Ok, so I've been a Madonna fan for almost as long as she's been at the top of our charts - which is almost 25 years!
She has released a hell of a lot of music in that time. From the early days of what would become dance music (Holiday, Everybody, Lucky Star, Physical Attraction) to her classic 80's era (Papa Don't Preach, Open Your Heart, Who's That Girl) to this, her pre-"Blond Ambition" days.
If I had to put her albums into any sort of order - either "best", "most iconic" or "most defining Madonna", then Like A Prayer would definitly be in not only mine, but most people's top 3! The title track Like A Prayer is classed as many peoples most defining Madonna song, with titles like Vogue, Music, Into The Groove, Papa Don't Preach and Hung Up following closly behind.
We all remember the famous/infamous Pepsi ad. Madonna, dark haired for the first time since Live Aid, dancing on the street and getting down with the choir. Then we remember the video. Burning crosses, a black Jesus, the stigmata and the crime. All of which could have easily overshadowed the album and title track if it was anyone else. But with the music and performer being this powerful, NOTHING could overshadow it no matter how controversial.
This album is Madonna at one of many peaks of her career. The others being the release of Like A Virgin, the 1990 Blond Ambition tour, the release of Ray Of Light, her amazing 2004 Re-Invention Tour and 2005's Confessions On A Dancefloor album at al.
The production on Like A Prayer is amazing. She worked with long time producers Stephen Bray (Into The Groove, Keep It Together etc) and Pat Leonard (Papa Don't Preach, Who's That Girl, Frozen etc) who both along with Stuart Price and Mirwais, remain a favourite with Madonna fans around the world.
She released 4 singles all together off the album in the UK - Like A Prayer, Express Yourself, Cherish and Dear Jessie, all massive top 3 hits. The latter in the US wasn't a single, intead she opted for Oh Father (which wasn't released here until the Something To Remember album in the late 90's) and Keep It Together. But there are many more powerful songs on the album - most notably Promise To Try (about the life and death of her mother), Til Death Do Us Part (her only song (that we know of) about her marriage to actor Sean Penn), Love Song (a collaberation is rare for Madonna, this time with Prince) and Spanish Eyes (a beautifully sung ballad, showing off how far vocally she's come since the Like A Virgin and True Blue days).
All in all, she's had an amazing career and released some of the most iconic music which nobody dare deny whether a fan or not. An essential album and if you should own only one or two Madonna albums in your time, LIKE A PRAYER should be one of them!