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> Erotica: The Single ● 25 Years
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liamk97
post Oct 5 2017, 01:25 PM
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1990 had been a tremendous year for Madonna. 'Vogue' reportedly topped the charts in over 30 countries, her greatest hits The Immaculate Collection dominated the Christmas market and the controversy surrounding 'Justify My Love' had been successfully combated and made Madonna an even bigger star than she would have been otherwise. The world was eager for more Madonna and the summer of 1991 saw her getting into the swing of a new album.

Madonna joined forces with Shep Pettibone again who was excited to create something as special as 'Vogue'. He was, however, told quite frankly that "no matter how fierce something is, you can't ever do the same thing twice". Madonna wanted this album to have a "raw edge", not "light glossy production", to match the honest and lustful portrayal of female sexuality and desire. 'Erotica' was one of the first songs written for the album sessions and became the first to be recorded in June of 1992. Madonna continues her exploration of spoken-word vocals to express her celebration of S&M practices; she addresses her sexual partner and outlines what is expected of him and what he can expect. It's daring and sexy; a striking combination of pain, pleasure and power. The alluring trip-hop beat and throaty delivery leaves the listener fascinated and tempted by Mistress Dita. As Rolling Stone magazine summaries, unlike with 'Justify My Love', this Madonna is in "no way interested in your dreams; she's after compliance".



The music video could make even 'Justify My Love' pass for family entertainment. Madonna adopts her Mistress Dita role, sporting a mask, whip and now iconic golden tooth whilst a montage of sexual imagery designed to shock are shown, including footage taken during the making of Madonna's Sex book. Full-frontal nudity, being bound and gagged, topless bicycle riding, group sex - it's a feast for the eyes but such little time to process it all. The imitation of old home-film recording with the grainy black-and-white and sepia effects gives the video that raw edge Madonna was looking for.

"If you're among those people who find such themes distasteful, you may want to call it a night now"

'Erotica' received its first play on MTV at midnight on October 2nd. It was noted that the video would only be played beyond the 10pm watershed, however, after just three plays, it was banned all together, even its censored version. Madonna understood the ban, acknowledging that MTV has a huge audience that includes children and the themes explored in her video were not appropriate for such audience.



As with 'Justify My Love', the ban didn't stop the song becoming a hit. In the US, it debuted at #13 on the Billboard Hot 100, making it the joint highest debut since 1970, and made the highest debut ever on their airplay chart (#2). It reached the Top 10 in the majority of countries, including peaks of #3 in the UK and US and #1 in Italy.

'Erotica' remains one of the most memorable singles of her career. It marked the beginning of perhaps her most interesting and complex eras to follow; an era remembered for being so unapologetic, boundary-pushing, humorous, witty, intelligent. Let the Erotica celebrations commence! Will you let yourself go wild?



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Jo...shh! It...
post Oct 5 2017, 02:37 PM
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I can't really talk about the impact of the song in the context of when it was released because I wasn't around then of course but I've always loved this for how exciting it is. Before properly delving into her discography a few years back, I only knew the Madonna who sang classics like "Vogue" and "Like a Prayer" so when I got around to listening to the Erotica singles (I didn't listen to the album a lot later on), they really stood out to me for being so daring and unique. I admittedly don't go back to this single as much as some of her aforementioned classics but I always forget how special it is until I play it.

I think Rain has to be my favourite single from the entire album campaign though wub.gif
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vibe
post Oct 5 2017, 05:26 PM
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I love this song now a lot more than when released.
I am not keen on the video i do not find it sexy at all . It certainly doesn't rival JML when comparing videos but it is a much better song.

It's amazing how many times this song changed during production . The demos leaked last year I believe?

The performance mash up on confessions and MDNA tour are mesmerising. The opening for the girlie show is also epic.
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liamk97
post Oct 6 2017, 10:38 AM
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QUOTE(Josh! @ Oct 5 2017, 03:37 PM) *
I can't really talk about the impact of the song in the context of when it was released because I wasn't around then of course but I've always loved this for how exciting it is. Before properly delving into her discography a few years back, I only knew the Madonna who sang classics like "Vogue" and "Like a Prayer" so when I got around to listening to the Erotica singles (I didn't listen to the album a lot later on), they really stood out to me for being so daring and unique. I admittedly don't go back to this single as much as some of her aforementioned classics but I always forget how special it is until I play it.

I think Rain has to be my favourite single from the entire album campaign though wub.gif

The first time I heard 'Erotica' was when I purchased Celebration, I think sometime in 2010. This was the first time I heard a lot of Madonna's back catalogue and, like you, I was very much familiar with her pop classics when I thought of Madonna. 'Erotica' definitely stood out but I think I was too young to be able to appreciate it and wrote it off for not being 'sing-song' and too sexual #naive13yearold. Today, I think so much more highly of it. It's daring, it's hypnotic, it's tempting; such a great statement of a lead single that is just unignorable.

'Rain' is a beauty and seems to be a lot of people's favourite. Funnily enough, this is perhaps the most shocking song from the album in regards to the context of this era! laugh.gif

QUOTE(vibe @ Oct 5 2017, 06:26 PM) *
I love this song now a lot more than when released.
I am not keen on the video i do not find it sexy at all . It certainly doesn't rival JML when comparing videos but it is a much better song.

It's amazing how many times this song changed during production . The demos leaked last year I believe?

The performance mash up on confessions and MDNA tour are mesmerising. The opening for the girlie show is also epic.

I enjoy the video but I agree that it doesn't rival 'Justify My Love' which alternates with 'Vogue' as my favourite Madonna video. I'd agree that I prefer 'Erotica' as a song though, too.

Yeah there was quite a few demos of 'Erotica'! One of them, 'Love Hurts' leaked last year and seems to make lyrical references to MJ's 'Remember the Time'. The production of the Confessions Tour version of the 'You Thrill Me' demo is one of my very favourite tour reinventions!
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WitchHaus
post Oct 6 2017, 05:22 PM
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The single has never really been one to properly grab me. I find it hypnotic and daring but I can't say it's an all-time favourite (like 'Rain' for example, which I agree is the highlight of the era alongside 'Deeper and Deeper'). However over time this single keeps worming its way into my affections more and more, as does the album as a whole and I think it's one that will eventually properly fully click with me.

I whole-heartedly appreciate and admire the vision she had with the single and the album, it's confident, sexual and bold and that's the Madonna I love.

So all-in-all it's about midtable for me if I were to rank all of her singles!
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liamk97
post Oct 8 2017, 01:24 PM
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Live Performances





Not seen the Girlie Show performance yet but the Confessions one is one of my all-time favourite re-workings. It goes from a hot and gritty S&M ode to a sensual slow-disco jam but keeps that hypnotic power about it.
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liamk97
post Oct 9 2017, 10:50 AM
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Demos

There's many demo versions available on YouTube, but these seem to be the main ones:

Erotica / You Thrill Me


You Thrill Me


Love Hurts


Then there is 'Erotic', the slightly altered version of 'Erotica' with extra lyrics, that was released as a promotional single with the book Sex:

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WitchHaus
post Oct 9 2017, 04:04 PM
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The 'Love Hurts' demo is v good. Will have to give the others some time too ohmy.gif
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liamk97
post Oct 10 2017, 02:05 PM
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Yeah, 'Love Hurts' is my favourite. The beat that runs through is so catchy and I love how seamlessly the MJ sample/reference slots in.

The William Orbit remix of 'Erotica' has been uploaded to Madonna's channel:

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Lo-Fi Version Time is now: 19th October 2017 - 09:05 AM