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From “Madonna” to “MDNA”: All 12 Of Madonna’s Albums Ranked By Greatness

madonna-mdna-cover


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By:           Graham Gremore
On:           Apr 22, 2014
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  • 29 Comments
    • retrocub
      retrocub

      Um, MANY Madonna fans, and music critics for that matter, all see “American Life” now as a lost masterpiece, and many of us have always loved it. Speak for YOURSELVES. As for “MDNA”, it was NOT critically panned- it actually received many excellent reviews upon its release. “MDNA” also had the #1 grossing tour of the year, beating Lady Gaga’s stupid tour. You failed to mention that.

      Apr 22, 2014 at 4:44 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • kfitz421
      kfitz421

      Uhhhhh, this is way off.

      American Life is great from beginning to end. When she’s rapping in the title song, American Life, she’s being ironic. Also, she was a middle aged blonde white woman at the time and she obviously knew that rapping would piss people off so that was just another reason to do it. American Life has seriously great lyrics, i.e. intervention, nobody knows me, nothing fails, x-static process and love profusion to just name a few.

      Hard Candy is lyrically fun and inspiring, especially Incredible. She was just dancing and having fun “I know that you think I’m crazy and I don’t want you to save me I have never felt this free” – and yall think she’s crazy.

      MDNA – awesome. amazing tour.

      Bed Time Stories is more than just an album to have sex to. Great lyrics about the loss of love ones, staying true to yourself, expressing yourself and not repressing yourself and saying fuck off to someone you were in love with. IF ANYTHING, this is not the album to have sex to, I guess you just think all R&B-ish sounding things equal sex.

      Putting True Blue before music is fucked up, so is making MADONNA #1???? WHAT?
      MADONNA is a great album, but I think number one is wayyyyyyyy out of line.

      I don’t think it is quite possible to compare all her albums because they are all so different, I think everyone has a favorite based on what phase in their lives that they are at. Currently, I would say that Bed Time Stories is my most listened to but I am always changing which of these GREAT albums that I listen to on repeat.

      I’ve never had the urge to sign in and write something until I saw this post.
      S
      M
      H

      Apr 22, 2014 at 4:59 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • kfitz421
      kfitz421

      @retrocub: PREACH

      Apr 22, 2014 at 5:00 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Michael
      Michael

      Why is it when ever fans here negative comments about MDNA they always bring up the bloody tour that supported it? What, the gross made it a better album? We’re talking about a studio album that was rushed, for the most part infantile, and far beneath her proven high standards.

      Apr 22, 2014 at 5:16 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TysDaddy
      TysDaddy

      Like a Virgin made Madonna Madonna more than Madonna did. Music is WAY too high on this list. Bedtime Stories should also be higher. Good thing this is OPINION not FACT!

      Apr 22, 2014 at 5:22 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • lykeitiz
      lykeitiz

      I’m shocked at how much of this list I DO agree with. Art is subjective, and at least this was written with thought. However, I still think there’s no way “Madonna” is #1, or that “MDNA” is #11. No way.

      Apr 22, 2014 at 5:54 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • KingEidilleg
      KingEidilleg

      Suppose it’s a matter of taste….but like retrocub mentioned MDNA was NOT critically panned. ‘Some’ guys/girls on the internet were very vocal about their dislike of it though. Most critics liked it, but didn’t love it. My least favourite album is Hard Candy, and by a longshot I might add.
      Might as well give my top 12:
      1 Ray Of Light
      2 Confessions On A Dancefloor
      3 Like A Prayer
      4 Music
      5 True Blue
      6 American Life
      7 Erotica (You’re absolutely right about Thief of Hearts!)
      8 MDNA
      9 Madonna
      10 Bedtime Stories
      11 Like A Virgin
      12 Hard Candy

      To be honest the rankings differ from day to day, all depends on my mood …. except for number 1 and number 12, they’re pretty much set in stone.

      Apr 22, 2014 at 6:13 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Blackceo
      Blackceo

      Ok I will be busting out the Madonna tracks for my evening run tonight thanks to this article. But, umm…(and I know that music is subjective…but)where is Something to Remember on this list. Granted I love the pop stuff, particularly from the 80s period, but I loved the album Something to Remember. It was that period where she was criticized for not having ballads and not really being a great “singer”. When I’m not in the mood for the pop stuff, I love the laid back flow of Something to Remember.

      I Want You, I’ll Remember (which was the theme and song from my senior prom for which I had major influence since I was senior class president), Take a Bow, This Used to be my Playground, Something to Remember, and Rain are my favorites from that album. I just love that album so much.

      Probably won’t get much agreement but my all time favorite Madonna song and video remains “Bad Girl” from Erotica. The musical arrangement and lyrics are just haunting and actually reflect a brief period in my life (slutty and high risk behaviors, drugs, smoking) that I can relate to. I think it is one of Madonna’s most underrated songs and it is my favorite music video of hers. She was so beautiful in it and I just loved how that video was directed.

      Apr 22, 2014 at 7:02 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • MMDD
      MMDD

      I know it’s a soundtrack, but I’M BREATHLESS should have made this list.

      Apr 22, 2014 at 8:02 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • DistingueTraces
      DistingueTraces

      Music should be way higher, and Ray of Light is obviously #1 by far in terms of quality, if not necessarily cultural impact.

      Apr 22, 2014 at 9:09 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • WhyteRabbit
      WhyteRabbit

      i think it should look much more like this…
      12 Hard Candy (2008)
      11 MDNA (2012)
      10 Music (2000)
      09 True Blue (1987)
      08 American Life (2003)
      07 Madonna (1983)
      06 Bedtime Stories (1994)
      05 Like A Virgin (1984)
      04 Erotica (1992)
      03 Confessions on a Dance Floor (2005)
      02 Like A Prayer (1989)
      01 Ray of Light (1998)

      Apr 22, 2014 at 10:39 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • WhyteRabbit
      WhyteRabbit

      and “I’m Breathless” (as it was a studio album) should be about #5

      Apr 22, 2014 at 10:41 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • PRINCE OF SNARKNESS aka DIVKID
      PRINCE OF SNARKNESS aka DIVKID

      I hadn’t realised just how bad and dated her album art is particularly for one so steeped in the visual, arguably her chief claim to fame, other than fucking her way up and then back down again. So in that spirit here is my Madonna cover art rundown:

      1) Erotica — Simple and effective and still looking fresh.
      2) True Blue — strong visual. Classic.
      3) Madonna — okay
      The rest are not worth discussing, with their wishy-washy insipid palettes (when they’re not sickly garish), graceless overfussy typefaces and complete absence of the visually arresting or of having any claim to that timelessness as seen in the work of some of her peers. There’s an obvious read across to the music. Put simply: a hack.

      Apr 22, 2014 at 10:46 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • southsam7
      southsam7

      I don’t agree with the rankings but any Madonna publicity/news is good.

      The author left out several albums: Something to Remember, GHVII, Immaculate Collection, Dick Tracy and several others.

      Apr 22, 2014 at 11:32 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • wooly101
      wooly101

      Gee, must have been a slow day for news.

      Apr 22, 2014 at 11:42 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • erikwm
      erikwm

      “Like a Prayer” — and the Blond Ambition Tour that followed it — was the pinnacle of Madonna’s career. She was never better than in that moment.

      “Like a Prayer” was her best album, but the Blond Ambition Tour was her greatest masterpiece. Rolling Stone ranked it the best tour of the 90′s. The video for it won a Grammy. It was chronicled in the immensely entertaining “Truth or Dare” documentary. It was unlike anything done before and has been the template for all other pop stars since.

      Blond Ambition was Madonna’s moment — a masterpiece.

      Apr 22, 2014 at 11:57 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Nixter
      Nixter

      @erikwm: Sure, but not for me-it was her WHO’S THAT GIRL tour- wow!Loved it! I was smitten!

      Apr 23, 2014 at 2:44 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Nixter
      Nixter

      @WhyteRabbit: TRUE BLUE #9?! Are you crazy??!!

      Apr 23, 2014 at 2:44 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • QuintoLover
      QuintoLover

      After reading this list, I decided to actually listen to all of Madonna’s albums (mostly just familiar with singles). Listening to them in order and… Okay, I gotta say I am liking Madonna so far but there is NO WAY this can be her BEST album. Lucky Star is even more inane than todays pop trash. Love most of the other songs but… there’s only 8! Loving most of the songs shouldn’t be very difficult with such a small track list.

      Apr 23, 2014 at 3:58 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • IvanPH
      IvanPH

      EROTICA is just number 7?! Seriously, bottom half? What an abomination. It has some of her most creative and catchy songs ever like EROTICA, RAIN, FEVER, BAD GIRL, DEEPER & DEEPER. It should be on top, if not, in the top three with Ray of Light and True Blue.

      Apr 23, 2014 at 7:39 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • jonjct
      jonjct

      I am NOT a fan. For many, many reasons, but I’ll skip that right now. I was surprised that she has just 12 albums/CDs, I thought that after a 35 year career that there would be more. Ray of Light has to be #1.

      Apr 23, 2014 at 8:01 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • middleagespread
      middleagespread

      Burning Up and Vogue are still my favorite songs after all these years. Burning Up says it perfectly for me about how I am in when I first meet a guy. Vogue takes me back to the fun times with my best friend.

      Apr 23, 2014 at 8:47 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Madonnaids
      Madonnaids

      This is the woman who started AIDS. She is RESPONSIBLE for it. At least Gaga can sing and dance .

      Apr 23, 2014 at 12:30 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • trelin
      trelin

      @Blackceo: Bad Girl is probably the BEST video of her career.

      Apr 23, 2014 at 2:20 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • FLUO
      FLUO

      @retrocub: @retrocub: Damn right! What about ‘Mother and Father’ ? ‘Easy Ride’? Also, ‘Hollywood’ is one of her criminally underrated singles

      Apr 23, 2014 at 4:56 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Blackceo
      Blackceo

      My partner was giving me the stank face wondering what the hell was up with the all Madonna songs last night and today. I said blame Queerty. I hadn’t listened to some of her stuff in awhile and I was up so late jamming last night and was in my office at work just raping the replay on Bad Girl and Live to Tell. Good times. Thanks Queerty.

      @trelin:

      Yeah I agree. It is ashame Bad Girl is so overlooked because the song and video received positive reviews. I’ve read that at the time of its release people were sort of over the over sexualized Madonna videos and her sex book was also out around that time. However, Bad Girl as far as I know is the only video I can think of where she really tells a story. It was just so artistically beautiful. She only performed that song live once; on Saturday Night Live. It was her best live vocal performances in my opinion.

      Apr 23, 2014 at 9:00 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • danemichael
      danemichael

      Hated Erotica. As a matter of fact it is the only Madonna CD I got rid of within a month of having it. Madonna and Like a Virgin is the my two favorite.

      Apr 23, 2014 at 9:49 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • hotshot70
      hotshot70

      12 albums? She is too damn old to continue. GRANDMADONNA should stop trying to be relevant and get dentures to replace that horrid grill, eat prunes and take geritol. No one cares about her anymore, except as the joke she has become. “Oh, look, Madonna’s crashing the awards show again! She wants to be Lady Gaga!”

      Apr 23, 2014 at 10:31 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • newecreator
      newecreator

      Confessions is the best in my opinion.

      Apr 24, 2014 at 12:00 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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