Monday, July 31, 2006

you know you got me burning up baby

One of my earliest memories of Madonna was of a 6 year old me running around the playground singing Like A Virgin at the top of my lungs with my best friend Peg. I was one of those painfully shy kids, so I can just imagine what my teachers would have thought about that one. I was infatuated with Madonna. I guess every little girl was. We're talking ratty hair, mesh singlets and black rubber bracelets here. What's not to love?

I have certainly gone through my love and not-love phases with Madonna. But looking back on her career now is amazing. For all the criticism she gets - the religion, the marriages, the sex, the children's book and the constant reinvention - she still comes out on top. Have you seen her now? She is still right on the money. The thing about Madonna that is absolutely refreshing even today is that you get the impression that despite the girly eyelashes she would cut you if got too close. She has all the power, all the time. There aren't many female artists that can truly say that. Take Kylie Minogue (since she blatantly does the rip off Madonna thing) - she's got a shit load of money and runs her own empire but you still get the impression that she's passive. Kylie is the object, there to be looked at like some princess. And there you have Madonna, there to be looked at like some princess but at the same time she directs your gaze. You look where you're told. There's nothing there that isn't completely controlled. Love or hate the machine, it's still schmicko.

I have recounted the story at dx of the first ever album I got (The Beatles Rock and Roll Music Vol2 - which was a horrifying present for someone who had asked for Cindy Lauper!). But the first ever album I bought for myself was Madonna's The First Album. I remember the day well - It would have been my 7th birthday and I'd just got my ears pierced for the first time. With the money left over I wandered on into Brashes and purchased my first album. I was beside myself with excitement about playing it that I could hardly contain my pee. That christmas I had recieved the world's best present: A baby pink Panasonic Radio Cassette player - with white buttons and dials and a white strap that went over your shoulder so you could carry your tunes with you wherever you went. That present was beyond cool - I loved that portable player so much. Can you imagine how beside myself I was at playing The First Album on the best cassette player?

I played The First Album so many times over the next couple of years that it actually broke; the tape snapping and with it tearing my heart strings too. I knew every single word and had concocted dodgy dance moves to every song. I knew this album better than I knew my family. So much so that when I finally purchased the CD only a few years ago I still knew every word to ever song EVEN non-hits like I Know It, Everybody, Think of Me, Physical Attraction - songs I hadn't heard since the tape broke. There aren't many albums I could say that about - I guess you never love like you love when you're young.

Since I had the album Peg and I decided to make up a dance to Lucky Star and perform it at assembly. We practised every lunchtime and recess (and afterschool at eachother's houses) for about a month before deciding we were ready for stardom. Of course the performance was a complete disaster but I had hot pink leggings on and a big white lace bow in my crimped hair and make up on (oo lala), so at least something looked good (err). Despite the disaster Peg and I went on to perform Holiday and Borderline as dances at the school assembly and wanted to do more but strangely the requests kept getting denied. Obviously we still thought we were shit hot though.

My all time favourite song from this album is Burning Up. After I saw the video clip on countdown (well, it was on chanel 2 anyway) all I did was writhe around on the floor like Mads singing my head off into the hairbrush. God love her - and christ help me: Moonwalking down the corridor and rolling around on the floor like some prosessed demon. And so that's the song I leave you with - how could I not?

Burning Up - Madonna

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