There would be no Britney Spears, Jennifer Lopez, Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, Demi Lovato, Lana Del Ray, Sia, Dua Lipa, and Camila Cabello, and many more had there not been a certain Madonna who lit up the pop world in the 1980s. Madonna became the first genuine female global superstar in the pop world and proved that when it came to making the cash register ring a woman could do it just as well and even better than a man. When it comes to the young female pop singer with catchy tunes in her music box and an intuitive grasp of popular culture of the moment Madonna has written the book on it.
When Madonna’s third studio album True Blue was released on June 30, 1986, nobody realized how seminal it was. That within a few months it would be the pop album that girls all over America and the rest of the world would fight for to get their hands on a copy. True Blue was inspired by Madonna’s visions of work, love, dreams, and disappointments, and the way a young ambitious woman saw the world. Its songs resonated with girls and young women who were beginning to strain under the leash that they were held with.
A Clutch of Angst Ridden Songs
Madonna tackled taboo topics such as teen pregnancies in “Papa Don’t Preach,” teenage infatuation and passion in “Jimmy Jimmy,” the lack of love in the world in “Love Makes the World Go Round,” and pure heartache in “True Blue.” While the whole world knows about the big hits in the album like “La Isla Bonita,” “Open Your Heart,” “Live to Tell,” and “Papa Don’t Preach” it’s the lesser-known songs [only relatively!] that tell you what a skilfully crafted album True Blue is. Has the blind yearning for a bad boy in the neighbourhood been better expressed by anyone than in “Jimmy Jimmy?” Has a young woman’s wish to break free from the social chains she is bound in and experience freedom been better communicated than in “Where’s the Party.”
True Blue is the full-blooded call of a young woman who has been denied her rightful place in the world just because she is a female. It’s a young woman’s heartfelt appeal to be taken seriously and her desires and dreams to be given the same respect and opportunities that society gives to those of a young man. True Blue is a cry for equality before the whole world woke up to the fact that in many places almost 50% of the population is subjugated every day for no good reason and nobody hears their silent screams. This is why True Blue deserves its place in history as the album that woke up an entire demographic all over the world which was being denied its due for so long.
A Powerful Bestselling Album
Madonna’s love songs like “Open Your Heart” and “Live to Tell” are an impassioned plea of a young woman wanting to be understood and accepted for who she is. In True Blue, the songs are backed by catchy choruses and Madonna’s lead vocals prove why she is a much better singer than the world has considered her. Critics who had initially dismissed Madonna as a party-obsessed few-hit wonder were forced to eat their words when the album shifted millions of copies and stayed on the charts all over the world for weeks and weeks. “La Isla Bonita” was many people’s first introduction to Spanish music and while some have dismissed that as cheesy it was one of the first times that world music reared its head in mainstream pop music. Paul Simon’s Graceland was still a few years away!
The New Voice of a Suppressed Generation
True Blue established Madonna as the “First Lady of Pop” and put her in the stratosphere along with luminaries like Michael Jackson and Prince. In 1986 Madonna was simply unstoppable and had a global impact with True Blue. All over the globe young girls simply wanted to be Madonna replete with bright lipstick, colourful dresses, bracelets, and the “attitude” most of all! While parents tore their hair out in frustration Madonna had channelled the secret desires of a whole new generation of girls and young women and given them a voice. The party was now in their bedrooms after putting the True Blue cassette in their boom box. True Blue captured a long moment in time that few albums ever have. It was the beginning of “girl power” in pop in particular and music in general!