Standard Issue writers are revisiting a film/book/TV series to see if it’s stood the test of time. On the 30th anniversary of its release, Twayna Mayne finds Like A Virgin has got better – and also a wee bit creepy.
What and why: On 6 November 1984, Madonna released Like a Virgin. The first single from her second album of the same name, it was written by the team behind Cyndi Lauper’s True Colors, who also wrote hits for the Bangles and Whitney Houston. In the US, it went to No 1 and stayed there for six weeks.
Rated or dated: Rated. I remember dancing to this at my junior school disco. It wasn’t until years later that I actually knew what she was singing about (“Like a virgin / ooh, ooh, like a virgin / Feels so good inside…“).
I’m a Madonna fan up to a point. Music was her last good album. I love 80s pop and Like a Virgin is 80s pop at its finest. Although it’s very much of its time, it doesn’t sound particularly dated. In fact, it’s got better with age. My only issue is her voice here is a little too high and girly – though I‘m sure it’s like that for a reason.
Like a Virgin spent 18 weeks in the UK charts, starting at No 51. I don’t want to sound like an old person, but that wouldn’t happen these days. Today, if an artist released the first single from their second album and it went into the charts that low, the single would soon fall out of the charts and they’d be dropped by their record label soon after.
The production on this record is what makes it a classic. Chic’s Nile Rodgers (Pharrell Williams’ BFF) was producer; he also programmed the drums and played guitar on this track. Another Chic member played synthesisers. The rhythm and arrangement of the drums and bass on the song are Chic’s rhythms and arrangements. In fact, Like a Virgin is pretty much a Chic song – but with Madonna singing.
At the time, I didn’t know who Chic were, I just knew Madonna made good songs you could dance to. Still can.2064 Views
I like music, swearing and biscuits. Media underling by day, fledgling stand-up comedian by night. @twaynamayne