Madonna’s Debut Album Celebrates 33 Years This Week


Today, it’s exactly 33 years since the release of the debut album by Madonna – an album that set in stone a place in pop music legend for a woman who continues to shake things up. The debut album – entitled ‘Madonna’ – was released on Sire records on July 27th, 1983, and was received incredibly well. AllMusic gave the album a five-star rating, with Stephen Thomas Eriewine writing that the album ‘cleverly incorporated great pop songs with stylish, state-of-the-art beats’.

It was back in the late 1970s that the pop star left Rochester, Michigan and moved to New York, where she worked as a dancer. Her instructor Pearl Lang, often referred to as ‘New York’s Martha Graham’, had found Madonna a job checking coats at the nearby Russian Tea Rooms.

She soon left her dance class and took up music instead, meeting Dan and Ed Gilroy and becoming a drummer in their Ska band, ‘The Breakfast Club’. Madonna got together with Dan and moved to Queens, where she began learning the guitar and the tricks of the trade. Soon, she was fronting Dan and Ed’s band and was taking stylistic influence from her favorite David Bowie character, Ziggy Stardust. It was this time in her life that really established her as a star.

As she frequented the clubs as a frontwoman of The Breakfast Club, she was also producing her own tapes and sending them to DJs all over NEW York. Eventually one of her tapes ended up in the hands of Mark Kamins of Danceteria, who after playing it to an adoring crowd, met with Sire – the record label that approved Madonna’s first single. Seymour Stein, the president of Sire, was said to be particularly impressed with ‘Ain’t No Big Deal’ and ‘Everybody’ – two songs Madonna had written herself.

And the rest is history. Madonna, now aged 57, has sold more than 300 million records all over the world, and the Guinness World Records has recognized her as the best-selling woman recording artist of all time, as well as the fourth best-selling recording artist of all time.