TITLE: Like a Prayer
YEAR RELEASED: 1989
CHART ACTION: #1 US, #1 UK
SINGLES: Like a Prayer (#1 US, #1 Dance, #1 UK), Express Yourself (#2 US, #1 Dance, #5 UK), Cherish (#2 US, #3 UK), Oh Father (#20 US, #16 UK), Dear Jessie (#5 UK), Keep it Together (#8 US)
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: No, since six of the 11 songs are there. Ok, maybe Act of Contrition.
LINEUP: Madonna and all of the hot shot studio musicians of the time, and Prince
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Not missing a beat, Madonna dives into controversy with her image and videos, while not sacrificing the music.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: The commercial, the videos, the song “Justify My Love” (not on the album, but the B-side was), and the uproar. IT would be definitely easy for this record by Madonna to be ignored, or just glossed over.
It’s a pretty darn remarkable record.
Madonna’s not just trying for easy peasy pop hits and filler. “Love Song”, a duet with Prince that was co-written and produced with the Purple One, is deliciously weird. The vocal effect in “Express Yourself”, where Madonna sounds like she’s underwater with a synthesizer, is innovative. The lyrics move away from boy-girl stuff toward more spiritual and feminist issues.
It’s an undeniable electropop dance record that addresses many themes and motifs. She moved to being a full-on phenomenon, and an artist worthy of her accolades.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: Between True Blue and Like a Prayer, the Who’s That Girl soundtrack was released with four Madonna tracks and a dance remix record was also put out.
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: No.
GRADE: A: Definitely a fun album and a touchstone of the era.