Brow Beat

Where Do I Start with Madonna?

Madonna performs with Redfoo and Sky Blu of LMFAO during the Super Bowl XLVI halftime show.

Photo by TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images

This week Madonna released her first album in four years, MDNA. Over the course of her 30-year career the Material Girl has released 12 studio albums, in addition to three soundtrack albums, and countless singles, compilations, remix albums, and live albums. If you’re looking to pick up a greatest hits collection, she has at least three.

With so much material, where do you start with Madonna? We asked Slate music critic Jody Rosen to list the ten essential songs for new or aspiring fans.


“Lucky Star” from Madonna (1983)
“Bordeline” from Madonna (1983)
“Like a Virgin” from Like a Virgin (1984)
“Into the Groove” from Like a Virgin (reissue, 1985)
“Live to Tell” from True Blue (1986)
“Like a Prayer” from Like a Prayer (1989)
“Express Yourself” from Like a Prayer (1989)
“Vogue” from I’m Breathless: Music From and Inspired by the film Dick Tracy (1990)
“Ray of Light” from Ray of Light (1998)
“What It Feels Like For A Girl” from Music (2000)

Listen to this playlist on Spotify: Where to Start with Madonna

Read Slate’s review of MDNA

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