Number Ones: #51


  • MADONNA Into The Groove (Sire)
  • Week Ending 24th August 1985
  • 1 Week At #1

By the summer of 1985, 80s icons Michael Jackson, Prince and George Michael had all reached #1 on my Top 40; finally, at the end of August, Madonna got her turn.

Having arrived on the UK chart scene at the very beginning of 1984, none of the trio of singles lifted from Madonna’s eponymous debut LP had done especially well on my personal charts (Holiday peaked at #16, Lucky Star did better by reaching #6, but Borderline mirrored its original fate on the UK listings by missing the Top 40 altogether). The Like A Virgin era was shaping up slightly more promisingly, with the title cut and Material Girl both going Top 10.

Then, the first of her soundtrack efforts, Crazy For You, was released in the Spring of 1985. Once chosen by the British public as their favourite Madonna track and successfully reissued in 1991, I was obviously not wholly convinced by its charms at the time because it got stuck somewhere in the mid-20s.

Next up was another distraction from the Like A Virgin campaign, a song from the comedy-drama Desperately Seeking Susan. It was also a film in which Madonna took a key role, paving the way for further cinematic glory with the likes of Who’s That Girl, and Shanghai Surprise. Er, sort of. Anyway, for some reason the American branch of Sire Records decided against issuing Into The Groove as an A-side, instead tucking it away on the flip of Like A Virgin cut Angel.

No such shenanigans here, and the label were rewarded with the first Madonna chart-topper in the UK. It was a deserving champion, too, by far the most appealing and effortless slice of dance-pop that she had served up at that point.

It remains one of my favourite Madonna singles, propelled by that bubbling bassline and boasting a simple but joyous melody. She may have gone on to make better, more sophisticated records (and, sadly, less appealing ones as well), but Into The Groove still sounds like the moment when Madonna began to deliver on the hype and showed her confident pop nous.


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