10 Best Madonna Songs | TheReviewGeek Recommends

The ’80s were all about big hair, neon colours, and pop music that made you want to lace up your legwarmers and dance. And no one dominated the era’s airwaves and defined its pulsing pop sound more than the one and only Madonna. She burst onto the scene in 1982 and never looked back, churning out a string of hits that shaped the decade.

Whether you were an ’80s teen dreaming of escaping small-town life or just wished you were, Madonna was your spirit animal. Her catchy songs of love, heartbreak and empowerment were the soundtrack to your life. So lace up those legwarmers, tease up that hair, and get ready to vogue as we count down Madonna’s 10 best ’80s songs that defined the decade and your formative years. Your ’80s self will thank you for the nostalgia.

Best Madonna Songs
Like a Virgin

‘Like a Virgin’ was the song that put Madonna on the map and defined her status as an ’80s pop icon. Released in 1984, this catchy tune topped the charts in over 20 countries and really showcased Madonna’s signature style.

With its suggestive lyrics and risque music video, ‘Like a Virgin’ pushed boundaries and sparked controversy. But it also reflected the era’s preoccupation with sexuality and desire for freedom of expression. For the youth of the time, this fun, flirty song was an anthem of empowerment and owning your sexuality without shame.

Best Madonna Songs
Material Girl

Madonna’s ‘Material Girl’ defined the flashy pop sound of the ’80s. Released in 1985, this hit single established Madonna as a pop icon and cemented her status as a fashion influencer.

The song’s video paid homage to Marilyn Monroe’s ‘Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend’ number from ‘Gentlemen Prefer Blondes’. Madonna, with her platinum blonde hair and flirty style, embodied the materialistic values of the era. The catchy lyrics and melody, along with that unforgettable video, made ‘Material Girl’ an instant classic.

Best Madonna Songs
Papa Don’t Preach

One of Madonna’s most controversial yet empowering anthems of the ‘80s was ‘Papa Don’t Preach.’ Released in 1986, this pop song tackles teen pregnancy and the choice to keep the baby.

The lyrics are sung from the perspective of a teenage girl telling her father she’s keeping her baby, despite his objections. She acknowledges his disappointment but asserts her independence and readiness for the responsibility of motherhood: “Papa don’t preach, I’m in trouble deep. I’ve been losing sleep. But I’ve made up my mind, I’m keeping my baby.”

Best Madonna Songs
Open Your Heart

Open Your Heart was the fifth single from Madonna’s ‘True Blue’ album, released in 1986. This upbeat pop song is a call to set aside your inhibitions and give in to love. With its catchy melody and lyrics, Open Your Heart topped the charts in several countries and has become an ‘80s classic.

The tune has a pulsating bassline and synthesizer hooks that were typical of ‘80s pop. The lyrics express Madonna’s desire for a lover to open their heart to her love and affection. The video features Madonna as a peep show dancer who escapes from her shady boss, a nod to themes of freedom and female empowerment common in her work.

Best Madonna Songs
Who’s That Girl

Released in 1987, ‘Who’s That Girl’ was the title track from Madonna’s film of the same name. The upbeat pop song embodied the playful, carefree attitude of the ‘80s.

The lyrics depict a confident woman who knows what she wants and isn’t afraid to go after it. “Who’s that girl, running around with you?” Madonna teases in the chorus. She tells a prospective lover that if he wants her, he’ll have to catch her first.

Best Madonna Songs
Causing a Commotion

In the mid-80s, Madonna was pushing boundaries and buttons with her music videos and live performances. Her sixth single, ‘Like a Virgin,’ sparked widespread controversy with its risqué lyrics and music video.

When she performed ‘Like a Virgin’ at the first MTV Video Music Awards in 1984, she descended onto the stage atop a giant wedding cake dressed in a combination bustier/wedding gown. As she rolled and writhed on the floor, her veil flew off revealing the “Boy Toy” belt buckle. Middle America was scandalized, but her fans ate it up.

Best Madonna Songs
Crazy for You

Released in 1985, ‘Crazy for You’ was the second single from Madonna’s Like a Virgin album. This upbeat pop song is considered one of the biggest hits of the ‘80s.

The lyrics depict a woman who can’t stop thinking about her lover. Madonna’s vocals are flirty and coquettish as she sings “You make me feel like a natural woman.” The pulsing synthesizer hooks and catchy melody make this an instantly recognizable ‘80s classic that still holds up today.

Best Madonna Songs
Into the Groove

Released in 1985, ‘Into the Groove”’ is one of Madonna’s most memorable and iconic ’80s songs. This upbeat dance track was featured on the soundtrack for her film Desperately Seeking Susan, and it really helped to propel her to international stardom.

The pulsing beat and synthesizer hooks are instantly recognizable. Once the music starts, you just want to get up and move. The lyrics capture the carefree spirit of dancing the night away without worries or responsibilities, if only for a little while:

Best Madonna Songs
Like a Prayer

‘Like a Prayer’ was the lead single from Madonna’s fourth studio album of the same name. Released in 1989, this pop/rock song incorporated elements of gospel music and remains one of Madonna’s most iconic ’80s hits.

The lyrics depict passionate devotion and spiritual ecstasy, comparing romantic love to a religious experience. The memorable melody, backing choir, and controversial music video all propelled ‘Like a Prayer’ to number one in multiple countries, cementing it as a definitive ’80s anthem.

Best Madonna Songs

‘Frozen’ is one of Madonna’s most iconic ‘80s hits. Released in 1987, the synth-driven track peaked at number 8 on the Billboard Hot 100 and was featured on Madonna’s Who’s That Girl soundtrack.

The song’s pulsating beat and catchy hook make it instantly recognizable. Lyrically, ‘Frozen’ touches on themes of emotional detachment and indifference in a relationship. In the chorus, Madonna sings “You’re frozen when your heart’s not open,” highlighting how one can become emotionally unavailable after being hurt.

There we have it, our list of 10 best songs by Madonna. What do you think about our picks? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below:


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