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Material Girl

Release of LIKE A VIRGIN single

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She performed Like A Virgin at the MTV Awards 6 weeks previously on 14th September, so it's safe to assume that it was sent to radio prior to release as was the norm in the 80s when distribution to record stores took quite a while to get the product everywhere.

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Yes, I agree. Promos were sent to radio stations before release so you'd hear them on the radio for two or three weeks before release day. That way people knew to go out and buy it and get it into the chart. 

 

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So we can consider that these two records were released in October 1984... right ?

But...

Their reference numbers are not so close, other promotional EP of this type were pressed for other artists between these two editions, which questions me as to their timing. These kinds of records, weren’t they intended for clubs rather than radio stations? I’m guessing the radios were getting 7" at the time, they didn’t mind playing a twelve-inch format on their turntables, did they?

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The person who runs Madonnascrapbook is adamant Like a Virgin single came out Nov 6 1984. Granted due to shipping and such  different places got the single at different times, but based on its debut on Billboard Nov 6 seems the more likely release date.

Back in the 80's things worked differently and often radio stations would not have rights to play a song until day of release. Like a Prayer was this way as I used to have newspaper articles stating some stations played the track earlier than they were allowed to and the date mentioned is the same as the single release date.

I think maybe first singles were not given several weeks of radio play, but 3rd or 4th or 5th singles were. It was not uniform. Same with Music Videos. Some videos were premiered on tv a couple weeks after the single came out or same day or before. The strategy was different depending on whether the record company thought the song had potential or if it needed help

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