by Sean Smith
This week pop icon Madonna released her latest album Rebel Heart. The album is the “Material Girl”‘s thirteenth studio-album of her long and storied career, and has already spawned a number one single. “Living for Love”, released this past December, and co-produced with Diplo, quickly climbed and topped the Billboard Hot Dance Club Songs chart. A second single in support of Rebel Heart, “Ghosttown”, is expected to be officially released sometime within the next few days.
To go along with the singles being released in support of Rebel Heart, Madonna has been making the media rounds to help drum up attention for her new album as well. One of the more interesting interviews she has given was just released a few days ago and was with Christopher Glazek of Out Magazine. The story, which you can check out here, includes a few controversial quotes from Madonna about the state of the struggle for women’s rights compared to that of the gay and minority communities.
“Gay rights are way more advanced than women’s rights. People are a lot more open-minded to the gay community than they are to women, period. It’s moved along for the gay community, for the African-American community, but women are still just trading on their ass. To me, the last great frontier is women.”
Any argument over the validity of her statement aside, it is important to note the relationship that Madonna has shared with the gay community over the years. As Glazek states in his piece, Madonna has at times been a strong ally to the LGBT community. A good example of which came in the early 1990s when she was a strong and vocal advocate in the fight against the AIDS epidemic, which was disproportionately affecting the LGBT community. But it is not as if this relationship has not benefited Madonna at all in her career. For instance, in this week’s edition of #tbt we remember Madonna’s “Vogue”, which was born out of the New York City underground gay club scene.
In 1989, Madonna was about to release her fourth single “Keep It Together” from her Like A Prayer album. Wanting to try and ensure it’s success, Madonna along with her producer Shep Pettibone, created “Vogue” rather quickly to be on the “B Side” of the “Keep It Together” single. However, after realizing how good the song was, they decided to release it as a single on its own right. Eventually being released as the lead single off of I’m Breathless, a Madonna album inspired by her role in the film Dick Tracy. But the inspiration for “Vogue” came more from the underground gay club scene in New York than it did from any movie that Madonna was working on. Voguing, was a popular form of dance expression created by a subculture of gay men in Harlem during the 1980s. The dance borrowed its name from the magazine Vogue, and involved dancers “posing” as if they are fashion models mostly to the backdrop of house music. Madonna’s use of the dance style as the inspiration for the song as well as putting it on display in her video for “Vogue” helped introduce the dance to mainstream American culture. Commercially speaking, “Vogue” as a song was a huge success for Madonna. It went on to top the Billboard Hot 100 chart here in the United States as well as similar charts in over 30 other countries around the globe, making it well worth remembering this week.
So in honor of the “Material Girl”‘s latest album Rebel Heart being released earlier this week, we take a moment to remember Madonna’s 1990 chart-topping hit “Vogue”. Enjoy!
From “I’m Breathless” Music from and Inspired by the Film Dick Tracy
Sire/Warner Bros. Records
“Keep It Together”
From Like A Prayer
Sire/Warner Bros. Records
“Living For Love”
From Rebel Heart
Live Nation/Interscope Records