Song Review: Madonna – “Vogue”

“Vogue” was released as the first single from Madonna’s 1990 album, I’m Breathless – Music From and Inspired by the Film Dick Tracy. The single was released on March 20, 1990, and peaked at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. “Vogue” was inspired by vogue dancers and choreographers Jose and Luis Xtravaganza from the Harlem “House Ball” community.

I was in the ninth grade, and a day away from turning 15 when this single was released. I loved the song from the first moment I heard it, both musically and lyrically. Musically, the song has its roots in early 1990s dance music, but you can also hear an influence of 1970s disco in it; the combination of these sounds really helped to make the song stand out in a good way. Lyrically, the song is about enjoying yourself on the dance floor no matter who you are, and it also has a theme of escapism. As a teenager, the lyrics really resonated with me, and I found the song to be rather anthemic. I also liked the spoken part where Madonna namechecks various golden age era Hollywood celebrities. 25 years later, “Vogue” still ranks among my favorite Madonna songs of all-time.

The music video was directed by David Fincher. It was shot in black and white and takes stylistic inspiration from the 1920s and 1930s. Throughout the video, Madonna and the dancers are seen voguing to different choreographed moves. I’ve always felt that this video perfectly captured the mood and feel of the song, and that it has a unique feel to it. I have to say that this is a music video that has managed to withstand the test of time, and it really doesn’t look that dated.

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