Come on girls (and guys), you believe in Music Monday (and love)? ‘Cause I got something to say (not sing) about it, and it goes something like this!
I just love the feeling of empowerment and shouting from the rooftops of my blog!
Going for second best, which means not shouting anything from that rooftop, is not acceptable.
It’s how I “express myself.”
Speaking of which…
“Express Yourself” is a single from Madonna’s fourth album, Like a Prayer, released in 1989. Madonna sings about rejecting material pleasures, while only accepting the best for oneself. No need for diamond rings, eighteen karat gold, fancy cars, satin sheets, or long stem roses – if he loves you, he needs to express it! Meanwhile, as she sings these demands of man, she is a glamorous, yet chained up masochist (the video was inspired by the 1927 film Metropolis) as men work around her. At the end, she chooses one as her date – the one who clearly knew how to express himself!
At the time of its making, the music video for “Express Yourself” was the most expensive ever produced for its time ($5 million – that’s $10.31 million in 2019 figures), and today is the third most expensive music video ever made. The song was praised for its message of gender equality and freedom and encouragement to women and minorities.
As Madonna said in 1989 about the song:
“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 in a New York Times interview to Steven Holden
Right on, sis! I’m not the most outspoken person in the world, but that is a strong message!
That strong message rings true in the video, as Madonna is depicted both feminine and masculine while declaring her important message.
“Express Yourself” entered the Billboard Hot 100 in May 1989 at #41, before reaching #6 four weeks later, and peaking at #2. It stayed on the Top 100 for a total of sixteen weeks, and placed #55 on the year-end Top 100 Chart. It reached the top of the Dance Club chart, and #12 on the Hot Adult Contemporary Chart. The video was well-received, the perfect follow-up to Madonna’s famously banned condemned music video for “Like A Prayer.” Indeed, Madonna’s stuff could be a bit over-the-top, but she certainly knew what a hit sounded like in the 1980s and 1990s.
Madonna has performed this song on four world tours, beginning in 1990. It was featured on 1990’s The Immaculate Collection (great album!), and has been covered by the women of Glee, and was Kelly Clarkson’s audition song for Amercian Idol. Thirty years after Pepsi dropped Madonna from its advertising, they used “Express Yourself” for a Super Bowl 50 commercial.
I guess once Madonna’s “Like A Prayer” commercial was gone, Pepsi felt they might regret it? Consider this redemption!
Gotta throw those lyrics in where you can, friends!
Have a great Monday, and enjoy the music!