Madonna March Madness: Vote For The Best “Material Girl”-Era Videos
Let Madonna March Madness begin! To celebrate this month’s release of MDNA, Madonna’s twelfth studio album, we are asking you, the fans, to decide once and for all: What Is Madonna’s Best Video Of All Time? For the rest of the month, we will host five rounds of tournament-style matchups, pitting video against video, until only one remains. There are 32 videos in four divisions in the first round, and we will be announcing them throughout the day. Voting for this round is open until Thursday, March 15 at 6 p.m. EST. The four victors to emerge will move on to the next round of voting: the Sweet 16. Now head below to get voting!
It’s only fitting that we first unveil the videos from Madonna’s “Material Girl” era. Here you’ll find Madonna’s very first video — 1982’s “Everybody” — up to 1985’s Desperately Seeking Susan companion clip “Get Into The Groove”.
MATCH-UP #1: “LIKE A VIRGIN” VS. “BURNING UP” It was the video that roared — and introduced Madonna to her first real controversy. “Like A Virgin” was shot in New York and Venice, Italy, and the classic 1984 clip added (what was then) racy imagery to an already contentious song, as the burgeoning superstar alternated between contorting atop a gondola and canoodling with a lion-masked lover while wearing a wedding dress. Not every church pastor loved it, but her fans did. Now, we’re pitting it against “Burning Up”, Madonna’s hyper literal video —a minor hit on MTV at the time — that sees Madonna on her knees in the middle of a road, singing, “Do you wanna see me down on me knees?” Luckily, the Material Girl falls short of setting herself on fire.
Madonna, “Like A Virgin”
Madonna, “Burning Up”
MATCH-UP #2: “INTO THE GROOVE” VS. “LUCKY STAR” Spliced together from clips of her big-screen breakthrough Desperately Seeking Susan, 1985’s “Into The Groove” spotlights the then-newly minted superstar dancing in an underground club and acting like Rosanna Arquette’s idol in all her coy, gum-chewing glory. It faces off against the video to give us our first taste of the singer’s indelible “Boy Toy” persona, 1983’s “Lucky Star”. In it, Madonna dons a black mesh tank top with peekaboo midriff and gives the camera serious sexyface as she writhes around on a white background.
Madonna, “Into The Groove”
Madonna, “Lucky Star”
MATCH-UP #3: “CRAZY FOR YOU” VS. “BORDERLINE” Tied to a single off the soundtrack for the 1985 film Vision Quest, “Crazy For You” is built almost entirely from clips from the movie — which has the distinction of including Madonna’s first appearance on the silver screen. The video itself is a simple affair: She is seen wearing a black tank top and a crucifix earring, clutching the microphone in a nightclub that looks just a little like the karaoke bars where we’ve sung this one into the wee hours. But is it better than 1984’s “Borderline”? Filmed on location in L.A, the super ’80s clip tells the story of a girl from the streets trying to balance a budding modeling career and a fiery Latin lover. When she’s not flirting on set of her photo shoot, defacing art with graffiti and breakdancing in the streets, Madonna tracks and eventually captures the object of her interracial affection at a pool hall.
Madonna, “Crazy For You”
MATCH-UP #4: “EVERYBODY” VS. “MATERIAL GIRL” Here it is — Madonna’s first ever music video. The 1982 clip for “Everybody” pre-dates the future Queen of MTV’s bottle-blond, “Boy Toy” aesthetic, as she and two dancers groove and twist on a neon-lit stage. Of the fledgling music video format, Madonna said at the time, “If I didn’t have a video, I don’t think all the kids in the Midwest would know about me.” It may have paved the way, but can it stand up to “Material Girl”? Inspired by Marilyn Monroe’s big musical number in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, Madonna spends her landmark 1985 video squarely at the center of attention (a position she’s hardly relinquished since) as she dances and flirts with a slew of tuxedo-clad male dancers. Weaving through the clip is a storyline in which a director seeks her affections — first via expensive gifts, but ultimately by pretending to possess more modest means.
Madonna, “Material Girl”