Release Date: May 2001
Record Label: Warner Bros. Records (Record Label)
Genre: Dance, DJ & Electronic
Duration: Album or EP
1. Material Girl
3. Like a Virgin
4. Over and Over
5. Love Don't Live Here Anymore
6. Dress You Up
10. Like a Virgin / - (Extended Dance Remix, extended dance remix)
11. Material Girl / - (Extended Dance Remix, extended dance remix)
Playing time: 50 min.
Contributing artists: Bernard Edwards, Nile Rodgers, Tony Thompson
Producer: Nile Rodgers, Stephen Bray
Distributor: WEA (Distributor)
Recording type: Studio
Recording mode: Stereo
SPAR Code: DDD
Includes rare 12" dance remixes previously unavailable on CD.
Personnel: Madonna (vocals); Nile Rodgers (guitar, Synclavier); Lenny Pickett (saxophone); Rob Sabino (synthesizer); Bernard Edwards (bass); Tony Thompson (drums); Jimmy Bralower (programming); Curtis King, Frank Simms, George Simms, Brenda King (background vocals).
Digitally remastered by Ted Jensen (Sterling Sound, New York, New York).
Personnel: Madonna (vocals, background vocals); Nile Rodgers (guitar, Synclavier); Lenny Pickett (saxophone); Robert Sabino (synthesizer, bass synthesizer); Jimmy Bralower (drum programming); Curtis King, Frank Simms, Brenda King (background vocals).
Audio Mixer: Jason Corsaro.
Audio Remixers: Michael Hutchinson; Jellybean.
Photographer: Steven Meisel.
Arranger: Nile Rodgers.
Madonna had already made serious waves with her 1983 self-titled debut, springing her irresistibly exuberant, sexy dance-pop onto an unsuspecting public. But it was 1984's LIKE A VIRGIN that exhibited the calculated pop mastery that would define the singer's career. Everything from the cover art (which features Madonna splayed out provocatively in a wedding dress) to the sleek production from Chic's Nile Rogers announced Madonna's arrival as the queen of pop.
If only for the album's two gargantuan smash singles, the bouncy, coy, gold-digging ode "Material Girl" and the racy title cut, LIKE A VIRGIN would go down in pop history. The dominating force of both songs, their videos, and their subject matter helped make Madonna a household name. The rest of the album delivers too. The energetic shimmy of "Dress You Up" and "Angel" are infectious dance floor workouts, and her cover of Rose Royce's "Love Don't Live Here Anymore" is sharp and compelling. LIKE A VIRGIN still shines as an indispensable `80s dance-pop classic.
Madonna had hits with her first album, even reaching the Top 10 twice with "Borderline" and "Lucky Star," but she didn't become a superstar, an icon until her second album, Like a Virgin. She saw the opening for this kind of explosion and seized it, bringing in former Chic guitarist Nile Rodgers in as a producer, to help her expand her sound, and then carefully constructed her image as an ironic, ferociously sexy Boy Toy; the Steven Meisel-shot cover, capturing her as a buxom bride with a Boy Toy belt buckle on the front, and dressing after a night of passion, was as key to her reinvention as the music itself. Yet, there's no discounting the best songs on the record, the moments when her grand concepts are married to music that transcends the mere classification of dance-pop. These, of course, are "Material Girl" and "Like a Virgin," the two songs that made her an icon, and the two songs that remain definitive statements. They overshadow the rest of the record, not just because they are a perfect match of theme and sound, but because the rest of the album vacillates wildly in terms of quality. The other two singles, "Angel" and "Dress You Up," are excellent standard-issue dance-pop, and there are other moments that work well ("Over and Over," "Stay," the earnest cover of Rose Royce's "Love Don't Live Here"), but overall, it adds up to less than the sum of its parts -- partially because the singles are so good, but also because on the first album, she stunned with style and a certain joy. Here, the calculation is apparent, and while that's part of Madonna's essence -- even something that makes her fun -- it throws the record's balance off a little too much for it to be consistent, even if it justifiably made her a star. [The 2001 reissue cuts "Into the Groove" (which was pasted onto the original CD release anyway) but adds remixes of the title track and "Material Girl"] ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
4 stars out of 5 - ...The record that propelled her into the stratosphere - and rightly so. The songs are smart, funny, sexy and irresistible...
Used, tested, and error free. Includes CD, Jewel case, and inserts.