Express Yourself (Madonna Song)
"Express Yourself" is a song by American singer-songwriter Madonna from her fourth studio album Like a Prayer. It was released as the second single from the album on May 9, 1989, by Sire Records. The song was included on the greatest hits compilation albums The Immaculate Collection (1990), and Celebration (2009). "Express Yourself" was the first song that Madonna and producer Stephen Bray collaborated on for Like a Prayer. Written and produced by them, the song was a tribute to American funk and soul band Sly and the Family Stone. The main inspiration behind the song is female empowerment, urging women never to go for second-best and to always express their inner feelings.
"Express Yourself" is an upbeat dance-pop song that features instrumentation from brass, hand claps and drum beats, while the chorus is backed by the sound of saxophone and percussion. The lyrics talk about rejecting material pleasures and only accepting the best for oneself; subtexts are employed throughout the song. "Express Yourself" received positive reviews from critics, who applauded the gender equality message of the song and complimented the song for being a hymn to freedom and encouragement to women and all oppressed minorities. The song was also a commercial success, reaching the top of the charts in Canada, Italy and Switzerland and the top five in other nations. It also became Madonna's sixth number-one hit on the European Hot 100 Singles chart.
The accompanying music video, directed by David Fincher, was inspired by the Fritz Lang classic film Metropolis (1927). It had a total budget of $5 million, which made it the most expensive music video in history at the time it was made, and currently the third most expensive of all time. The video portrayed a city full of tall skyscrapers and railway lines. Madonna played the part of a glamorous lady and chained masochist, with muscular men acting as her workers. In the end, she picks one of them—played by model Cameron Alborzian—as her date. Critics noted the video for its exploitation of female sexuality and came to the conclusion that Madonna's masculine image in the video was gender-bending.
"Express Yourself" has been performed on four of Madonna's world tours, and has been covered by the female leads of the Fox TV show Glee, who performed the song in the episode titled "The Power of Madonna". The song and the video are noted for their freedom expression and feminist aspects, and its postmodern nature entranced academics, by resisting definition. It has also left its mark on the work of contemporary music artists, including Melanie C of the Spice Girls, Christina Aguilera and Lady Gaga.
Read more about Express Yourself (Madonna Song): Background, Composition, Critical Reception, Chart Performance, Live Performances, Cover Versions, Legacy, Track Listing and Formats, Credits and Personnel
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Famous quotes containing the word express:
“The theater, which is in no thing, but makes use of everythinggestures, sounds, words, screams, light, darknessrediscovers itself at precisely the point where the mind requires a language to express its manifestations.... To break through language in order to touch life is to create or recreate the theatre.”
—Antonin Artaud (18961948)