Song of the Day #4,785: ‘Like a Virgin’ – Madonna

Madonna’s sophomore album sat on the shelf for a few months because her debut was still selling so well. A month after its predecessor reached the top ten, selling more than two million copies in the process, Like a Virgin was released in November of 1984.

And just like that, she went from emerging star to superstar. Within a few months, Like a Virgin reached #1, where it spent a few weeks. By July of 1985, it had sold more than five million copies, making her the first woman to achieve that feat. It would eventually become her top-selling album in the U.S., achieving Diamond status with domestic sales of more than 10 million units.

After a bad experience with the producer of her first album, Madonna wanted to helm this one herself. The record label balked, unwilling to give that much control to a young (woman) artist, so she recruited Nile Rodgers, whose work on David Bowie’s Let’s Dance she admired.

Together, they crafted a more mature and slick pop sound and churned out a handful of era-defining singles, including opener ‘Material Girl,’ ‘Angel,’ ‘Dress You Up’ and the classic title track.

While Madonna co-wrote most songs on the album, only ‘Angel’ from that lineup was her own composition. It’s a testament to Madonna’s confidence as an artist that she set her ego as a songwriter aside to record what she viewed as the best possible material, regardless of authorship.

“On this one I’ve chosen all the songs and I want them to be all hits—no fillers,” she said in an interview as the time. “That’s why I’ve done outside songs as well as six of my own … I wanted every song to be strong.”

While I don’t agree that the album has no fillers (‘Over and Over’ and ‘Shoo-Bee-Doo’ haven’t exactly stood the test of time), it is definitely a more consistently enjoyable work than her debut.

[Verse 1]
I made it through the wilderness
Somehow I made it through
Didn’t know how lost I was until I found you
I was beat, incomplete
I’d been had, I was sad and blue, but you made me feel
Yeah, you made me feel shiny and new

[Chorus]
Like a virgin
Touched for the very first time
Like a virgin
When your heart beats next to mine

[Verse 2]
Gonna give you all my love, boy
My fear is fading fast
Been saving it all for you, ’cause only love can last
You’re so fine and you’re mine
Make me strong, yeah you make me bold, oh your love thawed out
Yeah, your love thawed out what was scared and cold

[Chorus]
Like a virgin (Hey)
Touched for the very first time
Like a virgin
With your heartbeat next to mine
Whoa whoa whoa
Whoa whoa whoa, ah
Whoa whoa whoa

[Verse 3]
You’re so fine and you’re mine
I’ll be yours ’til the end of time ’cause you made me feel
Yeah, you made me feel I’ve nothing to hide

[Chorus]
Like a virgin (Hey)
Touched for the very first time
Like a virgin
With your heartbeat next to mine

[Outro]
Like a virgin
Ooh-ooh, like a virgin
Feels so good inside
When you hold me, and your heart beats, and you love me
Oh-ooh oh-oh-oh, ooh-ooh, ooh
Ooh baby, yeah
Can’t you hear my heart beat for the very first time?

2 thoughts on “Song of the Day #4,785: ‘Like a Virgin’ – Madonna

  1. Dana Gallup says:

    I’m not sure why I never noticed this before, but it’s cool the way WordPress generates additional related content to the subject of your post. I just read the Rolling Stone review of the album, which was rated 3 1/2 stars. A generally complimentary review, though “Love Don’t Live Here Anymore” was described as “awful.”

  2. Amy says:

    I never realized that Madonna had written as many of her songs as she had. Oh… these videos. It’s been years (decades?!) since I’ve watched some of them, but boy do I remember every one! As I mentioned in another post, her live performance of this song as the opening of some award show is one of my strongest memories of any such performance. I didn’t recognize it at the time, but she was likely one of my first contemporary feminist role models.

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