Madonna – Vogue (1990)

Written by on 20 March 2021

“Vogue” is a song by American singer Madonna from her second soundtrack album I’m Breathless (1990). It was released as the first single from the album on March 27, 1990, by Sire Records. Madonna was inspired by vogue dancers and choreographers Jose Gutierez Xtravaganza and Luis Xtravaganza from the Harlem “House Ball” community, the origin of the dance form, and they introduced “Vogueing” to her at the Sound Factory club in New York City. “Vogue” is an upbeat house song which set trends in dance music in the 1990s with strong influences of 1970s disco within its composition. “Vogue” also contains a spoken section, in which Madonna name-checks various golden-era Hollywood celebrities. Lyrically, the song is about enjoying oneself on the dance floor no matter who one is, and it contains a theme of escapism. “Vogue” has appeared in a remixed form on two Madonna greatest hits collections: The Immaculate Collection (1990) and Celebration (2009).

Critically, “Vogue” has been met with appreciation ever since its release; reviewers have praised its anthemic nature and listed it as one of Madonna’s career highlights. Commercially, the song remains one of Madonna’s biggest international hits, topping the charts in over 30 countries, including Australia, Canada, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States. It became the world’s best-selling single of 1990, selling over six million copies.

The music video for “Vogue”, directed by David Fincher, was shot in black-and-white and takes stylistic inspiration from the 1920s and 1930s. Madonna and her dancers can be seen voguing to different choreographed moves. The video has been ranked as one of the greatest of all time in different critic lists and polls and won three awards at the 1990 MTV Video Music Awards out of a total of nine nominations.

Madonna has performed the song on six of her tours, at the 1990 MTV Video Music Awards, and at her performance during the halftime show of Super Bowl XLVI. The song has also been featured on the soundtrack of The Devil Wears Prada, as well as in “The Power of Madonna” episode of the Fox show Glee. Writers and critics have noted the video and the song’s influence in bringing an underground subculture into mainstream popular culture through the postmodern nature of her power and influence, as well as the way in which it followed a new trend in which dance music enjoyed widespread popularity.

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