“Material Girl” is a song performed by the American singer Madonna. The record company Sire Records released it on January 30, 1985 as the second single from their second studio album Like a Virgin which came out in 1984.
It also features a remix of it in the greatest hits The Immaculate Collection (1990) and its original version in Celebration (2009). It was composed by Peter Brown and Robert Rans, while Nile Rodgers produced it. Madonna explained that the concept of the theme was similar to the situation in her life back then; according to her, it was provocative and she liked that.
The music video was an imitation of Marilyn Monroe’s rendition of the song “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend” in the film Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953). Imitation scenes are interspersed with others, where a Hollywood director tries to win the heart of an actress, a role that Madonna also plays.
Contrary to the song, the woman is not impressed by money and expensive gifts, but rather the director must pretend to be poor in order to get out with her. Some specialists emphasized the symbolism of the video and considered it a means to promote the image of the artist. Madonna has performed the song on five of her tours and most of the time she has imitated the song and the video.
“Material Girl” incorporates elements of new wave music and features numerous synth arrangements, plus a robotic male voice repeating the hook. The lyrics speak of materialism and a life of wealth and carefree, as opposed to romance and relationships.
Critics today and then have frequently commented that this and “Like a Virgin” are the songs that have made Madonna an icon. “Material Girl” was a huge commercial success, reaching the top five in Australia, Belgium, Canada, Ireland, Japan and the UK. It peaked at No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in the United States and became his third single in the top five there.
Upon its release, the phrase material girl (“Material Girl”) became a nickname for Madonna, used for decades. It was noted that “Material Girl” is one of the songs he most regretted recording, due to these reasons. He also said that if he had known, he probably never would have recorded it.
After filming the music video, Madonna said she never sought to be compared to Monroe, despite having imitated said Hollywood icon and recreating many of Marilyn’s iconic poses for various photo shoots, such as for a 1991 Vanity Fair issue. Reflecting on the subject, Madonna told author J. Randy Taraborrelli:
“I cannot completely despise the video and the song because they were certainly important to my career. But there are also the media, who were left with only one sentence and misinterpreted everything, in turn. I didn’t write that song, as you know, and the video was about a girl rejecting diamonds and money. But subtle irony should be understood, for God’s sake. So when I’m ninety, I’ll still be the “material girl,” I think that’s not so bad. Lana Turner was the “Sweater Girl” until the day she died. “
And what do you think of this success? In RETRO TV we leave you the link so you can relive it and go back to the 80’s.