Today in Madonna History: April 6 1990

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On April 6 1990, Madonna’s Vogue maxi single was released.

Here is the allmusic.com review of the maxi single:

Vogue, the first single from Madonna’s Dick Tracy-inspired 1990 album I’m Breathless, was arguably one of her crowning artistic achievements (both song-wise and video-wise), one of the biggest all-time house music hits (spending three weeks atop the U.S. pop charts), and her second proper U.S. maxi-single release. The single includes four versions: the single version, the 12″ version, the Bette Davis Dub, and the Strike-A-Pose Dub. The song’s most definitive version, that being the album/video version, is not on the single. The single version, where she asks “what are you looking at,” begins with drumbeats and goes straight into the song, as opposed to the album version’s minute-long introduction. Besides the different intros, however, the rest is the same. The 12″ version is, naturally, quite longer, and just as good. The “Bette Davis Dub” begins with the extended album intro, but, save for the chorus and the “rap,” is virtually instrumental, as is the last mix, which cleverly uses samples from Like a Virgin. This disc’s main selling point is the fact that it’s a collection piece, and for collectors and diehards, it’s nice to have the single edit and 12″ mix. But if one is a casual fan, go with the album version.

Today in Madonna History: December 13, 1984

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On December 13 1984, Madonna performed Like A Virgin on BBC1-TV’s Top Of The Pops in London, England.

Madonna wore her signature Boy Toy belt, a Keith Haring jacket and a vibrant pink wig. She wore the same pink wig during a performance on Like A Virgin on Solid Gold.

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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: March 20, 1991

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On March 20 1991, Madonna’s Madonna VHS video collection was certified multi-platinum (100,000 units) in the USA.

The home video included Madonna’s music videos for: Burning Up, Borderline, Lucky Star and Like A Virgin.

Today in Madonna History: January 19, 1985

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On January 19 1985, Madonna reached #1 on the RPM Canadian Top 100 Singles chart for the very first time with Like A Virgin.

For the 1985 year-end chart, Like A Virgin was #35 (RPM Canadian Top Singles).

A promotional-only 7″ single was released in Canada on white vinyl. The 7″ included the album versions of Like A Virgin and Stay.

Hear an unreleased early rough mix of the underrated track, Stay, from the Like A Virgin album sessions below.

Today in Madonna History: January 10, 1985

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On January 10 1985, Madonna’s Like A Virgin single was certified gold for shipment of 1 million units.

Prior to January 1 1989, the certification thresholds were Gold (1,000,000 units), and Platinum (2,000,000 units) in the USA (Recording Industry Association of America).

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Today in Madonna History: December 22, 1984

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On December 22 1984, Madonna’s Like A Virgin single hit #1 in the USA.  It was her first number one single in the USA, and it remained at number one for six weeks.

In 2000, Like A Virgin, was honored by Rolling Stone and MTV, as the fourth song on their list of the 100 Greatest Pop Songs. It was voted ten on VH1’s 100 Best Songs of the Past 25 Years. The song was listed at ninety-five on Billboard’s Hot 100 All-Time Top Songs. In 2003, Madonna fans were asked to vote for their Top 20 Madonna Singles of All-Time, by Q magazine. Like A Virgin was allocated the fifth spot on the list.

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