Madonna’s career began with a party-up proclamation: “Everybody, come on, dance and sing/Everybody, get up and do your thing,” she sings on “Everybody,” her 1982 debut single. Released four years after a young Madonna Louise Ciccone migrated from Detroit to New York City, “Everybody” became a club success—as did its follow-up, “Burning Up.” Still, it wasn’t until the release of Madonna’s self-titled 1983 debut album that it became clear a new dance-floor queen had arrived. Madonna is the album that changed pop—and pop culture—forever. In the spirit of “Everybody”—the track that closes this post-disco manifesto—Madonna is designed to “turn your troubles upside down.” There are no ballads or other change-up comedowns to be found on this nonstop party, which hit nightclubs and record-store shelves just a few years after the so-called death of disco. Instead, Madonna finds pop’s mother of reinvention giving dance music a whole new spin. She deftly mixes disco with R&B on tracks like “Think of Me,” “Physical Attraction,” and especially the smash hit “Borderline” (the first of dozens of Madonna songs to land in the Top 10). Like much of Madonna, those tunes were produced by Reggie Lucas, who’d previously worked with female R&B singers like Stephanie Mills and Phyllis Hyman. Elsewhere on Madonna, the punk-spiked rocker “Burning Up” and the electro-pop bop “Everybody”—both written by Madonna—took club cues from New York’s New Wave scene in the early 1980s. Classic hits like “Lucky Star” and “Holiday,” meanwhile, were influenced by the city’s burgeoning freestyle movement. This was an album with close ties to the club scene: Both “Holiday” and “Everybody” were produced by infamous downtown DJs—John “Jellybean” Benitez and Mark Kamins, respectively—known for keeping their eyes and ears attuned to the dance floor. And Madonna would turn to other spinner producers to shake up her beats throughout her career—from Shep Pettibone on 1992’s Erotica to Stuart Price on 2005’s Confessions on a Dance Floor. But it’s her eponymous debut that would get generations of future dance-pop divas into the groove.

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