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"Keep It Together"
Single by Madonna
from the album Like a Prayer
B-side "Vogue" (Australia)
"Keep It Together" (Instrumental) (USA)
Released January 30, 1990 (North America, Europe)
March 25, 1990 (Japan)
Format CD, Cassette, 7" single
Recorded 1988
Genre Funk, R&B
Length 5:03
Label Sire, Warner Bros.
Writer(s) Madonna
Stephen Bray
Producer Madonna
Stephen Bray
Certification * Gold (United States)
Madonna singles chronology
"Dear Jessie"
"Keep It Together"
Like a Prayer track listing
"Oh Father"
"Keep It Together"
"Spanish Eyes"
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"Keep It Together" is the sixth and final single by American singer-songwriter Madonna from her fourth studio album, Like a Prayer, and was released on January 30, 1990, by Sire Records. It was released only in the US and Japan and as a double A-side with "Vogue" in Australia.



Lyrically, Like a Prayer was seen at the time as Madonna's most intimate and confessional release, dealing with her personal relationships, experiences with religion, men, and her family. "Keep It Together", while sonically paying tribute to Sly and the Family Stone, is about the realization of how important Madonna's family has been as a form of stability in her life ("Brothers and sisters/They've always been there for me/We have a connection/Home is where the heart should be").

The lyrics follow the course of Madonna's rise from figuratively - and literally - hungry sibling ("I'm gonna leave this place/So I can forget every single hungry face") to superstar ("I hit the big time but I still get the blues/Everyone's a stranger/City life can get to you"). Despite her mixed emotions about her formative years, the underlying theme of the song is that the family connection remains, with Madonna urging her listeners to never forget that one's family "is gold".

This was the last collaboration with frequent writing partner Stephen Bray that Madonna released as a single. "Keep It Together" was also the first Madonna single of the 1990s, the second decade of her solo career.

In Australia, "Keep It Together" was released as a AA-side with "Vogue", resulting in a number-one hit. In the ARIA End-of-Year chart, "Vogue/Keep It Together" reached the number three position.[1]

In the US, it was Madonna's last 7" vinyl single issued with a picture sleeve. All her future 45s came in plain white die-cut sleeves. The picture sleeve release of "Keep It Together" was extremely limited and is a major rarity.[citation needed]

Chart performance

"Keep It Together" jumped from 56-41 the week of February 10, 1990 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, eventually peaking in the #8 spot during the week of March 31, 1990. During the next few weeks, the song fell quickly from its peak as "Vogue" began gaining massive airplay and debuted on the singles chart while "Keep It Together" was still in the Top 30. It also topped the Hot Dance Music/Club Play and Hot Dance Music/Maxi-Singles Sales charts.

Music video

No videoclip was ever produced for "Keep It Together". However, some music channels used footage from the song's performance in the Blond Ambition Tour, which referenced A Clockwork Orange in its staging and featured an introductory verse from "Family Affair" by Sly & the Family Stone.

MTV aired a Blond Ambition performance from the Houston concert that was repeated as a video for the song.

Track listings


US 12" vinyl disc

  1. "Keep It Together" (12" Remix)
  2. "Keep It Together" (Dub)
  3. "Keep It Together" (12" Extended Mix)
  4. "Keep It Together" (12" Mix)
  5. "Keep It Together" (Bonus Beats)
  6. "Keep It Together" (Instrumental)

US 5" compact disc

  1. "Keep It Together" (Single Remix)
  2. "Keep It Together" (12in Remix)
  3. "Keep It Together" (12in Mix)
  4. "Keep It Together" (12in Extended Mix)
  5. "Keep It Together" (Instrumental)

US cassette single and 7" single

  1. "Keep It Together" (Single Remix)
  2. "Keep It Together" (Instrumental)

Japanese 5" compact disc E.P.

  1. "Cherish" (Extended Version)
  2. "Keep It Together" (12" Remix)
  3. "Keep It Together" (Dub)
  4. "Keep It Together" (12" Extended Mix)
  5. "Keep It Together" (12" Mix)
  6. "Keep It Together" (Bonus Beats)
  7. "Keep It Together" (Instrumental)

Official versions

  • "Keep It Together" (Album Version) – 5:03
  • "Keep It Together" (Instrumental Version) – 5:52
  • "Keep It Together" (12" Remix) – 7:50
  • "Keep It Together" (12" Extended Mix) – 7:20
  • "Keep It Together" (12" Mix) – 6:50
  • "Keep It Together" (Dub Version) – 7:00
  • "Keep It Together" (Bonus Beats) – 3:27
  • "Keep It Together" (7" Mix) – 4:45
  • "Keep It Together" (Single Mix) – 4:32


Chart (1990) Peak
Australia ARIA Singles Chart 1
Canadian Singles Chart[2] 8
Japanese Oricon Weekly Singles Chart 96
Japanese Oricon International Singles Chart 5
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 8
U.S. Billboard Hot Adult Contemporary Tracks 32
U.S. Billboard Hot Dance Club Play 1
U.S. Billboard Hot Black Singles 66


Preceded by
"All Around the World" by Lisa Stansfield
Billboard Hot Dance Club Play number-one single
March 31, 1990
Succeeded by
"Touch Me" by 49ers
Preceded by
"Opposites Attract" by Paula Abdul
Australia ARIA Singles Chart number-one single
(with "Vogue")

May 5, 1990 - June 9, 1990
Succeeded by
"All I Wanna Do Is Make Love to You" by Heart


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