#640 Madonna – Like a Prayer

Madonna. Nothing else needs to be written. She is one of four mega-stars of the 80s: Prince, George Michael, and Michael Jackson dominated the charts and MTV. Her name was already known around the world, but in 1989 her fourth studio album Like a Prayer dominated the the charts of many countries. It was #1 in at least 18 countries. This album marked a change in many critics’ view of Madonna as a true artist. I am personally surprised that her eponymous debut album is or Like a Virgin is not on the list of 1001 Albums… I had the tape and the CD of this album. It came scented with patchouli oils.

I already know this album so well. I think I will put the songs in order of favourite to least favourite. I know I always skip one song, but you will see it as the last song. I think I cannot really put these in order because I like too many of them and the order changes from time to time.

  1. Cherish” I think this song has my heart forever. I love the cute video and the feeling of the song. It is a throwback to the 60s groups. And the lyrics spoke how I felt. “I was never satisfied with casual encounters
    I can’t hide my need for two hearts that bleed with burning love
    That’s the way it’s got to be
    Romeo and Juliet, they never felt this way I bet
    So don’t underestimate my point of view”

2. “Keep It Together” I love this song because it was something I never had. I did not have the family she sings about, but I wanted it. I gave up on my family. I tried to make my own from friends, but that was a failure too. The video from her Blonde Ambition Tour is excellent because she combines it with “Family Affair” by Sly and the Family Stone and her and the dancers are dressed as if they were in A Clockwork Orange.

3. “Oh Father” is one of the saddest songs ever. I hated the man my mother called my father. He hated me too and told me that he was not my father.

“You can’t hurt me now
I got away from you, I never thought I would
You can’t make me cry, you once had the power
I never felt so good about myself”

4. “Dear Jessie” is one of her most magical songs. I lived in a land where my dreams were made inside the love parade. I still do.

5. “Express Yourself” is a great song for dancing, but also has a great message about speaking out what you need and want. The video was stunning.

6. “Till Death Do Us Part” did not have a video, but I love this song. It feels a bit chaotic and sad. Her vocals are perfect for expressing sadness. The lyrics are real life.

“The bruises they will fade away
You hit so hard with the things you say
I will not stay to watch your hate as it grows
You’re not in love with someone else
You don’t even love yourself
Still I wish you’d ask me not to go”

“She’s had enough, she says the end
But she’ll come back, she knows it then
A chance to start it all again
Till death do us part”

7. “Like a Prayer” is a great song. I think it is so low because it was overplayed and there are so many great songs on this album. The video was extremely controversial. Madonna lost sponsors, but she still won.

8. “Promise to Try” is another sad song. I love the sadness she conveys in her voice. I can feel the pain she felt in this song.

Keep your head held high, ride like the wind
Never look behind, life isn’t fair
That’s what you said, so I try not to care

9. “Love Song” is an odd song. I really like it, but I felt it belonged on a Prince album featuring Madonna.

10. “Act of Contrition” was a great way to end the album. It is just weirdness mixed with her talking.

11. “Spanish Eyes” is the song that I always skipped. I thought it was silly and Spanish sounding. I hate Spanish music. I have the same feeling for country music.

This was an almost perfect album for Madonna. It is still one of my favourite albums. It holds a special place in my heart. I have always been a huge fan of her, even when others thought she crossed the line. Lately, I have not listened to her new album, but I think her last great album was her 2005 dance album Confessions on a Dance Floor10/10.

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