Like 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.
1 Like A Prayer (Madonna, Patrick Leonard) 5:41
2 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
6 Cherish (Madonna, Patrick Leonard) 5:04
7 Dear Jessie (Madonna, Patrick Leonard) 4:20
8 Oh Father (Madonna, Patrick Leonard) 4:58
9 Keep It Together (Madonna, Stephen Bray) 5:03
10 Spanish Eyes (Madonna, Patrick Leonard) 5:17
10 Art Of Constriction 2:19
|Percussion||Paulinho Da Costa|
|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|
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