Like a prayer-1989

The fourth studio album by Madonna was released with big fanfare in March 1989, almost three years after her previous album, True blue. Dedicated to her mother who died when Madonna was five years old, it’s her first confessional album, featuring many tracks with revealing autobiographical lyrics. Musically it can be considered Madonna’s best effort at that point and a career highlight. Not only was a very sucessful album selling between 13-15 million copies worldwide, but for the first time critics began to take her more seriously as a songwriter and performer, and not just another pop star.

As usual, controversy was a big topic when Madonna was promoting this album, especially with the first two videos, for the singles “Like a prayer” and “Express yourself”, the first one for mixing religious imagery with sexual overtones and the second for basically giving away a message of female empowerment and sexual liberation. Maybe this videos pale in comparison to what is viewed as accepted in today’s music videos, but at the time they were pretty revolutionary, and with this release, Madonna found herself producing more vissually stunning, stylish and beautifully crafted music videos, making her a visionary in this area. No wonder she was awarded the “Artist of the decade Award” at the end of 1989. It has been listed among the 100  best and most influential albums of all time by Time magazine’s critics. 

Worldwide positions

Australia: #4 (Platinum)
Austria: #1 (Platinum)
Brazil: #1 (2xPlatinum)
Canada: #1 (5xPlatinum)
European Albums Chart: #1
Finland: #1 (Platinum)
France: #1 (2xPlatinum)
Germany: #1 (3xGold)
Ireland: #1
Italy: #1
Japan: #1
Mexico: #1
Norway: #5
Netherlands: #1 (Platinum)
New Zealand: #1 (Platinum) 
Norway: #1
Spain: #1 (4xPlatinum)
Sweden: #1
Switzerland: #1 (2xPlatinum)
UK: #1 (4xPlatinum)
USA: #1 (4xPlatinum)

Tracklisting 
Producers: Madonna/Patrick Leonard/Stephen Bray/Prince

1. LIKE A PRAYER (Madonna/Patrick Leonard)
2. EXPRESS YOURSELF (Madonna/Stephen Bray)
3. LOVE SONG (Madonna/Prince)
4. TILL DEATH DO US PART (Madonna/Patrick Leonard)
5. PROMISE TO TRY (Madonna/Patrick Leonard)
6. CHERISH (Madonna/Patrick Leonard)
7. DEAR JESSIE (Madonna/Patrick Leonard)
8. OH FATHER (Madonna/Patrick Leonard)
9. KEEP IT TOGETHER (Madonna/Stephen Bray)
10. SPANISH EYES (Madonna/Patrick Leonard)
11. ACT OF CONTRITION (Madonna/Patrick Leonard)

US Chart Run

Release date: March 21, 1989
Debut date: April 8, 1989
Debut position: #11
Peak position: #1 (6 weeks)
Final week on chart: September 22, 1990
Number of weeks on Billboard 200 Albums:  77 weeks

Chart run in 1989: 11-3-1-1-1-1-1-1-2-3-3-4-5-4-6-8-10-12-13-14-17-17-17-17-18-19-20-21-23-29-36-43-51-55-59-61-57-57
(39 weeks)

Chart run in 1990: 48-42-42-42-48-55-62-65-60-65-73-75-71-99-113-118-121-124-99-107-105-108-114-125-130-141-150-154-199-189-195-192-169-152-163-168-168-199-off (38 weeks/77 weeks Total) 

UK Chart Run

Debut date: April 1, 1989
Debut position: #1
Peak position: #1 (2 weeks)
Number of weeks on the UK Albums chart:  70 weeks

Chart run in 1989: 1-1-2-6-6-8-11-18-21-19-16-16-17-17-22-13-16-17-23-28-25-34-32-30-30-26- 9-5-7-10-20-28-38-49-62-64-63-60-46-26 (40 weeks)
Chart run in 1990:  10-10-13-17-20-30-39-49-52-67-67-off-off-72-off-60-57-59-66-71-off-72-off (18 weeks/58 weeks Total)
Re-entry: 07/21/1990: 72-57-46-55-51-59-75-off (7 weeks/65 weeks Total)
Re-entry: 04/02/1994: 71-58-off (2 weeks/67 weeks total)
Re-entry: 03/04/1995: 43-32-63-off (3 weeks/70 weeks Total)

 

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