When Sire Records released Madonna’s self-tittled first album, the now called Queen of pop, back then she was just a young girl, known only on the underground dance scene of New York. That moment in history, July 27th, 1983, was special in music and pop culture history. Nobody at the time, not even Madonna, could anticipate what was to come, and while I’m at risk of deviating from my point here, this album set the standard for dance and pop acts for the next 30 years. While it was not appreciated by the critics at first, nowadays it is considered a gem, not only among Madonna’s extensive catalog, but also in the world of pop music. When she first came out, she was regarded as a one hit wonder, a no talent, her voice being described as “Minnie Mouse on helium”, to name a few.

But the truth is Madonna played a big role in making dance music popular, in a time when dance or disco wasn’t part of mainstream pop. She was also instrumental in paving the way for more prominent pop female singers, redefining the concept of a diva, which became very popular among the gay audience. It was also very important the way she was depicted in every video she released, pushing the boundaries in terms like fashion, social relationships and roles of men and women in society. 

In the last few years it has managed to be among top lists experts rate, from the definitive albums of the decade to the best 100 albums in history, you name it, Madonna’s debut is a must for anyone interested on pop music/culture.

While not an instant hit, as many people might think, “Madonna” debuted on Billboard 200 on the week of September 3 1983 at #190, 5 weeks after its release. A slow but steady riser, Madonna peaked after 60 weeks on the chart, the week of October 20, 1984 at #8 and it would end up as Madonna’s longest charting album on the Billboard 200 with 168 weeks, and spending a very respectable 36 weeks at the Top 40, having its final week on this chart in September 1987. As a result, “Madonna” became a huge hit, featuring 3 Top 20 singles, Holiday (#16), Borderline (#10) and Lucky Star (#4), now classic songs by Madonna. It was another hit at the sales department, with certifications of over 5 million copies only in the US (5xPlatinum).

Worldwide it was another smash reaching Top 10 in many countries such as:
Australia (#10/3xPlatinum)
Holland (#7/Platinum)
France (#8/Platinum)
New Zealand (#6/Platinum)
Sweden (#2)
UK (#6/Platinum)

Top 40:
Austria (#15)
Canada (#16)
Germany (#28/Gold)
Japan (#20)

Track listing:
Producer: Reggie Lucas

LUCKY STAR (Madonna)
BORDERLINE (Reggie Lucas)
BURNING UP (Madonna)
I KNOW IT (Madonna)
HOLIDAY (Curtis Hudson/Lisa Stevens)
THINK OF ME (Madonna)

US Chart run:
Release date: July 27, 1983
Debut date: September 3, 1983
Debut position: #190
Number of weeks: 168 weeks
Chart run in 1983: 190-188-181-178-156-154-145-143-139-123-112-111-104-98-95-87-83-83 (18 weeks)
Chart run in 1984: 78-68-59-53-47-44-40-44-47-51-51-63-71-71-89-87-74-72-67-62-50-38-35-24-22-20-18-18-26-26-25-24-27-26-21-19-16-16-12-10-10-8-8-8-16-16-22-27-31-37-39-39 (52 weeks/70 weeks total)
Chart run in 1985: 35-35-35-39-41-47-51-53-60-63-67-67-66-73-82-89-87-82-76-74-74-72-78-84-71-69-69-73-79-77-74-73-74-78-78-82-88-85-86-94-103-99-98-108-108-112-112-126-125-122-120-127 (52 weeks/122 weeks total) 
Chart run in 1986: 127-113-110-115-126-127-141-141-136-154-153-162-156-162-158-171-165-177-179-179-177-170-165-160-167-188-196-190-180-170-161-153-153-161-159-146-155-173-169-186-179-184-200 (43 weeks/165 consecutive weeks) Final week on chart: October 25, 1986
Chart run in 1987: (re-entry/August 22, 1987) 199-188-185 (3 weeks/168 weeks total) Final week on chart: September 5, 1987

UK Chart run:
Debut date: February 11, 1984
Debut position: #85
Number of weeks: 123 weeks
Chart run in 1984: 85-OFF-55-60-68-OFF-91-80-66-45-37-48-48-95-OFF-97-84-71-68-67-79-95-90-OFF (20 weeks)
Chart run in 1985: (re-entry/January 19, 1985) 93-OFF (21 weeks)
(re-entry/July 13, 1985) 91-OFF-56-39-15-10-6-6-9-8-8-9-7-8-9-19-16-20-36-42-51-47-49-51-50 (24 weeks/45 weeks total)
Chart run in 1986: 32-26-30-21-14-14-15-18-24-25-39-36-40-40-40-55-59-68-69-60-92-78-64-77-OFF-85-75-72-77-58-47-45-43-51-59-52-56-63-81-78-97-97-74-63-92-88-100-88-OFF-OFF-OFF-93 (48 weeks/93 weeks total)
Chart run in 1987: 79-53-57-58-57-68-77-87-100-91-OFF-OFF-78-OFF-84-83-67-89-94-OFF-OFF-OFF-90 (17 weeks/110 weeks total)
(re-entry/July 25, 1987) 83-73-67-80-61-31-46-59-50-69-79-97-94-OFF (13 weeks/123 weeks total) 

  1. #1 by Sony on August 11, 2012 - 9:44 am

    This is indeed her best album..I love the song Lucky Star, Borderline, Burning Up and Physical Attraction.
    I love this album more than Like A Virgin. Madonna is a legend!

    • #2 by Mr. DJ on August 17, 2012 - 9:03 am

      Although I think her best work was in the 90’s, her debut album is definitely a gem, much better than Like a virgin for sure. Borderline and Physical Attraction are my two favotites from this one 😉

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  • Learn more about each Madonna album, single, release dates, peaks and chart runs

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