Like a virgin-1984

Madonna’s second album “Like a virgin” came out at the perfect time. By the moment of its release Madonna was hot-on-heels from her previous single “Lucky star” just hitting the Top 5 on Billboard and having just performed the new provocative single at the first edition of The MTV Video Music Awards a few weeks earlier, the expectations were high and Madonna delivered the goods. This album is definately a career-defining moment, is the album that made her a star, an icon and a household name. Like a virgin is one of those iconic elements from the 1980’s cemented in pop culture, by the time the album was out, Madonna was suddenly the “it-girl” and everybody wanted to be invited to that party.

Released on November 12, 1984, it features Madonna on the album cover, shot by Steven Meisel, dressed as a bride with her famous boy-toy belt buckle, a strong statement linking the look of a newly wed (virgin) to her name and presenting herself as a subject of desire. Producing duties were asigned this time to Nile Rodgers (chosen by Madonna herself) and musically it was not a complete departure from her first album. Madonna was very involved in the process, but at the time she still didn’t have all the creative control she has now. It received mixed reviews, but it was a commercial success topping the Billboard charts for the first time for three weeks and having several hit singles over the course of 1985. These singles were “Like a virgin”, “Material girl”, “Angel” and “Dress you up”, and by the end of that same year “Like a virgin” was certified 6xPlatinum for shipments of over 6 million copies, becoming the first female solo artist to have an album surpassing sales of 5 million copies in the USA. Eventually it would obtain a Diamond certification for sales of over 10 million copies.

Worldwide it was another smash hitting the following positions:

Netherlands: #1
European Top 100 Albums Chart: #1
Germany: #1 (3 x Platinum)
Italy: #1
New Zealand: #1 (5 x Platinum)
Spain: #1 (Platinum)
UK: #1 (3 x Platinum)
Australia: #2 (7 x Platinum)
Japan: #2
Austria: #3
Canada: #3 (Diamond)
Sweden: #3
Switzerland: #3 (2 x Platinum)
France: #5 (2 x Platinum)
Norway: #6
Denmark: #22

Track listing:
Producer: Nile Rodgers

MATERIAL GIRL (Peter Brown/Robert Rans)
ANGEL (Madonna/Stephen Bray)
LIKE A VIRGIN (Tom Kelly/Billy Steinberg)
OVER AND OVER (Madonna/Stephen Bray)
DRESS YOU UP (Andres LaRusso/Peggy Stanziale)
SHOO-BEE-DOO (Madonna)
PRETENDER (Madonna/Stephen Bray)
STAY (Madonna/Stephen Bray)
INTO THE GROOVE (Madonna/Stephen Bray)*
LIKE A VIRGIN (Extended dance remix)**
MATERIAL GIRL (Extended dance remix)**

*Into the groove was included only in the 1985 re-issue
**Additional tracks included in the 2001 remastered edition

US Chart run:
Release date: November 12, 1984
Debut date: December 1, 1984
Debut position: #70
Number of weeks on Billboard 200 Albums: 108 weeks

Chart run in 1984: 70-10-4-3-3 (5 weeks)
Chart run in 1985: 2-3-3-2-2-1-1-1-2-3-4-7-6-6-6-6-6-5-5-8-7-7-9-9-8-8-9-9-8-11-11-15-16-17-16-16-16-15-21-19-16-23-22-25-25-29-39-40-58-57-75-71 (52 weeks/57 weeks Total)
Chart run in 1986: 71-58-53-53-65-71-75-78-84-88-92-93-98-108-108-120-104-104-111-112-124-122-122-122-136-136-146-131-136-133-138-130-128-149-149-145-141-155-151-172-163-167-194-189-198-off (45 weeks/Total 102 weeks)
Chart run in 1987: (Re-entry/August 15, 1987) 188-188-180-176-187-193-off (6 weeks/108 weeks Total)

UK Chart run:
Debut date: November 24, 1984
Debut position: #74
Number of weeks in Official UK Albums Chart: 152 weeks
Chart run in 1984: 74-66-63-58-58-51 (6 weeks)
Chart run in 1985: 41-21-13-17-18-18-26-44-37-23-10-10-8-10-16-16-17-24-34-37-42-42-38-40-29-27-25-24-19-10-10-17-2-2-2-2-2-1-2-2-1-3-6-5-8-12-11-10-11-9-8-7 (52 weeks/58 weeks Total)
Chart run in 1986: 5-3-5-6-8-9-9-14-19-20-26-32-35-28-23-26-34-28-25-39-42-47-37-44-49-42-37-37-35-31-34-29-28-32-31-40-49-53-46-55-61-53-79-53-63-72-73-80-88-85-72-72 (52 weeks/110 weeks Total)
Chart run in 1987: 65-49-44-52-52-73-58-75-65-70-69-75-75-78-71-79-84-73-83-65-72-89-64-off-86-off-off-off-79-63-62-61-61-37-25-32-39-41-45-68-62-80-80-off-96-off (40 weeks/150 weeks Total)
Chart run in 1988: (Re-entry/January 8, 1988) 88-off (1 week/151 weeks total)
Chart run in 1990: (Re-entry/August 4, 1990) 71-off (1 week/152 weeks total)

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