The four-album run is a staple of rock music history: If you’re a band or solo artist widely considered capital G Great, you probably at some point in your career dropped four albums back-to-back-to-back-to-back that people cite as an impressively consistent body of brilliant music.
• The Rolling Stones: Beggars Banquet, Let It Bleed, Sticky Fingers, and Exile on Main Street
• The Pixies: Surfer Rosa, Doolittle, Bossanova, Trompe le Monde
• Radiohead: The Bends, OK Computer, Kid A, and Amnesiac. (In this case, the last two act as a duology of brilliance within the band’s tetralogy of classics. That’s why dweebs love Radiohead!)
• EPMD: Strictly Business, Unfinished Business, Business as Usual, and Business Never Personal.
• Led Zeppelin: Led Zeppelin through Led Zeppelin IV.
What does this have to do with Madonna, the artist whom you originally thought you’d clicked on this article to read about?
Well, Madonna is part of the aforementioned exclusive subset of Capital G Great artists posited above (obviously), so does she have a run of four brilliant albums in a row to her name? Yes! Her first four studio albums: Madonna, Like a Virgin, True Blue, and Like a Prayer.
The news about Madge today is that she’s about to reissue her first four albums on crystal clear vinyl, so you would think I’d be rejoicing. Instead, however, I am steamed. Instead of coherently reissuing Madonna’s entire intact four-album run, the jabronis at Madonna, Inc. have decided to count the 1987 Who’s That Girl? soundtrack album as Madonna’s fourth album, even though it’s actually a various artists deal with only four Madonna songs.
Is this a tragedy? No. Is it a weird way to approach reissuing classic Madonna material? This reporter thinks so!
The reissues will be out November 8 via Rhino, and they coincide with the start of Madonna’s Madame X tour, for which there are frankly just too many dates, including a high number of multi-night stands in major cities.
Anyway, pre-order the albums here, blah blah blah, here’s another mismatched Simpsons reference: