Rewind: Madonna “True Blue” (1986)

Some albums are essential in order to make an artist’s career flourish. For Madonna, True Blue (now celebrating it’s 25th year anniversary) was one of those records. Released back in June 1986, the third full-lenght release by Madonna marked a different direction from her previous endeavours, incorporating stronger songwriting skills and a more sophisticated production in order to engage a larger audience including those who, until then, had been skeptical of her musical achievements. In essence, True Blue marks the moment where Madonna detaches herself from the teen-pop market she had been mostly associated with, in order to become a mega-star phenomenon in the same line of Elvis Presley or Michael Jackson. Musically speaking, this album alone encapsulates some of the best dance-pop singles from the 80’s: wether it’s the pro-life teenage pregnancy drama of (the utterly engaging) Papa Don’t Preach, the pop perfection of Open Your Heart (one of the best songs Madonna ever crafted), or the flirtings with hispanic subcultures in America during La Isla Bonita, there’s a continuous flow of trademark Madonna songs on True Blue that make this some sort of golden treasure in her discography. And, as it happens with every one of this artist’s records, there’s a myriad of visuals that we’ve come to associate with the songs. We’ve chosen three emblematic videos that are now part of pop culture’s history (shown below), but the most significative message seems to be encapsulated in the album’s cover and promotional shots: portraying herself as a sort of modern Marilyn Monroe in a leather jacket, there was a simple message being sent to everyone who cared to read the imagery: Madonna’s ambition of becoming a pop goddess-like myth was very clear but, unlike Marilyn, she would not portrait herself as a victim. 25 years later, working on a much anticipated new album and still sizzling crowds around the world, we can only say mission accomplished. And luckily for us there is tons of great music to help us remember that.




JP

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