The Immaculate Collection

Music review by
Barbara Schultz, Common Sense Media
The Immaculate Collection Music Poster Image
Anthology showcases superstar's danceable hits.

Parents say

age 13+
Based on 2 reviews

Kids say

age 12+
Based on 1 review

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this music.

Positive Messages

As The Immaculate Collection is a hits compilation, organized chronologically, Madonna's attitude changes quite a bit from beginning to end of the album. The early track "Material Girl" ("We are living in a material world, and I am a material girl.") sent a superficial message that was almost more shocking to the public than the later unwed pregnancy song "Papa Don't Preach." However, tracks like "Express Yourself" insist that being independent is better than settling for a love that's "real."


Her songs morph from the synthy girl-froth of "Holiday" (1983) to the full-blown sexual provocation she pushed

Positive Role Models & Representations

When Madonna released her first record in 1983, many considered "Like a Virgin" overly sexual for music that was obviously meant to appeal to teens; many listeners also have said the gold-digging theme song "Material Girl" set the worst possible example for young girls. However, most of the songs on Immaculate Collection are simply danceable relationship songs (such as "Open Your Heart," "Into the Groove," and the quite suggestive "Justify My Love") in which the artist sings from a position of strength.


As far as Madonna albums go, The Immaculate Collection is mostly innocent, but everything's relative. "Like a Virgin" is about sex and love; the performer sings that she feels like she's been "touched for the very first time." In "Papa Don't Preach," the character in the song is an unwed mother who wants to keep her baby. The song "Justify My Love" is very suggestive, but not graphic, in tone and language, though the music video for this track -- which depicts gay and straight sexual encounters -- was banned from MTV when it was released in 1990.


The only overt example of consumerism in The Immaculate Collection is the early hit "Material Girl," where the artist sings in the persona of a superficial gold digger, as she sings, "... the boy with the cold hard cash is always Mister Right." In the memorable video for the song, Madonna imitates Marilyn Monroe's iconic performance of "Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend."

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Madonna's The Immaculate Collection is a hits compilation from a performer who has built a career on sometimes-provocative, synth-heavy dance songs. Over the years, Madonna's work has sometimes been more sexually explicit; only a couple of the songs in this collection are in any way suggestive, but grade-school kids who love these songs and dig deeper into her catalog, and especially her videos, may find material that's less appropriate.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent Written byBeatrix Kiddo-Orteza December 8, 2013

good, but not for kids

What? 12+, really? Have you watched justify my love? Or how about papa don't preach and like a virgin? Or how about Madonna's mockery of religion, the... Continue reading

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What's the story?

THE IMMACULATE COLLECTION compiles 17 of Madonna's most danceable hits, from 1983's "Holiday" through 1990's "Vogue." Also included are two tracks that were new for this album: the suggestive "Justify My Love" and "Rescue Me." Synth-heavy dance-pop rules here, though the performer's persona and singing style change quite a bit over the seven years represented on the album. Ironically (remembering the "Material Girl" video), the record is certified Diamond, and is the all-time best-selling hits collection by a solo artist.

Is it any good?

The Immaculate Collection provides a decent representation of Madonna's most popular music, and changing persona, through the first seven years of her career. Dance-pop is not everyone's favorite, but this will certainly appeal to fans of Madonna and that genre. Also worth noting is the degree to which Madonna's vocal style and range evolve over the course of this album. "Lucky Star" is very stylized, for example, whereas she uses her voice much more authentically on later songs such as "Like a Prayer."

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how Madonna's persona has changed since the beginning of her career. What do you imagine the person singing these songs is like in the early songs vs. later songs?

  • What does the song "Material Girl" say to you? Do you think singing a song like this is OK?

  • What do you think is the message of "Papa Don't Preach"?

Music details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love dance-pop

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