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> Bedtime Stories to be released on heavy-weight vinyl, Commemorates Madonna's birthday
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liamk97
post Aug 14 2016, 12:44 PM
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Madonna's 'Bedtime Stories' still radiates with sensuality, defiance (Review)



Madonna released "Bedtime Stories" in 1994. The album went on to sell more than 7 million copies. (Warner Bros.)

By the mid 1990s, the shock and awe of her sexual subject matter had been dwarfed by the hard-hitting beats of R&B, hip-hop and, eventually, electronic music. What's was a mega pop-star to do?

Michael and Janet Jackson (perhaps Madonna's only two equals at the time) had already faced such a dilemma head on. The latter was busy perfecting her work with Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, peaking with 1993's pop-R&B fused "Janet."

Meanwhile, MJ found himself not only trying to match his sister, but also attempting to join the wave of New Jack Swing, which he accomplished with 1991's masterful "Dangerous."

Now it was Madonna's turn. Enter "Bedtime Stories," an album often overlooked because it was sandwiched between her most controversial work ("Erotica") and, arguably, her best ("Ray of Light").

"Bedtime Stories" arrives on heavyweight vinyl for the first time on Aug. 16 (You can order it on Amazon Friday). The album, which sold more than 7 million copies, is best remembered as Madonna's response to the changing sonic landscape and a post "Erotica" backlash from the morality police.

Yet, if "Bedtime Stories" was Madonna dialing things back, it certainly came with a backhanded smack across the face. "Oops, I didn't know I couldn't talk about sex," she sings on "Human Nature." "And I'm not sorry."

"Human Nature" is the perfect example of where Madonna's evolution was taking her in 1994. The track not only serves as a middle finger to critics ("I'm breaking all the rules I didn't make"). It also comes with a head-bobbing hip-hop beat courtesy of Dave Hall, best known for his work on Mary J. Blige's "What's the 411?"

That shift to trendy R&B can also be found on the Isley Brothers-sampled "I'd Rather Be Your Lover" and the impassioned (and catchy-as-hell) "Secret," helmed by TLC producer Dallas Austin.

Aside from tackling urban trends, "Bedtime Stories" foreshadows Madonna's brilliant electronic music that would come later in the decade. The opening track "Survival" is perfect for cascading across the dance floor, while Madonna does her best Kylie Minogue impersonation on "Inside of Me."

Of course, Madonna wasn't the first artist to chase a trend or two to multi-platinum success. But if "Bedtime Stories" has a shortcoming it's the failure to fully conquer 1990s R&B in the same way Jackson's "Dangerous" climbed to the top of the New Jack Swing Mountain.

Still, the final two tracks on "Bedtime Stories" are the most noteworthy because they offer an emphatic exclamation point. The title song, penned by Bjork, indicates the work that would show up on "Ray of Light" more than any song.

Then there's "Take a Bow," which melds Babyface and Madonna's writing styles. Perhaps Madonna chose it as the closer because of the memorable tagline "The show is over, say goodbye."

But "Take a Bow" also serves as an emphatic statement: While Madonna was figuring out her next phase, she was still more than capable of delivering the best romantic ballad of her career.

-x-

I'm told this is the only album left to receive this treatment(?). Just picturing this playing on vinyl sounds so lush that it's encouraging me to start my own Madonna vinyl collection, despite already having her CDs! This is such an underrated body of work; it's so sensual and sexy with a great balance of emotion, playfulness and insight.
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HausofSZA
post Aug 19 2016, 10:02 AM
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I don't have any vinyls but I'm really considering getting Madonna's albums on the format as a starting point. I'm glad this is having a release because I'm really becoming quite a fan of it after never really rating it.

Plus how good would the cover look in big vinyl format? *.*
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liamk97
post Aug 19 2016, 01:34 PM
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Yes Bal! The cover is gorgeous and I imagine, as with most, it makes all the difference to see it on a vinyl size opposed to a CD size. I'd love to see the inside fold as well. wub.gif

What's proved to be your highlights from the album?
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dandy*
post Aug 19 2016, 06:18 PM
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Is the vinyl coloured? It would look so good in that minty blue colour that the inside of the CD case was.
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slowdown73
post Aug 19 2016, 10:41 PM
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Why on earth haven't they reissued this on CD yet? A nice deluxe remaster would be great with some awesome remixes and b sides plus unreleased stuff.
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No Sleeep
post Aug 19 2016, 10:51 PM
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QUOTE(liamk97 @ Aug 19 2016, 02:34 PM) *
Yes Bal! The cover is gorgeous and I imagine, as with most, it makes all the difference to see it on a vinyl size opposed to a CD size. I'd love to see the inside fold as well. wub.gif

What's proved to be your highlights from the album?


Hey sorry for butting in lol but I love this album so much I just have to tongue.gif

Forbidden Love, Human Nature, Secret, Inside of Me and Take A Bow are definitely my highlights.

This album is so underrated! It's my favourite album by her tbh, it's perfect for my taste. It's such a great R&B album wub.gif
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HausofSZA
post Aug 19 2016, 11:38 PM
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QUOTE(liamk97 @ Aug 19 2016, 02:34 PM) *
Yes Bal! The cover is gorgeous and I imagine, as with most, it makes all the difference to see it on a vinyl size opposed to a CD size. I'd love to see the inside fold as well. wub.gif

What's proved to be your highlights from the album?

Well the Sanctuary-Bedtime Story moment has always been incredible, but I'm starting to appreciate a lot more like Secret, Forbidden Love, Survival and many more. It's a really solid album that I'm only just discovering properly <3
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liamk97
post Aug 20 2016, 10:38 AM
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QUOTE(dandy* @ Aug 19 2016, 07:18 PM) *
Is the vinyl coloured? It would look so good in that minty blue colour that the inside of the CD case was.

You mean the actual vinyl record itself? Looking on Amazon, the middle section is that gorgeous blue colour but the rest is the standard black.

QUOTE(No Sleeep @ Aug 19 2016, 11:51 PM) *
Hey sorry for butting in lol but I love this album so much I just have to tongue.gif

Forbidden Love, Human Nature, Secret, Inside of Me and Take A Bow are definitely my highlights.

This album is so underrated! It's my favourite album by her tbh, it's perfect for my taste. It's such a great R&B album wub.gif

No no, it's fine! Those are all my favourites on the album too, although I'd add 'Love Tried to Welcome Me' as well. I think 'Inside of Me' gets overlooked too much. It's clearly a very melancholy song but the pacing of the song and her breathy vocals lift it slightly, yet without distracting you from the emotion. It's odd how it works but it makes for a very interesting song.

QUOTE(HausofKubrick @ Aug 20 2016, 12:38 AM) *
Well the Sanctuary-Bedtime Story moment has always been incredible, but I'm starting to appreciate a lot more like Secret, Forbidden Love, Survival and many more. It's a really solid album that I'm only just discovering properly <3

I think that 'Sanctuary'-'Bedtime Story' transition is what has made the latter grow so much for me. As an individual song, it's still not one I'd really revisit, but it sounds great in the context of the album. Obviously the sonic transition is a moment like you say, but the lyrical connections and opposites are really interesting to me. One begins with "Surely whoever speaks to me in the right voice / Him or her I shall follow" and the other with "Today is the last day that I'm using words"; sanctuary/safety vs. unconsciousness/vulnerability; a rejection of everyday matters and concepts etc. I also love the line "I'll never explain again" when in fact, certainly on first listen or as a superficial listen, we probably don't have a clue what she was saying, yet we've now lost our chance to ask.

It was either January 2014 or 15 (I want to say the latter but it could have been as far away as the former, even though it doesn't feel it) that I properly learned to value this album but it's still one that keeps on giving. I think that's due to how understated most songs are and how most of the songs work even better together than they do individual, so you are taken on a deep, emotional journey with each play of the album. Really underrated record but I think I like that about it.
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HausofSZA
post Aug 25 2016, 10:02 PM
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I LIKE 'Inside of Me' too !! The album keeps calling me back to it, help :')
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liamk97
post Aug 26 2016, 04:13 PM
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The transition of 'Justify My Love'-Erotica-Bedtime Stories is genius and it's great to listen to the first album in the late evening followed by the second towards the end of the night.
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HausofSZA
post Aug 26 2016, 06:25 PM
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Will Erotica be the next album to properly hit me?

So far Bedtime Stories (which used to be bottom 2) has ascended up my rankings and my bottom 5 will probably look something like:


09. Bedtime Stories
10. Madonna
11. Erotica
12. Like A Virgin
13. Hard Candy
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dandy*
post Aug 26 2016, 09:17 PM
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QUOTE(liamk97 @ Aug 20 2016, 11:38 AM) *
You mean the actual vinyl record itself? Looking on Amazon, the middle section is that gorgeous blue colour but the rest is the standard black.


Yes, the vinyl itself. They so should release it with that colour...
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liamk97
post Aug 27 2016, 01:31 PM
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QUOTE(HausofKubrick @ Aug 26 2016, 07:25 PM) *
Will Erotica be the next album to properly hit me?

So far Bedtime Stories (which used to be bottom 2) has ascended up my rankings and my bottom 5 will probably look something like:
09. Bedtime Stories
10. Madonna
11. Erotica
12. Like A Virgin
13. Hard Candy

There's a distinct lack of MDNA in that bottom 5!

Erotica, I think, was the last Madonna album to impact me. It just steered away too much from my pop tastes with the subdued production and whispery vocals and, I suppose, there wasn't much for me to take from the album lyrically either. Obviously there's the more accessible tracks in the likes of 'Deeper and Deeper', 'Rain', 'In This Life' and, always one I loved, 'Bad Girl', but it took a long time to appreciate the rest. Perhaps once the hardest for me to 'get', 'Where Life Begins', is now one of my favourites. The humour is subtle but just so on the money when you pick up on it and the hook is much strong than I previously gave it credit for. 'Waiting' is another favourite of mine and I now think it was a huge missed single opportunity. It represents the album well in its style (with the suggestive, whispered vocals and the jazz-lounge rhythm) and the lyrics, but is still commercial enough to be accepted by radio. Would have been a better choice over 'Fever' or 'Bye Bye Baby'.

QUOTE(dandy* @ Aug 26 2016, 10:17 PM) *
Yes, the vinyl itself. They so should release it with that colour...

I thought you may have meant that and, yes, that would have looked so gorgeous and there would have been no denying me buying the vinyl. Really wish they did that now!
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HausofSZA
post Aug 27 2016, 06:32 PM
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QUOTE(liamk97 @ Aug 27 2016, 02:31 PM) *
There's a distinct lack of MDNA in that bottom 5!

MDNA has no place there ohmy.gif It has real stinkers but it also has a tonne of absolute bangers. Although tbf, it's probably the album I listen to in full least, but there are so many songs that I play away from the album. I'm probably being too kind to it tbf, but let's place it at 8th in my ranking~
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liamk97
post Sep 4 2016, 12:44 PM
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QUOTE(HausofKubrick @ Aug 27 2016, 07:32 PM) *
MDNA has no place there ohmy.gif It has real stinkers but it also has a tonne of absolute bangers. Although tbf, it's probably the album I listen to in full least, but there are so many songs that I play away from the album. I'm probably being too kind to it tbf, but let's place it at 8th in my ranking~

That's true, there are some genuinely good songs on there, accompanied by some that I find catchy enough ('Turn Up the Radio') but the fact I can't listen to it all in full kinda automatically puts it at the bottom for me. I can listen to all of her other albums in full - save for skipping the odd track - and her voice doesn't sound anywhere near as robotic or dubbed elsewhere.

Shame because the album could have been so good, especially following her divorce. Imagine if she went through the motions, from the vengeful 'Gang Bang' to the forgiving and sad 'Best Friend'. Those would make great tracks to bookmark each end of the album and made it feel like a journey like Confessions was.
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HausofSZA
post Sep 4 2016, 07:17 PM
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QUOTE(liamk97 @ Sep 4 2016, 01:44 PM) *
Shame because the album could have been so good, especially following her divorce. Imagine if she went through the motions, from the vengeful 'Gang Bang' to the forgiving and sad 'Best Friend'. Those would make great tracks to bookmark each end of the album and made it feel like a journey like Confessions was.

Aww i've never really made that connection before but it would've made perfect sense with a more cohesive and streamlined middle between the two tracks. Yeah imagine each song getting progressively more forgiving as the album went along. Beyoncé 'LEMONADE' vibes ~
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liamk97
post Sep 6 2016, 12:55 AM
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QUOTE(HausofKubrick @ Sep 4 2016, 08:17 PM) *
Aww i've never really made that connection before but it would've made perfect sense with a more cohesive and streamlined middle between the two tracks. Yeah imagine each song getting progressively more forgiving as the album went along. Beyoncé 'LEMONADE' vibes ~

You know, I'm sure Lemonade is what gave me that idea or at least made me conclude it would have been the best way to organise the album! Obviously, she could have the dance bangers like 'I'm Addicted' in there as well but it would just help the album be so much more focused which is something all other Madonna albums had been before it. That's probably a big factor towards its failure; it just feels as if she had missed making music following a few years of creating W.E. and just over-excitedly made whatever in a throw-and-see-what-sticks fashion.
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Jay ☆
post Oct 5 2016, 02:22 PM
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This costs just £8.49 on Amazon UK - lightning deal ends at 6pm!

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Bedtime-Stories-VI...WH06Q47P33R0805
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Joe.
post Oct 5 2016, 02:27 PM
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Thanks Jay! I got it. That's my fourth Madonna album vinyl! (After Ray of Light, Rebel Heart and True Blue!)
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dandy*
post Oct 5 2016, 05:21 PM
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Darn - just missed it!
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