Year Released: 1984

Notable Songs: “Like a Virgin”, “Material Girl”, “Angel”, “Into the Groove”, “Dress You Up”

Album MVP: “Like a Virgin”

Why I Loved It: That album cover though… Madonna was so hot I would’ve bought Like A Virgin for that cover alone, even if the music was one huge pile of shit. I, like almost any teenage boy fantasized about being with Madonna in the mid-80s. Girls wanted to be here too, as I can’t count how many “boy toy” belt buckles I saw chicks sporting during those days. Having said all that, my 80s love for Madonna went far beyond her gorgeous looks and attitude. I actually loved her music on this album.  I mean, obviously it was geared towards girls but whatever, these songs were fun as hell to sing along with, albeit for teen boys like me usually best served doing so alone.

Perhaps no female in the history of the pop music business better understood the appeal of dance-pop to the younger demographic masses. Madonna had a couple hit singles on her first album but this is the one that made Madonna into a superstar. Like a Virgin was the perfect blend of bravura and defiance sprinkled in with creative foresight.

Madonna was put on this earth to be a star and she knew exactly what it was going to take to get there. “Like a Virgin” (the single) was No. 26 on my Favorite 100 Songs of the 80’s countdown last year. Again, loving many of these tracks was a (very) guilty pleasure back in the day, but I’ll never forget how much I loved this album.

Commercial Success:  Like a Virgin was one of more commercially successful female solo albums of all-time and the biggest of her career.  It went to number-one on the Billboard Top 200 and stayed on top for three weeks before being supplanted by Wham. It would finish 1984 third on the year-end Billboard chart and 52nd in 1985.  It went on to sell more than 10 million copies in the United States and 21 million worldwide. “Like a Virgin” (the single) became Madonna’s first number-one single on the Billboard Hot 100, the first of what would become 11 number-one singles.  The track stayed on top for six consecutive weeks and finished ’85 second on the year-end chart. “Material Girl” reached number two and would also become one of Madonna’s many nicknames. Both “Angel” and “Dress You Up” peaked at five on the Billboard Hot 100, giving her four hits in the top five. It would’ve been five, as “Into the Groove” reached number-one on the U.S. Dance Club Songs but was ineligible for the Billboard Hot 100 because it was only a “B” side single. This is the third Madonna album on this countdown: Like a Prayer came in at No. 65 and her self-titled debut album was No. 31.

Fun Facts: From on her hit song “Material Girl”: “In a 2009 interview with Rolling Stone, Madonna was asked about her first impressions hearing the demos for this song and “Like A Virgin.” She replied: “I liked them both because they were ironic and provocative at the same time but also unlike me. I’m not a materialistic person, and I certainly wasn’t a virgin.” Expanding on her “not materialistic” statement, she said, “I feel lucky to be able to afford a Frida Kahlo painting or live in a nice house, but I know that I can live without it. I’m resourceful, and if I ended up in a log cabin in the middle of the forest, that would work too. These things are not mandatory for my happiness.”The video shoot for this song was where Madonna first met her future husband, Sean Penn. The connection was Meegan Lee Ochs, who was working on the shoot and had been Penn’s assistant (she’s also the daughter of the late folk singer Phil Ochs). Penn came by the shoot and got his first look at Madonna when she was in full costume.”


 100.  Van Halen – OU812 

99. Stevie Wonder – In Squared Circle

98. Taylor Dayne – Can’t Fight Fate

97. Kool & The Gang – Emergency 

96. Stevie B – In My Eyes 

95. Keith Sweat – Make It Last Forever 

94. Michael Bolton – Soul Provider 

93. Go Go’s – Beauty & The Beast 

92. LL Cool J – Bigger And Deffer (Bad) 

91. Twisted Sister – Stay Hungry 

90. Def Leppard – Hysteria

89. New Edition – Heartbreak

88. Don Henley – Building A Perfect Beast

87. Beverly Hills Cop – Movie Soundtrack

86. Culture Club – Kissing To Be Clever 

85. Rolling Stones – Tattoo You

84. Asia – Asia 

83. Tiffany – Tiffany 

82. Lionel Richie – Dancing on the Ceiling

81. Barbara Streisand – Guilty 

80. Phil Collins – …But Seriously 

79. Air Supply – The One That You Love

78. J. Geils Band – Freeze Frame

77. Duran Duran – Rio 

76. Billy Ocean – Suddenly 

75. Run DMC – Raising Hell

74. Pat Benatar – Crimes of Passion

73. John Cougar – American Fool

72. Huey Lewis and The News – Picture This

71. Top Gun – Movie Soundtrack

70. Steve Winwood – Back In The High Life

69. Air Supply – Lost In Love

68. LL Cool J – Radio

67. Journey – Frontiers 

66. Styxx – Paradise Theater

65. Madonna – Like A Prayer

64. Eric B & Rakim – Paid In Full 

63. Tears for Fears – Songs From The Big Chair

62. Tina Turner – Private Dancer 

61. Steve Nicks – Bella Donna

60. U2 – The Joshua Tree

59. Bon Jovi – New Jersey 

58. Huey Lewis and the News – Fore!

57. Janet Jackson – Rhythm Nation 1814

56. Prince – 1999

55. ZZ Top – Eliminator 

54. Survivor – Vital Signs

53. New Edition – New Edition 

52. Dirty Dancing – Movie Soundtrack

51. Foreigner – 4

50. Public Enemy – It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back

49. Lionel Richie – Lionel Richie 

48. Men at Work – Business As Usual

47. Run DMC – Run DMC

46. Richard Marx – Richard Marx

45. Paula Abdul – Forever Your Girl 

44. Rocky IV – Movie Soundtrack 

43. Tom Petty – Full Moon River 

42. Whitney Houston – Whitney 

41, REO Speedwagon – Hi Infidelity 

40. Christopher Cross – Christopher Cross

39. Culture Club – Colour By Numbers 

38. Chicago – Chicago 17

37. Bryan Adams – Reckless

36. Bon Jovi – Slippery When Wet

35. Heart – Heart 

34. Def Leppard – Pyromania 

33. Toto -Toto IV

32. The Police – Ghost In the Machine 

31. Madonna – Madonna

30. New Kids On The Block – Hangin’ Tough

29. Hall and Oates – H20

28. Don Henley – The End Of The Innocence

27. The Police – Synchronicity 

26. Phil Collins – No Jacket Required

25. Beastie Boys – Licensed To Ill

24. Hall & Oates – Private Eyes

23. Neil Diamond – The Jazz Singer