It’s time for a long-awaited announcement. For a the first couple days, our final poll between Crazy in Love and Say My Name was a close match, but with a little extra time to vote, our winner pulled further and further ahead for a clear 17-10 victory.
As a quick aside, if you have the means to search and watch it, you may enjoy an SNL clip that references both of our finalists. Find the season finale of this past season, and watch the first sketch – a Solange and Jay Z skit (with a special appearance by Maya Rudolph as Queen Bey). It’s so worth it.
Okay, so now what you’ve all been waiting for. Readers, our collective-favourite Beyoncé single of all time is…
This performance is missing Jay, but it feels the most celebratory. Please do not miss her Gnarles Barkley quote at 2:10. I think what impresses me most is that we continue to completely embrace a song whose hook includes reference to a pager. I mean, a pager. Could you choose a more dated piece of technology? And not dated in a cool, vintage, ironic/nostalgic kind of way, like say, a cassette tape. Perhaps it helps that the pager reference was already a little dated when Crazy in Love was first released. Anyway, whatever the reason, we absolutely love it, pager reference and all. Let’s take a look at the journey this song took to get here, shall we?
Once establishing itself as a contender with some easy wins early on, CiL rose as the favourite track in the collaboration bracket with little competition. In the semi-finals, it had to take on the current single with real time radio-play, Drunk in Love. But nostalgia won out, and the 2003 single went up against our favourite Destiny’s Child single, Say My Name. I have to admit, I saw Crazy in Love in my final four, but I did not believe it would face off well against my other choices, none of which made it past the sweet 16. How did your predictions go?
After more than 5 months of listening to nearly no one else other than Beyoncé on my stereo and headphones, I think I may be ready to get excited about some new music. I’ll try to keep you posted.
Thanks to everyone who voted! Feel free to participate in the poll on the side bar to decide what album I should blog about next.
I’ll leave you with one final cover of our fave Bey track by the Brit, Emeli Sande. You may recognize it from The Great Gatsby soundtrack.
So yes, I do realize that we are a bit of a stone’s throw from anything resembling the month of March, but I have had more than a bit going on in my personal life. You know, nothing major or anything. I’m about to be married next week, and my wife-to-be and I just accepted jobs that will move us across the country, so you could say that I’ve had some things on my mind. However, tickets for Beyoncé and Jay Z’s On The Run tour go on pre-sale tomorrow, and I am feeling slightly more focussed. So I do apologize for leaving you hanging for so long on this tournament. Hopefully this amazing final four will be enough for you forgive me.
First up, we have the Destiny’s Child winner, Say My Name challenging your pick for the solo career, Love On Top. I have to admit, I don’t have a ton to say about these songs anymore. They’re amazing, and to be honest, they both surprised the heck out of me to make it this far. The 3rd and 8th seed in their respective brackets, these tracks have had some tough fights, but both found themselves pretty easily knocking out their Elite Eight contenders to be here. May the best song win.
Next we have what is easily my favourite thing to have happened here on Beyoncé Madness to date. How appropriate for two power couple collabs to make it to the final four, and then for them to face-off. Of these two songs, released exactly 10 years apart, only one can represent in the final poll. Either way, they’re in love – the question you have to ask yourselves is, do you prefer them Drunk or Crazy? No crunk allowed. I wish you the best of luck with this decision.
Sorry for the wait, but we are finally down to having only two songs for each quadrant. 8 great songs, 4 hard choices. Let’s get right down to it, shall we? Click on the song titles to open a new page that links to the videos, in case you need a refresher.
We begin with our two apparently favourite Destiny’s Child tracks, both of which barely beat out their last competitors. SURVIVOR (which ain’t gon’ give up, it’s not gon’ stop, it’s gon’ work harder) or SAY MY NAME (if you ain’t runnin games, you better say it’s name) – what’s it gon’ be?
One decision you don’t have to worry about making is whether or not our favourite collaboration is with Jay Z, because our two finalists are both team JayBey. ’03 BONNIE & CLYDE (down the road to the very end, it’s Beyoncé and her boyfriend) or CRAZY IN LOVE (got me lookin’ so crazy right now, this choice got me lookin’ so crazy right now).
As we move chronologically through Beyoncé’s history, we come to the remaining solo singles, which have both seemed to have a fairly easy road to this point, generally winning their match-ups by a handful of votes at minimum. I’m hoping that means a close race between LOVE ON TOP (the one that gives it’s all, the one you can always call) and SINGLE LADIES (if you liked it then you better put your vote on it).
And finally, last but certainly not least, your favourite tracks from the newest album. While the first of these two has been a clear favourite, ahead of its competition by decent margins, the second has been in some of the closest polls of the entire bracket. Anything could happen now that ***FLAWLESS (It woke up like this) will go up against DRUNK IN LOVE (surfboard).
The Sweet Sixteen are finally poll-ready! Check out the updated brackets here: sweet16bracket.
As a heads up, these decisions just get more and more difficult from here on out. I’ve already received some threats to end friendships, and even a couple to my personal health and safety. Still, I’m a grown woman, and I am determined to do whatever I want, and what I want is to see these brackets to the bitter end. For now I’ll just ask that you help me narrow each category down to two tracks. You won’t have quite as long to vote on these, so make sure you get around to it before Tuesday, March 26th.
From the new album we have the amazing and danceable bonus track, Grown Woman, up against the empowering and badass ***Flawless. I don’t even know what I’ll personally vote for on this one. Then in the other corner, we have another sexy-off. Partition barely beat out Rocket by just one vote, and now it’s up against the remix and radio friendly Drunk in Love.
Grown Woman (1)
In collab-land, three singles from 2003 have stuck it out till now. Baby Boy – the Sean Paul feature with that infectious dance hall flavour – and ’03 Bonnie & Clyde – the first time Jay and Bey used the “boyfriend” and “girlfriend” terms. Can you believe these songs are 10 years old?? As for the other poll, Lift Off is the surprise of this quadrant, being the one track without an official video to last this far, as well as the most recent track, from 2011’s Watch the Throne, and it’s up against yet another 2003 powerhouse, Crazy in Love.
Baby Boy, featuring Sean Paul (1)
Lift Off with Jay-Z and Kanye West (11)
In the DC corner we have Independent Women Part I from the Charlie’s Angels Soundtrack is going to have a anthem-off with Survivor. Meanwhile, you have to choose between the break-up track, Say My Name and the check-me-out-at-the-club track, Bootylicious, which took out my personal favourite DC single last week.
Independent Women Part 1 (1)
Say My Name (3)
The solo career region has divided rather well, with the love songs on one side, and the dance tracks on the other. Halo exists as the last standing ballad in the brackets, and it takes on Love on Top, the 8th seed that took out the the top spot in the category. Another underdog that is fighting it’s way into the regional finals is the 11th seed, Run the World which goes up against the epic but maybe overplayed Single Ladies. In this part of the bracket, it has already been proven that anything can happen.
Run the World (Girls) (11)
Single Ladies (Put a Ring On It) (2)
Here is the final bracket of polls for the first round of Beyoncé Madness, where we will finally compare those classic Bey collaborations with other artists. You might notice a few patterns… Hov, for instance, makes more than a couple appearances. Others are with similar R&B vocalists, others are with rappers, and still a few others with people who make very little sense at all. This category includes some of her most successful singles of all time, so be prepared to make some difficult decisions.
1. Baby Boy ft. Sean Paul vs. Back to Black ft. Andre 3000
Bey’s second single with Sean Paul from Dangerously in Love spent 9 weeks at #1 in 2003, giving it the top seed in this collab bracket. Baby Boy is Beyoncé’s most reggae-esque single ever, and goes up against a kind of weird, haunting cover of Amy Winehouse’s Back to Black, which was recorded for The Great Gatsby Soundtrack.
8. Until the End of Time (with Justin Timberlake) vs. 9. Upgrade U ft. Jay-Z
The very Prince-esque Until the End of Time is originally from JT’s 2006 FutureSex/LoveSounds, but when it was released as a single, it got an upgrade with Bey’s vocals. That same year, Beyoncé released Upgrade U which is about a continuing education program. Ha, just jokes. But watching the video does count for credit. You can learn about Jay-Z by watching Bey impersonate him.
5. Telephone (with Lady Gaga) vs. 12. Videophone ft. Lady Gaga
Basically only one Lady Gaga song is allowed to last on this blog, so choose wisely. In the 5th spot we have Telephone, which appears on Gaga’s The Fame Monster, and was probably the most widely watched (and talked about) music video in 2010. Gaga featuring Bey goes up against Bey featuring Gaga in Videophone, a song with rather similar themes, but a video with far fewer Quentin Tarantino references.
4. ’03 Bonnie & Clyde (with Jay-Z) vs. 13. Love in this Club Part II (with Usher)
’03 Bonnie & Clyde is officially our favourite power couple’s first collaboration, originally from Jay-Z’s Blueprint 2. Really, it had me at the Tupac sample. Love on the run goes up against Love in this Club’s remix, which is an Usher track that gets slowed down and improved with a Beyoncé feature. Also Lil’ Wayne makes an appearance. Is it a surprise to anyone else how much Lil’ Wayne has worked with Bey?
3. Check On It ft. Slim Thug vs. 14. Put It In A Love Song (with Alicia Keys)
I don’t really know who Slim Thug is, but Check on it is still a pretty fun track, initially recorded for the Pink Panther Soundtrack. Hence all the pink in the video. It’s up against Put It In a Love Song from Alicia Keys’ The Element of Freedom, which is one of the most ridiculous and fun songs from either of the two singers. And really, this match-up could describe a natural progression, from checking on it to texting on your cell phone.
6. Beautiful Liar ft. Shakira vs. 11. Lift Off with Kanye West & Jay Z
Visually, I understand the pairing of these lovely, well-hipped women. But vocally, Beautiful Liar certainly has two distinct voices and won’t be confused with a well-blended girl group. Lift Off is a rap/sung collaboration that comes from Watch the Throne. There really is no good excuse for why this has no official video, but unfortunately the link below is fan-made.
7. Deja Vu ft. Jay-Z vs. 10. Party ft. Andre 3000 and Kanye West
Deja Vu is a song I completely forgot that I love, but when I heard it, I had an eerily familiar feeling… and it goes up against the one collaboration Bey included on 4: Party, which is basically a late-August-party-at-dusk in the form of a song. This is also the song that brought “swagoo” into our vocabulary. The video also features a verse by J. Cole, but I don’t think it’ll make or break the song.
2. Crazy in Love ft. Jay-Z vs. I Got That (with Amil)
Crazy in Love is possibly the only song that can mention a pager and not feel aged. It represents Beyoncé’s very first solo #1 single in the States, and is one of Rolling Stone’s favourite 200 songs of all time. It goes up against the less popular but still hopping track by Amil, I Got That, in which Bey was featured before she had done anything else apart from Destiny’s Child. It’s definitely underrated, and addresses one of Beyoncé’s favourite themes: being a self-sufficient woman.
So there you have it! Stay tuned for the second round of voting, and get ready for some even tougher choices as we narrow down the Queen’s best singles to the final four, and finally, the OnRecords champion of 2014 Beyoncé Madness!