How did the first person to read the Bible feel before opening its cover? Were they intimidated, holding what has been famously advertised as a second-hand account of the literal creation of the universe?
If so, I get it; I felt the same fear of God staring down the expansive discography of Madonna.
For years I put this off, knowing the day I pressed play on the first song off the first album would be arguably more important than my hypothetical wedding day, or the hypothetical birth of the child I’ll never have. Here’s the thing:
Madonna is, inarguably, one of music’s biggest trailblazers, regardless of gender. So much of what music is today is owed to her creativity, her artistic ability … for lack of a better term, her big fat mind. Her theatrical performances laid the blueprint for the modern pop concert; her albums curated the sounds of the 80s, sounds that are still replicated and reproduced to this day. She toyed with controversy with a modern attitude, at a time when controversy could kill a career.
As a lifelong pop music consumer myself, it always felt odd that I was almost completely unfamiliar with Madonna’s life, career and most importantly, her music. Save for the handful of inescapable hits — think “Material Girl,” “Like a Prayer,” “Vogue” — I would be hard pressed to pick a Madonna song out of a lineup … my biggest gateway to her music was the Madonna-themed episode of “Glee.”
Of course this had to change, but it wasn’t until a global health crisis locked me inside with nothing to do for a solid two months that I finally took the leap. This wasn’t gonna be a half-hazard endeavor, though. If I was gonna get into Madonna, I was gonna get. into. Madonna.
My plan was simple; I would start with her studio albums — 14 in total, spanning over 30 years. In between, I would toss in her other work — movies, music videos, soundtracks, etc. Madonna, unbeknownst to her, had immeasurable influence on my music consumption; the least I could do was dedicate my forced-isolation to her.
Over the next few weeks, I’ll be sharing my experiences in a series I’m calling “The Madonna Chronicles.” It will be a whirlwind of emotions, and an at-times jarring look at how this woman and her music essentially took over my life these last few months. Stay tuned!