Today in Madonna History: August 26, 1989

madonna-cherish-august-19-2 madonna-cherish-august-19-3 madonna-cherish-august-19-4

On August 26 1989, Madonna’s third single from the Like A Prayer album, Cherish, debuted at #32 on Billboard’s Adult Contemporary chart.

Song review by Stewart Mason (AllMusic.com):

True Blue had the gimmicky quality of an early Cyndi Lauper single, like a new waver’s vague approximation of what a 1960’s girl group song might have sounded like. Cherish is a much more successful dip into the musical past, not least because the ’60s flavor is very slight, more of a mood than any kind of particular stylistic pastiche. Perfect pop touches like the flirty “ooh, ooh” backing vocals on the bridge and the dead-on introduction of a short, sharp horn section accent on the final chorus are part of what puts the song over, but the bulk of the credit belongs to Madonna’s bubbly and endearing lead vocal, which uses the helium-pitched high register of her early singles, but minus the occasional harshness of those songs. Cherish is a delight, one of many highlights on Madonna’s best album.

Today in Madonna History: August 21, 1989

madonna herb ritts cherish videoMadonna_Cherish_Video_Set_10 550cherish video set

On August 21 1989, the music video for Cherish premiered on MTV in the U.S.  The video was the directed by Madonna’s frequent collaborator and friend, photographer Herb Ritts.

lyrics alternate cherish

While the single from the Like A Prayer album went on to become another hit single, it’s interesting to note that Madonna had previously written an entirely different song using the title Cherish. Her handwritten lyrics for the unreleased track – along with several others that have yet to surface in musical form – turned up at an auction in 2011.

Today in Madonna History: August 1, 1989

madonna-cherish-august-1-89-1 madonna-cherish-august-1-89-3madonna-cherish-august-1-89-4  madonna-cherish-august-1-89-2

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.”

Today in Madonna History: August 29, 1989

Cherish Single

On August 29 1989, the music video for “Cherish” – the third single from the album Like A Prayer – premiered in Canada.

The song was written by Madonna & Patrick Leonard and was one of the first tracks completed for the album. Madonna had been reading Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet during breaks from rehearsals for the play Speed The Plow, which inspired the lyrics for the song.

The video was filmed on July 22, 1989 at Paradise Cove Beach in Malibu, California. It marked the first time that late photographer Herb Ritts had crossed over to shooting and directing a music video, which he agreed to do reluctantly at Madonna’s insistence. He quickly became a highly sought-after music video director, winning numerous awards for his work within the medium.

“Cherish” hit the top of the charts in Canada on October 9th, spending two weeks at number-one. It went on to become the ninth best-selling single of the year with a total of seventeen weeks on the RPM Singles chart.

While no maxi-single was issued for “Cherish” in North America, the single included the previously unreleased Like A Prayer outtake “Supernatural” – another collaboration with Patrick Leonard.