114. Madonna – ‘Into The Groove’ (1985)

“Only when I’m dancing can I feel this free”

Taken from the album You Can Dance

Also released on The Immaculate Collection, Remixed & Revisited, I’m Going To Tell You A Secret and Celebration

UK #1, AUS #1

When I look at the remaining Madonna songs on this list (there are quite a few), it’s hard to pick one that “defines” Madonna. At the very core of her music, one word comes up again and again: freedom. From 1982’s ‘Everybody’, in which she tells us to “let yourself go”, to 2008’s ‘Heartbeat’ in which she sings of the dance floor: “I’ve never felt so free”. Freedom through dance and music is Madonna’s number one concern and ‘Into The Groove’ is the most orgasmic and honest example.

‘Into The Groove’ is so simple yet so huge. It’s a disco symphony, the beat is undeniable and at a perfect tempo so that everyone can dance to it. It’s not too fast, not frantic, just right. It is exactly the right tempo for some eighties dancing like when the song is played in Desperately Seeking Susan. The lyrics are full of references that will mean something to anyone who ever danced in their bedroom and then eventually graduated to dancing in clubs – not dancing because your friends are doing it, or because there’s a hot guy on the dance floor, or because that’s just what you’re supposed to do in on a dance floor. Dancing purely for the love of the art, dancing because that’s the only time you feel free.

As Madonna repeats the line “now I know you’re mine”, her voice rises and rises until her voice is at breaking point. But the music continues, and she continues, spinning around and around into the lights and the music and the sounds. She disappears into the groove and she beckons for us to follow. “You can dance… for inspiration”.

Music video:

3 Responses to “114. Madonna – ‘Into The Groove’ (1985)”

  1. Nenad Says:

    Your blog is awesome! Can’t wait to see the Top 100.
    And Madonna is…❤

  2. Rabbitbunny Says:

    Into the Groove is that rare song-dance music as a work of art. When Madonna Happily sings “Get into the groove/Boy you’ve got to prove your Love to me,” we all respond and dance in kind. And in the spoken opening couplet “You can dance for inspiration,” Madonna’s dance prayer is a Mantra to be cherished. Madonna cries “Only when I’m dancing can I feel this free she is using dance and music as spiritual liberation because those two facets are inseparable in her life. And finally when she cries with a sad smile and a happy tear-“Now I know you’re mine, she is bringing us all together through music, dancing, art and transcendence. For Madonna Ciccone, the dance floor is her playground and her religion. And that is what makes Into the Groove her best early anthem and performance.

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