Today in Madonna History: July 22, 1985

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On July 22 1985, Like A Virgin was certified 5x Platinum in the US – the first solo album by a female artist to be certified for shipment of 5-million copies. The album remained a consistently strong catalogue seller well into the next decade, eventually earning a Diamond certification (the RIAA’s highest certification award) in 1998 for shipment of over 10 million copies in the US.

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: April 21, 2018

On April 21 2018, Rhino Warner released two limited edition Madonna albums for Record Store Day:

  • You Can Dance – re-released on vinyl for the first time in 30 years. The Record Store Day version was pressed on red vinyl and included the obi strip, custom hype sticker and folded poster.
  • The First Album – re-released replica of the Japanese picture disc, repressed for the first time since 1987. Originally part of a 3-picture disc reissue set along with Like A Virgin and True Blue. Includes lyric insert notes in English and Japanese.

Today in Madonna History: April 14, 2009

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On April 14 2009, Steven Meisel was featured in Vogue magazine, and the article described him as the man that taught Madonna about re-invention.

In the article, Madonna shared some nice thoughts on Meisel:

Even Madonna agrees that there is, indeed, “a great sense of mystery” about Meisel – so much so that after all these years she feels she still doesn’t really know him very well. “I know that I love him,” she says. “You get sucked into his aura. He knows things.”

She learned this from one of their first collaborations, which was for the cover of Like A Virgin. “Before I worked with Steven,” says Madonna, “I just showed up in the clothes I was wearing, stood in front of the lights, and got my picture taken. With Steven, a team of people descended on me, started to undress me. Someone grabbed my hair, another grabbed my face, another started helping me try on various bits of clothes, and they all seemed to be speaking a language I didn’t understand – the language of Steven Meisel.”

To hear Madonna talk about working with Meisel is like being let in on a long-held secret. She goes on, “Steven had a vision. He had done his research. He had very specific references. I really respected the care that he took with his work, how seriously he approached it, but at the same time he has a great sense of irony. He made me feel like I was part of something important. He treated each photo shoot like it was a small film and insisted that we create a character each time we worked but then would make fun of the archetypes we created. He was the first person to introduce me to the idea of reinvention.”

Today in Madonna History: March 19, 1996

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On March 19 1996, Madonna’s cover of Rose Royce’s Love Don’t Live Here Anymore was released as the fourth single from her Something To Remember greatest ballads collection.

The song originally appeared on the Like A Virgin album.

The idea to cover the song was Michael Ostin’s (head of the A&R department at Warner Bros. Records).

In author Warren Zane’s book Revolutions in Sound: Warner Bros. Records, the First 50 Years, he recalled:

“I had the good fortune of finding material that Madonna really responded to, Love Don’t Live Here Anymore for instance, which was the old Rose Royce record. I was driving into work one day and heard it on the radio, I called producer Nile Rodgers and Madonna, they were in the studio. I said, ‘I have an idea, you know the old Rose Royce record, ‘Love Don’t Live Here Anymore‘? Why don’t you try and record a version of it for Like a Virgin?” Initially both Rodgers and Madonna were apprehensive of tackling an already well-known ballad, but in the last minute they decided that if Madonna wanted to bring diversity to the album, there could be no better song than ‘Love Don’t Live Here Anymore’.

Today in Madonna History: February 5, 1985

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On February 5 1985, Madonna’s Like A Virgin was certified 3x platinum (for sales of 3 million units) in the USA.

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