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Like a Prayer : The Definitive Era of Pop?

Jjang

220px-Like_a_Prayer_Madonna.png

Lets start by quoting a few figures of authority in the music industry, critics and journalists :

 "Madonna has always been a keen student of pop-culture history, and her creative powers were probably at their peak in the late 1980s on the album Like a Prayer."

- Time.

 Like a Prayer shaped "how pop stars, pop music, music videos, love, s-x and the 80s were and should be"

- The Guardian

* According to the list of "All-TIME 100 Albums" by Time magazine's critics, Like a Prayer is one of the 100 greatest and most influential musical compilations since 1954, apart from that is also featured in the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die & included in most greatest albums of all time lists. 

"By the late '80s, Madonna was already one of the biggest pop stars of all time, but with Like a Prayer, she became one of the most important"

"The album‚Äôs sustained run at No. 1 buoyed her self-assurance and bravery, and validated that people were willing to follow her even as she transitioned into adulthood. And even today,¬†Like a Prayer¬†remains provocative and progressive: The racial tension alluded to in the ‚ÄúLike A Prayer‚ÄĚ video is striking, while the album‚Äôs themes of religious and s-xual oppression still feel all too relevant. Madonna dictated pop‚Äôs future direction while also being firmly in control of her own fortunes"

- Thomas Harrison on the book Music of the 1980s. 

According to Christopher Rosa from VH1, "Like a Prayer was the first pop album to evoke what female artists explore today: s-xuality, religion, gender equality and independence. (look ; Born This Way by Lady Gaga) It was pioneering, and no woman in music has come close to doing something as groundbreaking." He believed that the album was her peak of cultural and musical influence

Musically, as stated : the album pushed boundaries of lyrical content, explored themes that were yet to be explored and through its' unimaginable success managed to define the new parameters of pop music. Singer Taylor Swift explained that with the album Madonna made "the most incredible, bold, risky, decisions as far as pop music goes", citing the title track as "legitimately one of the greatest pop songs of all time. - even Swift, a diva of her popularity, stated that 1989 was inspired by Like a Prayer.

The album and its singles were particularly influential on the music video field. Having spawning videos such as 'Like a Prayer' and 'Express Yourself' which pushed boundaries by bringing traditional religious / s-xual imagery into the popular music context. Author John Semonche explained in his book Censoring s-x that with Like a Prayer, Madonna pushed the envelope of what could be shown on television and emphasized on the importance of controversy and provocation in art and was the most significant / historical year for music videos as Madonna successfuly achieved bending all the rules of imagery and music videos. 

giphy.giftumblr_m6oa7xrAJn1r7e9vpo1_500.gif

 

The Blond Ambition Tour 

Doomed as the greatest & most innovative tour of the 90's, The Blond Ambition Tour reinvented the concert tour, It was the premiere of organic art and pop being merged into one in performances, having being the first tour to incorporate theatrics and technology, being divided into several themes and sections, multiple stages and dramatic costume changes as well as fashion statements all in one shot and It helped cement the link between pop costumes and couture. It built the essence of today's artists (such as Lady Gaga's for example) and naturally gave birth to the opportunity of their current careers' state. It is no secret that Lady Gaga's Monster Ball followed the pattern of The Blond Ambition Tour as well as many other tours.

Today, most major pop tours are full-scale productions with costume changes, special effects, elaborate sets and a sense of drama that takes the experience beyond someone just singing into a microphone. It wasn't always that way, however, and Madonna and choreographer Vincent Paterson specifically set out to elevate the concert. 

"The biggest thing we tried to do is change the shape of concerts. Instead of just presenting songs, we wanted to combine fashion, Broadway, rock and performance art."

Like-Virgin-Performance-Blond-Ambition-Ttumblr_mdo57z6gr81rpxxlmo1_500.giftumblr_n6d1fnShmZ1qljse3o2_500.gifgiphy.gif

Truth or Dare 

A  documentary film chronicling the life of Madonna. The film was generally well received by critics and was successful at the box office, at that point becoming the highest-grossing documentary of all time The 'movie' was hailed for bringing a total new dimension to documentaries as well as it defined reality TV and was the first proper reality film of its kind. These days, it is nothing special to document your life and share your privacy with the entire world, as a matter of fact : nowadays it became a career some people have (The Kardashians for example). However, at the time it was an extremely strange idea, but Madonna insisted to keep filming. Madonna's attempt of doing so even left the movie stars shocked, take a look at this scene : 

 

Conclusion : the LAP era redefined and morphed a completely new meaning, shape and form for all pop stars and pop stardom itself - the kind we all see today.

So my question stands clear : is Like a Prayer the most important era in pop music? make sure you read the entire post and then comment your thoughts! 

 

You see that's how it's done, Enigma. 

:green: 

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Sizzily

This is kind of off topic, but does Ghost Town sound like Like a Prayer to anyone else?

One Banned Boi

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JustPokeHerFace

It's tied with Thriller. While LAP was more risky, Thriller kind of threw pop music into heights that it had not known up to that point, and kind of helped cause pop stars to become some of the biggest celebrities on the planet. 

But LAP was certainly groundbreaking; it was Madonna's peak, and the amount of boundaries it broke down was astonishing. 

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Jjang

This is kind of off topic, but does Ghost Town sound like Like a Prayer to anyone else?

Not really. :flop:

 

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Quark

I feel like MJ was shaping pop stars before Madonna. With eras like Off The Wall and Thriller. I mean, MJ shaped Madonna herself.

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AJH219

Truly one of the greatest album of all time! :legend::legend:

I watched the Blond Ambition Tour for the first time a few weeks ago and was blown away :giveup:

 

 

'All our dreams can come true IF we have the courage to pursue them'-Walt Disney

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Didymus

It most definitely is, simply because no pop star after Madonna brought any significant new element to the table. It's all still here in this era and is repeated over and over again, modernized of course, up to this day.

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Sia

i love madonna :stalkga:

Don't be insecure if you heart is pure, you're still good to me if you're a bad kid baby.

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monsterdreams

I think that MJ was also doing this but in a different way. They were pushing different sets of boundaries. Like A Prayer is amazing of course 

Haters gonna need more than a flashlight for my shade

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lego

MadonnaDaily. 

Could be in her main thread too. Just saying. :laughga:

racist ppl really be like ‚Äúso just because I‚Äôm a racist that makes me racist ??? wow‚ÄĚ

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chiuga

no one's denying that. don't cling onto the past so much honey

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Spock

Nobody is saying it isn't tho

who will love me when the night is over

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Jjang

I feel like Mj was shaping pop stars before Madonna. With eras like Off The Wall and Thriller.

You didn't address any of the points made in the OP. 

And no, he did not. :smh: no one can deny his influence on Madonna but her artistic receipt is entirely different. 

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Jjang

MadonnaDaily. 

Could be in her main thread too. Just saying. :laughga:

The Entertainment Talk section was created for threads like this! :party:

 

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