One of the most controversial songs of the 80s, Madonna's "Like a Virgin" broke all stereotypes regarding sex before marriage for women.Many Christian and family groups tried to ban the song.Despite all the oppostion and condemnation,"Like a Virgin" sold more than a million copies in the U.S..becoming Madonna's first no.1 Billboard Hot 100 song on the Christmas eve of 1984.
One has to remember that Madonna never wrote the song nor composed the lyrics, but was offered the song and the music 'on a plate' by Tom Kelly and Steinberg the most sought after song writers of the early 80s.
Since Madonna was contracted with Warner Bros Records during the early 80s, Kelly and Steinberg also offered "Material Girl" to Madonna as a part of their contractual obligation to Warner Bros.
Madonna's self titled debut album released on the last week of July 1983, had sold more than 10 million copies across the world, 5 million in the U.S alone,did not have a single track that topped the Billboard Hot 100 charts, least any song that entered the top 5 of the Billboard charts for one whole year.
But she did have three top ten hits "Lucky Star", "Borderline" and "Holiday" and had used her entire repertoire of songs for her debut Madonna.With no material of her own and Warner Bros Records pressurising Madonna to replicate the success if her first album, left her with no choice but to accept Kelly and Steinberg materials, namely "Like a Virgin" and "Material Girl".
25 years later, in a 2009 interview when asked about "Like a Virgin" and "Material Girl" Madonna opened up "I liked them both because they were ironic and provocative at the same time but also unlike me. I am not a materialistic person, and I certainly wasn't a virgin, and, by the way, how can you be like a virgin? I liked the play on words; I thought they were clever. They're so geeky, they're cool. I never realized they would become my signature songs,
especially the second one."
The lyrics of the title track,"Like a Virgin" had hidden meaning and deals with the sexual urges an unmarried adolsecent girl goes through, this was aptly demonstrated by Madonna in the music video, where she gets on a boat in Brooklyn,New York in complete darkness and emerges in Venica, Italy bathing in sunlight..dancing in the boat.
As she travels through the boat, her dress changes from a white wedding gown (with a short skirt) to a black tops and dark blue pants and a huge lions walks close to her.Then a man in Lion's mask or werelion gets down on his kness proposes to her, and she gives her hand to him in acknowledgement.
Just like her record label Warner Bros Records wished, Like a Virgin the album sold more than 21 million copies around the world, with 10 million unit of sales coming from the U.S, a million each from Canada and the U.K.
Track Listings -
1. Material Girl
3. Like A Virgin
4. Over And Over
5. Love Don't Live Here Anymore
6. Dress You Up