Madonna's iconic 1989 single Like A Prayer
is now 25 years old.
It was released in the US on March 3, 1989 and first charted in the UK a couple of weeks later on March 18.
Released as the lead single from the album of the same name, Like A Prayer
would go on to top the charts in the US, UK, Australia, Canada and Ireland and sell over five million copies worldwide.
Madonna co-wrote and produced the song with Patrick Leonard, who later admitted that he was uncomfortable with the mix of sexual and religious themes in the song's lyrics. During the Like A Prayer
recording sessions, Leonard asked Madonna to change the lines "When you call my name / It's like a little prayer /I'm down on my knees / I wanna take you there" - but she refused.
The song's lyrics may have been provocative, but it was the accompanying music video that really caused controversy at the time. Featuring burning crosses, statues weeping blood, stigmata and a sequence in which Madonna fantasises about kissing a black Saint - possibly Jesus - it was condemned by the Vatican and led to Pepsi Cola cancelling a contract with the singer. Famously, she kept her initial fee from the soft drinks giant.
Madonna first performed the song live on 1990's 'Blond Ambition' tour and it also appeared on the setlist of 2004's 'Re-Invention Tour', 2008's 'Sticky & Sweet Tour' and 2012's 'MDNA Tour'. She also sang it at 2005's Live 8 benefit concert in London's Hyde Park.
In 2002, a Europop cover of the song became a UK top ten hit for Mad'House, and in 2010 it was covered on Glee
. Madonna's original version has appeared on 'greatest songs of all-time' lists compiled by US music magazines Rolling Stone
"Like a Prayer' is a very important song to me," Madonna has said. "I felt the impact that it was going to make."
Watch the video below:
[youtube height="HEIGHT" width="WIDTH"]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=79fzeNUqQbQ[/youtube]