Blame the whole Ray of Light rediscover, but I am REALLY into "Drowned World/Substitute For Love" right now. I have, in the past, voiced my displeasure with this incarnation of Madonna because she was so damn serious all the time. Now, I long for a tenth of the depth.
(from The Confessions Tour - hands down the best live performance of this song.)
This song opened The Drowned World Tour as well - and I have always thought it was one of her least inspired opening performances.
What I love about this song, in addition to its take on the choices me make in life and how so many people choose things over real relationships is it's obscure reference to the J.G. Ballard book The Drowned World - a reference I still don't entirely get but what the hell. I checked that book out from the U of Iowa Main Library back around the time that Ray Of Light was released, but it never hooked me. Years later, I'm wanting to read the book again, but finding it is not easy. It's available on Amazon, but it's pricier than I think a paperback should be, and it is (naturally) not at the Ames Library. This is what I look forward to with Kindle or whatever e-reader comes to dominate the market. No matter what, there should be no reason for a book to go out of print ever again. That same logic should apply to music as well, but there is still so much out of print that I sometimes can hardly fathom it.
The reason I am so hard on Madonna these days is because it is songs like these that prove to me that she knows better than she is letting on these days.
Now I must go try to chase down sleep. It is an elusive beast these days.
EDIT: Watching that video just reminds me of how absolutely beautiful she was on that tour. Muscular, yet curvy. Strong, yet also delicate. Unmistakably feminine. Perfection.