The Madonna Timeline: Song #15 – ‘Nobody Knows Me’

{Note: The Madonna Timeline is an ongoing feature, where I put the iPod on shuffle, and write a little anecdote on whatever was going on in my life when that Madonna song was released and/or came to prominence in my mind.}

I’ve had so many lives since I was a child,
And I realize how many times I’ve died…

The iPod bops along to Madonna’s incendiary American Life album from 2003, shuffling over to ‘Nobody Knows Me’, a blippy dancey vocally-distorted stop/start stilted jolt of a song with a neat little funk-out. I think this will be perhaps best remembered for Madonna’s performance/lip-syncing of it on her Reinvention Tour (summer of 2004), when she strutted across a conveyor belt, doing some crazy-fun half-moon arm gestures.

After seeing the show in NYC, I remember marching along Broadway to my hotel with this song in my head, feeling solidly empowered and like I could take on the world. That’s the best thing about some of Madonna’s songs – they pump you up to the point that you don’t care who is staring at you as you dance (or trip) your way down Broadway.

This is, in my opinion, the only real “dance” song on American Life (prior to remixes), and one of the few “lighter” selections from that brilliantly dark album – in other words, it’s not indicative or representative of the rest of songs – but it is definitely a stand-out track, perhaps because of that.

The big disappointment in the concert version (as seen below), is that Madonna takes out the best part of the song – the quasi-bridge break-down:

I don’t want no lies!
I don’t watch TV!
I don’t waste my time!
Won’t read a magazine…

I’m not that kind of guy
Sometimes I feel shy…
Song #15: ‘Nobody Knows Me’ – Summer 2004
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