Like a Virgin


Song Review by Stewart Mason

Some years removed from the initial controversy behind this song -- and Madonna's legendary performance at the first MTV Video Awards, writhing orgasmically on the stage in a traditional wedding gown -- it's hard to figure out what exactly the fuss was about. By far the most lightweight of Madonna's early singles, "Like A Virgin" is pure bubblegum fluff of the style that would become songwriters Tom Kelly and Billy Steinberg's trademark throughout the rest of the decade. Indeed, it doesn't feel too much like a conspiracy theorist's stretch to wonder if perhaps Madonna's helium-pitched vocals -- this is the song on which she sounds most like Marilyn Monroe, not the supposed Monroe homage "Material Girl" -- are perhaps meant as a subtle mockery of the song's silliness. Of course, since 1992, it's been impossible to hear this song without thinking of the opening scene of Reservoir Dogs, in which Quentin Tarantino manically deconstructs the song's lyrical impetus.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Madonna 1983 Sire 0:00
Like a Virgin 1984 Sire 3:39
Crazy for You 1985 7:07
The Immaculate Collection 1990 Sire 3:11
The Immaculate Collection (The Best Of Madonna) [Video] 1990 Sire / London / Rhino
Royal Box 1990 Sire 0:00
Like a Virgin & Other Big Hits 1998 Sire 6:10
Three for One Box Set 1999 WEA International 3:38
Immaculate Collection/Something to Remember 2001 WEA International 3:11
Don't Stop the 80's 2001
Various Artists
WEA International 6:08
Best of 80's Rock, Vol. 2 [Atracao Fonografica] 2004
Various Artists
Best Hit 80's 2005
Various Artists
Celebration 2009 Warner Bros. 3:09
The Chic Organization: Up All Night - Disco Edition 2013 Rhino 6:06
Transmission Impossible 2017 Eat to the Beat 6:11
Australia 2018 Golden Rain 6:10
Finally Enough Love: 50 Number Ones 2022 Rhino 3:36
100 Greatest Summer Songs
Various Artists
Rhino 3:38
80´s grandes exitos
Various Artists
Universal 4:52
CD Single Collection Phantom Import Distribution / WEA International
Chic & Beyond Warner Music 3:38
Los Inolvidables 80's
Various Artists
Universal 4:52
Party All Night [Rhino]
Various Artists
Rhino 0:00
Summer BBQ [Rhino]
Various Artists
Rhino 3:35
The Very Best of Madonna 3:11