'80s Masters Of Music | Madonna 'True Blue' (1986)

I reckon if you asked 100 people on the street to name 5 influential pop artists of the '80s, at least 96 of them would include Madonna in their answer. I'm allowing for a 4% margin of error because, well... I've worked in retail - let's just leave it at that.

And hey! If you're stumped for something to do this weekend, you could totally head outside & test that theory. I look forward to a full report on my desk Monday morning.

I'm actually a Madonna fan... by association. In my house I was the Kylie fan, and my sister was the Madonna fan. It's only kind of recently that I've realised just how much my sister, with a six year age difference between us, influenced me growing up.

It started when I bought Madonna's debut album, imaginatively titled Madonna, from iTunes. There's something just a little bit wrong about downloading these seminal albums in digital form; the struggle to exist in a post-1999 world is very real. And wouldn't you know it?... I knew every word of every song, and not just the singles either. Much more than that... I knew every grunt, la la & shoo bop of every song as it pumped through to ze eardrums via ze headphones!

Conclusion: my sister must have given those cassettes and vinyl records a right royal thrashing in the '80s! And I couldn't be happier about it!

By the time True Blue was released in 1986, Madge had staked her claim on number one spots all over the globe with her previous two albums. She was to the pop music scene what a shot of adrenaline was to Uma Thurman's heart in Pulp Fiction. I remember exactly where I was when Countdown played Open Your Heart for the first time on Aussie TV. The music video was pretty daring for its time, but it was also really really really good.

Like a lot of people, my Madonna-interest petered off during the mid-'90s. You could probably backtrack to the year she released that coffee table book Sex to pinpoint the exact moment. Her obsession with kinky jinx sex was just so awkward for everyone involved. It's a Madonna era I conveniently forget ever happened.

But really, you just can't go past the fact that Madonna was SUCH an exciting pop artist in her heyday. Her videos were always so highly anticipated, their release was an event in itself. She took really brave risks, and pulled them off (for the most part) with all with the confidence of a rodeo cowboy. She didn't wear fashion trends, she created them. She didn't make music that had been made before, she made the rest of the pack follow her lead. So much power for one little lady, and she barely batted a mascara-coated eyelash.

The singles released from True Blue were:

You can listen to the full album of True Blue on YouTube here & now. How well do you remember your '80s Madonna?

Ahoy there! Don't forget that little street survey we talked about earlier. A 4% error margin is the current guesstimate.