Pros: Both songs are great.
Do you wanna see me down on my knees?
I'm bending over backward, now.
Would you be pleased?
The thing about Madonna's early work is that it was a lot more raw than some of the stuff we hear today. Unlike the hip-hop swirlie that is 4 Minutes or the glittery disco beats on Hung Up, the material she wrote and release in the early-80s has a rougher cut and much more uninhibited energy. After her debut single, Everybody, failed to break her into the mainstream but gave her a one-up on the dance charts, Sire Records began to put a little more into this Madonna-chick, dressed in sparkly bangles and lace. Her follow-up single was Burning Up, a synth-rock track accompanied by Physical Attraction, a wannabe single that never really went anywhere. Although the song was not as much as a chart success as Everybody had been, it was the music video that debuted on MTV that helped to push her into the limelight. If people didn't know who Madonna was, they wouldn't soon forget.
Burning Up is one of those classically under-appreciated Madonna classics that, aside from being catchy, is a great representation of who Madonna was at the time. It also stands as one of the few tracks of hers to be entirely written on her own (a few other standouts being Lucky Star and Gambler). The odd soundscapes on this dance single are a strange combination of underground dance music mixed with a raw rock edge that is the product of multiple producers working on the same song. After the initial producer recorded the song as a slightly more fluffy track a la the work she would do on Like a Virgin in 1985, Madonna was quite unhappy with the way it sounded; thus, being the way she is, she took her toys ad went home, giving the song to her then-boyfriend and have him add in some distorted electric guitar riffs and making the song sound a little more mature. This song is a snapshot a very hot and sexual Madonna before she became a mallrat queen. This was only the beginning. The version on the CD-Single is a cool 12" mix that runs about two minutes longer than the original, adding in some remastered beats. It's always a good thing when you get a 12", because most of the time, they ended up sounding better than the album mixes.
This song was released as a double A-side with a slightly less popular dance song in Physical Attraction, which, again, finds us listening to a much more candid and raw Madonna. Her hiccups and bouncy personality are all over this track, which is purely a representative of the underground sound. The slightly distant production in these songs isn't cold, strangely, but it's definitely of the synthesizer generation (before it became mallpop). This is the sound that always tried to get on his records but never actually got to. Madonna's presence on these tracks in fun and personable-- she almost sounds like she's in heat. These CD-singles (or vinyl singles) are gems not only for possible remixes but also the great artwork, as well as the way they capture a moment in an artists career. The purpose for these CD re-releases is solely to delight fans who want digital copies for every mix available-- that, and it's anything product with her face on it. But they, after the fact, inadvertently serve as a collection of snapshots: this is Madonna before the glamor.
Madonna's raw energy and catchy pop hooks blend really well with the underground dance scene. She was the Debbie Harry of the dance market.
01. Burning Up (U.S. Remix) [5 Stars]
02. Physical Attraction [4.5 Stars]
BEST: Burning Up
WORST: Physical Attraction
SCORE: 5 STARS [4.7+ ]
1982 – Madonna [5 Stars]
1982 - Everybody (CD Single/12") [5 Stars]
1982 - Burning Up (CD Single/12") [5 Stars]
1984 – Like a Virgin [4 Stars]
1984 – Angel/Into the Groove (CD Single/12″) [5 Stars]
1986 – True Blue [5 Stars]
1987 – You Can Dance [3 Stars]
1987 – Causing a Commotion (CD Single/12″) [4 Stars]
1989 – Express Yourself (CD Single/7″) [5 Stars]
1990 – The Immaculate Collection [4 Stars]
1992 – Erotica [4 Stars]
1994 - Bedtime Stories [5 Stars]
1998 – Ray of Light [3 Stars]
2000 – Music [3 Stars]
2003 – American Life [3 Stars]
2005 – Confessions on a Dance Floor [5 Stars]
2005 – Hung Up (Single) [5 Stars]
2008 – Hard Candy [4 Stars]
2008 – Give It 2 Me (US/EU CD Single) [5 Stars]
2009 - Celebration (Double-Disc Version) [3 Stars]