The mid 1980s were kicked into high drive with the lead single from this memorable album: Like a Virgin by Madonna.
Written by Tom Kelly and Billy Steinberg, the song was the lead single of the album of the same name, her second album with Sire Records.
Produced by Nile Rodgers, the song with the provocative title was first presented by Steinberg to Michael Ostin, an A&R representative with Warner Bros, the parent company to Sire Records. And although Ostin and Rodgers didn’t love the song, they couldn’t forget the song, and decided to see if it would work for Madonna.
Madonna made Like a Virgin distinctive, not only with her vocal performance, but with the accompanying music video, showing her dancing through the streets and canals of Venice, dressed in a series of lingerie inspired outfits and showing a lion stalking her in a Venetian palace.
Released on October 31, 1984, the song entered the Billboard Hot 100 at number 48, and rose steadily thanks to strong radio and video airplay. Like a Virgin hit number one on December 22 and stayed in the top spot all through January 1985. It was Madonna’s first number one hit in the US.
But its the performance of this song by Madonna at the first MTV Video Music Awards that made this song an unforgettable song of the year. Wearing a white wedding-inspired lingerie outfit with a Boytoy belt buckle, Madonna started off on top of a wedding cake to perform the song on the awards show. Check it out here.
And its legacy – Like a Virgin is one of the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame’s 500 Songs That Shaped Rock ‘n’ Roll as well as being one of the singer’s signature songs of her musical career.