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Madonna

Bedtime Stories [180 Gram Vinyl LP]

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Lets talk about this album for a minute.  Launched after the most controversial period in her career which covered Justify My Love (video), Truth Or Dare (tour doc), Erotica (album), Sex Book, Body of Evidence (movie), Girlie Show Tour, and the David Letterman appearance, Bedtime Stores was supposed to rebrand Madonna, focus more on the music, and show a softer side.  She launched the project with "Secret", which is in this mega-fan's Top 10 fave M songs of all time, list.  Vibe magazine suggested that with this album Madonna is credited with starting the "New Jill Swing" sound of that time period.  The 2nd single, Babyface produced, "Take A Bow," gave Madonna her first US number one single in three years and to this day, the longest running number one (stayed at #1 for seven weeks) of her career, effectively reviving it, and helping her land the starring role in Evita.

So the original album cover wasn't approved by her label. It was considered too dark or moody and for those interested, the original image was part of the same photo shoot that this cover of the hologram Bedtime Story single cover came from.  The reshoot took place in Florida in a certain ex US president's home where she ended up with the album cover we all came to know.  Sheesh, I know way too much M info.

Even though this album gave M the biggest US hit of her career, it was also sandwiched in between the super controversial Erotica era and the ultimate career defining, Ray of Light era, making this era go somewhat unnoticed.  I recommend you pay attention to this album.  Its one of her best, in a career with far too many brighter spots.  This is sexy, hushed, r&b-pop, deep-voiced, pre-Evita vocal lessons, unique-sounding Madonna.

Bedtime Stories was released on October 25, 1994. Madonna collaborated with Dallas Austin, Babyface, Dave "Jam" Hall, and Nellee Hooper in order to move into a more mainstream sound.