As much as MDNA has its moments (“Gang Bang,” “I’m Addicted,” “Some Girls,” “I’m A Sinner”), nothing compares to the magic of early era Madonna. A pair of brand-new covers, both of which premiered yesterday, reminds us just how brilliant the Queen of Pop’s unparalleled ’80s run was.
First, Darren Criss tries on her 1985 #5 hit, “Dress You Up.” Recorded for Fashion’s Night Out, coming up on September 6, Madonna’s seventh consecutive top 10 single fits the Glee warbler like a black-lace glove. Here’s hoping that a full version of Criss’ cover (sans all the promotional chit-chat heard below) will cross digital music services soon.
Somewhat lost to history is that 27 years ago, Madonna’s “Dress You Up” landed at #8 on the Tipper Gore-led Parents Music Resource Council’s “Filthy Fifteen.” Her #5 hit was several notches ahead of other naughty songs as Mary Jane Girls’ “In My House” and Cyndi Lauper’s “She Bop.”
While the supposed adult themes of “Dress You Up” had some folks’ knickers in a twist, Madonna’s next single, “Live To Tell,” was the moment where she really got (figuratively) naked. Grounded in emotional truth, Madonna’s switch to mature balladeering (apols, “Crazy For You”) showed naysayers that she was so much more than a tarted up Material Girl. Released in the spring of 1986, “Live To Tell” became Madonna’s third #1 hit.
By far my favorite Madonna ballad, “Live To Tell” is also pretty near the top of the list for any tempo from her decades-long discography. Now this capital-M Moment in pop history is being paid proper homage by electropop duo Purple Crush
Isla Cheadle and Jared Selter certainly aren’t shy about their love for Madonna. They’ve mashed up their “Sweat” with her “Vogue,” and earlier this year, danced up Madonna’s instantly infamous “reductive” response from her interview with ABC’s Cynthia McFadden and created a minor viral hit. Look it up.
Just the first tale they have to tell from a full MadonnaWannaBe EP coming soon, listen to Purple Crush’s stellar cover of “Live To Tell” below and look for additional details about the release next week.