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Sep 4, 2019

Life is a mystery, everyone must stand alone... except for everyone listening to this episode, because we're traveling together through doubt and deliverance with Madonna's "Like a Prayer."

Kirk takes a look at the high-contrast drama of the megastar's 1989 megahit, with its cathedral-like verses, bus-driving guitar rhythms, bouncy basslines, and perfectly placed Latin percussion flourishes. The music video got a lot of attention back in the day, but there's plenty in the song itself to celebrate, from Prince's mystery guitar to Madonna's vulnerable vocals to the joyful power of the Andraé Crouch Choir.

Band/Artist: Madonna

Album: Like a Prayer, 1989

Composed by: Madonna and Patrick Leonard

Listen/Buy: Apple Music | Amazon | Spotify

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ALSO FEATURED/DISCUSSED:

  • "Open Your Heart To Me" by Madonna from True Blue, 1986
  • "Like a Prayer" as covered by the cast of Glee
  • The music video for "Like a Prayer": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lA983t3Rdzs
  • Three excellent music documentaries: "Muscle Shoals," "Standing in the Shadows of Motown," and "20 Feet From Stardom." (Seriously, watch all three!)

OUTRO SOLOIST: Steve Pardo

This episode's outro soloist is the one and only Steve Pardo. Steve and Kirk met when they were both jazz saxophone students at the University of Miami; Steve currently lives and performs around the Nashville, TN area. He's a producer, composer, and does work in the world of video games, having spent several years at Harmonix, where he helped make music games like Rock Band and Dance Central. You can find out more at his website: https://www.stevepardo.com/

NEWSLETTER/MAILING LIST

Sign up for Kirk's mailing list to start getting monthly-ish newsletters with music recommendations, links, news, and extra thoughts on new Strong Songs episodes: https://tinyletter.com/KirkHamilton

STRONG PLAYLISTS

You can find playlists containing every Strong Song as well as all of Kirk's weekly music picks from his other podcast, Kotaku Splitscreen, on both Spotify and Apple Music.

SUPPORT STRONG SONGS ON PATREON!

A huge thank-you to everyone who's signed up to become a patron of Strong Songs—your support is making it possible to make this show as good as it can be! Stay tuned for a bonus episode in the next few weeks, made possible entirely by our Patrons.

If you want to support the show, check out the Strong Songs Patreon. Here's the link: https://Patreon.com/StrongSongs

SEPTEMBER 2019 WHOLE NOTE PATRONS

andrew walters
CALEB ROTACH
Chad Barnard
Dan Apczynski
Dave Florey
Glenn
Jared Norris
Mark Schechter
Sara Walsh

SEPTEMBER 2019 HALF NOTE PATRONS

Alexander Polson
Andre Bremer
Andrew Lee
Arjun Sharma
Bill Thornton
Brett Douville
Brian Amoebas
Chas Lednicky
Chris Brown
Cyrus N. White
Dominik Schmitt
Earl Lozada
Eero Wahlstedt
Elliot Jay O'Neill
Emily Williams
FlSHBONES
Forrest Chang
Jaehoon Jeong
James Johnson
Jasmine Fellows
Jeffrey Olson
John and Sharon Stenglein
Jon O'Keefe
joujou
Juan Carlos Montemayor Elosua
Jules Bailey
Justin Liew
Justin McElroy
Kate Albury
Kevin Morrell
Kevin Pennyfeather
Kyle Simons
Matt Gaskell
Max Schechter
Melanie Stivers
Michael Blackwell
Miriam Juskowicz
Mueller
Nate from Kalamazoo
Nicholas Schechter
Richard Toller
samuel gardner
Shane DeLeon
Shaun Wiese
Tim
Tom Clewer
Tom Lauer