Madonna (Madonna album)

Madonna's image with her right hand placed on her right cheek and with the left hand, she holds on to a number of chains wound on her neck.
Studio album by Madonna
ReleasedJuly 27, 1983 (1983-07-27)
RecordedMay 1982 – April 1983
StudioSigma Sound Studios
(New York City)
Madonna chronology
Like a Virgin & Other Big Hits!
(1984)Like a Virgin & Other Big Hits!1984
Madonna video chronology
(1984) Madonna1984
Madonna Live: The Virgin Tour
(1985) Madonna Live: The Virgin Tour1985
Alternate cover
Madonna wearing crucifix earrings and multiple plastic wrist bracelets around right wrist
Cover for the 1985 international re-release of the album, titled Madonna: The First Album
Singles from Madonna
  1. "Everybody"
    Released: October 6, 1982
  2. "Burning Up"
    Released: March 9, 1983
  3. "Holiday"
    Released: September 7, 1983
  4. "Lucky Star"
    Released: September 8, 1983
  5. "Borderline"
    Released: February 15, 1984

Madonna (retitled Madonna: The First Album for the 1985 re-release) is the debut album by American singer and songwriter Madonna, released on July 27, 1983 by Sire Records. After having established herself as a singer in downtown New York City, Madonna was signed by Sire president Seymour Stein, due to the success of her debut single, "Everybody" (1982). Unhappy with the work of producer Reggie Lucas, Madonna invited John "Jellybean" Benitez to complete the album, who remixed three tracks and produced "Holiday".

Madonna has an upbeat synthetic disco sound, using new technology of the time, including the Linn drum machine, Moog bass and Oberheim OB-X synthesizer. Madonna sings in a bright, girlish timbre, with lyrics about love and relationships. She solely wrote five of the album's eight tracks. To promote the album, Madonna performed one-off gigs in clubs and on television in the United States and United Kingdom throughout 1983–84, followed by the Virgin Tour in 1985. Five singles were released, including the international top-ten hits "Holiday", "Lucky Star", and "Borderline". Their accompanying music videos were released on the Madonna video compilation, which became the best-selling videocassette of 1985 in the United States.

Madonna peaked at number eight on the Billboard 200, and was certified five-times Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) for shipment of five million copies across the United States. It reached the top ten of the charts in Australia, France, Netherlands, New Zealand, Sweden and the United Kingdom, and sold more than 10 million copies worldwide. Though Madonna was dismissed by some critics at the time of its release, it has been applauded by contemporary critics; in 2008, the album placed number five on Entertainment Weekly's list of "Top 100 Best Albums of Past 25 Years". The album helped popularize dance music, setting the standard for dance-pop for decades afterward, and pointed the direction for numerous female artists of the 1980s.


In 1982, Madonna, aged 24, was living in New York, and trying to set up her music career.[1] She was joined by her Detroit boyfriend Steve Bray who became the drummer of her band, the Breakfast Club, which played generally hard-rock music. Soon they abandoned playing songs in the hard-rock genre, and got signed by a music management company called Gotham Records, planning to move in a new musical direction.[2] They decided to pursue the funk genre, but the record company was not happy with their musical talents and they were dropped from the label; Madonna and Bray left the band also.[1] Meanwhile, she had written and developed some songs on her own. She carried rough tapes of three of the songs, "Everybody", "Ain't No Big Deal" and "Burning Up". At that time she was frequenting the Danceteria nightclub in New York. It was here that Madonna convinced the DJ Mark Kamins to play "Everybody".[1] The song was received positively by the crowd, and Kamins decided that he should get Madonna a record deal, on the understanding that he would get to produce the single.[1] He took her to his boss Chris Blackwell, who owned Island Records, but Blackwell refused to sign Madonna so they approached Sire Records.[3] Michael Rosenblatt, who worked in the artists and repertoire department of Sire, offered Madonna $5,000 in advance, plus $1,000 in royalties, for each song she wrote.[4][5]

Madonna was ultimately signed for two 12" singles by the President of Sire, Seymour Stein, who was impressed by her singing,[4] after listening to "Everybody" at a hospital in Lenox Hill where he was admitted.[5] The 12" version of "Everybody" was produced by Mark Kamins at Blank Tapes Studios in New York, who took over the production work from Steve Bray.[5] The new recording ran 5:56 on one side and 9:23 for the dub version on the reverse side. Madonna and Kamins had to record the single at their own cost.[6] Arthur Baker, friend of Mark Kamins, guided him through the role of a music producer and provided him with studio musician Fred Zarr who played keyboards on the track.[7] Zarr became one of the common musical threads on the album by eventually performing on every track. Due to restrained budget the recording was done hurriedly. Madonna and Kamins had difficulty in understanding each other's inputs for the sessions. Rosenblatt wanted to release "Everybody" with "Ain't No Big Deal" on the other side, but later changed his mind and put "Everybody" on both sides of the vinyl record after hearing the recorded version of "Ain't No Big Deal".[5] The single was commercially released in October 1982 and became a dance hit in the United States. This led to Sire signing Madonna for an LP and two more singles.[4][8]

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