Madonna’s Mega-Hit ‘Vogue’ Turns 30

Hard to believe, but Madonna’s monster hit, “Vogue,” turns 30 this week.

From my Instinct Magazine colleague Michael Cook:

Behind the scenes, Vogue was the highlight of her musical partnership with musical impresario and legendary musical architect Shep Pettibone. After remixing several of her other tracks, Pettibone was approached to create a brand new song for the Material Girl.

With vocals that he recalls Madonna laying down as “efficient” (with Madonna rapidly tracking all the verse and chorus vocals in order, in single takes). It was Pettibone that suggested the idea of a rap to fill the middle eight portion of the track. He suggested name-checking classic film stars, so he and Madonna came up with a list of names, recording it immediately. Pettibone also came up with the vocal coda (“Ooooh, you’ve got to, let your body move to the music”).

Madonna then returned to Los Angeles & Pettibone added both piano and altered the bassline to fit the vocals. Pettibone and Madonna continued an ultra-successful partnership through several songs (including “Rescue Me”) culminating in the critically acclaimed and Golden Globe-nominated ballad “This Used To Be My Playground.”

Say what you will, but if you’re out at a club and “Vogue” comes out of the sound system, the floor is about to fill up.

Look around, everywhere you turn is heartache / It’s everywhere that you go (look around)
You try everything you can to escape / The pain of life that you know (life that you know)
When all else fails and you long to be / Something better than you are today
I know a place where you can get away / It’s called the dance floor, and here’s what it’s for