“Into the Groove” by Madonna

Madonna is not widely known as “the Queen of Pop” for nothing. As far as the late 20th century is concerned, she has mastered the art of the dance song in a way that countless others have since emulated. And “Into the Groove” can be considered a classic example of one of the pieces which have elevated her into such a standing. 

You can view the lyrics, alternate interprations and sheet music for Madonna's Into the Groove at Lyrics.org.

Lyrics of “Into the Groove”

The song features the two elements which have come to perennially define these types of tracks from a lyrical standpoint. First and foremost is an encouragement to dance and secondly a romantic interest in someone on the dance floor. 

In fact Madonna had written this piece as being partially inspired by a certain pretty dude she was feeling. And that would be why the addressee is specifically identified as a “boy” whom the vocalist is into.

And taking into consideration that this is in fact Madonna, it can be argued that certain lyrics have a sexual innuendo. However, what she is really challenging said addressee to do is ‘prove his love’ for her on the dance floor. Or putting the previous sentence more comprehensively, the vocalist wants to get close to the addressee alright, however most explicitly on the dance floor, sorta implying in a dirty dancing kind of way.

Or put differently yet again, Madonna can be deemed a clubhead, i.e. someone who takes the act of dancing more seriously than just an occasional hobby. So to her, one of the standards which would define an ideal partner is someone who can likewise let go and ‘feel free’ as the music takes him. And such is what she is encouraging the addressee to do via the titular instruction to “get into the groove”. 

Furthermore, we can further postulate that if instead he shows himself as being akin to a wallflower, then chances are he won’t be getting any play from the vocalist.

All in All

So yes, when you take the amorous element into consideration, this song can be considered a tad adult-oriented. But focusing on that element kinda defeats the point, as the lyrics don’t read as if Madonna is using dancing as a metaphor for sex. 

No dear reader, verily she wants the addressee to represent on the dance floor itself. And once he ‘proves’ himself in that regard then, based on the logic of the narrative, she will consider taking things further on the romantic tip.

Lyrics of Madonna's "Into the Groove"

“Desperately Seeking Susan”

Madonna is not only an A+ list musician, but she also starred in a few major motion pictures back in the day. The second (and first truly notable one) entry in her filmography is a 1985 movie entitled Desperately Seeking Susan, in which the Queen of Pop co-starred alongside Hollywood actress Rosanna Arquette. 

“Into the Groove” actually debuted as part of said film. However, its official release date was later in the year, on 15 July 1985.

Warner Bros. and Sire Records included it as a bonus track on the international reissue of Madonna’s second album, Like a Virgin.

Did Madonna write “Into the Groove”?

Madonna wrote this song herself, alongside another musician named Stephen Bray, whom she was dating at the time. And the two of them also produced this track. Also to note, the piece was originally intended for another female singer who was poppin’ at the time named Cheyne. But the reason Madonna ultimately opted to keep “Into the Groove” and record it herself was because she thought it would fit well into the context of Desperately Seeking Susan.

There are two primary inspirations behind “Into the Groove”. The first is dance. To be precise, Madonna was inspired by ‘the freedom she always feels when she’s dancing’. Secondly, Madonna was encouraged to write this song due to being romantically infatuated with one of her Puerto Rican neighbors at the time.

Madonna discusses "Into the Groove"

Madonna, Stephen Bray and co. recorded this song at a facility in Philadelphia known as Sigma Sound Studios.

Success of “Into the Groove”

Madonna has dropped innumerable hits, but this one holds a special place in her discography. This is because it was the first (of many) of her tracks to top the UK Singles Chart. Moreover when it appeared on said listing, it debuted at number four, which at that moment in history was the highest a female artist had ever debuted on the UK Singles Chart.

“Into the Groove” was also a major international success. It reached number 1 in over a dozen countries, including on the US Dance Club Songs chart. This is on top of charting in over 20 nations overall. 

However, to note this track did not appear on the Billboard Hot 100 itself. At that time, it was ineligible to do so due to the fact that in the United States it came out as the B-side to another Madonna track entitled “Angel”. (Or as alluded to earlier, “Into the Groove” was never officially released as a single in the United States.)

Below is a list of countries where this classic hit the number 1 spot:

  • Australia
  • Austria
  • Iceland
  • Ireland
  • Netherlands
  • New Zealand
  • Spain
  • United Kingdom
Into the Groove

More Facts

“Into the Groove” has been a recurring feature on Madonna’s setlists throughout the years. But one notable performance of the song came during the historical Live Aid concert of 1985. The song was one of three tunes she performed at the event. The other two songs she performed during that event were:

  • “Holiday”
  • “Love Makes the World Go Round”

According to the legend behind this song, Madonna made up the bridge on the fly, as Stephen Bray was having trouble coming up with one himself. And to note, upon conception of this track, the songstress was apparently under the impression that it wouldn’t be a hit.

“Into the Groove” has been sampled or covered a few times throughout the years, outside of Madonna herself for the most part by relatively unknown artists. However, the tune did make headlines, indirectly, in late 2021 when it was sampled by Canadian rapper Tory Lanez. 

And whereas Lanez himself may not necessarily be an A lister, the reason his sampling created such a buzz is because Madonna went about personally accusing him, quite publicly, of doing so without her permission. However, in the process, she also noted that initially she reached out to Tory privately concerning the matter yet received no response. This caused her to semi-spaz in a more overt manner.

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