Madonna: burning up for our love

By Carol Anne Szel

As July hit the ground running with temperatures climbing into triple digits and  the NYC airwaves blasted Madonna’s “Burning Up,”  one can’t help recall the year this rebellious young woman hustled herself into the music scene and released her self-titled debut album in 1983.

That album which spawned her heat-driven,  dramatic yet whimsical, in-your-face musical style of this sensuous yet hard-edged singer.

We knew something big was happening, yet music fans were both puzzled and intrigued by Madonna. With John “Jellybean” Benitez at the helm, Madonna was on the scene. Very New York. Very urban.Very balls-to-the walls pop rock club house feel to her sound.

Having the now legendary tale of the days when the then struggling yet driven Madonna lived on popcorn and nightlife,  she carried a cassette tape of some tunes tucked in her… pocket?  And handed it out to anyone who seemed like they were anyone.  One night she edged her way up to the DJ booth, as legend has it, and shoved one tape into the hands of Jellybean.  The rest is musical history.

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