1989: “Like A Prayer”- Madonna

1989

1989. Big year. Time for moving from primary to secondary school. I think I was quite looking forward to it. My only concern was making sure i got a place in the same school that most of my friends were going to which was not the school i was in the catchment area for. This is something I’m not looking forward to with my daughter because it seems like such a massive job just deciding which schools to apply for, let alone doing the actual applications. Anyway it worked out ok in the end and I got into the one I wanted. The irony is, that the primary school friends which affected which school I wanted to go to, I drifted apart from in the space of about a year, as I was in classes with mainly kids I’d never met before.

There was another big event this year which although not as important to my future, still seemed like a big deal to my eleven year old self. The arrival of a new Madonna album.

On March 2nd 1989, Pepsi released a new advert which contained the first airing of “Like A Prayer” a song which would feature on the upcoming album of the same name. This was one of those commercial break events where they actually advertise the specific ad break prior to the date.

I was already a Madonna fan.Kids my age were into Michael Jackson and Madonna almost by default. I’m sure it was disconcerting to parents to hear their seven year olds singing along to “Like A Virgin” with no idea what the words meant. My friend from over the road had given me a tape copy of “Like A Virgin” and “True Blue” a couple of years earlier and of course i knew all the singles from radio anyway. I was excited for the new one and watching the Pepsi advert piled more excitement onto this. When “Like A Prayer” was released a couple of weeks later, we got a tape copied from my auntie and uncle’s record. There was not a lot of spare money flying around at that point in time to be spent on music. My mum played it a lot. I loved it. I still do. I would make the sweeping statement that I think it’s the best pop album released in the 80′s.

It’s is  a very varied album but the quality is undeniable. Where it’s meant to be catchy, it’s incredibly catchy. The ballads hit hard without being cheesy.( “Dear Jessie” aside!) My favourite song was always “Til Death Do Us Part” mainly for that amazing intro and chorus to be honest.

I was on board with all of Madonna’s music until the release of “Music” in 1999. It just felt like something was missing from the songs and that she was trying to do what she thought she should be doing to stay relevent rather than just ignoring that and doing what she does. It seems like the least Madonna-like Madonna album to me. “Ray of Light” didn’t feel like that even though it was a very different album for her.

The song I now consider to be the best song on “Like A Prayer” by far is this one. Just an absolute classic pop song. I could hear it every day and still not get tired of it. And i fancied the hell out of her in the video just as an aside.

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