Yo Ho, WeRCatz here!
July 27, 1983, would be a momentous day in music as the singer Madonna released her debut studio album Madonna. Using brand new technological instruments at its time (Linn drum machine, Oberheim OB-X synthesizer, and the Moog bass), Madonna wrote in stone what dance-pop should be; Madonna would also be responsible for promoting many female artists of the 80s (i.e. Janet Jackson and Debbie Gibson).
Madonna had some trouble getting her debut album going. After trying to get signed by Gotham Records and later dropped because Gotham didn’t like her use of the funk genre, Madonna made rough tapes of three songs created by her: “Everybody,” “Ain’t No Big Deal,” and “Burning Up.” She was able to convince DJ Mark Kamins of the Danceteria nightclub in New York to play “Everybody” and the crowd enjoyed it. Kamins took Madonna to his boss Chris Blackwell, owner of Island Records, to sign her up. After Blackwell’s refusal, Sire Records decided to sign her.
Eventually, her album was finished, but Madonna was not happy with the results. She chose Reggie Lucas, a Warner Brothers producer, to work with her. As a result, Lucas didn’t use Madonna’s ideas and used more instruments than necessary for the final versions of the songs. After completion, Lucas left without using Madonna’s inputs at all. She called up John “Jellybean” Benitez, who was a DJ at the Funhouse disco at the time, to remix the songs. But the song “Ain’t No Big Deal” was sold by her ex-boyfriend Stephen Bray to another label’s act (eventually the band Barracuda would have this song). But Benitez found a new song written by Curtis Hudson and Lisa Stevens of Pure Energy fame: “Holiday.”
Madonna would reach number 25 in 1985 and Madonna would become the top pop artist that year. To promote this album, Warner Music Video and Sire Records released the Madonna video compilation in November 1984. Three singles were made for video: “Burning Up,” “Lucky Star,” and “Borderline.” Madonna’s next single “Like A Virgin” was also present!
At the Cabaret Metro club in Chicago on February 9, 1985, “The Virgin Party” event happened. People were asked to wear white and Madonna’s LPs, cassettes, CDs, and videocassettes were available for purchase. By paying a $5 admission fee, attendees got to see Madonna’s videos and the premiere of her next upcoming single called “Material Girl.” The Madonna videocassette would eventually win the award for “Best Selling Video Cassette Merchandises as Music Video” from the National Association of Recording Merchandisers in 1985. In that same year, the videocassette would be placed at number 1 on the year-end music videocassette chart.
Take the time to listen to this album, please! To this day, the influence that Madonna left is still felt in modern music. There are now many female musicians and artists that have Madonna to thank as their inspiration. This album shows that Madonna earned her other name: the Queen of Pop.