Material Girl

Author: Janet


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“Material Girl” is the second single and signature song by American singer-songwriter Madonna from her 2nd studio album, Like a Virgin, and was released on January 30, 1985 by Sire Records. It also appears remixed on the 1990 greatest hits compilation The Immaculate Collection.

The bassline in the song is reminiscent of The Jacksons’ “Can You Feel It”, which appeared on their 1980 album Triumph. Furthermore, the strophes remind of the refrain from Melissa Manchester’s hit “You Should Hear How She Talks About You” (1982).

Madonna often remarks that it is the song she regrets recording most, for the fact that it became her nickname. She has also said if she had known this, she probably would have never recorded it. She ended The Virgin Tour with a self-parodying performance of “Material Girl”.

“Material Girl” was included on Madonna‘s greatest hits compilation album The Immaculate Collection (1990). In 2003, Madonna fans were asked to vote for their Top 20 Madonna singles of all-time by Q magazine. “Material Girl” was allocated the #15 spot.

“Material Girl” became another Top 5 hit for Madonna on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 and her third number-one single on Billboard’s Hot Dance Music/Club Play chart. The song debuted on the Billboard Hot 100 during the week of February 9, 1985 at #43, when “Like a Virgin”, the previous single from the album, was descending out of the Top 10. The single climbed the Billboard Hot 100 quickly, jumping thirteen spots to number five the week of March 9, 1985, and eventually spent two weeks at number two, held off by REO Speedwagon’s “Can’t Fight This Feeling” and Phil Collins’s “One More Night”. “Material Girl” was less successful on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks chart, failing to enter the Top 40. The single also reached the Top 5 in the UK (selling 389,999 copies), South Africa, Canada and Australia, among other countries.

In the single’s music video, scenes of Madonna mimicking Marilyn Monroe’s performance of “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend” from the 1953 film Gentlemen Prefer Blondes were intersperced with scenes of a Hollywood director trying to win the heart of an actress, played by Madonna herself. Finding out that, contrary to her song, the young woman was not impressed by money and expensive gifts, he pretended to be poor, bringing her hand-cut flowers and paying a poor man a large amount to borrow (or possibly buy) his dirty truck to take her on a date. His plan seemed to work because the final scene was of him and Madonna kissing in the truck in an intimate position. This video was ranked #54 on VH1′s 100 Greatest Videos. After making the video, Madonna said she never wanted to be compared to Monroe despite posing as the Hollywood icon and recreating many of Marilyn’s signature poses for various photos shoots most notably a 1991 issue of Vanity Fair.

The music video was shot on January 10-11, 1985 at Ren-Mar Studios in Hollywood, California, and directed by Mary Lambert. Robert Wuhl appears in the video’s opening. Actor Keith Carradine also had a role in the video, and Madonna had a short affair with him during its shooting. Madonna also met her first husband, Sean Penn, while shooting this video.

* Director: Mary Lambert
* Producer: Simon Fields
* Director of Photography: Peter Sinclair
* Editor: Glenn Morgan
* Production Company: Limelight Productions


* Written by Peter Brown and Robert Rans
* Produced by Nile Rodgers
* Bass by Bernard Edwards
* Guitar, Synclavier II, Juno 60 by Nile Rodgers
* Drums by Tony Thompson
* Background vocals by Madonna, Curtis King, Frank Simms and George Simms


Madonna ended The Virgin Tour with a self-parodying performance of “Material Girl”. She also performed the song humorously on the Who’s That Girl Tour (where she dressed up in costumes which some suspected parodied Cyndi Lauper), and on the Blond Ambition Tour in 1990. In 2004, Madonna performed the song again on the Re-Invention Tour, after having declared years earlier that she would never again perform the song, only this time she performed a rock arrangement of the song, which included Madonna on guitar.

It was performed on the following tours:

* The Virgin Tour (1985)
* Who’s That Girl Tour (1987)
* Blond Ambition Tour (1990)
* Re-Invention Tour (2004)
- adapted from Wikipedia

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