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Music / Like a Virgin

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I made it through the wilderness
Somehow I made it through
Some boys kiss me, some boys hug me
I think they're okay
If they don't give me proper credit
I just walk away

They can beg and they can plead
But they can't see the light (that's right)
'Cause the boy with the cold hard cash
Is always Mister Right
"Material Girl"

Like a Virgin is the second studio album recorded by American pop musician Madonna. It was released through Sire Records on November 12, 1984.

The album was Madonna's breakthrough, putting her in the American consciousness with hits such as "Into The Groove" (which was added to the 1985 re-release of the album), "Material Girl", and her Signature Song title track.

Track listing

Original 1984 release

Side One

  1. "Material Girl" (4:04)
  2. "Angel" (3:57)
  3. "Like A Virgin" (3:39)
  4. "Over And Over" (4:13)
  5. "Love Don't Live Here Anymore" (4:51)

Side Two

  1. "Dress You Up" (4:02)
  2. "Shoo-Bee-Doo" (5:18)
  3. "Pretender" (4:31)
  4. "Stay" (4:09)

1985 re-release

Side One

  1. "Material Girl" (4:04)
  2. "Angel" (3:57)
  3. "Like A Virgin" (3:39)
  4. "Over And Over" (4:13)
  5. "Love Don't Live Here Anymore" (4:51)

Side Two

  1. "Into The Groove" (4:43)
  2. "Dress You Up" (4:01)
  3. "Shoo-Bee-Doo" (5:16)
  4. "Pretender" (4:30)
  5. "Stay" (4:07)

I'm gonna dress you up in my tropes:

  • Break-Up Song: An example of Covered Up (originally by Rolls Royce) "Love Don't Live Here Anymore", where the protagonist has just been left by her former partner.
  • Canon Discontinuity: Madonna doesn't perform "Material Girl" during concerts anymore since the late 1980s, due to the Misaimed Fandom of the song and the way that the media and fans basically used the title as their de facto nickname for Madonna. Many people thought the song glorified consumerism and materialism, while she actually intended it as a satire. It was performed on the Re-Invention Tour, but only because she couldn't learn how to play the chords for "Dress You Up" in time, and the tour director (Jamie King) convinced her to put the song on the set list.
  • Catholic School Girls Rule: Madonna flirts with her Catholic faith by openly wearing crosses on the album cover.
  • Advertisement:
  • Cover Version: "Love Don't Live Here Anymore" by Rose Royce.
  • Dancing Is Serious Business: "Into the Groove"
  • Deliberately Monochrome: The album cover.
  • Destructive Romance: "The Pretender", where the protagonist knows the object of her desire is a pretender, but she still wants to try and change him. Of course, she is left behind as well.
  • Face on the Cover: Madonna in wedding dress, lying in bed.
  • Fairytale Wedding Dress: Madonna wears a wedding dress on the album cover, whether it's fairytale-like is up to you.
  • Femme Fatale: Madonna on the album cover.
  • Intercourse with You: Arguably a huge theme, including in "Dress You Up".
    • Subverted in "Stay"
    I wanted more than just a one night stand.
  • Madonna–Whore Complex: Madonna's public image as a cross between a pious and chaste holy mother image and a confrontational sex kitten was pioneered on this album. She even toys with it on the album cover:
    "I have always loved to play cat and mouse with the conventional stereotypes. My Like a Virgin album cover is a classic example. People were thinking who was I pretending to be—the Virgin Mary or the whore? These were the two extreme images of women I had known vividly, and remembered from childhood, and I wanted to play with them. I wanted to see if I can merge them together, Virgin Mary and the whore as one and all. The photo was a statement of independence, if you wanna be a virgin, you are welcome. But if you wanna be a whore, it's your fucking right to be so."
  • Ms. Fanservice: Check the album cover.
  • Nature Adores a Virgin: The obsession and scandalous atmosphere surrounding the title track can only be explained by this trope. The album cover also plays this up. The lyrics of the title track make it clear, however, that feeling "like a virgin" and actually being a virgin are two different things.
  • One True Love: "Like a Virgin" and "Angel", both about having found Mr. Perfect.
  • One-Woman Song: "Material Girl".
  • One-Word Title: "Angel", "Pretender", "Stay".
  • The Parody: "Weird Al" Yankovic spoofed the title track and its music video as "Like a Surgeon".
  • Pep-Talk Song: "Over and Over" in which Madonna tells her listeners that failing isn't a disaster, "you start again over and over".
  • Please Don't Leave Me: "Stay".
    But if you go I'd rather think of dying instead
    I never want you to leave
  • The Power of Music: "Music can be such a revelation. Dancing around you feel the sweet sensation" - "Into The Groove".
  • Record Producer: Nile Rodgers, Madonna, and Stephen Bray.
  • Saying Sound Effects Out Loud: "Shoo-Bee-Doo".
  • Sexy Packaging: On the album cover we see Madonna lying in bed, dressed in a wedding dress with notable décolleté and her bride bouquet near her, all suggesting that she's a new bride ready for her groom.
  • Shout-Out:
    • The intro to "Like a Virgin" was directly inspired by "Can't Help Myself" by Four Tops.
    • The music video to "Material Girl" was a shout-out to Marilyn Monroe in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes during the "Diamonds are a Girl's Best Friends" sequence.
    • A famous scene in Reservoir Dogs had the character Mr. Brown discuss the Public Secret Message behind "Like a Virgin".
    • In The Professional, Mathilda Lando wears Madonna's costume from "Like A Virgin" and sings the titular song while playing dressup with Leon.
  • Stop and Go: "Material Girl" has one.
  • Sublime Rhyme: Madonna wears a belt with the words "boy toy".
  • Technical Non-Virgin: The narrator of "Like a Virgin" has clearly gone all the way with men in the past, but her new paramour makes her feel pure and innocent again.
  • Title Track:
    Like a virgin, hey, touched for the very first time!
    Like a virgin, with your heartbeat next to mine.
  • Venice: The music video for "Like a Virgin" was filmed in the City of Canals.
  • Virgin Power: "Like a Virgin"
    Yeah, you made me feel... shiny and new
    Like a virgin!


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