Throwback Tuesday : Madonna’s ‘Vogue’

Get set for some Madonna Mania this entire week people! With the Queen back with her 12th studio album ‘MDNA‘, an album that’s topping every credible chart on the planet as I type, it’s only fair that we celebrate the music of a defiant woman who dared to be different, stuck to her guns, and changed the face of pop music forever. This week, ZOMGtalk goes into complete Madonna mode, and today’s Throwback Tuesday features a song and a video that defines the very essence of the word ‘Iconic’.

Question : How many of you sing the ‘Vogue‘ rap word to word every time the song comes on? If you don’t, well, you’re just #reductive. I kid, I kid!

Vogue‘ was originally destined to be a b-side to the 5th single ‘Keep It Together‘ from Madonna’s 1989 album ‘Like A Prayer‘, in a bid to boost single sales from the album, especially since the 4th single ‘Oh Father‘ had stalled on the Billboard Hot 100 Singles Chart at # 20. Apparently Madonna’s best friend Debi Mazar first noticed the craze of ‘voguing’ in the New York underground club scene, a rage especially among the gay community. The dancers in these clubs would strike a series of poses, make hand gestures, and use liberal doses of snapology – a finger snap that was used as a sign of dismissal especially in the transsexual community. Debi brought this concept to Madonna and her producer Shep Pettibone, and the result was ‘Vogue‘, a stunning tribute to an emerging dance craze and the underground club culture woven immaculately over a pulsating house beat with a liberal dose of disco. Thankfully Warner Brothers, Madonna’s recording company, decided that the track was too good to be wasted as a b-side, and ‘Vogue‘ thus became the first single from Madonna’s Dick Tracy-inspired 1990 film ‘I’m Breathless‘.

Madonna was already an established one-woman industry by the end of the 80’s, and controversy was her middle name. Not that she needed any of it, considering her songs and music would have been enough to ensure that she would be remembered as a legend. By 1989 she had managed to ruffle quite a few feathers especially with her video for ‘Like A Prayer‘, and the world waited with bated breath to witness what she would unleash next. And the David Fincher-directed video for ‘Vogue‘ became a crowning artistic achievement for Madonna that set the bar higher for an artist, than any of her previous videos did. Sleek and stylish, the black-and-white video, a tribute to the Golden Age of Hollywood, remains a classic. Everything from the clothes (the conical bras deserve their own twitter account), the dancing (is there anybody out there who hasn’t tried those moves in front of the mirror?) to the poses, THIS is the true blueprint of a timeless pop anthem!

Till date, ‘Vogue‘ remains Madonna’s highest selling physical single in the US, being certified double platinum back in 1990 for sales over 2 million copies. The song spent 3 weeks at # 1 on the Billboard Hot 100, 8 consecutive weeks at # 1 on the Eurochart Hot 100, 4 weeks at # 1 on the UK Top 40, along with topping the charts in Australia, Japan, New Zealand, and a total of 30 charts worldwide! It’s sad though how the song never won a Grammy, like many of Madonna’s songs that have been largely overlooked by the committee for some reason I’ve never been able to comprehend. In all probability they hate her guts, or balls, cuz she has them bigger than any man in the bizness. Period.

Today, as the world cheers a 53-year-old Madonna performing ‘Vogue‘ on the Superbowl literally bringing the house down, when the Glee cast covers ‘Vogue‘ resulting in their first # 1 album, when a new generation of fashionistas get acquainted to their Louis Vuitton’s and Prada’s when Miranda Priestly and Andrea cross each other’s paths in the film  ‘The Devil Wears Prada‘ while ‘Vogue‘ plays in the background, when the reigning princesses of pop like Lady Gaga creates videos that are directly influenced from the iconic imagery of ‘Vogue‘, it’s difficult to not get a little overwhelmed by the song’s widespread influence and legacy. The song truly captures the essence of Madonna’s musical magic, and is a stunning testimony of the impact on pop culture by the one and only Queen Of Pop!

  • Varun

    Queen of pop!