Category: like a virgin

Madonna photographed by Herb Ritts in Honolu…

Madonna photographed by Herb Ritts in Honolulu, January 1985.

Jean-Michel Basquiat at Madonna’s Like a Virgi…

Jean-Michel Basquiat at Madonna’s Like a Virgin record release party in New York City on November 12, 1984.

Photos by Andy Warhol

On this day in music history: December 22, 198…

On this day in music history: December 22, 1984 – “Like A Virgin” by Madonna hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for 6 weeks, topping the Club Play chart for 2 weeks on December 15, 1984, also peaking at #9 on the R&B singles chart on January 19, 1985. Written by Tom Kelly and Billy Steinberg, it is the first chart topping single for the pop music icon from Rochester, MI. While her self-titled debut album continues to build momentum in the in the late Winter and early Spring of 1984, Madonna begins making plans to record her second studio album. A huge fan of the legendary R&B/Disco band Chic, the singer sets her sights on hiring the bands’ co-founder and guitarist Nile Rodgers. Not believing that her record label will give her the budget to work with someone as high profile as Rodgers, to her surprise, the label readily agrees to her request. Prior to the start of the sessions, the singer takes a meeting with Warner Bros A&R exec Michael Ostin, to discuss what songs she’ll record for the project. Ostin plays her the demo for “Like A Virgin”, having heard it only the day before. The demo featuring songwriter Tom Kelly performing the vocals clicks immediately with Madonna, and she agrees to record it. Madonna then plays the demo for Nile Rodgers, who initially disagrees over its hit potential, but eventually changes his mind when he can’t get the songs’ hook out of his head. Recorded in April of 1984 at The Power Station in New York City, the track features Rodgers on guitar as well as his former Chic band mates Bernard Edwards on bass, Tony Thompson on drums and Rob Sabino on synthesizers. Madonna publicly debuts “Like A Virgin” at the first MTV Video Music Awards on September 14, 1984. Appearing on stage atop of a giant wedding cake and wearing a wedding dress, the singer delivers an instantly memorable and iconic performance, that ends with her dry humping the stage and rolling around on the floor. It causes an immediate sensation and major demand for the record, but is held back for six weeks while “Lucky Star” (#4 Pop, #1 Club Play), the fifth and final single from her debut album peaks on the charts in October. Finally released on November 6, 1984, “Virgin” quickly becomes a smash. Entering the Hot 100 at #48 on November 17, 1984, it leaps to the top of the chart five weeks later. The song is accompanied by a memorable music video directed by Mary Lambert, shot on location in New York City and Venice, Italy, with the Italian sequences featuring the indelible image of the singer dancing on a gondola. The single and album propel Madonna to next level of celebrity in her career, turning her into a global superstar and helping to cement her status as a pop music icon. The extended 12" remix of “Virgin”, is remixed by Madonna’s then boyfriend, DJ and producer John “Jellybean” Benitez. The remix version appears a bonus track on the remastered CD of the album in 2000. “Like A Virgin” is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.

Madonna with Jean-Michel Basquiat and Keith Ha…

Madonna with Jean-Michel Basquiat and Keith Haring at the after party for The Virgin Tour in New York City on June 6, 1985. 

Photos by Andy Warhol

On this day in music history: November 12, 198…

On this day in music history: November 12, 1984 – “Like A Virgin”, the second album by Madonna is released. Produced by Nile Rodgers, it is recorded at The Power Station in New York City from April – May 1984. By early 1984, with her self titled debut finally gaining significant sales and chart momentum, Madonna is anxious to begin work on her sophomore release. She wants to produce the project herself, after being left in the lurch by producer Reggie Lucas when he quits before sessions for the first album are complete. Madonna’s record label Warner Bros isn’t willing to grant her full creative control, and insists that a seasoned professional be in charge of the sessions. Being a huge fan of the band Chic, she asks guitarist Nile Rodgers to produce her. The pair get to work right away, selecting songs for the album. Madonna pens five of the nine songs, co-writing four of those with former boyfriend and Breakfast Club band mate Stephen Bray. The rhythm section consists of Nile Rodgers on guitar and Synclavier, along with former Chic band mates Bernard Edwards (bass), Tony Thompson (drums) and Rob Sabino (keyboards). Even with Rodgers firmly at the helm, Madonna is also very hands on, being present at all sessions, observing and making suggestions to Rodgers and the other musicians. Once recording is completed, the album is held back for several more months as Madonna’s debut is still generating hits into the Fall of 1984. Released at last in mid-November, “Like A Virgin” is an immediate smash. It spins off four top five pop singles including “Material Girl” (#2 Pop, #49 R&B, #1 Club Play), “Angel” (#5 Pop, #71 R&B, #1 Club Play), “Dress You Up” (#5 Pop, #64 R&B, #1 Club Play) and the title track (#1 Pop, #9 R&B, #1 Club Play). The album’s iconic cover, back cover and inner sleeve photos are taken by fashion photographer Steven Meisel (Seventeen, Vogue). The original US and Canadian promo LP copies are pressed on pure white “virgin” vinyl (originally intended for stock commercial copies also, but deemed too expensive) with custom art labels and graphics. “Virgin” establishes Madonna as a pop superstar on a global basis, and becomes her biggest selling album, moving over twenty one million copies worldwide. The album is remastered and reissued on CD in 2001 with the 12" mixes of “Material Girl” and the title track as added bonus tracks. The album is also reissued as a 180 gram vinyl LP by Rhino Records in 2016, and as a limited edition clear vinyl pressing in the UK (exclusively through Sainsbury’s) in 2017. It is also reissued as a limited edition white vinyl LP, as part of Rhino’s “Back To The 80’s” series in July of 2018. “Like A Virgin” spends three weeks at number one on the Billboard Top 200, peaking at number ten on the R&B album chart, and is certified 10x Platinum in the US by the RIAA, earning a Diamond Certification.

Madonna video shoot for “Like A Virgin” in…

Madonna video shoot for “Like A Virgin” in Venice, July 1984.

Madonna video shoot for “Like A Virgin” in Ven…

Madonna video shoot for “Like A Virgin” in Venice, July 1984. 

(Photos by Larry Williams)  

On this day in music history: December 22, 198…

On this day in music history: December 22, 1984 – “Like A Virgin” by Madonna hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for 6 weeks, topping the Club Play chart for 2 weeks on December 15, 1984, also peaking at #9 on the R&B singles chart on January 19, 1985. Written by Tom Kelly and Billy Steinberg, it is the first chart topping single for the pop music icon from Rochester, MI. While her self-titled debut album continues to build momentum in the in the late Winter and early Spring of 1984, Madonna begins making plans to record her second studio album. A huge fan of the legendary R&B/Disco band Chic, the singer sets her sights on hiring the bands’ co-founder and guitarist Nile Rodgers. Not believing that her record label will give her the budget to work with someone as high profile as Rodgers, to her surprise, the label readily agrees to her request. Prior to the start of the sessions, the singer takes a meeting with Warner Bros A&R exec Michael Ostin to discuss what songs she’ll record for the project. Ostin plays her the demo for “Like A Virgin”, having heard it only the day before. The demo featuring songwriter Tom Kelly performing the vocals clicks immediately with Madonna, and she’ll agree to record it. However, when Madonna plays the demo for Nile Rodgers who initially disagrees over its hit potential, but eventually changes his mind when he can’t get the songs’ hook out of his head. Recorded in April of 1984 at The Power Station in New York City, the track features Rodgers on guitar as well as his former Chic band mates Bernard Edwards on bass, Tony Thompson on drums and Rob Sabino on synthesizers. Madonna publicly debuts “Like A Virgin” at the first MTV Video Music Awards on September 14, 1984. Appearing on stage atop of a giant wedding cake and wearing a wedding dress, the singer delivers an instantly memorable and iconic performance, that ends with her dry humping the stage and rolling around on the floor. It causes an immediate sensation and major demand for the record, but is held back for six weeks while “Lucky Star” (#4 Pop, #1 Club Play), the fifth and final single from her debut album peaks on the charts in October. Finally released on November 6, 1984, just six days ahead of the album, “Virgin” quickly becomes a smash. Entering the Hot 100 at #48 on November 17, 1984, it leaps to the top of the chart five weeks later. The song is accompanied by a memorable music video directed by Mary Lambert, shot on location in New York City and Venice, Italy, with the Italian sequences featuring the indelible image of the singer dancing on a gondola. The huge success of “Like A Virgin” propels Madonna to next level of celebrity in her career, turning her into a global superstar and helping to cement her status as a pop music icon. “Like A Virgin” is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.

On this day in music history: November 12, 1984 – “Like A…

On this day in music history: November 12, 1984 – “Like A Virgin”, the second album by Madonna is released. Produced by Nile Rodgers, it is recorded at The Power Station in New York City from April – May 1984. By early 1984, with her self titled debut finally gaining significant sales and chart momentum, Madonna is anxious to begin work on her sophomore release. She wants to produce the project herself, after being left in the lurch by producer Reggie Lucas when he quits before sessions for the first album are complete. Madonna’s record label Warner Bros isn’t willing to grant her full creative control, and insists that a seasoned professional be in charge of the sessions. Being a huge fan of the band Chic, she asks guitarist Nile Rodgers to produce her. The pair get to work right away, selecting songs for the album. Madonna pens five of the nine songs, co-writing four of those with former boyfriend and Breakfast Club band mate Stephen Bray. The rhythm section consists of Nile Rodgers on guitar and Synclavier, along with former Chic band mates Bernard Edwards (bass), Tony Thompson (drums) and Rob Sabino (keyboards). Even with Rodgers firmly at the helm, Madonna is also very hands on, being present at all sessions, observing and making suggestions to Rodgers and the other musicians. Once recording is completed, the album is held back for several more months as Madonna’s debut is still generating hits into the Fall of 1984. Released at last in mid-November, “Like A Virgin” is an immediate smash. It spins off four top five pop singles including “Material Girl” (#2 Pop, #49 R&B, #1 Club Play), “Angel” (#5 Pop, #71 R&B, #1 Club Play), “Dress You Up” (#5 Pop, #64 R&B, #1 Club Play) and the title track (#1 Pop, #9 R&B, #1 Club Play). The album’s iconic cover, back cover and inner sleeve photos are taken by fashion photographer Steven Meisel (Seventeen, Vogue). The original US and Canadian promo LP copies are pressed on pure white “virgin” vinyl (originally intended for stock commercial copies also, but deemed too expensive) with custom art labels and graphics. “Virgin” establishes Madonna as a pop superstar on a global basis, and becomes her biggest selling album, moving over twenty one million copies worldwide. The album is remastered and reissued on CD in 2001 with the 12″ mixes of “Material Girl” and the title track as added bonus tracks. The album is also reissued as a 180 gram vinyl LP by Rhino Records in 2016, and as a limited edition clear vinyl pressing in the UK (exclusively through Sainsbury’s) in 2017. “Like A Virgin” spends three weeks at number one on the Billboard Top 200, peaking at number ten on the R&B album chart, and is certified 10x Platinum in the US by the RIAA, earning a Diamond Certification.

Madonna photographed by George Holz, 1984.

Madonna photographed by George Holz, 1984.