Madonna practically invented the music video. Since her debut clip “Everybody” in 1982, Madge has penetrated pop with unforgettable, controversial and iconic videos. There are enough posts that (rightfully) sing the praises of Madonna’s best videos, like the Catholic church-defying “Like a Prayer” and the discotastic “Hung Up.” (And let’s not forget this writer’s favorite video: the deserted, melancholic “Frozen.”) However, where is the love for Madge’s videos that aren’t as well-known? These 10 videos, which span 30 years of Madonna’s career, are hidden gems that deserve applause. Some are funky (“True Blue”), some are sexy (“Girl Gone Wild”) and some are downright bizarre (“Bedtime Story”). Let’s get unconscious, shall we?
“True Blue” (1986)
Some say cheesy. We say adorable. “True Blue’s” do-woppy sound gets a ’50s-style visual, where Madonna and her gals pal around in a convertible and a diner. And its background? (True) blue, of course.
“Bad Girl” (1993)
Madonna’s most plot-heavy clip has her struggling with a bad-girl life following the death of her lover, played by Christopher Walken.
Madonna dances against a raining wall in this simple, electric clip. Her black Mia Farrow ’do needs a comeback!
“Bedtime Story” (1995)
Madonna’s weirdest video to date, “Bedtime Story” plays out like a psychedelic–and at times downright disturbing–dream. Featuring bizarre images of skulls, doves and the infamous mouths-as-eyes Madonna, this avant-garde clip is serious foreshadowing for Lady Gaga’s strange brand of pop art.
“Drowned World/Substitute for Love” (1998)
Madonna explores the isolating nature of fame in this deeply intimate clip.
“The Power of Good-Bye” (1998)
The video’s blueish tint is reminiscent of Madge’s most stunning visual “Frozen.” However, the plot here is a little more complex. Madge and her lover engage in a chess match that ends with her destroying the board, signifying the end of their romance. The ending is purposefully ambiguous. Does Madonna drown herself in the ocean? Does she move on from her lover? Whatever the case, there is no denying this moody video is one of Madge’s most effective ever.
“Don’t Tell Me” (2000)
Madonna’s Music cowgirl aesthetic takes literal shape in the “Don’t Tell Me” video. Clad in jeans and a plaid shirt, Madge goes full-on honky-tonk here. Line dancing! Bull riding! Rodeo hats! This is a country song we can deal with.
“Give It 2 Me” (2008)
Inspired by Madonna’s May 2008 ELLE cover shoot, the “Give It 2 Me” video is glossy and dizzying, chock-full of sexy moves and camera tricky. Oh, and Pharrell.
“Girl Gone Wild” (2012)
The paint-by-numbers “GGW” received a video that is anything but ordinary. Featuring sexy male dancers in heels, precision choreography and homoerotic undertones galore, this black-and-white video is quintessential Madonna. “Justify My Love” 2.0.
This post-apocalyptic epic is gorgeously shot and features an amazing dance sequence with Empire’s Terrence Howard. What more could you possibly want at the end of the world?
Which pop queen is the empress of shade? The VH1 staff give their arguments in the video below: