“Dress You Up” by Madonna (1984)

“Dress You Up” was the fourth single release from Madonna’s Like A Virgin LP, and became a top 10 smash in the fall of 1985. Doesn’t sound like a big deal in 2018, right? Well, consider this; prior to “Dress You Up” hitting the top 10, only one other female artist had scored four top tens from the same album; Cyndi Lauper, who’d just scored her fourth top 10 from She’s So Unusual in early 1985 with “All Through The Night”.

One might think the pickin’s would be a little slim by the time the fourth single came around, but “Dress You Up” is a banger. I was hooked from the insistent thwack thwack thwack of the snare drum that opens the song. Nile Rodgers owns this song almost as much as Madonna does. Chic officially went kaput earlier in ‘84, and “Dress You Up”’s groove was so tight I thought it was one of Chic’s final grooves. Then I realized (as I was typing this entry) that Nile is the only member of Chic to play on the song. The rhythm guitar playing is sick.

Final fun fact: “Dress You Up” was one of the “Filthy 15” songs that Tipper Gore and her crew of housewives used to form the PMRC and eventually place warning stickers on music. Which is weird to me, because even for its time, “Dress You Up” doesn’t register as aggressively sexual. Not sure what Tipper and co were reading into those words, or what I’m not reading into them…

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