Like a Virgin (3:11)

Cover of Like a Virgin

From Like a Virgin and 30 other releases

“Like a Virgin” is the first single by American singer Madonna from the album of the same name and was released on November 6, 1984 by Sire Records. It also appears in a truncated and slightly remixed form on the 1990 greatest hits compilation The Immaculate Collection.

Background

Madonna’s performance of this song at the 1984 MTV Video Music Awards made music history when she appeared in a bridal gown atop a giant wedding cake. She also notably lipsynched the song in a pink wig and custom-made Keith Haring jacket for a television performance on Solid Gold.

Billy Steinberg and Tom Kelly wrote the song, and Kelly sang on the demo. In an interview with Songfacts, Steinberg said:
When Madonna recorded it, even as our demo faded out, on the fade you could hear Tom saying, ‘When your heart beats, and you hold me, and you love me…’ That was the last thing you heard as our demo faded. Madonna must have listened to it very, very carefully because her record ends with the exact same little ad-libs that our demo did. That rarely happens that someone studies your demo so carefully that they use all that stuff. We were sort of flattered how carefully she followed our demo on that.
The bassline has been known as similar to Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean” and The Four Tops’ “I Can’t Help Myself”. Madonna acknowledged the similarities between her hit and those of Jackson and The Four Tops by incorporating elements of each into her live performances of “Like A Virgin” (with “Billie Jean” during 1985’s The Virgin Tour and with “I Can’t Help Myself” during 1987’s Who’s That Girl World Tour). The song also contains some lyrical parallels with Foreigner’s “Feels Like the First Time.”

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