1989 Madonna – Like A Prayer

Madonna 1989Like a Prayer is the fourth studio album by American singer Madonna, released on March 21, 1989 by Sire Records, nearly three years after her previous studio effort True Blue. Madonna worked with Stephen Bray, Patrick Leonard, and fellow icon Prince on the album while co-writing and co-producing all the songs. As Madonna’s most introspective release at the time, Like a Prayer has been described as a confessional record. She described the album as a collection of songs “about my mother, my father, and bonds with my family.” The album was dedicated to her mother, who died when Madonna was young.

The album uses live instrumentation and incorporates elements of dance, funk, gospel, and soul into a more general pop style. Madonna drew from her Catholic upbringing, as seen in the album’s title track and lead single “Like a Prayer”. The lyrics deal with themes from Madonna’s childhood and adolescence, such as the death of her mother in “Promise to Try”, the importance of family in “Keep It Together”, and her relationship with her father in “Oh Father”. Madonna also preaches female empowerment in “Express Yourself”. Like a Prayer received critical acclaim, with Rolling Stone hailing it as “…as close to art as pop music gets.” Commercially, the album was an international success, reaching the top of the charts in multiple territories. The album was certified quadruple platinum in the United States by the Recording Industry Association of America. Six singles were released from the album: “Like a Prayer”, “Express Yourself”, “Cherish”, “Oh Father”, “Dear Jessie”, and “Keep It Together”. “Like a Prayer” became Madonna’s seventh number-one on the Billboard Hot 100, while “Express Yourself” and “Cherish” peaked at number-two and “Keep It Together” became a top 10 hit. Worldwide, the album has sold over 15 million copies.


Like A Prayer (Madonna, Patrick Leonard) 5:41
Express Yourself (Madonna, Stephen Bray) 4:39
3  Love Song (Madonna, Prince) 4:52
4  Till Death Do Us Part (Madonna, Patrick Leonard) 5:18
5  Promise To Try (Madonna, Patrick Leonard) 3:38
Cherish (Madonna, Patrick Leonard) 5:04
7  Dear Jessie (Madonna, Patrick Leonard) 4:20
Oh Father (Madonna, Patrick Leonard) 4:58
Keep It Together (Madonna, Stephen Bray) 5:03
10  Spanish Eyes (Madonna, Patrick Leonard) 5:17
10  Art Of Constriction 2:19


Bass  Guy Pratt
Bass  Randy Jackson
Drums  Jeffrey Porcaro
Drums  JR Robinson
Drums  Jonathan Moffett
Guitar  Bruce Gaitsch
Guitar  Dann Huff
Guitar  David Williams
Guitar  Chester Kamen
Requinto  Marcos Loya
Clavinet  Patrick Leonard
Organ  Patrick Leonard
Piano  Patrick Leonard
Synthesizer  Patrick Leonard
Synthesizer  Jai Winding
Synthesizer  Stephen Bray
Synthesizer  Madonna
Cello  Larry Corbett
Horns  Joseph Mayer
Horns  Richard Todd
Sax  Dave Boruff
Trombone  Dick Hyde
Trumpet  Chuck Findley
Trumpet  Steve Madaio
Percussion  Luis Conte
Percussion  Paulinho Da Costa
Percussion  Joe Porcaro
Percussion  Sandra Crouch
Background Vocals  Niki Haris
Background Vocals  Marilyn Martin
Background Vocals  Donna DeLory
Background Vocals  Ali Nadirah
Background Vocals  Lynne Fiddmont
Background Vocals  Rose Banks
Background Vocals  Marcos Loya
Background Vocals  Andrae Crouch Choir

Liner Notes

Producer – Madonna, Patrick Leonard (Tracks 1, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 10, 11)
Producer – Prince (Track 3)
Producer – Stephen Bray (Track 9)
Producer – The Powers That Be (Track 11)
Producer (Production Coordinator) – Ivy Skoff
Arranged By (Horns) – Chuck Findley
Arranged By (Strings) – Bill Meyers
Concertmaster – Suzie Katayama
Conductor (Strings) – Bill Meyers
Engineer (Additional) – Michael Vail Blum
Engineer (Assistant) – Bob Salcedo, Joe Schiff, Stacy Baird
Engineer (Paisley Park) – Eddie Miller, Heidi Hanschu, Stephen Shelton
Engineer, Mixed By – Bill Bottrell
Mastered By – Bob Ludwig
Technician (Drum Technician) – Harry McCarthy, John Good

Art Direction – Jeri Heiden
Photography By – Herb Ritts
Design (Logo Design) – Margo Chase

Marketed By – Warner Bros. Records Inc.
Manufactured By – WEA Manufacturing
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Sire Records Company
Phonographic Copyright (p) – WEA International Inc.
Copyright (c) – Sire Records Company
Copyright (c) – WEA International Inc.
Copyright (c) – Webo Girl Publishing, Inc.
Copyright (c) – Wb Music Corp.
Copyright (c) – Johnny Yuma Music
Copyright (c) – Black Lion Music, Inc.
Copyright (c) – Girlsongs
Pressed By – Specialty Records Corporation
Recorded At – Johnny Yuma Recording
Recorded At – Saturn Sound
Recorded At – Ocean Way Recording
Recorded At – Paisley Park Studios
Engineered At – Paisley Park Studios
Mixed At – Smoke Tree Studios
Mastered At – Masterdisk