“Look around, everywhere you turn is heartache – it’s everywhere that you go.”
The opening lines from Madonna’s classic hit Vogue are still relevant today, and its acclaimed black and white video still feels as fresh and stylish as it did when it spent weeks on permanent rotation across all available music channels.
Vogue, spending its second week at Number 1 today in 1990, marked a new phase for Madonna. She had been around for just six years, yet her continued reinventions – a term she didn’t really embrace until her 2004 tour of the same name – afforded her a legendary status much sooner than some of her chart peers.
While Madonna was no stranger to dance music – her career was born on the dance floors of New York’s coolest discotheques – Vogue felt like she was changing lanes for good. Coming a mere year after the guitar-led pop of comeback album Like A Prayer, Vogue felt like a fresh direction.
With Shep Pettibone, who worked with her on the single remix of Express Yourself, which itself pretty much saved the way for Vogue’s laid-back house beats, Madonna scored her seventh chart-topper – it would be her last for almost eight years.
Here's Madonna is lip-synching for her life at the 1990 MTV Awards in a classic performance.
Vogue, packed with hooks and even a rap by the lady herself, ruled the Official Singles Chart for a whole month. And who toppled her? Superstar DJ Adams featuring a little-known vocalist (at the time) Seal, with the first version of Killer.
Vogue has sold 530,600 copies to land as Madonna’s 11th bestselling single in the UK.
So Madonna was striking a pose at Number 1 for all to see, but what was going on in the rest of the Top 10 this week in 1990?
2: Alannah Myles – Black Velvet
Canadian singer-songwriter Alannah Myles scored her one and only Top 40 hit with this rocky, gutsy number. The track spent six weeks in the Top 10 but never went any further than right here at Number 2.
3: Snap! – The Power
A debut hit – and former Number 1 for german dance outfit Snap! who’ve welcomed many members but here were fronted by rapper Turbo B and American singer Penny Ford. Although, as this was the ‘90s, someone else was miming Penny’s vocals for this track. Another Number 1 would come in 1992 with Rhythm Is A Dancer, where Turbo B would rap, iconically, that he was “serious as cancer” (that’s v serious btw).
ChartFact: Madonna knocked Snap! off Number 1, and her longtime backing singer Niki Haris would go on to record two hits with Snap! The biggest was 1993’s Exterminate.
4: UB40 – Kingston Town
A second week at Number 4 for the Birmingham reggae stars, who’ve amassed 17 UK Top 10s including three Number 1s: million-selling Red Red Wine (1983), I Got You Babe FT Chrissie Hynde (1985) and (I Can’t Help) Falling In Love With You (1993). All their Number 1s were covers, as was Kingston Town – though UB40’s version is the only one to chart.
5: Paula Abdul and The Wild Pair – Opposites Attract
A third Top 40 hit for US star choreographer Paula, Opposites Attract would go on to be her highest charting single in the UK, peaking at Number 2. The video memorably featured cool cartoon feline MC Skat Kat, who was so popular he would go on to have his own TV show! Paula, of course, would do on to find even bigger fame as a judge on American Idol, alongside best mate Simon Cowell.
This time last year…
It was a big week for dance duo Sigma, as they crashed in at Number 1 with debut chart hit Nobody To Love, meaning Vamps had to settle for Number 2 with Last Night. See the full top 100 fron this week in 2014, including new entries from Iggy Azalea FT Charli XCX, Saturdays and David Guetta.
Main image: REX Shutterstock