Monday, January 30, 2017

Songoftheday 1/30/17 - I got brothers I got some sisters too, stuck in the middle tell you what I'm gonna do...

"Keep It Together" - Madonna
from the album Like A Prayer (1989)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #8 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 9

Today's song of the day is by Madonna, whose Like A Prayer album had already spun off four big hits in the U.S. with "Oh Father", "Cherish", "Express Yourself", and the #1 title track. While in most of Europe and the world the baroque-pop pastiche of "Dear Jessie" was released next, becoming a top-10 in the UK (#5) and Ireland (#3), America and Canada were treated to the unity jam "Keep It Together" as the fifth and final single from the album. Written by Madonna with her old Breakfast Club partner Stephen Bray, the loose and funky number took elements from new jack swing and the Soul II Soul sound and retrofit it on to a synthpop track that could have been pulled from one of her first couple albums. The lyrics spoke of the bond of family, whether it be "blood" as taken literally in the words or as for many LGBT people like myself their 'adopted' family, which brought just as much emotional nourishment, especially in the time when AIDS was decimating our community...


"Keep It Together" returned Madonna to the American pop top ten in March of 1990. The single also climbed to #32 on Billboard's Adult Contemporary (or "easy listening") radio chart, and even crossed over to their R&B singles list at #66. The 12" remix single became her fifth straight #1 hit on the Dance Club Play chart as well. Internationally, the song made it to #8 in Canada, #16 in Italy, and as the "B-side" of her next release "Vogue" spent five weeks atop the chart in Australia (more on that another time).

(Click below to see the rest of the post)


For Madonna's Blonde Ambition tour behind the album, she incorporated "Keep It Together" in a "mashup" with the Sly and the Family Stone classic "Family Affair", from which it's apparent it drew inspiration from. It made for an emotional finale, which had me in tears seeing in person in 1990...


Here's the 12" remix, which topped the dance chart, which brought out more of the Soul II Soul rhythm in the production...


...and lastly, 45 King's 12" Mix, which brought the hip-hop/new jack party to the house...


Up tomorrow: Metal reptiles really dig in.

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