Today in Madonna History: November 17, 1984

On November 17 1984, the title-track and lead single from Madonna’s Like A Virgin album entered the Billboard Hot 100 at #48 – the week’s highest debut – hot on the heels of its commercial release as a 7-inch single in the preceding sales week. A commercial 12-inch single was also issued in North America during the chart week ending November 17th, with Like A Virgin pouncing onto the Hot Dance/Disco Sales chart at #26 in the November 24th issue of Billboard.

Created by the successful pop songwriting team of Tom Kelly & Billy Steinberg and produced by Nile Rodgers, the demo of Like A Virgin – sung by Kelly – was initially introduced to Madonna by Warner Bros. Records’ A&R rep Michael Ostin (son of then-CEO of Warner, Mo Ostin).

In a 2009 interview for Rolling Stone magazine, Madonna recalled her impressions upon first listening to the demos of Like A Virgin and its follow-up single, Material Girl:

“I liked them both because they were ironic and provocative at the same time but also unlike me. I am not a materialistic person, and I certainly wasn’t a virgin, and, by the way, how can you be like a virgin? I liked the play on words; I thought they were clever. They’re so geeky, they’re cool. I never realized they would become my signature songs, especially the second one.”

As audio engineer Jason Corsaro noted in a 2007 interview with Sound On Sound magazine, although she officially ceded production credit to Rodgers, Madonna was actively engaged in all aspects of the recording sessions for the album and title-track:

“Nile was there most of the time, but she was there all of the time. She never left.”

Like A Virgin made a high-profile debut via live performance during the first annual MTV Video Music Awards on September 14th, 1984.

With previous single Lucky Star still ascending the North American charts, however, the official release of Like A Virgin was held back by Warner Bros. Records in a bid to allow the former (along with its parent album) to reach its full chart potential. This strategy proved successful, with Madonna earning her first U.S. Top-5 single with Lucky Star in the October 20th issue of Billboard, while Like A Virgin would reach #1 in the December 22nd issue.

Today in Madonna History: October 10, 1984

lav-obhits-1 lav-obhits-2 lav-obhits-3 lav-obhits-4 lav-obhits-5

On October 10 1984, Madonna’s first EP, Like A Virgin & Other Big Hits!, was released in Japan through Sire Records.

Although three of the include singles (Holiday, Lucky Star and Borderline) had been released before, Like A Virgin would not be released as a single until November 6 1984.

The EP included the following tracks:

  • Like a Virgin (Extended Dance Remix)
  • Holiday (Album Version)
  • Lucky Star (Extended Dance Remix)
  • Borderline (Extended Dance Remix)

Like A Virgin & Other Big Hits! was re-released in 2016 as part of Record Store Day releases. The Record Store Day version was printed on pink vinyl.  lav-obhits-6

Today in Madonna History: September 15, 1984

borderline

On September 15 1984, Madonna’s Borderline peaked at #25 on the Canadian Top 100 Singles chart.

Today in Madonna History: August 25, 1984

lucky star usa sheet music

On August 25 1984, Lucky Star entered the Billboard Hot 100 chart in the U.S. at number forty-nine.

Today in Madonna History: August 8, 1984

madonna_lucky_star_aug_8

On August 8 1984, Madonna’s Lucky Star was released.  Lucky Star became Madonna’s first U.S. top five hit (No. 4), and the first in a string of 17 consecutive U.S. top fives. The video was directed by Arthur Pierson, a stark performance piece bringing together her brother Christopher Ciccone and Erica Bell as backup dancers. The clip was filled with black rubber jelly bracelets, lace and a certain gyrating belly button.

Lucky Star was written by Madonna and produced by Reggie Lucas and Jellybean Benitez.

Today in Madonna History: July 7, 1984

On July 7 1984, Warner Bros. Records took out a full-page ad in Billboard magazine to congratulate Madonna on the Gold certification of her self-titled debut album.

The ad featured the first look at a new photo shoot Madonna had recently completed with Steven Meisel. This image would later appear on the back cover of her next album, Like A Virgin.

Today in Madonna History: May 26, 1984

helmut-1

On May 26 1984, this classic Madonna photo by Helmut Werb was featured in No 1 UK magazine, along with the lyrics to Borderline.

Here are more amazing photos from that photo session:

helmut-2 helmut-3 helmut-7 helmut-10 helmut-8 helmut-9 helmut-9b helmut-6 helmut-5

%d bloggers like this: