Saturday, November 2, 2013
A Record a Week: Madonna - Like a Virgin
LIKE A VIRGIN
OVER AND OVER
LOVE DON'T LIVE HERE ANYMORE
DRESS YOU UP
Like a Virgin is the second studio album from Madonna and the one that propelled her to icon status. In fact, this record not only propelled her career, but paved the way for many shock artists after her. The likes of Lady Gaga, Ke$ha and even Britney Spears would never have existed if it weren't for Madonna pushing the envelope (take that however you'd like). Kicking off the golden age of music videos, this album was among the early provocative ones that had people talking about it as much for that as they did about the music. Her own career became a succession of shocking things and that opened the door for other shock artists to have a mainstream platform.
Now this is no knock on the music at all, it's fun 80's pop music that makes you swing your hips. An upbeat, single-filled Side 1 is backed by a slightly slower B-side, all set to the all-familiar 80's drum machine (probably an 808 or one of it's siblings).
Her register is higher on this than in her later music. In fact, I think the average frequency of her voice slowly slid downward with each album. I'm fairly certain she can't reach those notes anymore. In fact, when I was 20, I bought ridiculously over-priced tickets to impress a girl I was interested in (as well as her friends, who paid for their tickets, though I did lie about how much paid to make sure they'd be interested in coming). As with all ideas that are this horribly misguided, it didn't end so well. However, the concert was quite a spectacle. She puts on a great performance, which has kept her career going for probably longer than it might have otherwise. Of note, though, is that I'm fairly certain she lip-synced to the earlier hits like the ones from this album, even then. She started with 3-4 old ones that clearly didn't sound live, then moved on to some others she was fine with singing. I think that's a pretty clear indication that that range is in the same field as Steven Tyler and Aerosmith's Dream On.