577. ‘True Blue’, by Madonna

After her first statement number one – an anthem for pregnant teens around the world – Madonna goes back to basics…

True Blue, by Madonna (her 3rd of thirteen #1s)

1 week, from 5th – 12th October 1986

Hey!… What?… Listen… I’m going to admit straight off: this is actually one my favourite Madonna singles. I’m a sucker for retro pop, when modern acts go back to the golden age of rock ‘n’ roll, doo-wop or, in this record’s case, sixties girl groups. Yes, it’s lightweight. Sure. And it’s got some basic ol’ lyrics: Cause it’s true love, You’re the one I’m dreamin’ of, Your heart fits me like a glove… (Surely that should be ‘hand’ – that line has always annoyed me…) But then The Supremes, Ronettes and Marvelettes never changed the world with their lyrics either.

The moment Madonna starts in with her own backing vocals is great, as is the middle-eight – No-oh-oh more sadness, I’ll kiss it goodbye… – which is the moment the song remembers that it’s actually 1986, and the drums become sharp and spiky. Is it strange that this straight-up pop tune made #1, when ‘Holiday’, or ‘Like a Virgin’, or many of her ‘90s hits to come didn’t? (She’ll have 23 Top 10 hits in the nineties, but only two chart-toppers.) Maybe. But therein lies the beauty of the charts. Even megastars like Madonna can have odd, ‘forgotten’ number ones…

Madge herself seemed to forget about ‘True Blue’s existence, as she didn’t perform it live for thirty years. Is that a statement on the song’s quality? Or perhaps it was more to do with the fact she wrote it about then-husband Sean Penn, and they divorced in 1989…

You may have noticed that I recently changed this blog’s header image in tribute to Ms Ciccone. It’s an honour I only bestow on the biggest chart stars – Elvis, The Beatles and ABBA have featured before – but I think it’s justified. This is the second of four #1s she’ll have between mid-’86 and mid-’87. She was undoubtedly the biggest star on the planet at the time. Problem is, when acts dominate the charts like this, you’re left with less and less to write about each time… Madonna will be feature on these pages soon enough – and ten more times after! – so let’s just keep ploughing on…

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10 thoughts on “577. ‘True Blue’, by Madonna

  1. ” you’re left with less and less to write about each time” Yep I know that feeling…it’s hard sometimes to come up with anything new about The Beatles, Stones, and Who for me…so I talk about the album it came from.

    Oh about the featured song…Next please!

  2. I also love this one, great retro sweet pop. Fun video. Shame Madonna disowned it. I still refuse to buy any greatest hits thst doesnt feature it, under the trades description act that was and relabelling it “collection” fools me not a jot 🙂

  3. The hit single mix has only ever been available on the expensive Holiday Cd single reissue in 1991 i think and nowhere else. The imacculate collection was also a series of touched up tracks and as a purist that the hit single version is the version i want I just got annoyed. I eould like a complete collection of all her orihinal single mixes. Even with Hanky Panky on it….:)

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