Madonna is a chameleon. She blends in with her environment perfectly, reinventing and adapting constantly, always willing to try new things and evolve. One of the ways in which she changes is by changing the color of her hair. LIke many women before her a woman´s hair is part of the trademark. We will go into a deeper exploration of females and their hairstyles in another post but for now lets take a look at Madonna and her hair dyed black phase. ´Blonde Ambition´ was the name of Madonna´s third world concert tour, today we are going to look at 3 videos she did while trying on her black hair look.
From her 5th album ´Erotica´ we chose the song Rain.
Rain – Madonna
The song was released in 1993. It was written and produced by Madonna and Shep Pettibone. This was her fifth album and it was released in 1992. It was also released by Maverick Records (Madonna´s record and film production company founded in 1992 and active until 2008). She released the album along with the her controversial first book Sex (we found this which shows the contents of that book). Erotica is considered a concept album centered around sex and sexuality. I remember the controversy and scandal surrounding all this, which seems like ages ago now. Things have and have not changed in that area, and I don’t want to get into an argument, but people are still shocked when it comes to celebrities and artists talking about sex. Although critics called it adventurous and it was generally well received, it was her first studio album not to top the chart. It includes great tracks such as ‘Deeper and Deeper’ and the one we feature here.
I think Madonna was a pioneer in the way female artists displayed their sexuality to the public. She had a say in how she was going to be portrayed by the music industry, she was not a naive puppet. She realized they were going to merchandize her sex appeal and she wanted in on it, she wanted to be a part of shaping the audience perception of her. I don’t know if aesthetically I would call it ground breaking or magnificent, but at least she tackled the issue straightforwardly. Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera and Miley Cyrus grew up post-Madonna, and have a lot to thank her for breaking barriers and confronting taboos and it took a lot of brains and courage and character to do so. I will forever respect Madonna for that.
Her following album was Bedtime Stories, which includes hits like ´Take a Bow´ and my favorite Madonna song: Secret. It also includes this great song and video:
Human Nature – Madonna
This album was released in 1994 also by Maverick Records. She goes into an R&B direction to try and clean her image after the controversy created by Erotica. I chose this song because I love the video, it´s a great track, and it is also her reply to everyone regarding Erotica. The song was written and produced by Madonna and Dave Hall, the video although it is inspired by bondage images, is meant to be more humourous than sexy. I really don’t have a lot to say about this album. It was commercially successful but nothing extraordinary.
Her seventh studio album is Ray of Light. It was released in 1998 by Maverick Records. With this album she goes back to pop and dance, with elements of Electronic music (you can hear that clearly in her single Ray of light). The album was a success for critics and also commercially, and it was number one in at least 17 countries. Frozen was the lead single released for this album, in February 1998. The video was directed by Chris Cunningham. It is enchanting and captivating. I personally love it.
Frozen – Madonna
We have 5 more albums to go, 2 of which I really love and there are videos I can’t wait to revisit. As for Madonna in black hair? I find it rude to say blondes are dumb, but I also find it interesting that 4 of
Madonna´s most interesting songs (these 3 here and LIke a Prayer) were while she was in her dark hair phase. Coincidence?