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.