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Madonna "Like a Virgin" cover by Veronica Romeo


veronicaromeooficial | September 05, 2010

Like a Virgin is the second studio album by American recording artist Madonna, released on November 12, 1984 by Sire Records. It was re-released worldwide in 1985, with the bonus track "Into the Groove". In 2001, Warner Bros. released a remastered version with two bonus remix tracks. After the release and the success of her self-titled debut album, Madonna wanted to solidify her future in the music business, by building on the success of the first album. However, she decided to become one of the record producers, feeling the need to control the various aspects of her music. Nile Rodgers was chosen as the primary producer of the album, due to his work with David Bowie.

The album was recorded at Power Station Studio in New York at a quick pace. Rodgers assisted the help of his former Chic band mates Bernard Edwards, who was the bassist, and Tony Thompson, who played drums; they appeared on several tracks of the album. Rodgers decided to be the guitarist, when Edwards requested him to do so, in exchange of their help. Jason Corsaro, the record's audio engineer, persuaded Rodgers to use digital recording, a new technique at the time which Corsaro believed was going to be the future of recording because test pressings always sounded consistent. Madonna was always present during the recordings, and believed that the songs on the album were stronger, compared to her debut album. The cover sleeve and images were shot by Steven Meisel. Madonna wanted the album title and the cover image to make provocative link between her own religious name Madonna, as the Roman Catholic title for Jesus' mother Mary, and the Christian concept of the virgin birth.

Like a Virgin is not that much of a musical departure from the first album, but the material is stronger. Along with Rodgers, Madonna also collaborated with her former boyfriend Steve Bray, who co-produced majority of the songs on the album. Consisting of dance-pop oriented music, the songs also incorporated synthpop and New Wave music. After its release, Like a Virgin received mixed reviews from the critics, but was a commercial success. It became Madonna's first number one album on the Billboard 200, while reaching the top of the album charts in Germany, Italy, Netherlands, New Zealand, Spain and the United Kingdom. The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) certified it diamond, for shipment of ten million copies across the United States. Worldwide it has sold 21 million copies, becoming one of the best-selling albums of all time.

Five singles were released from the album, with the title track and "Material Girl" becoming worldwide hits and "Into the Groove" becoming her first number-one single in the United Kingdom. To promote Like a Virgin, Madonna embarked on her first concert tour—The Virgin Tour—which travelled in cities of North America only. Like a Virgin has attained significance as a cultural artifact of the Eighties. Madonna proved that she was not a one-hit wonder and was able to establish herself as a musical force to be reckoned with. Her songs became a lightning rod for both criticism by conservatives and imitation by the younger female population, especially "Material Girl" and "Like a Virgin". According to author J. Randy Taraborrelli, "Every important artist has at least one album in his or her career whose critical and commercial success becomes the artist's magic moment; for Madonna, Like a Virgin was just such a defining moment".
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