This Day In Music - 21st September
September 21, 2012 @ 10:00 am
This Day in 1985, Madonna scored her first UK No.1 album with 'Like A Virgin', ten months after its release.
Like a Virgin is the second studio album by American singer-songwriter Madonna, released on November 12, 1984 by Sire Records. It was re-released worldwide in 1985, with the inclusion of the bonus track "Into the Groove". In 2001, Warner Bros. Records released a remastered version with two bonus remix tracks. After the release 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. She decided to become one of the record producers, but Warner Bros. was not ready to give her the artistic freedom that she wanted. 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 enlisted 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 usedigital recording, a new technique introduced at that time. 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 Madonna's first album, but she felt that the material was stronger. Along with Rodgers, Madonna also collaborated with her former boyfriend Steve Bray, who co-wrote many songs on the album. Consisting of dance-pop oriented music, the songs also incorporated New Wave. 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 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 "Like a Virgin", "Material Girl" and "Into the Groove" becoming worldwide hits. To promote the album, Madonna embarked on The Virgin Tour, which had shows in cities of North America only. Like a Virgin has attained significance as a cultural artifact of the 80s. Madonna proved that she was not a one-hit wonder and was able to provide herself with a permanent footing in the music world. 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".
Like a Virgin was recorded and finished by April 1984, but the release of the album was held up, much to Madonna's frustration, by the continuing sales of her debut album, which was approaching two million sales in United States. The album entered the Billboard 200 at number three on December 22, 1984, and stayed within the top ten for the next month, before reaching number one on February 9, 1985, where it stayed for three weeks. It also reached a peak of ten on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart. By July 1985, Like a Virgin became the first album by a female artist to be certified for sales of five million units in the United States. It was eventually certified ten times platinum (diamond) by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), for shipment of ten million copies of the album. It placed at three on the year-end chart for 1985, with Madonna becoming the top pop artist for the year. After the advent of the Nielsen SoundScan era in 1991, the album sold a further 574,000 copies. In Canada, the album debuted at number 78 on the RPM Albums Chart, on November 10, 1984. It reached a peak of number three, on February 16, 1985. The album was present for a total of 74 weeks on the chart, and was certified diamond by the Canadian Recording Industry Association(CRIA), for shipment of one million copies of the album. Like a Virgin ranked sixth on the RPM Top 100 Albums for 1985.
In the United Kingdom, Like a Virgin debuted at number 74 on the UK Albums Chart, on January 12, 1985. However, the album fluctuated on the chart for the next eight months and it was only in September that it finally reached the top of the chart. It remained at the top for two weeks, and a total of 152 weeks on the chart. The album was certified three times platinum by the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) for shipment of 900,000 copies of the album. In France, the album debuted at number five on the French Albums Chart on October 6, 1985, staying there for eight weeks, then descending down the chart. It was certified two times platinum by the Syndicat National de l'Édition Phonographique (SNEP) for shipment of 600,000 copies. In Australia, the album debuted and peaked at two on the Kent Music Report albums chart, and was certified seven times platinum by the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) for shipment of 490,000 copies of the album. It reached the top of the New Zealand Albums Chart and was certified five times platinum by the Recording Industry Association of New Zealand (RIANZ) for shipment of 75,000 copies. Elsewhere, Like a Virgin reached number one in Germany, Italy, Netherlands and Spain, while peaking within the top five in many other countries, including Austria, Japan, Sweden and Switzerland. It also became Madonna's first number-one album on the European Top 100 Albums, reaching the summit on November 23, 1985 for two weeks.Like a Virgin has sold more than 21 million copies worldwide and became one of the best-selling albums of all time
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