Madonna – Like A Virgin

OMG! Wasn’t she a vixen? Right from the start you could tell that this woman had star quality. Truth be told, I didn’t notice Holiday or the next two releases, but this one, Like A Virgin, her fourth UK release… Whizz! Bang! It’s like onomatopoeia was a word invented for Madonna.

She was every boys dream wasn’t she? Cavorting around on a gondola, wearing that wedding dress, being chased by a lion. Powerful, powerful stuff. Of course in the UK we were also treated to her performance in that pink wig on TOTP.

Vital Stats:

Entered UK Chart: 17-11-1984
Bought by Me: 28-12-1984
Highest Chart Position: 3
Weeks on Chart: 18

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Madonna – Material Girl

So we came to Madge’s fifth UK single. Superficially keeping the image she used to such good effect with Like A Virgin, in the video at least Madonna performed perhaps her first change of look in her homage to Marilyn Monroe in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. Much more how she would have liked to have been remembered than that trashy, slushy nonsense by Elton John, but I digress.

It’s often said that Madonna is least proud of this song than any other in her back catalogue. The 80’s were a time of conspicuous excess on both sides of the pond, and with this song it seems that a nickname had been found for Madonna. One that she didn’t much like.

Vital Stats:

Entered UK Chart: 2-3-1985
Bought by Me: 16-3-1985
Highest Chart Position: 3
Weeks on Chart: 10

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Madonna – Crazy For You

Madonna’s sixth UK singles chart release and a tie in with the Matthew Modine film Vision Quest. It was backed by different songs in different territories. In the UK we had the Sammy Hagar offering I’ll Fall In Love Again – a track that joined Crazy For You on the film’s soundtrack. This is perhaps my favourite of the early Madonna offerings. It certainly reminds me now of discos in the village hall with Madonna’s breathy evocation of ‘strangers making the most of the dark…’ If only, eh?!

Vital Stats:

Entered UK Chart: 8-6-1985
Bought by Me: 13-7-1985
Highest Chart Position: 2
Weeks on Chart: 15

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Madonna – Into The Groove

Following on from Crazy For You, in an even more radical departure according to territory, this fine single (taken from the insanely under-rated film Desperately Seeking Susan) was only released as a B side in the US but received fully fledged A side status in the UK. And we responded to this great trust placed in us by sending it to number 1 – Madonna’s first UK number 1 single.

Vital Stats:

Entered UK Chart: 27-7-1985
Bought by Me: 3-8-1985
Highest Chart Position: 1
Weeks on Chart: 14

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Madonna – Angel

Angel was released considerably later in the UK than it had been in other parts of the world. As noted, Angel had been paired with Into The Groove in the US, but in the UK both had been released separately. It’s true that Angel is remembered less well than Into The Groove, even though it must have been considered the stronger of the two when the release strategy was decided. For all of that, it’s a typically spiky performance by Madonna.

Vital Stats:

Entered UK Chart: 21-9-1985
Bought by Me: 4-10-1985
Highest Chart Position: 5
Weeks on Chart: 9

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Madonna – Dress You Up

It’s been said before and probably will be again, that our Madonna is ‘a little bit woo, a little bit weh’. It’s also been said that song lyrics, like any other form of language can be interpreted in anyway the listener or reader chooses, but how on earth could this song have ended up on the Parent Music Resource Center (PMRC)’s list of Filthy Fifteen – you know (or maybe you don’t), the original set of songs which they demanded should have those ridiculous Parental Advisory aka Tipper Stickers.

You can understand songs like Prince’s Darling Nikki or some of the heavy metal ones like W.A.S.P.’s Animal (F**k Like A Beast) with their obviously unsavoury lyrics, but Dress You Up? Maybe it’s me, maybe I am too liberal, but I’d rather be liberal than a reactionary p***k.

Vital Stats:

Entered UK Chart: 7-12-1985
Bought by Me: 14-12-1985
Highest Chart Position: 5
Weeks on Chart: 11

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Madonna – Live To Tell

So we moved into 1986 and Madonna went for an image change. Gone was all the jewellery and instead of layers and layers of makeup, Madonna wore a much more subtle palette. Live To Tell was actually the last of Madonna’s singles that I went out and bought. It is perhaps one of her best singles and one that has stood the test of time, without becoming dated. Great song though it is, Like A Virgin will always sound like 1984 to me, whereas this has a much more timeless appeal.

Vital Stats:

Entered UK Chart: 26-4-1986
Bought by Me: 25-4-1986
Highest Chart Position: 2
Weeks on Chart: 12

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Madonna – UK Singles June 1986 – December 1989

After Live To Tell, Madonna went on a run of a further 11 UK chart singles up to and including December 1989’s Dear Jessie. Every single went top 10 and a total of 5, Papa Don’t Preach (entered chart June 1986), True Blue (October 1986), La Isla Bonita (April 1987), Who’s That Girl (July 1987) and Like A Prayer (March 1989) went to number 1.

Of course, she’s done loads and loads of stuff since the 80’s, but there is no better icon for the 1980’s than Ms Ciccone.

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