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4.4 out of 5 stars88
4.4 out of 5 stars
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on 21 March 2014
This album did for girls what Michael Jackson's Thriller album did for boys. By that I mean not only is it one of the defining albums of the 1980s but it prompted almost mass hysteria from the population. Many parents disapproved of what they saw as Madonna's rebellious antics and lyrics (and this was 30 years before Miley Cyrus!). But us girls knew a real superstar when we saw - and heard! - one. Not only was the music fantastic - and that often gets overlooked with all the hype surrounding Madonna - but the image was something else too. We all teased our hair, started wearing lacy fingerless gloves and footless tights, slapped on the bangles, and put so many Crucifixes around our neck it's a wonder that my generation don't have permanent spinal problems from the effort of holding our heads up. There were Madonna look-alike competitions, Madonna Talent Shows, Madonna look-alikes, Madonna music blasting out onto the street. OK, so Thriller was an excellent album, but even Michael Jackson couldn't claim it had that big an impact.

The music on this album has not dated, even thoguht it was originally released in 1984 (Into The Groove ws added in '85 - an early forerunner for today's trend of reissuing 'deluxe' versions of albums!). Like A Virgin, Material Girl, Into The Groove, Dress You Up, Angel, Love Don't Live Here Anymore - we all knew all the words and played it constantly while wearing out our VHS Video copy of The Virgin Tour. Mdonna seemed so ballsy, so new and fresh and exciting - who of today's female singers can you say that about? Nowadays we see Miley Cyrus stick out her tongue - for the millionth time that day - and we think: put it away, love, we've seen it all before.

If you like 80s music or are just a fan of great pop, then you really should own this album. It's hard to convey nowadays what a whirlwind erupted at the time on the arrival of Madonna and this album. And one of the reasons for that is that the music really is excellent. This is one of the best albums that Madonna ever released, and with it she inspired a generation of young women to be who they wanted to be, to reach for the stars and not to let anyone tell you not to try.

This isn't just an album, it's the footprint left by a generation.
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on 21 January 2004
Not one of my favourite Madonna albums, HOWEVER, it contains some absolute classics. (as would be expected – this is the album that truly introduced Madonna to the world and created the ‘Wannabes’).
As this is a remastered version of the original release of LAV, it does NOT include Into The Groove, which is a shame. However, most people who want it will have that on The Immaculate Collection.
With 4 huge hits (Material Girl, Like a Virgin, Dress You Up and Angel) some classic Madonna album cuts, Over and Over (later to be remixed on You Can Dance), Stay and a cover of the Rose Royce classic ‘Love Don’t Live Here Anymore’ (which was remixed and released as a single many years later to support the ‘Something to Remember’ ballads collection), and the truly beautiful (and still one of Madonna fans most loved ballads) Shoo-Bee-Doo.
The remixes are good, essentially extended versions (as the 80’s did best!)
A classic and historical album!
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There I was, a shy, geeky spendthrifty 14-year-old. Then along came Madonna and Like a Virgin. Suddenly, I was a total Madonna addict, listening to this album religiously every day, buying every silly teen mag that even mentioned her, and--to the horror of my parents--covering all of my walls with Madonna posters. No other album has ever had such a influence on me. I was still shy and geeky, of course, but I was a changed person. Over the years, my Madonna worship waned but never disappeared. Going back and listening to this CD now, I am amazed at how great it sounds, and I enjoy the memories it stirs inside of me.
No one can deny how huge this album was. It made Madonna a superstar, and it sunk its anchors into both the album and single bestseller charts. The title track was of course a huge hit and represents to me a cultural phenomenon. Material Girl had an even larger impact, and many would argue the song basically defined the decade of the 80s; it certainly helped shape the decade. Dress You Up was just a fun song with a great beat; as things turned out, it was to a certain extent prophetic because Madonna basically did dress up great multitudes of young admirers copying the Madonna look. Angel was another big hit, largely because it was so easy to relate to. Anyone who has ever had a crush on someone knows exactly what Madonna is singing about here. Over and Over also charted, I believe; it lacks the substance of the other songs on the album, but both the words and the energizing music do encourage you to keep going in the face of setbacks. Love Don't Live Here Anymore is the true gem on here, though. I kept expecting it to be released as a single because I really believed it would be a huge hit. Some parts of the album are a little sugary, but this song proved that Madonna did have substance and a talented voice. She packed real emotion and power into her lyrics, and I have always found the song to be well nigh heartbreaking. As for the remaining songs, Shoo-Be-Doo and Pretender are somewhat formulaic and lack pizzazz, but Stay is a song I have always liked quite a bit. It has an emotional quality that I find compelling; I could do without the "scoop scoop" choruses, but overall I find it a song of significant merit.
Not everyone will associate this album with a personal paradigm shift of great personal importance (which is how I view it), but when you get down to brass tacks, the album has more than its fair share of great songs which remain fun and vibrant all these years later. These songs still energize and inspire me, and Love Don't Live Here Anymore still captivates me. For those who discovered Madonna in the 90s or more recently, these songs may sound simplistic or perhaps immature, but I believe that the eternal spirit, magic, and unparalleled success of Madonna can be traced back to its very source in Like A Virgin.
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Madonna's second album, 'Like A Virgin' is a classic pop album even though 'Madge' had not quite at this point in her career hit the songwriting heights as consistently as she would later on. The opener, 'Material Girl' is a definite classic, however, and may well be the record responsible for the birth of 'girl power' single handedly! 'Angel', though a single, is rather a weedy affair compared to MG and is just an o.k. song but 'Like A Virgin' is Madonna at her playful, teasing best. Combining a certain amount of the allure of Marilyn Monroe with a much more overtly sexual 'come and get me' bad girl look just the image Madonna created sold thousands of singles!

To bracket Madonna as 'just another broad selling sex to get record sales' is to do her a serious injustice, however. The lady has serious talent and has written some incredible songs in her time - artistically as well as commercially. With Producer, Nile Rodgers, at the helm this album was always going to sound a little like 'Chic' but in more cases it actually sounds nearer to the Bowie, 'Let's Dance' or The Power Station, 'Some Like It Hot' sound than disco.

I'm not a great fan of her version of 'Love Don't Live Here Anymore' and don't really think it was a wise choice for her to sing. Madonna is no soul singer and the Rose Royce, Gwen Dickey sung original is an absolute classic slowie... I do like the slightly sad/reflective slant on 'Shoo-Be-Doo' though while the hit, 'Dress You Up', and remaining tracks are all good pop songs if not classics.

The addition of the 12" versions of both 'Material Girl' and 'Like A Virgin' is a huge plus here as both extended versions are great and remind me of my years as a D.J. or clubbing and the re-mastering job has also been done well. The only snag with re-mastering done so well being perhaps that as much as it highlights what is going on in a track it also brings out every off key note or dodgy backing vocal as well. At this stage of her career Madonna was still not at the height of her powers vocally and occasionally that shows up now...

Overall though, you can't really dislike this record and Madonna certainly deserves all of the plaudits she has collected over the years.
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on 15 October 2013
This album is better than Madonna's debut. It's lovely!

1. Material Girl - This is a classic pop song. Fun to sing, fun video too. Tamperers cover was great also! 8/10

2. Angel - A single form the album that never made much of an impact. 80s pop by numbers. 7/10

3. Like a Virgin - YES> great song! This is simply a great song. The lyrics are brilliant, when you really hear and read them, they are very nice and a bit profound! Madonna has sung this a few different ways on her tours over the years, check out her versions on the live albums of Confessions and MDNA tours. 10/10

4. Over and Over - Hmm, I find this song strange. It's about being yourself and getting up after being knocked down. Which is all good and inspirational, but i don't like the male backing vocals, it just sounds to rushed and strange! 6/10

5. Love Don't Live Here Anymore - Cover of the classic song, and I think she does it well. It's not groundbreaking, but her voice holds up nicely. 8/10

6. Into The Groove - My gosh, is this the greatest pop song of all time?? It sure could be! 'AND YOU CAN DANCE! FOR INSPIRATION! YEAH! COME ON!'. I'm too excited to write more. 10/10

7. Dress You Up - Ahh, now this is a great forgotten Madonna song. It has a bit of subversion about it, a slightly darker edge to it, at the same time staying bubblegum. I'm not saying it's a dark song, but there is just something different about this! 8/10

8. Shoo-bee-doo - This is one of my favorite Madonna ballads ever. Shoo-bee-doo is a stupid title (I might have called it 'come to me baby'). Despite the title, it is a sugary sweet ballad, catchy, fun, saxophone solo, fabulousness. Made for the last dance at the disco! 10/10

9. Pretender - A very good 80s pop track. There is more to this upon each listen. 9/10

10. - Stay, eeek. Not a good song. 80s blandness. And the whole 'scootilee bee bop' bit is not needed. 5/10

Overall, an improvement over the First Album, with some great ballads chucked in too.
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on 9 October 2012
This is the Japanese Remastered Version of Madonna's second album titled, "Like A Virgin", released on November 12, 1984. It was this album that brought Madonna into the forefront of much debate, talk, and imprint. Not only for the fact that teens were dressing like her but because it raised the eyebrows of many. The music had a much more gritty funkier edge definitely more pure pop vs. the previous which was a more fun airy dance pop style. Madonna worked with Nile Rodgers, a master of funk, to bring a very rich sounding vocal singing along a phenomenal sound-on the lines of Motown! Madonna's voice on this album versus the previous one was a much fuller style. Also, while the first does not have ballads, this one introduces them quite majestically here. The album has sold over 21 million copies and reached #1 on the Billboard 200. It has been certified ten times platinum (diamond) by the RIAA. It ranked #6 on the RPM Top 100 Albums for 1985. It reached #1 on the European Top 100 Albums. Other countries where the album reached #1 are Spain, France, Italy, Germany, and the Netherlands.

Since the previous singles from the previous self-titled album "Madonna" were making such a splash, the album was delayed a few months. From the launch of her video and the surprise performance on the MTV Video Music Awards during that time, the energy and anticipation was skyrocketing at alarming heights. The first single was a debate between Nile Rodgers and Madonna. While he wanted "Material Girl" she wanted "Like A Virgin". Madonna, not one to be told what to do got what she wanted and the single was released [November 6, 1984] and went to #1. [Later on, Material Girl went to #2]. It has a very catchy style and beat definitely relevant to this day and performed on concerts throughout all the eras. The tongue-in-cheek performances that accompanied the single definitely created a rise among conservatives when the Reagan era was very much geared to family values and marriage. That being said, the single did not loose momentum. Critics were dispersed. In 2000, "Like A Virgin" was honored by Rolling Stones and MTV as 4th on their list of the "100 Best Songs of the Past 25 Years. The single became Madonna's fist of 12 #1 hits on the Billboard Hot 100, according to Nielson Business Media and Wikipedia. The song went on to feature on a video in which the song was performed live on the Blond Ambition Tour which later got nominated for 1991 MTV Video Music Awards for Best Female Video and Best Choreography. Aside that tour, she has also performed it in others like the Confessions Tour. The song also made headlines years later on an 2003 MTV Video Music Awards as Like A Virgin was performed with Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera when Madonna ultimately kissed both Christina and Britney on the mouth.

The second single, "Material Girl" [released January 30, 1985] was another smash along with the accompanying video. It has Madonna looking like Marilyn Monroe performing a number from the film, "Gentleman Prefer Blondes" ala Madonna style for her video. Let's not forget this is where Sean Penn seemed to have caught his eye on Madonna too. The video again addressed many concerns as critics misunderstood the meaning and the tongue-in-cheek depiction. The meaning was definitely one of not being a material girl as the video and Virgin Tour performance of the song demonstrated. The single went to the peak position of #2 in the Billboard Hot 100. The melody is definitely catchy and classic as it is still played today and performed on her Reinvention Tour, to name one.

The 3rd single is "Angel" Angel released January 30, 1985. It was Madonna's 5th consecutive #1 on the Billboard Hot 100. The song has a soft melody along Madonna's angelic vocals and features themes of being healed from depression by an Angel who appeared and later made her fall in love with Him.

The 4th non-album track single [omitted for US and other cities] [released July 23, 1985] titled, "Into The Groove" Into the Groove / Everybody / Shoo-Bee-Doo- is from the 1985 film titled, Desperately Seeking Susan. The inspiration of the song came from Madonna's love for the dance-floor. Toward the end of the 80's Billboard Magazine named it the "Dance Single of the Decade." The song was not eligible to enter the Billboard Hot 100 due the conflicts of the other single "Angel" which was on the top of the charts--apparently both singles would've competed with each other. It reached #1 on the Billboard Hot Dance Club Play chart and #1 on the Dance Singles Sales Chart after it was released on the single Angel (Extended Mix)/Into The Groove--which went gold according to the RIAA. It was the first UK #1 single. Madonna was inspired to write this song while doing an interview with Time Magazine as she saw a young guy across her balcony with a gorgeous Puerto Rican look. The song was played not only on the commercial and CD for GAP titled, A New Groove: A New Jean, but also on her latest tour titled "Sticky & Sweet Tour". The Gap CD was a remixed version titled, "Into The Hollywood Groove" and featured Missy Elliott. A further remix [The Passengerz Mix"] was also included in the album Remixed & Revisited from Madonna's American Life Remix EP.

The 5th single, Dress You Up / Shoo Bee Doo- "Dress You Up" was released July 24, 1985. It compares love with fashion sort of speak. This song was the opening song for Madonna's Virgin Tour. It is included on Madonna's newer releases like "Celebration". The video was nominated at the 1986 MTV VMA's for Best Choreography. It reached #5 on the Billboard Hot 100.

A great song and stand out worth mentioning and the 6th single [that reached #49] is, "Over and Over" [written by Madonna and Steve Bray and released on November 14, 1985 in Italy only]. It is also one of my favorite songs that I embrace even now [20+ years later]. The message is that even if you don't succeed at first just get up and try again. It's definitely an empowering song many can relate to. This song was on Madonna first remix album titled, You Can Dance. The melody is fast up-tempo pop with varying sounds never monotonous or tiring to hear.

A truly favorite and classic of mine is the song "Love Don't Live Here Anymore", the 7th single [released March 19, 1986-Japan Only]. This song is so epic that it is unbelievable that it was done so long ago. This was written in 1978 by Miles Gregory. Nile Rodgers accompanied the song with a symphonic arrangement that made it even more masterly and smashing! It is one of the most heard ballads and top most heard of mine. This song is available in the Ballad Album titled, Something to Remember. It peaked at #32 on the Billboard Hot 100. It reached #2 in the UK Singles Chart.

The aggressive sounding "Pretender" brings a nice emotional Madonna as it mentions the hurt and the pain that love can bring and how you should not fall victim. "Stay" [Madonna/Steve Bray] is another track with a more funky style, great rhythms, and highly energetic beats. It is a great pop song but it fails to raise the pulse to a hit.

The more softer Madonna also delivers another ballad titled, "Shoo-Bee-Doo" definitely close to the heart and emotions. This song has many depictions that one can't help but wonder if Sean Penn was the subject. It addresses the hurt and the pain of a past relationship as she sings [from my listening interpretation), "...when I look into your eyes I see so much confusion and it's killing me... well, I can't take it anymore... why don't you dry your eyes try and realize... love can open any doors..and maybe if you trust in me I can make you see.. shoo bee doo come to me baby." This is a wipe your tears song to a guy. Another similar subject to the music artist that I also love named Aaliyah. It's a definite ear-popper in bringing soft lucsious vocals, beautiful eloquent singing, and classic melody all in one.

This album not only marked the way as the -not a flash in the pan- music artist but opened the door for future music artists to imitate, take note of, and admire! Britney, Lady Gaga, and others have Madonna but who did Madonna have back then? She created her image, she designed her look, and together with the music brought a complete package that not only resonated with the mainstream and the music world but reached an array of fans worldwide that extended continents. By the end of 1984 the album exceeded expectations and broke the barriers of excellence! To promote this album and her first, Madonna launched her first tour ever titled, Madonna Live-The Virgin Tour (1985) [VHS].

The singles and positions are these:

(1) Like A Virgin - released November 6, 1984 - #1 Billboard Hot 100
(2) Material Girl - released January 30, 1985 - #2 Billboard Hot 100
(3) Angel - released April 10, 1985 - #1 Billboard Hot 100
(4) Into The Groove **[on re-release 1985 Edition]- released July 23, 1985 - Ineligible for Billboard -#1 on the Billboard Hot Dance Club Play Chart, first #1 single in the UK
(5) Dress You Up - released July 24, 1985 - #5 Billboard Hot 100
(6) Over and Over - released November 14, 1985 in Italy only #49 in Italy
(7) Love Don't Live Here Anymore- released March 19, 1986 in Japan only - #32 on the Billboard Hot 100, #2 in the UK Singles Chart.

***Into The Groove is not on this Japan Import. "It was only available on the 1985 re-issue outside North America. It is not available on the US version and is not included on the 2001 remastered version." [Wikipedia]

All the releases include the lyrics. This Japanese Import only has the added obi-strip, Japanese text booklet with lyrics, and nothing more. My recommendation would be to buy the regular version if the price tag is too high. Collectors, on the other hand may want to enjoy this Import for its worth down-the-line. The re mastering is definitely noticeable as the sound is impressive. The bonus tracks are not over the top noticeably different. Both are extended dance remixes thus not straying much from their original sound but a bit lengthier. The titles are: "Like A Virgin (Extended Dance Remix)" and "Material Girl (Extended Dance Remix)". Both were remixed by DJ John "Jellybean" Benitez.
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on 4 April 2013
The mid 1980's saw the emergence of someone who had the makings of a true, modern legend who had the potential to for longevity and to be more than the typical 5 years and you've peaked star. This has proved to be the case, however "Like A Virgin" will always be Madonna's best album. Remember that performance of the title track on "Top of the Pops" complete with Pink hair, the Material Girl video, the smooth dance class of "Into the Groove". Over the years more classic hits followed, but after "Like A Prayer", I don't think I could enjoy every track on a non-compilation Madonna album as I do with "Like A Virgin". The more techno dance stuff, characterisic of later Madonna doesn't carry the same effortless, comfortable rhythm as "Like A Virgin" and tends not to be so easy/pleasant on the ear and is not as memorable.
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A lot of these remastered albums tack on a couple of tracks that usually just reaffirm why they were left off in the first place or some ... alternative versions or luke warm live tracks. But for Madonna's "Like a Virgin" album they came up with extended dance remixes of both the title track and "Material Girl," which is a good move because it was mixes like those that put Madonna in the spotlight back in 1984 and where she has remained for the past two decades having remastered herself so often we have pretty much lost count. As bonus tracks go, these are way above average.
This was one of the first CDs I ever bought but I have not listened to it for a while and my copy has ended up in the possession of my eldest daughter so I picked up this new version. In the beginning when you listen to "Like a Virgin," "Material Girl," "Over and Over," and "Dress You Up" it was pretty clear the music was more about dancing than singing. But then you have a song like "Love Don't Live Here Anymore," which hints that there were other musical directions in which Madonna could go. Besides the sheer force of the lady's personality and public persona, you have to admit that most of the songs on this album are solid examples of what was happening in NYC dance clubs at that time. In other words, once you get past the shock value of the title cut and its sexual connotations, there was enough left over on the album of substance to continue to fuel Madonna's start. After all, despite the title song Stage II Madonna (Stage I was the club singer) was usually known as "The Material Girl."
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on 25 April 2015
Years ago my best friend Louise bought me this on tape for my 13th birthday. My friendship with Louise has even to this day, lasted longer the tape.

Great songs.
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on 8 April 2013
This album is a masterpiece of pop classics, one after the other! Besides the singles, I can't get enough of ANGEL, OVER AND OVER, SHOO BE DOO...Madonna truly deserves all her kingdom from her legacy!

The only bad thing, Amazon, is that the case arrived broken and it wasn't sealed! Please, be more careful with our purchases, especially because I live in Brazil, quite distant from the UK.
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