Saturday, April 22, 1989

Madonna’s Like a Prayer album hit #1

Like a Prayer


Released: March 21, 1989

Peak: 16 US, 12 UK, 16 CN, 4 AU

Sales (in millions): 4.0 US, 1.2 UK, 15.0 world (includes US and UK)

Genre: dance pop


Song Title (Writers) [time] (date of single release, chart peaks) Click for codes to singles charts.

  1. Like a Prayer [5:41] (2/27/1989, 13 US, 13 CB, 13 RR, 3 AC, 20 RB, 13 UK, 14 CN, 14 AU, platinum single)
  2. Express Yourself (Madonna, Stephen Bray) [4:37] (5/9/1989, 2 US, 11 CB, 3 RR, 12 AC, 5 UK, 12 CN, 5 AU, gold single)
  3. Love Song (with Prince) (Madonna, Prince) [4:52]
  4. Till Death Do Us Part [5:16]
  5. Promise to Try [3:36]
  6. Cherish [5:03] (8/1/89, 2 US, 11 CB, 12 AC, 3 UK, 12Dear Jessie [4:20] (12/10/89, 5 UK, 51 AU)
  7. Oh Father [4:57] (11/4/89, 20 US, 15 CB, 18 RR, 16 UK, 14 CN, 59 AU)
  8. Keep It Together (Madonna, Bray) [5:03] (1/30/90, 7a US, 32 AC, 66 RB, 8 CN, 15, gold single)
  9. Spanish Eyes [5:15]
  10. Act of Contrition [2:19]

Songs written by Madonna and Patrick Leonard unless noted otherwise.

Total Running Time: 51:16


4.352 out of 5.00 (average of 31 ratings)

Quotable: --

Awards: (Click on award to learn more).

About the Album:

“This is the moment Madonna peaked as a pop star and mass media manipulator. First, the manipulation. In the title’s track’s video, Madonna kisses a saint, shows off some self-induced stigmata and dances in a field of burning crosses. Caving in to protests from religious groups, Pepsi pulled out of a Madonna sponsorship deal (she held on to a $5 million payday) and the whole episode generated enough publicity to ensure the album’s debut at No. 1. Brilliant.” TL

“As it happens, so was the record.” TL “Out of all of Madonna’s albums, Like a Prayer is her most explicit attempt at a major artistic statement. Even though it is apparent that she is trying to make a ‘serious’ album, the kaleidoscopic variety of pop styles on Like a Prayer is quite dazzling.” AMG

“Madonna displays a commanding sense of songcraft, making this her best and most consistent album.” AMGLike a Prayer was a genuinely soulful first single” TL and “Express Yourself merged Madonna’s dance sensibility with her strongest feminist message.” TL

Alongside the “deep funk of ‘Express Yourself’ and Keep It TogetherAMG and “the haunting Oh Father” were a “few middling tracks” TL “rescued…with production” TL from “Stephen Bray, Patrick Leonard and Prince (yes, that Prince)…that elevated Madonna’s voice out of its early bubble gum phase and into something resembling a real instrument.” TL

Notes: A 30th anniversary edition added additional material such as remixes of “Like a Prayer,” “Express Yourself,” and “Keep It Together” as well as an extended version of “Cherish” and the single version of “Oh Father.” The song “Supernatural” was also added.

Resources and Related Links:

Other Related DMDB Pages:

First posted 3/26/2008; last updated 12/2/2021.

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