Sunday, August 14, 2011

Madonnathon Song of the Day - The many incarnations of "Like a Virgin"

Photo Source: Scrape TV

I made it through the wilderness...

Ah, one of Madonna's classics! This was the first single off of her then very much anticipated second album (think of the all of the hype for Gaga's "Born This Way") of the same name. Though this one was comparable to the songs from her debut album, the rest of the album was the "Material Girl's" first musical reinvention of sorts, as she took on some of the producing chores for the first time and recruited Nile Rodgers' production skills as well. (Rodgers was a member of the disco band Chic previously and had been producing hit records for other artists such as Diana Ross and David Bowie, among others.)

I'll save a discussion of the album for some other time, but in the meantime here's the original video for Madonna's "Like a Virgin," which is iconic in and of itself, replete with Venetian gondolas and Mo's slithery moves beneath bridges...

The song "Like a Virgin" has undergone many musical reinventions of its own. Aside from the original video, Madonna has performed the song many times over, beginning with that infamous performance of the song at the VMA's in a wedding dress and BOY TOY belt buckle in 1984.

Madonna at the VMA's in 1984

During the "Who's That Girl Tour" in 1987, Madonna performed the song in an almost comical way, she and her dancers coming out dressed in Vaudevillian attire, slowly removing their costumes to reveal black corsets underneath. Towards the middle of the song, she breaks into a short rendition of the Four Tops "I Can't Help Myself (Sugar Pie Honey Bunch)" and finishes off when her groom joins her on the stage for a last dance and of course a kiss.

Who's That Girl Tour

One of my favorite renditions of "Like a Virgin" was the one Madonna did on the Blond Ambition Tour in 1990. For this one, she slows it down to a Middle Eastern groove and works her way up literally to a climax by the end. This one almost got her in big trouble when she performed it in Toronto, as seen in the "Truth or Dare" film. Check this one out:

Blond Ambition Tour

"Like a Virgin" was given yet another appearance at the VMA's in 2003, when Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera redid the song a la 1984 as an intro to Madonna's "Hollywood." The trio was joined by Missy Elliot, giving a snippet of her then hit "Work That," and of course the most controversial moment of this performance was the KISS! Take a look:

2003 VMA's

Finally, we have Madonna's horse riding themed version of the song from the 2006 Confessions Tour. There's some very cool choreography here as Madonna rides a mechanical horse on a makeshift outer stage, up close and personal with her audience. I must say, she also looks fabulous in this one!

Confessions Tour

Well there you have it, Madonna's many incarnations of "Like a Virgin." I hope you've taken the time to watch at least a couple of them. If you're a diehard Madonna fan like I am, then I know you did. If you don't already have "Like a Virgin," you can pick it up at either iTunes or Amazon by clicking the links below and stay tuned as our Madonnathon continues...

Like a Virgin - Madonna

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