“Crazy For You” by Madonna (1985)

So as “Crazy for You” has been circling my mind, I’ve been wanting to write about how Madonna was this tough-as-nails New York chick and the reason “Crazy for You” hits so hard is because of the level of vulnerability Madge shows in her performance. And there’s validity to that. “Crazy for You” has a level of emotional tension that was not as present on Madonna’s work up to that point (and wouldn’t reappear until some of the more disconcerting songs on Like a Prayer). If your heart hasn’t melted by the time she murmurs the title phrase after the final chorus, you’ve got some emotions that you need to work out.

“Crazy for You” also hits so hard because it’s such a great marriage of songwriter, producer and vocalist. John Bettis had a nice roll as a lyricist in the early-mid ‘80s, between this song, MJ’s “Human Nature”, and the Growing Pains theme song. Producer Jellybean Benitez proved his bona fides beyond dance music, and Madonna not only got her first ballad hit and her second chart-topper, but she also garnered her first Grammy nomination behind “Crazy for You”. She lost to Whitney, but I don’t know…”Crazy for You” feels way more authentic to me than “Saving All My Love for You” does. Which isn’t to say the latter is a bad song. But there’s a difference between technical singing and emotional singing for sure. The latter goes a much longer way for me.

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