Monday, July 11, 2016

Songoftheday 7/11/16 - Life is a mystery everyone must stand alone, I hear you call my name and it feels like home...


"Like A Prayer" - Madonna
from the album Like A Prayer (1989)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #1 (three weeks)
Weeks in the Top-40: 12

Today's song of the day comes from pop royalty Madonna, who had filled a three-year gap between studio albums with her starring turn in Who's That Girl (which netted her a couple big hits from the film including the #1 title track), as well as the remix album You Can Dance which netted her a top-40 airplay hit with "Spotlight".  Still, it was a full year after that when a new Madonna single would be released. And what a spectacle it was. On the surface, "Like A Prayer" was a gospel-tinged synth-pop nugget more earnest and noble than her lascivious turn in the similarly titled "Like A Virgin". But that was more than made up for by the iconic music video, paid for by the coffers of good old sugar-water Pepsi, who must not have realized what they were getting into. Of course, the original clip, a two-minute commercial with Madonna trading places with her eight-year-old self, was innocuous enough...


But when the actual official music video for "Like A Prayer" premiered on MTV, it was quite a different story. With a sprawling almost-six minute mini-movie combining religious imagery, interracial (and sacrosanct) romance, Stigmata, white supremacist violence, and yes, those burning crosses, that spiritual love song she wrote with Patrick Leonard caused what these days would be a "viral" response, be it good (the single got massive attention) and bad (protests from the Christian right convinced Pepsi to drop Madonna's ad campaign). Nevertheless, attention was given, and the song, one of her very best, proved she was an artist with her own vision...


"Like A Prayer" became Madonna's lucky seventh #1 pop hit in April of 1989. The song also went to #3 on Billboard's Adult Contemporary (or "easy listening") radio chart, and crossed over to #20 on their R&B list as well. The 12" remix single topped the dance chart for two weeks as well. The song was just as popular internationally, going to the top of the charts in the UK, Canada, Australia, Spain, Sweden, The Netherlands, Italy, Ireland, Belgium, Switzerland, Finland, Norway, New Zealand, and Japan, and #2 in France and Germany. The video would go on to win the Viewer's Choice award at the MTV Music Video Awards as well.

(Click below to see the rest of the post)


Here's the 12" dance remix that topped the club chart...


One of the remixes, done by Shep Pettibone, was used for her Blonde Ambition tour performance (which was my personal favorite of hers of all time)...


In 2002, the Eurodance act Mad'House released a cover of "Like A Prayer" that became a huge success on the continent, topping the charts in Germany, Ireland, and Austria, #3 in the UK, and #5 in France...


Here's Madge a couple years later stipping the song down for her Re-Invention tour...


British DJ/producer Meck "mashed up" his single "Feels Like Home" with "Like A Prayer" which became a club hit in America and an international smash...


Which Madonna orignally used on her Sticky & Sweet tour, which rivals her Blonde Ambition take...


In 2010, the song was included in musical comedy Glee's tribute to the artist, and ended up at #27 on the Hot 100, and #16 in the UK...


...and lastly, here's the Material Girl on her MDNA tour...


Up tomorrow: A Latin trio signs off on a love letter.

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