Madonna – Like a prayer
“Like a prayer” marked, on March 3, 1989, one of those days when nothing is like before. On that day, Madonna released her new single. The world of music had great expectations, more than three years after her latest studio album, “True blue”, and the days of “Papa don’t preach”, “Open your heart” and “La isla bonita“.
Madonna’s life had completely changed during the last years. His private life suffered from the end of her wedding with Sean Penn. Madonna had now turned 30, the age of her mother whe she passed away (and Madonna was only 5 years old). This occurrence probably woke up feelings and sense of guilt in her. She probably carried these emotions from her childhood times, as if it was a sort of divine punishment. Moreover, also her professional life had changed, after her experiences as actress. She had been definitely less successful as an actress than as a singer.
In such an introspective period, Madonna leans once again on mysticism and on the symbols of religion to express her feelings. Years before her most famous album was called “Like a virgin”, now it’s “Like a prayer”. The video of this first single broadly uses religious symbols and words to touch sensible topics, like violence, racism, misticims itself, with presence of saints and crosses. The video was censored, of course. Today we know that religion and its symbols accompanied Madonna throughout all of her career, and maybe, all of her life.
She’s a different Madonna, we said. It’s clear from the very first scene, when aMadonna appears in black hair. A turning point not only for Madonna’s career, but for the whole music world.
As a matter of fact, for the first time a song is used as a commercial ad before actually reaching radios and music stores. A radical change that probably opens the way to modern communication, where time and borders between the different forms of art are compeletely blurred. Pepsi aired this song during the Grammy Award tv show, with a different video where Madonna goes back to her 8-years birthday party. It was February 22; few days later, on March 3, the hit reached the store and the radios, and the official video was released.
A coulpe of weeks later the whole album was released, with the same title.
When you call my name it's like a little prayer
I'm down on my knees, I wanna take you there
In the midnight hour I can feel your power
Just like a prayer you know I'll take you there
Madonna on Wikipedia