|Studio album by Madonna|
|Released||October 20, 1992|
|Genre||Dance-pop, house, R&B, new jack swing|
|Label||Maverick, Sire, Warner Bros.|
|Producer||Madonna, Shep Pettibone, André Betts|
|Singles from Erotica|
Erotica is the fifth studio album by American singer-songwriter Madonna, released on October 20, 1992 by Maverick Records. The album was released simultaneously with Madonna's first book publication, Sex. The RIAA certified it double platinum on January 6, 1993, recognizing two million shipments throughout the U.S. Worldwide sales are currently recorded at over 5 million. The album has been certified Double Platinum in the UK with sales exceeding 600,000.
Erotica's fifth single, "Rain," got recognition at the MTV Video Music Awards in 1993, and the album spawned her critically successful Girlie Show World Tour. Erotica was Madonna's first album to have the Parental Advisory sticker.
Erotica is a concept album about sexuality and relationships. Each track explores a different facet of sexuality, usually involving sexual relationships. Lyrically, the album does not tie sex and sexual relationships with the traditional ideals of romance. A dance record by all accounts, the album showcases hip hop- and jazz-affected club production from co-producers Shep Pettibone and André Betts.
Madonna's intentions were that the album would be an accompaniment to her book Sex, which share the same cover photograph—a colored reverse negative of Madonna's face done à la Andy Warhol, from whom Madonna found much inspiration during her so-called "Erotica period" (for example, her "Erotica" and "Deeper and Deeper" videos were shot in near identical style to many of Warhol's films, with Madonna paying obvious homage to Edie Sedgwick in the latter). The photos included in the album's liner notes also come from the Steven Meisel Studio photographs shot for the Sex book. The album features Madonna's first album with a "Parental Advisory" label (the only other albums to do so being 2003's American Life and 2007's live concert album, The Confessions Tour). A separate "clean" version was released, the only difference being the omission of the sexually explicit "Did You Do It?".
Originally, "Bad Girl" was planned as the second single from the album with an X-rated video to match the "Erotica" single, but it was changed due to the backlash of the Sex book and instead it was released as the third single. Madonna performed "Erotica", "Fever", "Bye Bye Baby", "Deeper and Deeper", "Rain", "Why's It So Hard", and "In This Life" on her 1993 Girlie Show Tour. She also performed "Deeper and Deeper" on her 2004 Re-Invention Tour, the "You Thrill Me" demo of "Erotica" on her 2006 Confessions Tour and "Rain", that was used as a video interlude, on her 2008-09 Sticky and Sweet Tour. Early versions of some of the songs on the album, as well as demo versions of songs that were not included, were included in The Rain Tapes, a collection of songs registered during the album development stage.
The "Rain Tapes" demos
'The Rain Tapes' is a name given by fans to a collection of twenty-three demos recorded by Madonna in late 1991 and early 1992, during the development of the Erotica album and submitted to the Library of Congress for copyright registration on two C90 cassettes. The songs were written by Madonna, Shep Pettibone and Tony Shimkin, and produced by Madonna and Pettibone. Most of the songs are early and alternate versions of songs used on the Erotica album, while others—"Shame", "You Are the One", and "Jitterbug"—remain completely unreleased. Five full tracks from the tapes - and a few clips of others —leaked onto the Internet from 2007 to early 2008 and have become widely available for download. However, a wide number of fakes are also circulating, which claim to be from The Rain Tapes, though they are in fact fan creations which mix clips from interviews and TV appearances with Shep Pettibone instrumentals from the likes of Cathy Dennis. The only genuine Rain Tapes tracks in circulation remain "Erotica (Final Demo 2)", "Goodbye to Innocence (Straight Pass)", "Bye Bye Baby (First Day Rough)", "Thief of Hearts (Old Music)", "Cheat (Drunk Girl)" and part of the demo of "Shame". Any other songs in circulation claiming to be from the Rain Tapes are, in fact, fake.
The controversial sexuality presented to the mainstream by Madonna during the Erotica period was not well received. It was widely taken down and Madonna had always been considered an expert at "pushing buttons", but many thought she had greatly misstepped here. At the time of Erotica's release, she was widely condemned in the media for having pushed the limits of sexuality too far and was no longer considered acceptably suggestive, but vulgar and raunchy. Interestingly, the sexual imagery Madonna put forward in both Erotica and Sex was widely criticized for not actually being erotic, but sterile and calculating. Reviews of Erotica that concentrated only on the musical aspect of the album were mostly positive; Rolling Stone hailed the album as one of Madonna's best. In hindsight, both fans and critics have warmed to the album over the years, with some even considering it to be among her best work. In its 15th anniversary review of the album, Slant Magazine called it "Madonna at her most important, at her most relevant." The surrounding massive media and critical backlash hurt Erotica sales. While sales were initially brisk, the album did not go through the roof as many predicted. It debuted at number two on the Billboard 200 shifting 167,000 in its first week. It was held off from reaching the top spot by Garth Brooks's blockbuster album The Chase (which that same week sold only 4,000 copies more than Erotica). In the UK the album also debuted at number two behind Simple Minds's Glittering Prize 81/92. The album stalled over the long-term, selling two million copies each in the U.S. and Europe. While two million is impressive by any standard, it was not up to par with Madonna's other successful records. Erotica also became the first album since her debut to yield no number-one hits in either the U.S. or the UK, with the title track reaching number three, being the highest-charting single from the album. In fact, the number-thirty-six Billboard Hot 100 peak of "Bad Girl" made it the first Madonna single to fail to reach the U.S. top twenty after twenty-nine consecutive releases stretching back to "Holiday" in 1983 had done so. Nonetheless, the album produced six singles and was well received on the dance club circuit. To date, Erotica has shifted more than five million units globally.
In the review for 15th anniversary of the album, music critic Sal Cinquemani from Slant Magazine declared that "This is Madonna at her most important, at her most relevant." While Madonna had always expressed her sexuality suggestively through her art—primarily through music and promotional music videos—she was never as explicit as she had been during the Erotica period of her career. Erotica was one of a trio of sexually-oriented mainstream projects released by Madonna or with her involvement within a span of several months. Released nearly simultaneously with Erotica was the coffee table book Sex, which featured the singer in photographs depicting simulations of sexual acts and BDSM. Less than four months later, a poorly received film titled Body of Evidence was released to theaters, featuring Madonna fully nude and in scenes engaged in simulated sexual acts. With all these explicit projects, Madonna faced strong negative publicity with critics and fans commenting that "she had gone too far" and that her career was to be over. Interestingly, the sexual imagery Madonna put forward in both Erotica and Sex was widely criticized for not actually being erotic, but sterile and calculating. On the subject, Madonna said to CNN's Larry King on January 19, 1999, "I didn't write a book about sex. I wrote a book that—I mean I published a book that basically was sort of a—an ironic tongue-in-cheek, sticking-my-tongue-out-at-society photo essay..."
Erotica is Madonna's first album ever to have the "Parental Advisory" label. A separate "clean" version was released, the only difference being the omission of the sexually explicit "Did You Do It?". In Malaysia, it was the first Madonna album banned by the Government for homosexual-related content. At the same time, Sex was also banned from bookstores around the country. In spite of this, her singles "Rain" and "Deeper and Deeper" were significant airplay hits there.
|1.||"Erotica"||Madonna, Shep Pettibone, Anthony Shimkin||Madonna, Shep Pettibone||5:18|
|2.||"Fever"||Eddie Cooley, John Davenport||Madonna, Shep Pettibone||5:00|
|3.||"Bye Bye Baby"||Madonna, S. Pettibone, A. Shimkin||Madonna, Shep Pettibone||3:56|
|4.||"Deeper and Deeper"||Madonna, S. Pettibone, A. Shimkin||Madonna, Shep Pettibone||5:33|
|5.||"Where Life Begins"||Madonna, André Betts||Madonna, André Betts||5:57|
|6.||"Bad Girl"||Madonna, S. Pettibone, A. Shimkin||Madonna, Shep Pettibone||5:23|
|7.||"Waiting"||Madonna, A. Betts||Madonna, André Betts||5:45|
|8.||"Thief of Hearts"||Madonna, S. Pettibone, A. Shimkin||Madonna, Shep Pettibone||4:51|
|9.||"Words"||Madonna, S. Pettibone, A. Shimkin||Madonna, Shep Pettibone||5:56|
|10.||"Rain"||Madonna, S. Pettibone||Madonna, Shep Pettibone||5:24|
|11.||"Why's It So Hard"||Madonna, S. Pettibone, A. Shimkin||Madonna, Shep Pettibone||5:23|
|12.||"In This Life"||Madonna, S. Pettibone||Madonna, Shep Pettibone||6:23|
|13.||"Did You Do It?"||Madonna, S. Pettibone, A. Betts||Madonna, André Betts||4:54|
|14.||"Secret Garden"||Madonna, A. Betts||Madonna, André Betts||5:32|
- "Erotica": contains samples of "Jungle Boogie" performed by Kool and the Gang and "El Yom 'Ulliqa 'Ala Khashaba" by Arabic singer Fairuz (the latter is uncredited)
- "Erotica", "Bye Bye Baby", "Bad Girl", Thief of Hearts", "Words" and "Why's It So Hard": ASCAP has officially added Anthony Shimkin as co-writer to these songs. Inlay notes to the album do not include this.
- "Did You Do It?" features Mark Goodman and Dave Murphy. This song is available only on the Parental Advisory-stickered version of the album, omitted from the clean version. Shep Pettibone has been officially added by BMI as co-writer of this song 
|02||"Deeper and Deeper"||November 1992 (UK) / December 1992 (US)|
|03||"Bad Girl"||February 1993|
|04||"Fever"||March 1993 (Europe and Australia)|
|06||"Bye Bye Baby"||September 1993 (Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Germany, Italy)|
- Madonna - vocals
- André Betts - synthesizer, bass, piano, strings, drums, keyboard, synthesizer strings
- Emile Charlap - contractor
- Donna De Lory and Niki Haris - background vocals
- Jerome Dickens - guitar
- Glen Dicterow - conductor, concert master
- Anton Fig - drums
- Mark Goodman - voices
- Joe Moskowitz - drums, keyboard
- Dave Murphy - voices
- New York Philharmonic Orchestra
- Paul Pesco - guitar
- Shep Pettibone - keyboard
- James Preston - piano, keyboard, synthesizer strings
- Tony Shimkin - keyboard, background vocals
- Danny Wilensky - saxophone
- Doug Wimbish - bass
- Producers: Madonna, André Betts, Shep Pettibone
- Engineers: Mike Farrell, Robin Hancock, George Karras, P. Dennis Mitchell, Shep Pettibone, Tony Shimkin
- Assistant engineer: Mark Goodman
- Mixing: Goh Hotoda, George Karras
- Mastering: Ted Jensen
- Sequencing: Shep Pettibone, Tony Shimkin
- Programming: Joe Moskowitz, Shep Pettibone, Sander Selover
- Drum programming: Andre Betts, Tony Shimkin
- String arrangements: Jeremy Lubbock
- Contractor: Emile Charlap
- Art direction: Siung Fat Tjia
- Design: Siung Fat Tjia
- Photography: Steven Meisel