As 1985 began, Ronald Reagan was president and Joe Montana’s San Francisco 49ers were about to win the Super Bowl. If you turned on the radio, there was a good chance you would hear something from Bruce Springsteen’s Born in the U.S.A or Madonna’s Like a Virgin. The releases were #1 and #2 on the Billboard 200 album chart for four weeks in January and February of that year.
Fast-forward 34 years, and the Boss and the Material Girl share the top two spots on the chart for the first time since then. Madonna’s Madame X debuted at #1 and Springsteen’s Western Stars debuted at #2. Madonna’s new effort is her ninth #1 and 22nd top 10, while Springsteen’s latest offering is his 20th top 10.
Madame X is more than just the title of Madonna’s new album - it’s an alter ego and her latest effort to reinvent herself.
“Madame X is a secret agent traveling around the world, changing identities, fighting for freedom, bringing light to dark places,” she explained as she announced her 14th studio album.
Springsteen went to a place he never went before for the inspiration behind Western Stars. He wears many cowboy hats on a collection of songs he said were influenced by 70s Southern California pop.
“This record is a return to my solo recordings featuring character driven songs and sweeping, cinematic orchestral arrangements. It's a jewel box of a record."