On August 1 1989, the third single from Madonna’s Like a Prayer album, Cherish, was released by Sire Records. The song was written and produced by Madonna an Patrick Leonard.
The single was released on 7″, 12″, CD and cassette single formats. The b-side featured a previously unreleased track, Supernatural.
Biographer J. Randy Taraborrelli talking about Cherish in his book, Madonna: An Intimate Biography:
“Cherish was a particular triumph for the Madonna/Patrick Leonard partnership. A delightful confection of radio-ready proportions, the song had it all—strong, positive, remarkably dysfunction-free lyrics about love, a memorable, singalong vocal melody, and a tight, pungent rhythm arrangement. It remains, quite simply, one of the best songs Madonna has ever written; sweet and happy, but by no means corny, it’s a perfectly constructed pop song which Madonna delivered beautifully, and with undeniably sassy charm. Indeed, if Cherish had been released in the Sixties, it would have most likely emanated from Detroit’s Motown or the New York song writing Mecca, the Brill Building.”
On July 22 1989, Madonna’s Express Yourself reached #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 Singles Chart. Express Yourself was the first song that Madonna and producer Stephen Bray collaborated on for the Like a Prayer album.
“The message of the song is that people should always say what it is they want. The reason relationships don’t work is because they are afraid. That’s been my problem in all my relationships. I’m sure people see me as an outspoken person, and for the most part, if I want something I ask for it. But sometimes you feel that if you ask for too much or ask for the wrong thing from someone you care about that that person won’t like you. And so you censor yourself. I’ve been guilty of that in every meaningful relationship I’ve ever had. The time I learn how not to edit myself will be the time I consider myself a complete adult.”
—Madonna talking to Stephen Holden of The New York Times.
On July 1 1989, Express Yourself became Madonna’s sixth number one single on the Eurochart Hot 100 Singles chart in Europe. It remained in the chart’s top position for three weeks.
On June 24 1989, Madonna’s Express Yourself single debuted at #21 on the Billboard Hot Dance Music/Maxi Single Sales chart.
The 12″ maxi single included the following:
- Express Yourself (Non-Stop Express Mix) – 7:57
- Express Yourself (Stop & Go Dubs) – 10:49
- Express Yourself (Local Mix) – 6:26
- The Look of Love (Album Version) – 4:00
On June 3 1989, Madonna’s Like A Prayer earned its 11th week at #1, and its 12th week in the Top 10 of the United World Chart (tracks).
On May 16 1989, the Like A Prayer single was certified Platinum by the RIAA for shipment of one million units in the U.S.