The visionary Queen of Pop celebrates a career milestone with FINALLY ENOUGH LOVE: 50 NUMBER ONES a greatest hits remix package and retrospective of the pop-music/dance revolution 40 years in the making, and still going strong!
Four decades which is incredibly difficult to believe, Madonna has devoted her career in music to moving her fans to dance and sing, to get up and do their thing. It’s a simple enough call to action for an artist that has depended on the club scene, and inevitably sought the most inspiration from wildly gyrating and getting into the groove. For Madonna, music was truly a revelation, and it must have moved her on a spiritual level. On the dance floor, she opened her heart, expressed herself, and showed a ray of light that has lit the way for innovation in a genre that many in the industry relegated to just a trivial decadence, but 50 number-one hits later…
And in all actuality, 50 just seems like a restrictive calibration in order to fit the order of a 3-disc set that is a historical reference and evolution of the remix. Madonna’s FINALLY ENOUGH LOVE: 50 NUMBER ONES is the artist’s curation of her career chart-toppers that rose effervescently to the top of Billboard’s Dance Music charts. For the Bay City, Michigan transplant that found a whole new world awaiting her in the art scene and bowels of the New York City underground club culture, it felt effortless to spin hooks and hits for those enraptured crowds. After all, Madonna emerged from that scene courting DJs to play her demo, and when they did, it was instant euphoria.
In the beginning, Madonna was hardly perceived as a formidable force in popular music. Her label didn’t even immediately put her face on her first vinyl releases and it wasn’t until “Holiday” hit the charts, that she started to make the rounds to promote her music and her image connected with her audience and they started to get glimpses of Madonna when “Everybody” started appearing in circulation on MTV. The combination of r&b, disco, and euro-synth all contributed to a sound that was definable “Madonna” and her presence on the dance floor encouraged DJs to extend her tracks beyond the edits for radio, prolonging her influence and her command of the beats per minute.
While critics stumbled over themselves to brand Madonna a “one-hit wonder” she defied convention at every turn. As is evidenced on the first disc of Finally Enough Love which charts the make and rise of the icon. The first seven tracks, most of which appeared on her first two albums prove an ability on her part to craft hooks, within the musical arrangements of the percussion and beats per minute that have a movement of incomparable versatility. “Like A Virgin” and “Material Girl” shouldn’t work as club hits, but in the 80s the two tracks were among the most requested and spoke to wanna-bees who saw themselves represented. “Into The Groove” is undoubtedly the track that elevated her credibility.
And by the time “Open Your Heart” was released (from Madonna’s third full-length album True Blue) it displayed a relentless joyful spirit that was buoyed by a provocative music video and allowed the track to stand out among the crowded spectrum of its pop music contemporaries. Madonna followed up the success of True Blue with her first remix compilation, You Can Dance many of its best cuts are featured on Finally Enough Love as separate edits and remastered for the first time. The album’s setlist was personally curated by Madonna and the remastering of each track was accomplished by Mike Dean whom audio engineered and mastered all the tracks on Madonna’s Madame X album.
The polish given to many of these complex recordings, many of which are amplified productions meant to resonate off of the inside of a wall-off, multi-speaker space, is a feat all of its own. That fifty of these tracks were re-engineered from their masters for this release is astounding! The crispness and dimension applied to “Everybody” (You Can Dance Remix Edit) is pristine and gives depth to the track, making it every bit as contemporary-feeling as Madonna’s later remixed hits. Finally Enough Love revitalizes the early hits and punctuates the artist’s first decade which is solidified with “Vogue” (Single Version) included in this package.
You Can Dance
After experiencing the hits reverberating off of disc-one in the full-length 3-disc set, the listener is dropped into the rushing rapids of an unparalleled musical education. The 90s were a game changer for Madonna who was available to experiment and reinvent her musicality, and like a chameleon blend into the environment, assessing what was hot and trending (before the word was even cool). As exampled in the remixes for “Justify My Love” (Orbit Edit) and “Erotica” (Underground Club Mix), Madonna was interviewing new and emerging talent. William Orbit would have a profound impact collaborating on her hit album Ray Of Light which elevated the art of electronica to new heights.
Fast forward to the late 90s and the start of a new millennium, the club circuit was ruled by more muscular and darker beats reflective of the sexually-charged big rooms commanded by the likes of Junior Vasquez, Victor Calderone, and Peter Rauhofer. Their throws on the hits, recalibrated the remix and DJs became producers, and celebrities followed across the country. DJ Tracy Young, one of the only female remixers/DJs/producers on the circuit effortlessly turned an original Madonna track into a rhythmic pleasure. Check out Young’s unreleased “Nothing Fails” (Tracy Young’s Underground Radio Edit) featured here, off of American Life. Young’s Grammy-winning “I Rise” is also a stand-out.
The argument of who elevated who, could go on for all eternity, but if not for Madonna’s musical acuity to recognize the potential in a producer/collaborator and her ability to wield control, while relenting for the sake of the beats per minute and have the sensibility to understand what her audience will respond to on the dance floor, the remix — and inevitably this collection — wouldn’t have the relevancy it has; that it deserves. Finally Enough Love is fittingly the best title for this greatest hits catalog. That it marks 50 Number One Billboard Dance Hits, is a remarkable achievement, especially from an artist regarded once as just a one-hit wonder! NOT!
FINALLY ENOUGH LOVE: 50 Number Ones (2022 Remasters) | by Madonna | is available now on iTunes and most major Digital Music Stores. Download from iTunes here. The album is available on the market in multiple formats.
The Greatest Hits compilation is available in various collectible formats including a digital album release on August 19. A 3-CD set ($29.98) and limited edition, 6-LP on vinyl ($149.98) exclusively available on-line. A 16-track version of Finally Enough Love has also been released. The full-length 50-track edition boasts more than 220 minutes of remixes spanning Madonna’s career and productions by some of the most influential DJ/remix producers of all time including Shep Pettibone, William Orbit, Honey Dijon, and Avicii, and collaborations with Britney Spears, Nicki Minaj, and Justin Timberlake.