Today in Madonna History: August 12, 1989

madonna-express

On August 12 1989, Madonna’s Express Yourself spent a fourth week at #1 on the Billboard Hot Dance Music and Maxi Single Sales chart.

Madonna explained to Becky Johnston in the May 1989 issue of Interview magazine:

“The ultimate thing behind the song is that if you don’t express yourself, if you don’t say what you want, then you’re not going to get it. And in effect you are chained down by your inability to say what you feel or go after what you want. No matter how in control you think are about sexuality in a relationship there is always the power struggle… always a certain amount of compromise. Of being beholden, if you love them. You do it because you choose to. No one put the chain around this neck but me. I wrote Express Yourself to tell women around the world that pick and choose the best for yourself, before that chain around your neck, kills you instead. It’s my take on how man can express what they want, the same prerogative should be there for a woman too.”

Today in Madonna History: July 22, 1989

 

madonna-july-22-express-yourself

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.

Today in Madonna History: June 24, 1989

madonna-express-yourself-maxi-debut

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:

  1. Express Yourself (Non-Stop Express Mix) – 7:57
  2. Express Yourself (Stop & Go Dubs) – 10:49
  3. Express Yourself (Local Mix) – 6:26
  4. The Look of Love (Album Version) – 4:00

Today in Madonna History: June 3, 1989

On June 3 1989, Madonna’s Express Yourself single was reviewed in Billboard magazine.

Today in Madonna History: May 9, 1989

expressyourself-3 expressyourself-3b

On May 9 1989, Madonna released Express Yourself, the second single from her Like A Prayer album.

Lyrics:

Come on girls
Do you believe in love?
‘Cause I got something to say about it
And it goes something like this

Don’t go for second best baby
Put your love to the test
You know, you know, you’ve got to
Make him express how he feels
And maybe then you’ll know your love is real

You don’t need diamond rings
Or eighteen karat gold
Fancy cars that go very fast
You know they never last, no, no

What you need is a big strong hand
To lift you to your higher ground
Make you feel like a queen on a throne
Make him love you till you can’t come down
(You’ll never come down)

Don’t go for second best baby
Put your love to the test
You know, you know, you’ve got to
Make him express how he feels
And maybe then you’ll know your love is real

Long stem roses are the way to your heart
But he needs to start with your head
Satin sheets are very romantic
What happens when you’re not in bed

You deserve the best in life
So if the time isn’t right then move on
Second best is never enough
You’ll do much better baby on your own
(Baby on your own)

Don’t go for second best baby
Put your love to the test
You know, you know, you’ve got to
Make him express how he feels
And maybe then you’ll know your love is real

Express yourself
(You’ve got to make him)
Express himself
Hey, hey, hey, hey
So if you want it right now, make him show you how
Express what he’s got, oh baby ready or not

And when you’re gone he might regret it
Think about the love he once had
Try to carry on, but he just won’t get it
He’ll be back on his knees

To express himself
(You’ve got to make him)
Express himself
Hey hey

What you need is a big strong hand
To lift you to your higher ground
Make you feel like a queen on a throne
Make him love you till you can’t come down
(You’ll never come down)

And when you’re gone he might regret it
Think about the love he once had
Try to carry on, but he just won’t get it
He’ll be back on his knees

So please

Don’t go for second best baby
Put your love to the test
You know, you know, you’ve got to
Make him express how he feels
And maybe then you’ll know your love is real

Express yourself
(You’ve got to make him)
Express himself
Hey, hey, hey, hey
So if you want it right now, make him show you how
Express what he’s got, oh baby ready or not

Express yourself
(You’ve got to make him)
So you can respect yourself
Hey, hey
So if you want it right now, then make him show you how
Express what he’s got, oh baby ready or not

Today in Madonna History: April 2, 2005

magazine-april-2-madonna

On April 2 2005, Madonna was featured in Q magazine as one of the Five Essential Acts in Music, along with The Beatles, Bob Dylan, U2 and The Velvet Underground.

Q magazine listed Like A Prayer as her definitive album:

If you only buy one album….Like A Prayer. Always more interesting when not seeking novelty, Madonna hit artistic and commercial gold with Like A Prayer, her best and least contrived album. The title track, all swirling choruses and kitchen – sink production, remains her major statement, but Express Yourself was ferocious dance, while on the rarely lauded Dear Jessie she had never sounded so human.

Q magazine also listed what they considered to be Madonna’s essential singles:

Holiday, Borderline, Material Girl, Like A Virgin, Crazy For You, Into The Groove, Papa Don’t Preach, La Isla Bonita, Open Your Heart, Live To Tell, Who’s That Girl, Causing A Commotion, Vogue, Justify My Love, Ray Of Light, Frozen, Drowned World/Substitute For Love, Beautiful Stranger, Music, Hollywood.

Today in Madonna History: December 9, 1989

On December 9 1989, Madonna was featured in a two-page spread in Billboard magazine, paid for by her record company and management, congratulating her on being named Artist of the Decade by Musician magazine.

Madonna’s September 1989 performance of Express Yourself at the MTV VMA’s perfectly encapsulates the sentiments expressed in the tribute. As her only live performance that year, it only hinted at Madonna’s next mission: to revolutionize the concert touring industry.

%d bloggers like this: