Tuesday, December 20, 2022

"Cherish" by Madonna

Top 10 Alert!
Song#:  4006
Date:  08/19/1989
Debut:  37
Peak:  2
Weeks:  15
Genre:  Pop

Pop Bits:  Madonna continued her reign as the 80s queen of pop with the first two singles from her fourth regular studio album Like a Prayer. The #1 LP spawned the #1 platinum title track along with the #2 gold-selling "Express Yourself." Both were heavy-hitters in tone, theme, and production, so when it came time for the third single, this lighter, romantic track was selected. The change would go over very well with the song reaching #2 Pop while becoming her third song to top the AC chart. With this song reaching #2 at Pop, that gave Madonna 16 consecutive Top 5 hits. She bested The Beatles' 15 streak, but remained in second place behind Elvis Presley's 24 Top 5 streak (discounting b-sides, EPs, and out-of-the-vault releases).

ReduxReview:  This doo-wop-ish confection was sort of the "True Blue" of the Like a Prayer album. A retro-styled, crowd pleasing palate cleanser that would easily become another hit. The beach/mermen black and white video for the song directed by photographer Herb Ritts (who was basically forced into the job by Madonna) certain helped the single along. Oddly, Ritts would go on to do two more beachy black and white videos - "Wicked Game" by Chris Isaak and "Love Will Never Do (Without You)" by Janet Jackson. The song certainly wasn't one of Madonna's meatiest, but it was a pleasant, easy listening ditty that did its job in earning Madonna a 17th Top 10 hit.

ReduxRating:  6/10

Trivia:  Madonna co-wrote this song with producer Patrick Leonard. Apparently, Madonna had recently read Romeo and Juliet and it served as a bit of inspiration for the tune. She calls the characters out by name in the lyrics. Also included in the song are lyrics borrowed from a 60s hit of the same name. The Association earned their first #1 hit in 1966 with "Cherish," a song written by lead vocalist Terry Kirkman. That tune's opening lyric is "Cherish is the word I used to describe." Based on a suggestion from Leonard, Madonna incorporated part of that lyric into her song at the end of the bridge as "cherish is the word I used to remind me of your love." Later on in 2012, a mash-up of the two hits was performed by the cast of the TV show Glee. It appeared on a Valentine's Day episode titled "Heart" during season three.


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