“Vogue” is a song by American singer-songwriter Madonna from her soundtrack album I’m Breathless (Music from and Inspired by the film Dick Tracy) and was released on March 20, 1990, by Sire Records. Madonna was inspired by vogue dancers and choreographers Jose and Luis Xtravaganza from the Harlem “House Ball” community, the origin of the dance Vogue, and they introduced “Vogueing” to her at the New York City club “Sound Factory”. Jose Xtravaganza is featured in the Historic Art Documentary How Do I Look, directed by Wolfgang Busch. The song also appears on the 1990 greatest hits compilation The Immaculate Collection and Madonna’s third greatest hits album, Celebration (2009).
“Vogue” is an upbeat dance-pop and house song. Noted to contain influences of deep house, it is a contemporary track which followed the trends of dance music in the 1990s; nevertheless, it has strong influences of 70s disco within its composition. The song also contains a spoken section, in which the singer namechecks various golden era Hollywood celebrities. Lyrically, the song is about enjoying oneself on the dance floor no matter who one is, and it contains a theme of escapism. Critically, “Vogue” has been met with appreciation ever since its release; reviewers have praised its anthemic nature, calling it a funky and catchy song, and listed it as one of the singer’s musical highlights. Critics also noticed that the song, which bears strong resemblances to classic disco music, was still successful despite the genre’s commercial death several years before. The song also won several music awards. Commercially, the song remains one of Madonna’s biggest international hits, topping the charts in over 30 countries, including Australia, Canada, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States. It became the world’s best-selling single of 1990, selling over six million copies.
The music video for “Vogue”, directed by David Fincher, showed Madonna paying homage to numerous golden era Hollywood actresses. Shot in black-and-white, the video takes stylistic inspiration from the 1920s and 30s; in it, Madonna and her dancers can be seen voguing different choreographed scenes. Critics noted the way in which Madonna used her postmodern influence to expose an underground subcultural movement to the masses. The video has been ranked as one of the greatest of all times in different critic lists and polls, and won three awards at the 1990 MTV Video Music Awards out of a total of nine nominations.
Madonna has performed the song in five of her tours, as well as the 1990 MTV Video Music Awards and at her performance during the half-time show of Super Bowl XLVI. The song has also been covered numerous times by different artists, such as The Chipettes in their album Club Chipmunk: The Dance Mixes; it also featured on the soundtrack of The Devil Wears Prada, as well as in “The Power of Madonna” episode of the Fox show Glee. Writers and critics have noted the video and the song’s influence in bringing an underground subculture into mainstream popular culture through the postmodern nature of her power and influence, as well as the way in which it followed a new trend in which dance music enjoyed widespread popularity. The song, which has been included in several critic lists as one of the greatest of the decade, as well as its accompanying video, have been attributed as bringing voguing as well as house music mainstream, with the former becoming one of the decade’s major dance crazes.
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