Madonna - Into The Groove (1985)
- 80's score: 2.96
“Into the Groove” is a song recorded by American singer Madonna for the 1985 film Desperately ...
“Into the Groove” is a song recorded by American singer Madonna for the 1985 film Desperately Seeking Susan. It was featured on the re-issue of her second studio album, Like a Virgin (1984), outside North America. Sire Records released it on July 15, 1985, as the album’s fourth single. Madonna’s inspiration behind the song was the dance floor, and she wrote it while watching a handsome Puerto Rican man, across her balcony. Initially written for her friend Mark Kamins, Madonna later decided to use it as the soundtrack of the film Desperately Seeking Susan.
“Into the Groove” consists of instrumentation from synthesizers and drum machines. Madonna’s voice is double tracked in the chorus; the song also consists of musical contrasts, overdubs, and Madonna’s voice in lower register during the bridge. The lyrics of the song are simple, written as an invitation to dance with the singer. However, it carries sexual innuendos and undertones in the meaning. The song received positive response from music critics, and was a commercial success. “Into the Groove” topped the record charts in Australia, Belgium, Ireland, Japan, Netherlands, New Zealand, Spain, and became her first number-one song in the United Kingdom. The track was only available as the B-side of the 12-inch single of “Angel” in the United States, therefore it was ineligible to chart on the Billboard Hot 100 at the time. “Into the Groove” has appeared on three Madonna compilations: in a remixed form on You Can Dance (1987), The Immaculate Collection (1990) and in its original form on Celebration (2009).
A music video, consisting of clips from the film, was released to accompany the song. The song has been performed by Madonna in most of her concert tours, most recently on the Rebel Heart Tour in 2015–2016. “Into the Groove” has been covered by a number of artists, including Australian singer Dannii Minogue, who combined the song with her single “Don’t Wanna Lose This Feeling”. By the end of the 1980s, “Into the Groove” was honored by Billboard magazine as the Dance Single of the Decade.
Ever since its release, “Into the Groove” has received critical acclaim. J. Randy Taraborrelli, author of Madonna: An Intimate Biography, said that the song demonstrated Madonna’s ability to create infectious dance music. Rikky Rooksby, author of Madonna: the complete guide to her music, said that “‘Into the Groove’ will make you feel like you’re a winner either way. And that’s one of the best things pop music can do for ya. [It’s] Madonna’s first great single.” Clive Barker and Simon Trussler, authors of New Theatre Quarterly, felt that the song was the first disco-anthem of the 1980s.
Toby Cresswell, author of 1001 Songs: The Great Songs of All Time and the Artists, Stories and Secrets, said that the song is a “sweet, limited white tune on the top, and there’s Madonna – all the right-shop chic – dragging the straight world into this subterranean paradise. All the magic of the eighties is right here.” Matthew Rettenmund, author of Totally Awesome 80s: A Lexicon of the Music, Videos, Movies, TV Shows, Stars, and Trends of that Decadent Decade, declared “Into the Groove” as the ultimate 1980s song and felt that it “cemented Madonna’s place as the dancing queen of the era”. Dawn Keetley and John Pettigrew, authors of Public Women, Public Words: A Documentary History of American Feminism, called it a “mesmerizing theme song”.
Santiago Fouz-Hernández and Freya Jarman-Ivens, authors of Madonna’s drowned worlds: new approaches to her cultural transformations, commented that the song “taunted playfully”. Sal Cinquemani from Slant Magazine ranked it at twenty-nine on the list of “100 Greatest Dance Songs”. He commented: “It’s hard to imagine the most famous woman in the world dancing alone in her bedroom at night, locking the doors so ‘no one else can see’ (as she sings on ‘Groove’), even 20 years ago, but you can’t help but believe her. The song—and Madonna’s performance—are that good.” Alfred Soto from Stylus commented that “‘Into the Groove’ itself is as much wish-fulfillment as ‘Crazy For You’. Austin Scaggs from Rolling Stone commented that the song had “an amazing bassline”.
By the end of the 1980s, “Into the Groove” was honored by Billboard magazine as the “Dance Single of the Decade”. In 2003, Madonna fans were asked to vote for their top-twenty Madonna singles of all-time by Q magazine; “Into the Groove” was allocated the number-three spot. In 2009, the song was ranked at ninety on Blender magazine’s “The 500 Greatest Songs Since You Were Born”. Billboard ranked the song number three on a 2015 list of Madonna’s top 15 best songs, calling it “the Madonna club track.” In 2015 the song was voted by the British public as the nation’s 19th favourite 1980s number one in a poll for ITV. Pitchfork Media named “Into the Groove” the 17th best song from the 1980s.
In the United States, due to similar problems with “Crazy for You” and “Material Girl” being released at the same time and competing with each other, it was decided against releasing “Into the Groove” as a 7″ single so it would not compete with “Angel”, the third single from the Like a Virgin. “Into the Groove” was eventually released as the B-side to the maxi-single of “Angel”, therefore it was ineligible to enter the Billboard Hot 100 or Hot Singles Sales charts. The song debuted at number 40 on Hot Dance Club Songs chart, as a double A-side with “Angel”, on the issue dated June 1, 1985. After four weeks, it reached the top of the chart and also reached number 19 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. “Into the Groove” is Madonna’s most played song on Billboard’s Recurrent Airplay Chart. On July 30, 1985, “Angel/Into the Groove” was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) for shipment of one million copies across the US—the requirement for a gold single prior to 1989. It was the first 12-inch single to be certified gold since Frankie Smith’s “Double Dutch Bus” (1981). The song placed at number 12 on the Dance year-end charts and sold approximately 600,000 copies of the 12″; it also reached number-one on the Hot Dance Singles Sales chart.
“Into the Groove” debuted on the UK Singles Chart at number four, on the chart dated July 27, 1985, becoming the highest debuting single for any female artist in the history of the chart at that time. It reached the top of the chart and stayed there for four weeks, and was present for a total of 14 weeks on the chart. The song was Madonna’s first number-one single in United Kingdom. During its stay at number-one, Madonna’s first UK hit “Holiday” was at number-two position. This made her the first female artist in UK chart history to hold the top-two positions of the chart simultaneously. “Into the Groove” was certified gold by the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) for shipment of 500,000 copies of the single. It has sold 957,000 copies there as of August 2018, and is Madonna’s biggest selling song in the country. The song was the third biggest selling UK single of 1985, behind Jennifer Rush’s “The Power of Love” and Elaine Paige’s and Barbara Dickson’s “I Know Him So Well”. In Australia, “Into the Groove” charted as a combined single with “Angel” and reached the top of the Kent Music Report chart. It was the second-highest selling single of 1985 in Australia. Across Europe, Oceania and Africa, the song was able to reach the top of the charts in Belgium, Ireland, Netherlands, New Zealand and Spain, and inside the top five in France, Germany, Norway, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland and European Hot 100 Singles chart. According to Music & Media magazine the song had sold around 1.5 million copies by September 1985.