TITLE: Like a Virgin
YEAR RELEASED: 1984
CHART ACTION: #1 US, #1 UK
SINGLES: Like a Virgin (#1 US, #1 Dance, #3 UK), Material Girl (#2 US, #1 Dance, #3 UK), Angel (#5 US, #1 Dance, #5 UK), Dress You Up (#5 US, #3 Dance, #5 UK)
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Teenagers in the 80’s know the album
LINEUP: Madonna, Bernard Edwards, Nile Rodgers, Nathaniel Hardy, Tony Thompson,l dave Weckl, Robert Sabino, Curtis King, Frank Simms, George Simms
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: The album that launched the video star, the controversial icon, and, well, Madonna being all Madonna all the time.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: Madonna, plus the engine behind Chic for most of the songs, equals a powerhouse album. The singles dominated the airwaves in 1984 and 1985 (plus two other non-album singles to boot). Yes, she was hyped. The music, though, was as good as the hype.
Nile Rogers’ production is top notch, and adds the right arrangement for all of the songs. The non-single tracks are maybe a bit under the singles in terms of quality, but they still have a good sound, a fun vibe, and Madonna doesn’t half-ass her vocals on them, either, especially since she wrote most of them.
What everyone remembers is her lascivious performance at the original VMAs, but the album was good; good enough that it’s unfortunate that everything else overshadowed it.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: Tipper Gore thought “Dress You Up” was vulgar. Whatever.
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: Yes. The European version had “Into the Groove” as a track (not released in the US until later, for a movie) and there’s another version with two remixes.
GRADE: A-: When you actually listen to the album, it’s good, and the sequencing is spot on.