The Immaculate Collection – Madonna – 1990
First listen?: No
Where do I even begin with The Immaculate Collection? Like so many Greatest Hits compilations on this list it’s difficult to sum up a collection of hits like this without spending pages discussing the merits of each era of Madge’s career. The eras are distinct enough that a chronological order makes perfect sense here. This is a timeline of the of the 80s, from the disco crossover of Holiday right through to the bedroom antics of Justify My Love with stopovers in Spain for La Isla Bonita, the church for Like A Prayer and the dancefloor a bit more for Vogue. Looking down that tracklist it’s incredible to think that every one of these singles was released within 8 years of each other. 8 years of dominance, a string of number 1’s across the world, there isn’t a single song on here that doesn’t deserve to be present (except perhaps the baffling Rescue Me). Picking a favourite from these songs is near impossible, Lucky Star is literally a perfect pop song, while Express Yourself is as relevant today as it was back then. Try and stay still while listening to Into The Groove or not scream along to Papa Don’t Preach. These are the sort of hits most artists rarely achieve, each as timeless as the next. You might be wondering why the score below isn’t 10/10 then, especially when I’ve heaped on the praise so much so far. The main issue with The Immaculate Collection is that every song has been remixed in some way. Not in a ‘single edit’ kind of way, but the production on most tracks has been changed to accommodate the QSound technology the album used at the time of release. It’s a shame, because this should be the definitive greatest hits, a collection of songs that defined an entire era of music. I must note that the version I listened to for this series, the iTunes release, included additional changes to the tracks such as a 7 minute version of Lucky Star and a remix of Borderline. At the time, The Immaculate Collection was the best way to have all of the best Madonna songs on one disc. An artist that thoroughly deserves her place among the greats on this list, she’s definitely one of them.
Will I listen again?: I will always listen to the 80s singles from the Queen of Pop.
Best Track: It’s so hard to choose. Part of me wants to pick Lucky Star, the perfect pop song, part of me wants to go with Like A Prayer the most inventive track of her career. I need to go with Vogue though, iconic doesn’t begin to describe that song.