Take a Bow
Take a Bow is a single from Bedtime Stories, her sixth studio album released in 1994. After enduring a lot of criticism for her work in the early 90s, Take a Bow was a huge success for Madonna. Recorded at The Hit Factory Studios in New York, this song is actually backed by a full orchestra. The single stayed on the number one spot on the Billboard Hot 100 for seven whole weeks.
Ray of Light
Ray of Light is coming from her seventh album – with the same name – that was described as one of her best albums to date. Released in 1998 after the birth of her daughter, Ray of Light features a more personal, poetic side of Madonna that fans hadn’t seen before.
The song has received a lot of positive feedback and was nominated for multiple awards, including a nomination for three Grammy Awards.
Who’s That Girl
Who’s That Girl is a part of the movie soundtrack Who’s That Girl, a 1987 movie in which Madonna played the leading role. Even though the movie never really spiked in popularity, its soundtrack got worldwide fame.
The Who’s That Girl World Tour became large commercial success grossing out a total of US $25 million and playing in front of more than 1.5 million people.
Vogue comes as the lead single from her second soundtrack album I’m Breathless that was released in 1990 and it remains one of Madonna’s biggest international hits so far. The song, together with the video, have had a major influence on the development of the mainstream popular culture.
Even though it’s released on the album that had soundtracks for her then-upcoming Dick Tracy movie, the song is in no way related to the Disney movie.
Holiday is very likely one of the most recognizable songs of Madonna. The song was released as the third single from her debut album Madonna in 1983 though it did appear on some of her best-of albums later on.
Known for its cheerful tune and catching rhythm, it went on to become the first mainstream single of Madonna, reaching the top 20 of the Billboard Hot 100.
Hung Up is the lead single from her tenth studio album, Confessions on a Dance Floor, released in 2005. It features a sample from ABBA’s top hit, Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man After Midnight) for which she personally sought permission from ABBA members.
The song got Madonna in the Guinness Book of World Records and it remains one of the best-selling singles of all times, with more than nine million copies sold.
Crazy for You
Crazy for You is a song from the soundtrack of the Vision Quest movie released in 1985. Madonna didn’t take any part in writing or producing the song and prior to this song, she hadn’t released a ballad.
The song quickly received a lot of positive response and earned Madonna her ever first Grammy Award nomination for the Best Female Pop Vocal Performance in 1986.
Justify My Love
Released from her first greatest hit compilation album, The Immaculate Collection in 1990, Justify My Love made success due to the fact that the vocals in the song are primarily spoken and whispered, but not sung.
Even though the style of the song itself got a mixed response from the critics, Justify My Love made its way to the top on the Billboard Hot 100.
Drowned World/Substitute for Love
This song is the third single of her Ray of Light album, released in 1998. The song was never officially released in the USA but it still topped charts around the world.
Even though this isn’t considered to be the best of Madonna, she received a lot of praise for revealing more of her personal side in this ballad.
Featured on her fourth studio album Like a Prayer, this song was released in 1989. The hit was applauded for the gender equality message it spread and it cemented Madonna’s position as a feminist.
Express Yourself reached the spot number two on Billboard Hot 100 and the song video is currently the third most expensive video of all times with a budget of $5 million at the time.
Music is the lead single from her eighth studio album with the same name released in 2000.
The song received a lot of positive reviews due to its catchiness and production. Music reached the number one position in 25 countries around the world and it’s the second most successful dance song of the decade in the US – Madonna’s Hung Up holds the first spot!
Like a Virgin
Probably one of her greatest hits, Like a Virgin was recorded as the lead single for Madonna’s second studio album with the same name.
Like a Virgin is her first song to become a number one hit in the USA. The song is often described as the hit that brought her the pop culture icon status and introduced fans to her bold style.
Like a Prayer
Like a Prayer was released in 1989 as the lead single from her fourth studio album. Madonna did the song in an attempt to cater to her adult audience.
The song achieved big commercial success and it became Madonna’s seventh number-one single on Billboard Hot 100 in the USA. The song is considered to be a turning point in Madonna’s career with the general public starting to see a more serious, business-side of her.
Live to Tell
Live to Tell comes as the lead single from Madonna’s third studio album, True Blue, released in 1986. Madonna herself wrote all of the lyrics and some of the melodies; the song was originally composed to be featured in the movie Fire with Fire.
Often described as the best ballad of her career, it’s the first time Madonna showed a cleaner look in a video – inspired by Marilyn Monroe, she appeared in the video with golden blond hair, subtle makeup, and conservative wardrobe.
Into the Groove
Into the Groove is a song from the 1985 movie Desperately Seeking Susan though later on, it was featured on the re-issue of Madonna’s Like a Virgin album.
Dubbed as the “Madonna’s first great single”, the song reached commercial success around the globe. By the end of the 1980’s, Into the Groove was honored by Billboard magazine as the Dance Single of the Decade.