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Let the music take control
Find a groove, and let yourself go
When the room begins to sway
You'll know what I'm trying to say
Reviewing these European maxi singles seems like a very, very weird thing to do. They are solely designed to be nothing more than collectibles, as most are carbon copies of their 7" treatments from the 80s, meaning that most of these releases feature one A-side and one B-Side, usually another album track. I review these singles not based on products of serious measure, but I review them as a way to go deep with some of Madonna's best work over the years. Her first release in the very early 1980s was the dance jam Everybody a slight far-cry to the auto-tune pop she's cranking out now. It was released in 1982, serving as both her debut and the leading single from her self-titled album Madonna, released through Sire Records to surprisingly successful results. The song, a rather long-winded one, is a simplistic one that reflects the underground scene of 1982-- what was going on at Danceteria and so forth, because the music industry didn't have a clue of what to do with itself after the infamous Disco Backlash. Madonna knew that what was going on the clubs could be big, and she took her ideas and songs to various producers around town until she achieved the sound she wanted-- little did she know she would be singing the song along with thousands of people at Coachella decades later.
Everybody is one of Madonna's earliest tracks that predates the fact on her debut. There are alternate versions that range from a studio remix by Stuart Price done for the Hung Up Promo Tour, dub mixes, and a sloppy cut'n'paste job that dates 1981. The influence of underground club music and slightly cold synthesizers was nothing more than uphill battle for Madonna, as this single failed to chart on the Top 100, reaching only the Bubbling Under Charts. The song itself is comprised of simplistic lyrics and early incarnations of her future "Express yourself, respect yourself" motto. The positive sound in the grooves is accompanied by charismatic deliveries of lines like "Dance and sing, get up, and do your thing!" This is one of those pop songs where it's as if the singer is sitting right next to you before tugging your arm, and before you know it, you're on the dance floor. This woman in sparkly bangles and rosary beads knew what she was doing, even if people weren't particularly listening at the time. The funk inspiration and tongue-in-cheek melodies work well together and create a perfect pop song that is accessible, danceable, and catchy as all hell-- this song is underrated in every sense of the word.
On the various single issues you can find of this song, you'll find some combination of typical early-80s remixes that aren't all that different from the original. Some may have slightly altered introductions or will just be dubs. Because this song was released before the 12" mix became a real artform, any official alternate version you'll find on CD or vinyl will either be an Extended Version or a Dub Version, both of which are just as enjoyable as the original, though obviously designed for DJs. And did I mention that I'm thrilled it was included on the (sloppy) new hits collection Celebration?
Madonna had just hit the scene with this single, and it more or less got her nowhere except that people thought she was a black singer. It was until a little bit later that her name would become a household one, delivering radio hit and radio hit that impressed the charts and the world.
01. Everybody [5 Stars]
02. Everybody (Dub Version) [4.5 Stars]
03. Everybody (Extended Version) [5 Stars]
WORST: Dub Version
SCORE: 5 STARS [4.8+]
1982 – Madonna [5 Stars]
1982 - Everybody (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]