It’s Throwback Tuesday you music-loving creeps you, time for our weekly shout out to a BIG ASS song that blazed a trail for others to follow! Today’s Throwback Tuesday features royalty y’all, and this is as royal as it can get! (And please don’t think it’s Lady Gaga cuz that’s plain offensive) It’s the QUEEN OF THE ENTIRE EFFIN’ EVERYTHING, aka Madonna, aka God. And today I feature my fave Madonna song and video of all time, the criminally outstanding 1989 classic ‘Like A Prayer‘.
Commence mass hysteria.
By the time Her Madgesty’s 4th studio album ‘Like A Prayer’ was released in 1989, the world was in awe of Madonna. She had ruled the entire decade by revolutionizing music as a whole, and the entire cosmos waited with bated breath with what she had in store after the genre-bending ‘Like A Virgin‘ (1984) and ‘True Blue‘ (1986). And Madonna did not disappoint. When the video for ‘Like A Prayer’, the first single from her 4th studio album of the same name was released in 1989, the impact made the world collectively gawk, followed by a furor of epic proportions.
The Madonna and Patrick Leonard produced single itself was a masterpiece, infusing pop, rock and gospel to create Madonna’s most artistically evolved and critically acclaimed single at that time, but it was the video that pushed the envelope and created a riot. Madonna stepped on quite a few toes by using the delicate and taboo subject of racial injustice and infusing religious implications. The Mary Lambert created video shows Madonna witnessing the murder of a young white woman, while a black man trying to help the victim gets arrested in the process. Madonna is shown entering a church where she sees a caged crying saint resembling the arrested man. What follows got the video banned by the Vatican, while the Pope himself got involved and banned any appearance of Madonna in Italy. Madonna dancing in front of burning crosses, images of stigmata, a black saint kissing Madonna, this was one helluva visually stunning extravaganza! The double entendres in the song fueled the fire, with lyrics like ‘When you call my name, it’s like a little prayer. I’m down on my knees, I wanna take you there’.Watch it below, and be uh-mazed!
I remember being barely 6 years old when the album was released, and playing this cassette and dancing like it was nobody’s business invoked alarming glares from my folks at home. At that time, Pepsi was officially promoting Madonna’s new project, but they hurriedly pulled out and terminated Madonna’s contract after the video dropped.
Either way, Madonna accomplished what she had aimed to do. ‘Like A Prayer‘ became Madonna’s 7th # 1 single on the Billboard Charts, as well as her 3rd # 1 album, with over 15 million copies sold till date. And that’s how the Queen does it!
Could your faves ever? Oh no but they quite literally could NEVARR.
The album boasted of 5 other hits, especially the anthem ‘Express Yourself’ which is also known as ‘Born This Way’ nowadays by the present generation, as well as the incredible ‘Cherish’, which is another personal fave.
Till today, the video for ‘Like A Prayer’, as well as the song induces major chills whenever I hear it. It still remains my favorite Madonna song and video of all time!