Madonna is arguably the most popular female pop singer in American musical history. Although she began her career in the late 1970s as a dancer and as drummer for new wave group the Breakfast Club, Madonna has touched upon many different styles throughout her trend-setting career, and has acted in numerous movies as well. Although her image has shifted to include looks as disparate as raunchy temptress and new age mother, the Material Girl has always maintained a fierce business sense and a remarkable knack for controversy. Few other artists--male or female--have had the phenomenal mass adulation or the staying power of this pop culture icon.
The naughtily titled Immaculate Collection culls 15 of Madonna''s Top 10 singles from 1984 to mid-''90, plus 2 new ones that continued the run (the dirty, trunk-bumping funk of "Justify My Love"--a Lenny Kravitz production that justifies his entire career--and the danceable desperation of "Rescue Me"). Rooted in disco and classic AM pop from girl groups and ABBA to Strawberry Alarm Clock, Madonna made savvy, touching music throughout her first golden era. These tracks retain their sonic and historical significance while, like "She Loves You" or "Rocket Man," still brightening any space they''re being played in. Far more than just a wise, irreverent image-maker--like the Beatles or Elton, come to think of it--Madonna during these years was the gift that kept on giving, forever fresh, sexy, hooky, and joyously sharp. --Rickey Wright
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