In 1989, Madonna released Like a Prayer, a game-changing album in her career that first brought her critical respect, despite being the No. 1 musical act in the world for the previous five years. In 1989, Rolling Stone said it was Madonna’s best album to date.
“With Like a Prayer, Madonna doesn’t just ask to be taken seriously, she insists on it. Daring in its lyrics, ambitious in its sonics, this is far and away the most self-consciously serious album she’s made…Like a Prayer is proof not only that Madonna should be taken seriously as an artist but that hers is one of the most compelling voices of the Eighties. And if you have trouble accepting that, maybe it’s time for a little image adjustment of your own.”
One of the songs on the album was a duet with Prince called “Love Song,” which has resurged after the death of Prince less than two weeks ago. Billboard wrote about the duet in a headlining article this weekend.
“Prince and the Queen of Pop recorded ‘Love Song‘ for Madonna’s Like a Prayer album (which was ruling the Billboard 200 on this date in 1989). Despite its blinding starpower, the collab was never released as a single. And, considering the strength of Like a Prayer, it’s hard to say that ‘Love Song’ should’ve been one.”
Columnist Gary Trust believes Madonna and Prince’s duet was driven more by its funky groove than a pure pop hook and noted the song took a back seat to Like a Prayer‘s five hit singles: “Like a Prayer,” “Express Yourself, ” “Cherish,” “Oh Father,” and “Keep it Together.”
“We were friends and talked about working together, so I went to Minneapolis to write some stuff with him, but the only thing I really dug was ‘Love Song.’ We ended up writing it long-distance, because I had to be in L.A. and he couldn’t leave Minneapolis, and quite frankly I couldn’t stand Minneapolis,” Yahoo Music quotes Madonna as saying in regards to the duet.
It appears that Madonna couldn’t deal with the extremely cold weather in Minneapolis. She has never talked about other songs she did with Prince, although he does play the guitar introduction on “Like a Prayer.” Commenters on the Billboard article about “Love Song” understand why it was never released as a single.
“I love it, but it was probably too experimental to work well as a single,” says Ian Renner.
“It’s a great song but not single worth especially from an album that Rolling Stone put it: ‘As close to art as pop can get,’” claims EA.
There has been a resurgence of interest about “Love Song” on Twitter.
OMG I AM TRIGGERED I JUST REALIZED THEY REMOVED LOVE SONG BY MADONNA FROM SPOTIFY BC IT FEATURES PRINCE— Cassandra (@pullmydaisies) April 30, 2016
just crying to Madonna and Prince "love song"— li'l bread buns (@citrusade) April 30, 2016
Madonna and Prince’s friendship subsided after Prince ran into contract issues with Warner Bros. Records, a company Madonna remained highly successful with. However, they rekindled their friendship and, according to Yahoo News, Prince even played a private concert for Madonna at his Paisley Park Studios in Minneapolis last October. Fans certainly would have loved to have been flies on the wall during that show. Would you like to see Madonna and Prince’s “Love Song” released as a single 27 years after it was recorded? Let us know in the comments section.
[Photos by Brenda Chase and Carlo Allegri/Getty Images]