4: Express Yourself (1989)
At the time of its release, in 1989, the Express Yourself single boasted the most expensive music video in history, and every penny of its reported $2 million budget can be seen in its Metropolis-inspired sequences. As the second single lifted from the Like A Prayer album, Express Yourself, written with Stephen Bray (co-composer of some of Madonna’s other hits from the period, such as Into The Groove and Angel), has all the ingredients of classic 80s Madonna. The eroticism is dialled up to max here, with steamier offerings such as Justify My Love and Erotica just around the corner, but for now the sex was bathed in an accessible, Technicolor gloss that was very much of Madonna’s making. “I oversaw everything,” she said at the time “… the building of the sets, everyone’s costumes… casting, finding the right cat”. One of the best Madonna promo videos of the era, Express Yourself marked Madonna’s first collaboration with film director David Fincher, who would go on to lens Gone Girl and huge 90s hits Seven and Fight Club.