March 10, 1996
Evita's "balcony scene" is being filmed in Buenos Aires.
The Making Of Evita
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Alan Parker
Produced by Alan Parker, Robert Stigwood, Andrew G. Vajna
Screenplay by Alan Parker, Oliver Stone
Based on Evita by Andrew Lloyd Webber, Tim Rice
Narrated by Antonio Banderas
Starring: Madonna, Antonio Banderas, Jonathan Pryce, Jimmy Nail
Music by Andrew Lloyd Webber
Cinematography: Darius Khondji
Editing by Gerry Hambling
Studio: Cinergi Pictures / Dirty Hands Productions
Distributed by Hollywood Pictures (US) / Entertainment Films (UK)
Release dates: December 25, 1996
Running time: 134 minutes
Country: United States
Budget: $55 million
Box office: $141,047,179
Evita portrays the life of Eva Duarte (later Eva Duarte de Perón) (Madonna) from a child of the lower classes to becoming the wife of Juan Perón and First Lady and spiritual leader of Argentina.
Eva's death is announced in a movie theater and a public funeral is held in Buenos Aires. Che (Antonio Banderas), an Everyman, narrates the story of Eva's rise to power and later illness and death. He appears in many different guises and serves as Eva's conscience and critic. As a young illegitimate child, Eva tries to attend her father's funeral in the town of Junín with her mother and siblings. Her father's wife and other family deny her family permission to enter, but Eva pays her last respects to her father.
Years later, Eva decides to leave Junín to seek a better life in Buenos Aires with a tango singer, Agustín Magaldi (Jimmy Nail), with whom she is having an affair. After Magaldi leaves her, she goes through several relationships with increasingly influential men, becoming a model, actress and radio personality. She meets with the older and handsome Colonel Juan Perón (Jonathan Pryce) at a fundraiser following the recent 1944 San Juan earthquake. Perón's connection with Eva adds to his populist image, since she is from the working class (as he is). Eva has a radio show during Perón's rise and uses all her skills to promote Perón, even when the controlling administration has him jailed in an attempt to stunt his political momentum. The groundswell of support Eva generates forces the government to release Perón, and he finds the people enamored of him and Eva. Perón wins election to the presidency and Eva promises the new government will serve the descamisados (literally, "those without shirts"—i.e., the poor).
At the start of the Perón government, Eva dresses glamorously, enjoying the privileges of being the first lady. Soon after, Eva embarks on what was called her "Rainbow Tour" to Europe. While there she had mixed receptions; the people of Spain adore her; the people of Italy call her whore and throw things (such as eggs) at her, while the Pope gives her a small, meager gift; and the French, while kind to her, were upset that she was forced to leave early. There are hints of the illness that eventually caused her death. Upon returning to Argentina, Eva establishes a foundation and distributes aid; the film suggests the Perónists otherwise plunder the public treasury. The military officer corps and social elites despise Eva's common roots and affinity for the poor.
Eva is hospitalized and learns she is terminally ill. She declines the position of Vice President because she is too weak, and makes one final broadcast to the people of Argentina. She understands that her life was short because she shone like the "brightest fire," and helps Perón prepare to go on without her. A large crowd surrounds the Casa Rosada in a candlelight vigil praying for her recovery when the light of her room goes out, signifying her death. Eva's funeral is shown again. Ché is seen at her coffin, marveling at the influence of her brief life. He walks up to her glass coffin, kisses it, and walks into the crowd of passing mourners.
Filming began in February 1996 and was finished in May. Madonna was paid a salary of $1 million for her role in the project. She personally lobbied then-Argentine president Carlos Menem for permission to film at the Casa Rosada, the executive mansion. Upon arrival in Argentina, the cast and crew faced protests over fears that the project would tarnish Eva Perón's image. They filmed in Buenos Aires for five weeks before moving to Budapest for a month.
Madonna related the difficulties in changing locations:
"We went from 100-degree weather in Argentina, the Latin culture, very embracing, warm, passionate, to a country where people are just learning to be expressive without being afraid. Everybody has a sad expression on their face. And it's difficult to work in an environment where there is no joy. It was the toughest experience of my life."
During shooting Madonna fell sick many times due to the intense emotional effort required. She published a diary of the film shoot in Vanity Fair.
Madonna said of the experience, "This is the role I was born to play. I put everything of me into this because it was much more than a role in a movie. It was exhilarating and intimidating at the same time ... And I am prouder of Evita than anything else I have done."
Midway through production, Madonna discovered she was pregnant. Her daughter Lourdes Maria Ciccone Leon was born on October 14, 1996.
The music for the film was completed in a London recording studio in the fall of 1995.
All lyrics written by Tim Rice, all music composed by Andrew Lloyd Webber.
Like A Prayer
March 10, 1988
The "Like A Prayer" song enters the Billboard singles chart.
Like A Prayer
Single by Madonna
From the album Like a Prayer
B-side: "Act of Contrition"
Released: March 3, 1989
Format: Cassette single CD single 7" 12"
Recorded: September 1988; Jonny Yuma Studios (Burbank, California)
Genre: Pop rock
Label: Sire Warner Bros.
Writer(s): Madonna Patrick Leonard
Producer(s): Madonna Patrick Leonard
Cover artwork for the 12" vinyl created by Madonna's brother Christopher Ciccone. It features the letters "MLVC" (the initials of the singer's full name) and prominently a "fallen" letter "P" near the heart of the Madonna, suggesting her divorce from Sean Penn in 1989.
"Like a Prayer" is a song recorded by the American singer Madonna for her 1989 studio album of the same name. Sire Records released it as the lead single from the album on March 3, 1989. Written and produced by Madonna and Patrick Leonard, "Like a Prayer" denoted a more artistic and personal approach to songwriting for Madonna, who felt she needed to cater more to her adult audience.
"Like a Prayer" is a pop rock song with elements of gospel music. A choir provides background vocals that heighten the song's spiritual nature, and a rock guitar keeps the music dark and mysterious. Madonna introduced liturgical words in the lyrics—inspired by her Catholic upbringing—but changed the context in which they were used. They have dual meanings of sexual innuendo and religion. "Like a Prayer" was acclaimed by critics, and was a commercial success. It was Madonna's seventh number-one single on the United States' Billboard Hot 100, and topped the singles charts in Australia, Canada, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Sweden, the United Kingdom and other countries.
The music video, directed by Mary Lambert, portrays Madonna as a witness to a murder of a black girl by white supremacists. While a black man is arrested for the murder, Madonna hides in a church for safety seeking strength to go forth as a witness. The clip depicts Catholic symbols such as stigmata, Ku Klux Klan-style cross burning, and a dream about kissing a black saint. After its release, the Vatican condemned the video, while family and religious groups protested its broadcast. They boycotted products by soft drink manufacturer Pepsi, which used the song for a commercial. Madonna's contract with Pepsi was then canceled, although she was allowed to retain her initial fee.
The song has been featured on four of Madonna's concert tours, most recently The MDNA Tour in 2012. "Like a Prayer" has been covered by many artists. The song is noted for the mayhem surrounding the music video, and the different interpretations of its content, leading to discussions among music and film scholars. Alongside its respective album, "Like a Prayer" has been considered a turning point in Madonna's career, as she began to be viewed as an efficient businesswoman—someone who knew how to sell a concept.
1988 was a quiet year on the recording front for Madonna. Following the lack of critical and commercial success of her 1987 film Who's That Girl, she acted in the Broadway production Speed-the-Plow. However, unfavorable reviews once again caused her discomfort. Her marriage to actor Sean Penn ended and the couple filed for divorce in January 1989. Madonna turned 30, the age at which her mother had died, and thus the singer experienced more emotional turmoil. She commented for the May 1989 issue of Interview that her Catholic upbringing struck a feeling of guilt in her all the time:
Because in Catholicism you are a born sinner and you're a sinner all your life. No matter how you try to get away from it, the sin is within you all the time. It was this fear that haunted me; it taunted and pained me every moment. My music was probably the only distraction I had.
But she understood that as she was growing up, so was her core audience. Feeling the need to attempt something different, Madonna wanted the sound of her new album to indicate what could be popular in the music world. She had certain personal matters on her mind that she thought could be the musical direction of the album. For lyrical ideas of the title track, she chose topics that until then had been personal meditations never to be shared with the general public. Thoughtfully, she sifted through her personal journals and diaries, and began considering her options. She recalled, "What was it I wanted to say? I wanted the album and the song to speak to things on my mind. It was a complex time in my life."
Once Madonna and Leonard finished writing the lyrics of "Like a Prayer", they decided to record it alongside a choir at the end of 1988. He wanted to have a quick recording session for the song, as he believed that not much work would be needed for it. Madonna and Leonard met with musician Andraé Crouch and a member of his management team/vocalist Roberto Noriega and signed his choir as one of the background vocalists. Since Crouch was the leader of the Los Angeles Church of God choir, he researched the lyrics of the song, as he wanted to "find out what the intention of the song might be. We're very particular in choosing what we work with, and we liked what we heard." At Jonny Yuma recording studio, Crouch got his choir together and explained to them what they needed to do during the recording session. He had listened to the demo of "Like a Prayer" in his car, and directed his choir according to his own interpretations of the music. The choir was recorded separately, and Leonard wanted it to be added during post-production of the song.
Recording took more time than usual since Madonna and Leonard fought "tooth and nail" according to O'Brien, the reason being Madonna wanting to prove everybody that her second time as a record producer was not a fluke. Leonard worked on the chord changes for the verses and the chorus. He hired guitarist Bruce Gaitsch and bass guitar player Guy Pratt as musicians for "Like a Prayer". Pratt had in turn hired some additional drummers who were supposed to reach Jonny Yuma in the morning. However, the person cancelled at the last minute, which irritated Madonna greatly, and she started shouting and swearing profusely at Leonard. Pratt did not end up being fired, but as recording started for "Like a Prayer", he realized that Madonna would not forgive him easily; she called him at late nights for his opinion, and urgently asking him to come to the recording studio, only to dismiss him. In the meantime, Leonard hired British drum and guitar players such as Chester Kamens, David Williams and Dann Huff. He commented that the choice was deliberate since he was a fan of British rock, and wanted that kind of attitude and quirkiness of the musicians in "Like a Prayer", as well as the other songs of the album. Madonna had her own opinion of how the different musical instruments should be played to achieve the sound that she envisioned.
Pratt recalled that after the middle chorus of the song was recorded, Madonna notified the musicians of some changes in the production. She wanted drummer Jonathan Moffet to "do less of the high-hat in the middle eight, and more of a fill towards the end. Guy, I want duck eggs [semibreves] on the end, and Chester, bring in your guitar on the second verse." The team ran through her instructions once more, and did a final take with vocals and one with the string arrangements. Gaitsch heard Madonna telling Leonard that "Like a Prayer" could not be improved further, and that the recording was finished. Leonard then gave the song to Bill Bottrell for the mixing process. As the mixing was nearing completion, Leonard felt that the bongos and the Latin Percussion would sound really mismatched, if Crouch's choir was to be added afterwards; hence, he removed them. Junior Vasquez remixed the 12" version of the track, turning the church capella inside out and overlaying it with Fast Eddie's single "Let's Go".
"Like a Prayer" is a pop rock song that incorporates elements of gospel and funk music. According to the sheet music from Alfred Publishing, it was composed using common time in the key of D minor, with a moderate tempo of 120 beats per minute. Madonna's vocals range from the lower octave of A3 to the two-lined higher note of F5. "Like a Prayer" follows a Dm–C–D–Gm–D chord progression in the opening chorus, and a Dm–C–E–C7–B♭–F–A sequence in the verses. The song begins with the sound of heavy rock guitar that is suddenly cut off after a few seconds, and replaced with the choir and the sound of an organ. Madonna sings the opening lines alongside the light sound of percussion, as drums start during the first verse. The percussion and the choir sound are added interchangeably between the verses and the bridges, until the second chorus. At this point the guitars start flickering from left to right, accompanied by a bubbling sequenced bassline.
Rikky Rooksby, author of The Complete Guide to the Music of Madonna, commented that "Like a Prayer" was the most complex track that Madonna had ever attempted. According to him, the complexity builds up more after the second chorus, in which the choir fully supports Madonna's vocals and she re-utters the opening lines, but this time accompanied by a synthesizer and drum beats. As Madonna sings the lines "Just like a prayer, your voice can take me there, Just like, a muse to me, You're a mystery", an R&B-influenced voice backs her up along with the choir. The song ends with a final repetition of the chorus and the singing of the choir gradually fading out.
Taraborrelli noted in Madonna: An Intimate Biography that the lyrics of the song consist of "a series of button-pushing anomalies". With Madonna's inclusion of double entendres in the lyrics, "Like a Prayer" refers to both the spiritual and the carnal. Taraborrelli felt that the song sounds religious, but with an undertone of sexual tension. This was achieved by the gospel choir, whose voice heightens the song's spiritual nature, while the rock guitar sounds keep it dark and mysterious. Author Lucy O'Brien explained how the song's lyrics describe Madonna receiving a vocation from God: "Madonna is unashamedly her mother's daughter—kneeling alone in private devotion, contemplating God's mystery. She sings of being chosen, of having a calling." The album version features bass guitar played by Guy Pratt doubled by an analogue Minimoog bass synthesizer, while the 7" version has a different bass part played by Randy Jackson. "Like a Prayer" was also remixed by Shep Pettibone for the 12" single of the song; a re-edited version of Pettibone's mix is featured on Madonna's 1990 compilation album The Immaculate Collection.
1989 'Like A Prayer'
1989 Herb Ritts
Madonna chose to work with photographer Herb Ritts for the Like a Prayer album cover. Initially photos from the session with Ritts were also to be used for the single's packaging. The image that was intended for the cover was a blurry shot of Madonna blowing smoke on her own face while holding a cigarette in her left hand. However, once she started shooting for the music video, she felt that one of the still shots of her in a field was extremely beautiful and decided to make it the cover art. A different piece of artwork was developed for the 12-inch single, featuring a painting by Madonna's brother Christopher Ciccone. He painted a classic (Catholic) Madonna, who wears a halo and is draped in a vine of thorns with a single blossoming flower. The painting features the letters MLVC, indicating the singer's full name Madonna Louise Veronica Ciccone, with a prominently "fallen" letter P near the heart of the Madonna, suggesting Madonna's recent divorce from Penn. The singer was initially skeptic about the painting as cover art, due to the media mayhem surrounding her relationship with Penn, and did not want to use it. However, once Ciccone presented her with a packaged version of the 12-inch single, where the painting was included along with the scent of patchouli, she was impressed.
In the United States, "Like a Prayer" debuted at number 38 on the Billboard Hot 100, and reached the top of the chart on the issue dated April 22, 1989. It was number one for three weeks, before being replaced by the Bon Jovi song "I'll Be There for You". "Like a Prayer" also topped the Hot Dance Music/Club Play chart, while reaching number three on the Hot Adult Contemporary chart and number 20 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop songs chart. "Like a Prayer" was ranked at number 25 on the Hot 100 year-end chart of 1989, and was certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) in May 1989, for shipment of a million copies of the single. According to Nielsen SoundScan, it has also sold 443,000 digital downloads as of April 2010, becoming Madonna's best-selling digital track since SoundScan started calculating downloads in 2005. In Canada, the song reached the top of the RPM Singles Chart in its ninth week. It was present on the chart for 16 weeks and was the top-selling Canadian single for 1989.
In Australia, "Like a Prayer" debuted on the ARIA Singles Chart at number three on March 19, 1989. The next week it reached the top of the chart, and stayed there for another four weeks. It was present for a total of 22 weeks on the chart, and was certified platinum by the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) for shipment of 70,000 copies of the single. "Like a Prayer" was also the top-selling Australian single of 1989. In New Zealand, the song had a similar run as in Australia, by debuting at number three on the RIANZ Singles Chart, and reaching number one the next week. It was present for a total of 13 weeks on the chart. "Like a Prayer" became Madonna's seventh number one single in Japan, and occupied the top position of the Oricon Singles chart for three weeks.
In the United Kingdom, "Like a Prayer" entered the UK Singles Chart at number two, before moving to the top the next week, remaining there for three weeks. Madonna became the artist with the most number-one singles of the 1980s in the UK, with a total of six chart-toppers. "Like a Prayer" became the tenth best-selling song of 1989 in the UK, with the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) certifying it gold, for shipment of 400,000 copies of the single. According to the Official Charts Company, the song has sold 580,000 copies there. "Like a Prayer" also reached number one in Belgium, Ireland, Norway, Sweden and Switzerland. It was Madonna's fifth number one song on the Eurochart Hot 100 Singles chart, reaching the top on March 25, 1989, and staying at number one for 12 weeks. After the Glee episode "The Power of Madonna" was broadcast, "Like a Prayer" again entered the chart at position 47, on May 15, 2010. The song went on to sell over five million copies worldwide.
The music video for "Like a Prayer" was directed by American film director Mary Lambert and was shot at Raleigh Studios in Hollywood, California and at San Pedro Hills in San Pedro, California. Madonna wanted the video to be more provocative than anything she had done before. She wanted to address racism by having the video depict a mixed-race couple being shot by the Ku Klux Klan. However, upon further thought, she decided on another provocative theme to keep with the song's religious connotations. When Madonna had recorded the song, she would play it over and over again; she interpreted the visual as:
This story of a girl who was madly in love with a black man, set in South, with this forbidden interracial love affair. And the guy she's in love with sings in a choir. So she's obsessed with him and goes to the church all the time. And then it turned into a bigger story, which was about racism and bigotry.
Lambert had a different visual aspect of the song on her mind. She felt that it was more about ecstasy, especially a sexual one, and how it related to religious ecstasy. She listened to the song with Madonna a number of times and came to the conclusion that the religious ecstasy part should be included. A sub-plot about Madonna as a homicide witness was included and became the trigger factor in the ecstasy part of the plot. Actor Leon Robinson was hired to play the role of a saint, which was inspired by Martin de Porres, the patron saint of mixed-race people and all those seeking interracial harmony.
The video was shot over four days, with an extra day allotted for re-shooting some of the scenes. Originally Lambert had casts taken of Leon's face, hand and feet to create the statue of the saint which would be used as a decoration. The actor only enacted the live scenes. However, after post-production started, Lambert found that the statue did not look like Leon, who was asked to re-shoot the respective scenes. Leon had to act as the statue and required special make-up; he had to stand motionless during extended periods of shooting and retakes. The actor recalled that standing like a statue was difficult since "first of all, I didn't realize how hard it is on the back to stand absolutely tall and straight and not move. Secondly, as a performer you have this nervous energy—and my requirements here were total antithesis of that."
The viewers first see Madonna who runs on the street. She witnesses the murder of a young woman, but is too frozen in fear to protest. A black man walking down the alley notices the incident and decides to help the woman, but the police arrive and arrest him. The murderers give a threatening look towards Madonna and leave. She escapes to a church and sees a caged saint who resembles the black man on the street. As the song starts, Madonna utters a prayer in front of the saint, who appears to be crying.
Madonna lies down on a pew and has a dream in which she begins to fall through space. Suddenly she is caught by a woman, who tosses her back up and tells her to do what is right. Still dreaming, Madonna returns to the saint, who becomes the black man she had seen earlier. He kisses her forehead and leaves the church as she picks up a knife and cuts her hands, bleeding. As the chorus starts, the scene shifts to Madonna as she sings and dances wildly in front of burning crosses. In the meantime a church choir sings around Madonna, who continues to dance with them. Madonna wakes up, goes to the jail and tells the police that the black man is innocent; the police release him. The video ends as Madonna dances in front of the burning crosses, and then everybody involved in the storyline takes a bow as curtains come down on the set.
In January 1989, while the music video was still being filmed, Pepsi-Cola announced that they had signed Madonna to a US$5 million deal to use her and "Like a Prayer" in a television commercial for them. The agreement also called for Pepsi to financially sponsor Madonna's next world tour. Madonna would use the commercial to launch the "Like a Prayer" single globally before its actual release—the first time something like this was being done in the music industry—thereby creating promotion for the single and the album to come. Pepsi, on the other hand, would have their product associated with Madonna, thereby creating promotion for the soft drink. According to the company's advertising head, Alan Pottasch, "the global media buy and unprecedented debut of this long awaited single will put Pepsi first and foremost in consumer's minds". Problems started when Madonna refused to dance, "I ain't dancing and I ain't singing." Joe Pytka introduced her to choreographer Vince Paterson (from Michael Jackson days) and she agreed to dance. She and Paterson continued their professional relationship for a number of years. Pepsi ran the expensive television commercial during the global telecast of the 31st Grammy Awards in February 1989. A week later, the ad was premiered during NBC's sitcom, The Cosby Show.
Titled "Make a Wish", the two-minute commercial portrayed Madonna back in time to revisit her childhood memories. It starts as Madonna watches a video of her childhood birthday party. As she reminisces, she interchanges places with her childhood self. The young Madonna roams aimlessly around the grown-up Madonna's room, while the latter dances with her childhood friends on the street and inside a bar. The commercial continues as Madonna dances inside a church, surrounded by a choir and her child self discovering her old play doll. As both of their lives are interchanged again, the grown-up Madonna looks towards the TV and says, "Go ahead, make a wish". Both depictions of Madonna raise their cans of Pepsi towards each other, and the young Madonna blows out the candles on her birthday cake. An estimated 250 million people around the world saw the commercial, which was directed by Joe Pytka. Pepsi-Cola Company spokesman Todd MacKenzie said that the ad was planned to be aired simultaneously in Europe, Asia, Australia and North America. Bob Garfield from the Advertising Age observed that from "Turkey to El Salvador to anytown USA, around 500 million eyes [were] glued to the screen. Leslie Savan from The Village Voice noted that the ad qualified as a "hymn to the global capabilities of the age of electronic reproductions; it celebrates the pan-cultural ambitions of both soda pop and pop star."
"I consider it a challenge to make a commercial that has some sort of artistic value. I like the challenge of merging art and commerce. As far as I'm concerned, making a video is also a commercial. The Pepsi spot is a different and great way to expose the record. Record companies just don't have that kind of money to finance this kind of publicity.
—Madonna talking about why she chose to do the commercial.
Reception and protests
Taraborrelli pointed out about the actual music video that "Madonna danced with such abundance in [it], as if she knew that she was about to cause a commotion, and couldn't wait to see how it would unfold." The day after the Pepsi commercial was premiered, Madonna released the actual music video for "Like a Prayer" on MTV, who deemed it controversial. Among music critics, Phil Kloer from Record-Journal felt that whether one condemns the video as racist or not, "It's condemnable on the face of it because it exploits a symbol of evil [the burning crosses of the Ku Klux Klan] in order to sell records." Jamie Portman from The Daily Schenectady Gazette noted that "the video is vulnerable to charges of being blatantly provocative in its calculated blending of sex and religion." David Rosenthal from The Spokesman-Review found the video "visually stunning"; however, Edna Gundersen from USA Today did not understand the media mayhem behind the video. She pointed out that "Madonna is a good girl in the video. She saves someone. What is the big deal behind it?" Writing for the Los Angeles Times, Chris Willman complimented the video for its portrayal of a love song, rather than blasphemy. He was more interested in the stigmata presented in the video.
Religious groups worldwide protested against the video, which they deemed contained blasphemous use of Christian imagery. They called for the national boycott of Pepsi and PepsiCo's subsidiaries, including their fast food chains Kentucky Fried Chicken, Taco Bell and Pizza Hut. Pepsi had decided initially to continue airing their commercial; however, they were taken aback by the protests. They explained the differences between their advertising methods and Madonna's artistic opinions in the video. Ultimately, Pepsi caved in to the protests, and cancelled the advertising campaign. According to Taraborrelli, Pepsi was so eager to extricate themselves from the venture that they even allowed Madonna to keep the five million dollars she had been advanced. In the meantime, Pope John Paul II involved himself in the matter and banned any appearance of Madonna in Italy. Protests from a small Catholic organization in the country prompted Italian state television network RAI and Madonna's Italian record company WEA to not air the video there.
At the 1989 MTV Video Music Awards, "Like a Prayer" was nominated in the Viewer's Choice and Video of the Year categories, winning the former. Ironically the award show was sponsored by Pepsi in 1989, and when Madonna came onstage to receive the award she added, "I would really like to thank Pepsi for causing so much controversy." "Like a Prayer" also topped video countdowns and critic lists. It was number one on MTV's countdown of "100 Videos That Broke The Rules" in 2005, and for the 25th anniversary of MTV, viewers voted it as the "Most Groundbreaking Music Video of All Time". In addition, the video was ranked at number 20 on Rolling Stone's "The 100 Top Music Videos" and at number two on VH1's 100 Greatest Videos. Fuse TV also named "Like a Prayer" one of its 10 "Videos That Rocked The World". In a 2011 poll by Billboard, "Like a Prayer" was voted the second best music video of the 1980s, behind only Michael Jackson's "Thriller". (Wiki)
7" single (US)
"Like a Prayer" (7" version) – 5:19
"Act of Contrition" – 2:19
3" CD single (Japan)
A. "Like a Prayer" (7" version fade) – 5:07
B. "Act of Contrition" – 2:19
12" single (UK)
A. "Like a Prayer" (12" dance mix) – 7:50
B1. "Like a Prayer" (Churchapella) – 6:14
B2. "Like a Prayer" (7" remix edit) – 5:41
12" single (US)
"Like a Prayer" (12" dance mix) – 7:50
"Like a Prayer" (12" extended remix) – 7:21
"Like a Prayer" (Churchapella) – 6:14
"Like a Prayer" (12" club version) – 6:35
"Like a Prayer" (7" remix edit) – 5:41
"Act of Contrition" – 2:19
CD promo single (US)
"Like a Prayer" (7" version) – 5:08
"Like a Prayer" (7" remix edit) – 5:41
"Like a Prayer" (7" dance edit) – 5:25
"Like a Prayer" (12" dance mix) – 7:50
"Like a Prayer" (12" club version) – 6:35
12" promo single (US)
A1. "Like a Prayer" (12" dance mix) – 7:50
A2. "Like a Prayer" (Instra dub) – 6:01
A3. "Like a Prayer" (Bass dub) – 5:31
B1. "Like a Prayer" (12" club version) – 6:35
B2. "Like a Prayer" (Dub beats) – 4:39
B3. "Like a Prayer" (7" remix edit) – 5:41