First Hit #1: June 7, 1986
Live to Tell reminds me of Kickboxer. That’s a bit out of left field, but that movie was brimming with ’80s ballads which fully embraced the cheap side of the synthesizer. Honestly, while possibly on trend – and clearly popular – Live to Tell sounds cheap. Madonna doesn’t sound cheap, for the first time she actually seems invested in the lyrics and her performance, but she’s singing over what sounds like a bad theme song to a mostly forgotten ’80s movie.
Granted, it is, I’m pretty sure At Close Range isn’t the most enduring piece of film history at this point – though you can get it for $8 in a double pack with State of Grace – in spite of a mustached Christopher Walken. The only reason we’re talking about the song right now is because it’s Madonna singing, but the song itself is normally the kind of thing that gets lost in the miasma of a previous decade’s pop culture. Still, it is a step forward for the singer, whatever the quality of the overall song.