How do you choose just 12 great Madonna videos and why 12? The rest of this Madonna series is going to be lists of 12 (12 albums, 12 #1 singles) so I must abide by it. Inevitably, fan favorites and even some of my own favorites will be left out so apologies ahead of time for anyone shocked, hurt, confused or just plain angry at what doesn’t make it. But then again, it’s my list so #sorrynotsorry #unapologeticbitch.
Let’s start off with a few Honorable Mentions:
Burning Up (Steve Barron, 1983)
Madonna. Chains. Lasers, 1950s Chevy. Writhing in the street. Enough said.
Celebration (Jonas Åkerlund, 2009)
Pure, balls out dancing, shirtless Jesus Luz and a cameo by Lourdes. What more could you ask for?
Material Girl (Mary Lambert, 1984)
Hitting the Marilyn Monroe comparisons upside the head with a full on “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend” homage and Madonna being pursued by Keith Carradine. Love it.
Papa Don’t Preach (James Foley, 1986)
Madonna’s first cinematic video that feels like a short film. Great production and dancing, Danny Aiello and the best short blond hair on a woman you’ll ever see.
Ray of Light (Jonas Åkerlund, 1998)
One of her biggest success, commercially and critically, winning Grammys and MTV Music Video Awards. The music video features Madonna in fast-motion dancing while video of sped up normal social activity buzzes around her. With her blonde, pre-Raphaelite hair and completely banging post-baby body, she’s probably never looked better. The video’s manic, high-energy pace is infectious and propulsive and a ton of fun.