the songs?
With songwriting, you have to make yourself open to people and vulnerable to people, especially if you're writing about something personal or a sensitive subject, something close to your heart. And you're doing it with someone you've never met before. It's kind it's like that exercise where you stand with your eyes closed and you let yourself fall back, and you just, like, trust that someone is going to catch you. So I would say that a lot of working on this record was like that.

How did you grapple with the chaos of it all?
I prefer order, and I prefer to know what I'm getting every day and what I'm showing up to. I like it when the people I'm working with come to work — just them, and not their entire families or 20 of their closest friends. You know what I mean? But there's a lot of that going on, and I find it a little bit distracting. That's hard for me. I'm old school. Kanye wasn't really one of those people that had lots of people come in the room, but he himself is chaotic. So I've been lucky to work with a lot of madmen, and charming (people). Thank God they're charming, because otherwise they wouldn't get away with the things they do. (Laughs) So yeah. I mean, honestly, I don't know how people finish anything after what I've witnessed. (Laughs) Seriously!

Do you think work habits have devolved?
I think there's a lot of distractions now. I think people are really, supremely distracted, and everyone feels the obligation to be very involved with social networking. So a lot of the time of the day is spent doing that. There's a lot of people leaving to go to red carpet events or to tweet. Like, having to go out and do fast interviews or, like, go on Twitter and do this or that. I was just like, "Wow," you know? My head was spinning. But that's the world we live in, now. The age of distraction

http://www.rollingstone.com/music/features/madonna-on-making-rebel-heart-the-age-of-distraction-and-joan-of-arc-20150305

Flamenco Drop (VegemiteGrrl), Monday, 24 August 2015 00:39 (two years ago) Permalink

I read it at the time and was disappointed she'd yielded to the "top line" composing strategy of contemporary pop songwriting. That said, the current album has stronger melodies than the last two, so if she sat around with guitars and collaborators I'll give her the credit for sturdiness.

The burrito of ennui (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Monday, 24 August 2015 00:41 (two years ago) Permalink

Yeah, I do like this album quite a bit so it may be somewhat of a moot point

But I would like the experienced Madge to appear at some point. I truly believe she has it in her to school everyone, I just don't know when or if she'll really *go* there, because she's almost manic about moving forward.

idk.

Flamenco Drop (VegemiteGrrl), Monday, 24 August 2015 00:47 (two years ago) Permalink

in unrelated news I found this weird/funny vid of her & Ellen singing Dress You Up together

http://youtu.be/hnI8GZIYBcs

Flamenco Drop (VegemiteGrrl), Monday, 24 August 2015 01:23 (two years ago) Permalink

three weeks pass...

OMG, the people asking for "real strings" on D&D itt.

Norse Jung (Eric H.), Tuesday, 15 September 2015 06:31 (two years ago) Permalink

Never in this life has a negative reaction so completely steeled my resolve to represent the opposition.

Norse Jung (Eric H.), Tuesday, 15 September 2015 06:57 (two years ago) Permalink

I'm still probably never voluntarily reach for Erotica when I want to listen to Madonna, but at least it's not embarrassing at the level which the most recent three albums reside.

Johnny Fever, Tuesday, 15 September 2015 07:11 (two years ago) Permalink

I'm=I'll

Johnny Fever, Tuesday, 15 September 2015 07:12 (two years ago) Permalink

Embarrassment is a crucial ingredient of Erotica.

Norse Jung (Eric H.), Tuesday, 15 September 2015 07:15 (two years ago) Permalink

Perhaps so. I'm unlikely ever to delve far enough into it to find out.

Everybody has styles of music they dislike no matter what. One of my own is early 90s pop-house, and I'm even softening my stance on some of that in my advanced age. I still can't get with much of anything on Erotica, though. *shrug*

Johnny Fever, Tuesday, 15 September 2015 07:25 (two years ago) Permalink

Everybody has styles of music they dislike no matter what. One of my own is early 90s pop-house

I wanna offer sympathies, but I know there are people who no doubt feel misguidedly sorry for those who will never ever get into Neutral Milk Hotel.

Norse Jung (Eric H.), Tuesday, 15 September 2015 13:25 (two years ago) Permalink

I know several of those people. Lost souls, one and all.

Johnny Fever, Tuesday, 15 September 2015 13:34 (two years ago) Permalink

the name puts me off

Flamenco Drop (VegemiteGrrl), Tuesday, 15 September 2015 16:22 (two years ago) Permalink

LOL, have you had that screenname for the last 2.5 years?

Norse Jung (Eric H.), Tuesday, 15 September 2015 16:25 (two years ago) Permalink

she sounds terrific, and the repetition of the twirl so awkward in an endearing way:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ffjlH4xHfWw

The burrito of ennui (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Tuesday, 15 September 2015 16:26 (two years ago) Permalink

boy do I miss her lower range drag queen voice

The burrito of ennui (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Tuesday, 15 September 2015 16:26 (two years ago) Permalink

I think she took it out for a spin during "Like a Virgin" on the MDNA tour.

Norse Jung (Eric H.), Tuesday, 15 September 2015 16:32 (two years ago) Permalink

xxpost I changed it a few weeks back when Johnny Fever revived the thread :)

Flamenco Drop (VegemiteGrrl), Tuesday, 15 September 2015 17:44 (two years ago) Permalink

!!

"I'm feeling very nostalgic tonight," she told the crowd. "Do you people understand I played Madison Square Garden 30 years ago?" She kissed a fan in a 1985 Virgin Tour shirt who claimed he was there — for all we know, he might have been the goth club kid doing the cobweb dance in the "Into The Groove" video. It led to the emotional highlight of the night, when she picked up her acoustic guitar for one of her saltiest and best Number One hits, a song she hasn't performed since the Eighties: "Who's that Girl," leading the audience in the question "¿Quien es esa niña?" The question hung in the air. "I still don't know," Madonna said after the song. "I still don't know. I think I'm not supposed to know — maybe that's what life's about, figuring out who the fuck you are."

The burrito of ennui (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Friday, 18 September 2015 20:10 (two years ago) Permalink

:D

Johnny Fever, Friday, 18 September 2015 20:13 (two years ago) Permalink

omg

Flamenco Drop (VegemiteGrrl), Friday, 18 September 2015 20:19 (two years ago) Permalink

five months pass...

http://fasterlouder.junkee.com/inside-madonnas-intimate-tears-of-a-clown-show-in-melbourne/858982

this sounds like a fascinating show, i hope someone filmed it

ODD FUTURE WOLFGANG VAN HALEN ON BASS (some dude), Friday, 11 March 2016 03:50 (one year ago) Permalink

two months pass...

Vogue her greatest or close - greatest video, certainly - with Open Your Heart its closest/only rival. So great it subsumed the album that even if (or because) not entirely hers rivals its successor as her second-best after the not-quite-immaculate one that has so many hits on it who cares. So great it spun off a sequel in the very good but at least a little overrated Deeper and Deeper, which is probably not the best on that deep-benched album, which should have stolen Justify My Love from the collection as its capstone, and well behind Lucky Star and Express Yourself, to name some of the better ones that in turn probably place behind Holiday and Material Girl highest among the runner-ups that I insist also include Mandy's More, Sooner or Later, and Where's the Party, all of which I'll take most days over the well-named Borderline (Bipolar might be more like it), too-faux Like a Virgin (which shares a very particular room with other pre-adolescent sonic annoyances like Beat It), or even the somewhat-rut-bound Into the Groove, to say nothing of the Christian (Catholic, whatever) one I have no use for (not the anti-abortion one; I kinda like that one) or nearly all of the power "ballad" dreck early and late. I like a lot of the second-career EDM stuff well enough or better, but, except for the more interpretive and therefore auteurist stuff like Don't Tell Me, much of it doesn't register in the same fashion (maybe because less New York?). I'm fairly immune, for instance, to the purported glories of Beautiful Stranger, which feels a lot more disposable than, say, Independent Women, Pt. 2.

Many if not most of the above preferences vary at least marginally by mixing I couldn't identify offhand.

normcore strengthening exercises (benbbag), Tuesday, 24 May 2016 05:19 (one year ago) Permalink

eight months pass...

oh wow "Jimmy Jimmy" is actually p great? and so is "True Blue"??

Fluffy Saint-Bernard (Stevie D(eux)), Saturday, 4 February 2017 23:13 (nine months ago) Permalink

fuck "La Isla Bonita" and "Live to Tell" forever tho

Fluffy Saint-Bernard (Stevie D(eux)), Saturday, 4 February 2017 23:14 (nine months ago) Permalink

[oh wow "Jimmy Jimmy" is actually p great? and so is "True Blue"??

um, yes. and yes.

fact checking cuz, Saturday, 4 February 2017 23:22 (nine months ago) Permalink

I TOLD U

Flamenco Drop (VegemiteGrrl), Saturday, 4 February 2017 23:33 (nine months ago) Permalink

fuck..."Live to Tell" forever tho

you mad

Wimmels, Saturday, 4 February 2017 23:36 (nine months ago) Permalink

Get the fuck out, Stevie.

The burrito of ennui (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Saturday, 4 February 2017 23:44 (nine months ago) Permalink

I'm ecstatic enough about Stevie (or anyone) acknowledging the greatness of "Jimmy Jimmy" to overlook the "Live To Tell" diss.

some sad trombone Twilight Zone shit (cryptosicko), Saturday, 4 February 2017 23:46 (nine months ago) Permalink

yeah stevie u still need srs help tho

Flamenco Drop (VegemiteGrrl), Sunday, 5 February 2017 00:24 (nine months ago) Permalink

"Live To Tell" is the greatest

Wimmels, Sunday, 5 February 2017 00:37 (nine months ago) Permalink

My favorite ILM poll: the level of commitment, the writing.

The burrito of ennui (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Sunday, 5 February 2017 01:06 (nine months ago) Permalink

it was the best of times

Flamenco Drop (VegemiteGrrl), Sunday, 5 February 2017 01:18 (nine months ago) Permalink

I like to think Patrick Leonard said "OK, we're done" and Madonna saying, "No, wait -- I have an idea. 'If I ran away...'" and Leonard losing his shit.

― the little prince of inane false binary hype (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Monday, March 11, 2013 3:43 PM (three years ago

The burrito of ennui (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Sunday, 5 February 2017 01:27 (nine months ago) Permalink

can we do this again

Flamenco Drop (VegemiteGrrl), Sunday, 5 February 2017 01:54 (nine months ago) Permalink

YES

The burrito of ennui (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Sunday, 5 February 2017 02:25 (nine months ago) Permalink

Fuck me, my favorite thing she's ever done, her cover of Marvin Gaye's "I Want You" (off the Something to Remember comp) wasn't even nominated?!?!?!

Mr. Snrub, Sunday, 5 February 2017 02:33 (nine months ago) Permalink

There are no nominations in artist polls.

Ⓓⓡ. (Johnny Fever), Sunday, 5 February 2017 05:36 (nine months ago) Permalink

Oh.

Mr. Snrub, Sunday, 5 February 2017 10:19 (nine months ago) Permalink

five months pass...

Flamenco drop.

Anne of the Thousand Gays (Eric H.), Sunday, 16 July 2017 02:25 (four months ago) Permalink

The best kind of drop

Tim F, Sunday, 16 July 2017 03:32 (four months ago) Permalink


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