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> 'Bedtime Story' at 20!
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liamk97
post Feb 20 2015, 04:35 PM
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“Travelling to the arms of unconsciousness”

On 19 February 1995, 20 years ago yesterday, Madonna's trippy, experimental 'Bedtime Story' debuted in the UK Top 5.

Background
Despite the R&B vibes of the album, Madonna did acknowledge her dance roots with the title track 'Bedtime Story'. However, this was unlike the synthy/disco-esque sounds from her debut and was instead more electronic and trance inspired - according to Caroline Sullivan, this was "a hypnotic abstraction of a tune with a slow-pulsing trip-hop beat". It was new ground for Madonna and is likely to have been the inspiration for her following album, Ray of Light. 'Bedtime Story' was written by Icelandic singer-songwriter Björk with name of 'Let's Get Unconscious' before producers Nellee Hooper and Marius de Vries, who had been involved on her album Debut, put their stamp on it and gave it its current title. In an interview with Attitude Magazine, Björk revealed that Madonna had in fact got the words slightly wrong but that it was nonetheless "a really interesting mistake".

The music video was directed by Mark Romanek, who had previously directed the video for Madonna's 'Rain', and saw it replace 'Express Yourself' as the most expensive music video at the time with a huge $5m costs production (this was beaten again by Michael and Janet Jackson's 'Scream' later in the year which, again, was directed by Romanek). It was just as trippy as the song itself and was inspired, according to Madonna, by "all the female surrealist painters like Leonora Carrington and Remedios Varo".



Critical & Commercial Reception
Critics responded positively to 'Bedtime Story', with Billboard appreciating its "ingratiating hook" and saying it's "easily among her boldest and most experimental pop singles". Commercial success, however, was split. In Australia, Finland, Italy and the UK, the song hit the Top 10, becoming the highest peaker from the album in the latter country. Yet the song proved too odd for others as it stalled near the bottom of the Top 50 in some countries, including the US where it became the lowest charting single of her career.

UK Chart Run: 4-8-21-41-61-61-62-72-80-X-66-86-80-93 [13wks]

US Chart Run: 74-42-54-65-75-82-99-x [7wks]

Live Performances
Madonna performed 'Bedtime Story' at the 1995 BRIT Awards - her first time performing at the ceremony. The reaction was extremely positive, described as one of the best show openers and was ranked #4 on Marie Claire '​s 30 Best Brit Award Moments. The song was later included on the Re-invention Tour as part of a video interlude.

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♡ Heezus Froot ♡
post Feb 20 2015, 05:39 PM
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Can I just say that I'd never seen the video before ohmy.gif Not to mention the BRITs performance. Both flawless. The song is great but a bit too alternative for Madonna, hence it not smashing.
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vibe
post Feb 21 2015, 08:52 AM
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It's a great song not one I play often
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Tawdry Hepburn
post Feb 21 2015, 10:40 AM
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You can definitely hear the Bjork influence on it, it could slot right in on Post's tracklisting.
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Sceryl_Streep
post Feb 21 2015, 11:14 AM
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It is INCREDIBLE, 10/10 and still only just in my top 15/20 of her singles.
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HausAlone
post Feb 21 2015, 02:30 PM
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Such an incredible song in her discography. Can't say it's one i return to too often (though listening again now, i'm not sure why) but the way it builds without ever releasing is remarkable. One of her bravest songs for sure and it really pays off <3

The video too. They don't make them like that anymore.
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SamJudd
post Feb 23 2015, 12:24 PM
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To be honest this song is kinda hit and miss for me, I do love the video and the Brit Awards performance was stunning, but honestly the song itself is not one of my faves from her, also weren't that keen on the album despite a few good tracks on there.
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SweetCandy
post Feb 24 2015, 07:14 PM
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Totally amazing performance I do play it a lot.
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liamk97
post Feb 26 2015, 10:23 PM
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QUOTE(mr_aly @ Feb 21 2015, 10:40 AM) *
You can definitely hear the Bjork influence on it, it could slot right in on Post's tracklisting.

Yep, definitely. I've not been the biggest fan of 'Bedtime Story' but I've always thought it could easily be mistaken for a Bjork song.

After really warming to the album of the same name in recent weeks, I've been able to appreciate 'Bedtime Story' a lot more, although I think I'd prefer it remaining as an album track than a single (and have 'Love Tried to Welcome Me' replacing it). Mind you, that video is a pretty big deal so perhaps that's worth it being a single.
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MrIndependent
post Apr 22 2015, 12:40 PM
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Bump.

Total masterpiece from an album that is also a criminally underrated masterpiece. That music video is totally ahead of its time even now; the best clip she ever did.
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slowdown73
post Apr 24 2015, 11:16 AM
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I love bedtime story. Its when Madonna started to be a bit more creative and so much better and more credible than the majority of tracks on her last few albums.
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liamk97
post Apr 26 2015, 05:55 PM
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QUOTE(slowdown73 @ Apr 24 2015, 12:16 PM) *
I love bedtime story. Its when Madonna started to be a bit more creative and so much better and more credible than the majority of tracks on her last few albums.

As much as 'Bedtime Story' has always been one of my least favourites, I do kind of agree with this. I think Like a Prayer saw Madonna get more creative and credible in terms of lyrics and that this song was essentially the basis of the Ray of Light album that followed which really did show a more unusual music style.
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