Madonna - Lucky Star (1983)
- 80's score: 1.39
"Lucky Star" is a song written and recorded by American singer Madonna for her eponymous debut album Madonna (1983). Sire ...
"Lucky Star" is a song written and recorded by American singer Madonna for her eponymous debut album Madonna (1983). Sire Records released it as the fourth single from the album on September 8, 1983. The song was produced by Reggie Lucas, but Madonna was not impressed by his final version. She called her then-boyfriend John "Jellybean" Benitez to remix the track according to her ideas. "Lucky Star" is a medium-paced dance track and combines the heavy beats of a drum with the sounds of a guitar played in a high riff. The lyrics juxtapose the male body with the heavenly stars in the sky.
Music critics praised the song, heralding it as the introduction to upbeat dance music. In the United States, "Lucky Star" was released after the success of "Borderline". It peaked at number four on the Billboard Hot 100, becoming the first single in her record-breaking string of 16 consecutive top-five hits. It also topped the Dance Club Songs chart with "Holiday". Internationally, "Lucky Star" reached the top ten in Canada, and the top twenty in Ireland and the United Kingdom.
The music video portrayed Madonna dancing in front of a white background, accompanied by her dancers. After the video was released, Madonna's style and mannerisms became a fashion trend among the younger generation. Scholars noted that in the video, Madonna portrayed herself as narcissistic and an ambiguous character. She referred to herself as the lucky star, unlike the lyrical meaning of the song. Madonna has performed the song in a number of live appearances, most recently at the Rebel Heart Tour (2015–16). It has also been covered by a number of artists.
The music video was directed by Arthur Pierson, and was produced by Glenn Goodwin, while Wayne Isham was in charge of photography. At the time of the song's release, Madonna's style of dress was catching on as a fashion statement among club kids and her fans. The most prominent among her fashion accessories were the crucifixes she wore as earrings, necklaces and bangles. Madonna commented that wearing a rosary and a crucifix is "kind of offbeat and interesting. I mean, everything I do is sort of tongue-in-cheeks. Besides, the crucifixes seem to go with my name." In reality, she was trying to find a separate image for herself, being inspired by then artists like Boy George, Cyndi Lauper and David Bowie, and their constantly shifting image and persona. Madonna realized the importance of her music videos and its popularity via MTV—launched in 1981—was instrumental in popularizing her image.
The sign for Madonna's fashion started with the music video for "Lucky Star". In the video, Madonna wore an all-black outfit with leggings, ankle boots, and bare midriff, with her messy hair tied in a floppy black ribbon. This was coupled with a shiny black miniskirt, an earring on her right ear, cut-off gloves and rubber bangles. Madonna's friend Erika Belle was credited with designing the outfit, although biographer Mary Cross noted that Madonna was after all wearing her day-to-day outfit. Mary Lambert, then a Rhode Island School of Design graduate, was decided for directing the video. However, Arthur Pierson replaced her as the director. Warner Bros. gave Pierson a small budget to make the video, shot in an afternoon. Madonna's real-life brother, Christopher Ciccone, is a backup dancer in the video. In his book Life with My Sister Madonna he says that although he was only paid $200 to dance in the video, at the time he was "just happy to be part of it." The video starts with the close-up of Madonna's face, as she slides her sunglasses down her nose. This scene was a reference to the character of Lolita in Stanley Kubrick's 1962 film of the same name, and Audrey Hepburn in the movie Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961). The image then fades to white, denoting the celestial stars dazzle, and then resumes itself in color. Madonna is shown dancing against a plain white background, along with closeups of her mesmerized gaze. She is accompanied by Belle and brother Christopher, as backup dancers. The video ends with the initial black-and-white image repeated, but in retrograde, as Madonna puts back on the sunglasses. The taking down and putting up of those sunglasses provided a frame to contain the song, functioning like a curtain that marks the opening and closing of a stage performance.