Jump to content
  • entries
  • comments
  • views

Bedtime Stories- the album




Album history

The album began as a collaboration with Shep Pettibone, and was to have been stylistically similar to Erotica. However, due to Madonna's wish to soften her public image, as well as her admiration for Joi's Pendulum Vibe album (which contained tracks produced by Dallas Austin), she decided to change to a more R&B sound. She did thank Pettibone in the album sleeve notes for accepting her decision to change the album's direction. This would be the last time she would collaborate with Pettibone. While the album is intended to be stylistically more mainstream than its predecessor, and less controversial in terms of its lyrical content, it includes perhaps some of Madonna's most confrontational work. The song "Human Nature" appears to be a scathing commentary directed towards the media for its treatment of her during the Erotica and Sex book controversies with lyrics like, "Did I say something wrong? Oops, I didn't know I couldn't talk about sex". Indeed, though Madonna sought to restore her image through the album, she has also stated that this period of her life was designed as a "vengeance period" for all the people (in particular the media) who were trying to invade in her private life, and that once it was all out in the open, she hoped that they would stop and focus on her music. The album itself is unique in Madonna's long career as it has marked one of the very few occasions where she has collaborated with well-known, established producers (the other exceptions being Nile Rodgers on Like a Virgin and David Foster on Something to Remember). Stylistically, the album harkens back to Madonna's roots as an R&B singer and her choice of producers reflected this: Dallas Austin, who was well-known at the time for his work with TLC; Babyface, who had worked with many of Madonna's own contemporaries, including Whitney Houston and Toni Braxton; Dave Hall, who had also produced Carey; and Nellee Hooper, who had produced Soul II Soul. Björk co-wrote the title track. Out of all her albums, this has become the least represented on her tours and live shows, however she did include "Secret" and "Human Nature" on the setlist of her 2001 Drowned World Tour and a remix version of "Bedtime Story" on her 2004 Re-Invention Tour.


Commercial reception

Despite the large success of lead single, "Secret," at radio, Bedtime Stories got off to a mild start. It debuted at number three on the U.S. Billboard 200, with 145,000 units shifted its first week. Soon after, the album began to lose steam and descend the charts. It wasn't until the release of the second single, "Take a Bow," that the album picked up pace and made a noticeable rebound. The album was eventually certified triple platinum in the United States, shifting over ten million copies worldwide to date, and nominated for a Grammy. In the UK, reaction was pretty similar. It debuted at #2, being the best chart entry of the week, knocked-off the top spot by Bon Jovi's Cross Road: Greatest Hits'.


Track listing

# Title Time
1. "Survival"
Writer(s): Madonna, Dallas Austin
Producer(s): Nellee Hooper and Madonna
2. "Secret"**
Writer(s): Madonna, Dallas Austin, Shep Pettibone
Producer(s): Madonna and Dallas Austin
3. "I'd Rather Be Your Lover"
Writer(s): Madonna, Dave Hall, Isley Brothers, Christopher Jasper
Producer(s): Madonna and Dave "Jam" Hall
contains a sample of "It's Your Thing" performed by Lou Donaldson.
Special Guest on bass and rap: Me'Shell NdegeOcello
4. "Don't Stop"
Writer(s): Madonna, Dallas Austin, Colin Wolfe
Producer(s): Madonna and Dallas Austin
Additional Production and Remixed by Daniel Abraham for White Falcon Productions, Inc.
5. "Inside of Me"
Writer(s): Madonna, Dave Hall, Nellee Hooper
Producer(s): Nellee Hooper and Madonna
contains the following samples: "Back and Forth" performed by Aaliyah;
"Outstanding" performed by The Gap Band and "The Trials of Life" performed by The Guttersnypes
6. "Human Nature"
Writer(s): Madonna, Dave Hall, Shawn McKenzie, Kevin McKenzie, Michael Deering
Producer(s): Madonna and Dave "Jam" Hall
contains a sample of "What You Need" performed by Main Source
7. "Forbidden Love"*
Writer(s): Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds, Madonna
Producer(s): Nellee Hooper and Madonna
contains a sample of "Down Here On The Ground" performed by Grant Green
8. "Love Tried to Welcome Me"
Writer(s): Madonna, Dave Hall
Producer(s): Madonna and Dave "Jam" Hall
9. "Sanctuary"
Writer(s): Madonna, Dallas Austin, Anne Preven, Scott Cutler, Herbie Hancock
Producer(s): Madonna and Dallas Austin,
Remixed by Nellee Hooper
10. "Bedtime Story"
Writer(s): Nellee Hooper, Björk Guðmundsdóttir, Marius DeVries
Producer(s): Nellee Hooper and Madonna
11. "Take a Bow"
Writer(s): Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds, Madonna
Producer(s): Babyface and Madonna

(*) not to be confused with the 2005 track on the album Confessions on a Dance Floor.
(**) Shep Pettibone has been added as co-songwriter of this track. In 2001 he is included in the inlay sleeve of GHV2 Remixed: The Best of 1991-2001



# Title Date
1. "Secret" September 28, 1994
2. "Take a Bow" December 6, 1994
3. "Bedtime Story" February 1, 1995 (UK) & April 11, 1995 (US)
4. "Human Nature" June 6, 1995 (US) & August 10, 1995 (UK/Japan)





  • Producers: Madonna, Dallas Austin, Babyface, Marius DeVries, Dave Hall, Nellee Hooper
  • Engineers: Michael Fossenkemper, Brad Gilderman, Darin Prindle, Alvin Speights, Mark "Spike" Stent
  • Mixing: Jon Gass, Daniel Abraham


Certifications, peaks & sales

Country Peak position Certification (if any) Sales/shipments
Austria 7 Gold[2] 10,000+
Brazil   Platinum[3] 250,000+
Canada   2x Platinum[4] 200,000+
France 2 2x Gold[5] 200,000+
Germany 4 Platinum[6] 500,000+
Netherlands 13    
New Zealand 5    
Sweden 5    
Switzerland 7 Gold[7] 25,000+
United Kingdom 2 Platinum[8] 300,000+
United States 3 3x Platinum[9] 2,300,000+[9]



  • Several songs from this album found their way onto the cutting room floor for one reason or another, including "Your Honesty", which later surfaced on the 2003 EP Remixed & Revisited. "Freedom" was used for a rainforest benefit album entitled Carnival! and "Let Down Your Guard" (rough mix edit) appeared on the UK and Australian CD single for "Secret" and the DARP (Dallas Austin Recording Projects) Greatest Hits Volume One promotional CD. See the list of unreleased Madonna songs for details.
  • The album contains samples from some rather prominent songs and artists. "Inside of Me" samples Aaliyah's first single, "Back and Forth" and "Outstanding", which was originally performed by The Gap Band. "Sanctuary" contains a sample of "Watermelon Man" by Herbie Hancock from his iconic Head Hunters album. "Human Nature" samples "What You Need" by hip-hop group Main Source.
  • "Forbidden Love" is an entirely different composition from another song with the same title on Madonna's 2005 album Confessions on a Dancefloor.
  • Upon initial release, the CD cover's picture of Madonna was right-side up. This was a mistake and was corrected on subsequent pressings, all of which feature the picture of Madonna upside-down.
  • Tupac Shakur originally performed the rap on the song "I'd Rather Be Your Lover". This was during the time they dated in 1994. It was removed due to criminal charges he was facing at the time and his rap was replaced by one from Me'shell Ndegéocello.


Recommended Comments

There are no comments to display.

Add a comment...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...