Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Material Girl 45

The Material Girl 45 and single artwork.

Madonna was beyond huge with Like a Virgin and the definite maturity from the first album is obvious but with Material Girl, the second single from Virgin, she entered new territory. It's so hard to separate the song from the video as they were the perfect marriage, but as I try to think back to when I first got the album in November of 1984, there was something about this song that was entirely different. There was an extreme cinematic tone about Material Girl long before the video came around and, interestingly, this is the song that opened the album. It was also a new voice for Madonna. She played a character. Her vocal performance would fit perfectly on I'm Breathless which would come 6 years later.

Nile Rodgers production is tight but I don't doubt that Madonna played a huge role in the Material Girl production. We have the members of Chic playing on this song but even with its strong drums and bass, its disciplined not loose. We can hear elements of the Borderline girl but also some Emmy, in her delivery. Let's not forget her next venture, Into the Groove, was produced by her and Stephen Bray. When she spoke about the first album Madonna, produced by Reggie Lucas, she said she knew more about production than she had thought. Possibly with the second album she still wasn't as confident as a producer and had more to learn but I can hear her touches here. The Like a Virgin album is different to anything Nile had done prior or after.

Although Material Girl has been completely played out, it's a superior and fascinating song, history aside. The little poodle barks she does are wonderful punctuation marks on the songs character.


  1. Great song that was robbed of a #1 peak! Classic and iconic video. LOVE IT.

  2. haha! yes, totally tony.

    the single artwork is gorgeous. i used to dislike it but when i was scanning this vs. the uk 12", which was my fav - i realized just how great it is. xo

  3. I was actually going to mention how much I love and prefer the UK cover art. She was so fucking hot on that cover with the satin sheets. Meisel, right?

  4. yeah, thats the one and i love it too. it came with a huge poster of that image. it was always my preference but again, upon scanning both, i really see how beautiful the artwork is posted here.