Madonna – Vogue

First Hit #1: May 19, 1990

It’s been a while since we had a song with its very own dance, so it’s nice of Madonna to bring the form back. It’s really not that different from something like The Twist, sporting lyrics about how you should dance with music that’s about what people of the time dance to, sitting right in the middle of all the popular dance trends of the time. But Vogue isn’t just a song about a dance you can do, it’s also a celebration of superficiality, going so far as to have a late song rap that just listed the names of pretty people. Madonna has had less than amazing luck with rap – the Latte verse on American Life is somewhat embarrassing to all involved – but here it works as a statement of purpose. Madonna is not here to give us trenchant social criticism, she is here to give us a bit of surface gloss and good face to make us feel better. For most of the day, you might have real problems, but for about five minutes Madonna is giving you a way to forget what’s buried deep inside, just dance and pretend you’re famous and beautiful, and you can forget your problems. It’s not a permanent solution, but it’s a nice bit of escapism for a brief moment, at least.

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One Response to Madonna – Vogue

  1. RBerman says:

    Another long song, with an intro over a minute long. The song simply exhorts dancing in general, rather than describing some particular dance. The face-framing hand motions (with an oddly still lower body) early in the video did inspire a measure of imitation, but no repeatable dance steps appear anywhere in the video. Which, by the way, is one of the most beautifully cinematographed music videos ever produced. I hope it won lots of awards, and it surely contributed the lion’s share to this song’s popularity. The music seems very similar to “Express Yourself;” I guess Lady Gaga wasn’t the only one to find it a song worth imitating.

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