Bedtime Stories is 25 | The Popjustice Forum

Bedtime Stories is 25

Discussion in 'Comeback corner' started by torontodj, Oct 25, 2019.

  1. Released two years after the Erotica album and Sex book, perhaps the most controversial era of Madonna's career, Bedtime Stories may have been a chance to soften Madonna's image, but she didn't really change. She was still a fighter ("Human Nature") and the music was still as strong as ever.

    Working with producers Nellee Hooper, Dallas Austin, Dave "Jam" Hall and Babyface, Madonna went into a more R&B direction. "Secret" and "Take a Bow" became two of Madonna's biggest hits in the '90s; "Take a Bow" became Madonna's longest-running #1 song on the Billboard Hot 100 (although inexplicably only hit #16 on the UK charts).

    "Human Nature" (a not-so-subtle response to the critics of her Sex book) and "Bedtime Story" (co-written by Bjork) were the first singles to break Madonna's incredible run of Top 40 hits on the Billboard Hot 100 (but both songs hit the top 10 in the UK).

    There are many strong album tracks on Bedtime Stories. The opening track, Survival, started the album with a bang; Madonna summing up the previous two years that she'll never be an angel and that, after all the attacks and criticisms. she was a survivor. Along with "Human Nature" (which Madonna still performs in concert), "Survival" remains a defining anthem in Madonna's career as she continues to be attacked viciously by the press and public. She's still a survivor. These two songs are resonant as ever.

    The album has some gorgeous ballads in addition to the smash "Take a Bow". "Inside of Me", "Love Tried to Welcome Me" and "Forbidden Love" (which was included on Madonna's Something to Remember compilation a year later) are lush and intimate, and some of Madonna's most personal songs.

    Madonna still couldn't resist pleas to the dancefloor ("Don't Stop") and even some funk ("I'd Rather Be Your Lover").

    The transition from "Sanctuary" to "Bedtime Story" is sublime and one of the great Madonna listening experiences (and the electronica was an early indication of the sound of Madonna's next studio album, Ray of Light, in 1998).

    A great album, with a lush, bass-heavy soundscape, Bedtime Stories still sounds fresh and modern 25 years later.

    And those videos. "Human Nature" was a classic Madonna video with brilliant choreography and tongue-in-cheek Madonna humour, or the stunning (and expensive) "Bedtime Story" or the gorgeous black-and-white video for "Secret". The videos for this era remain top-tier Madonna. Some of the best music videos ever made if I may say so.

    "Let's get unconscious..."

    What are your memories of this classic album?

    What's your favourite cover: Up(side down suite) or Down?


    Last edited: Oct 25, 2019
  2. She needs to tour this album with a show like Tears of a Clown.

    I need to hear the Shep Pettibone demos, too!
  3. One of my favourite Madonna albums.

    For me the upside down cover looks best.
  4. Fantastic, underrated and just pure genius, this album is easily in my Madonna top 5 and never gets boring. Perfect album for this time of year too as the nights draw in even more.
    torontodj, djessie and No hay banda like this.
  5. One of Madonna's greatest albums. I just love the 90's R&B and electronic influences. The Down cover is best, and my favourite song is Sanctuary. Her vocals are wonderful on this album.
  6. Inside Of Me, is my favourite album track. Just magical.
  7. This is such a great album and one of my favorites. There is just so much beauty and sadness in it.

    I have actually been playing it a lot in the past couple of months. I always play all of Madonna's albums on regular basis but Bedtime Story is one of the albums I revisit the most.
  8. That singles run is just so perfect in every way possible too.
  9. The growly segue from Sanctuary to Bedtime Story.......' is the first day.....' is so perfect that I can never play Sanctuary on it's own on a playlist, they come as a pair.

    Also the remixes for all the singles were so good. I loved the Orbital remix of Bedtime Story and Junior Vasquez was at the height of his powers at the time (see also Billie Ray Martin!)
  10. I first heard this album after picking it up for cheap in a Cash Converters, probably around 2000/2001? I only knew of 'Human Nature' because my sister used to play the radio dance remix quite a bit.

    The album as a whole is a slow burner. Songs like 'Survival' and 'Don't Stop' that were initially favourites in time have become my least favourites on the album, whereas tracks like 'I'd Rather Be Your Lover' and 'Love Tried To Welcome Me' that I didn't get at first have become strong favourites. I've always found 'Take A Bow' quite dull, but can hear it's beauty.

    'Secret', 'Human Nature', 'Sanctuary', 'Bedtime Story' and 'Inside Of Me' are 5 tracks I've loved since the first listen and I still adore everything about them.

    I adore the artwork, I adore her looks throughout the era.
  11. I always imagined that Survival would've been the perfect opener on the Bedtime Story tour. Another example why I would like to see her working with Donna and Niki again someday, even for one track. They sounded so amazing together - it was magic. Survival is probably the most classic Madonna sounding track on the album and I'm not afraid to draw parallels between songs like Nothing Fails, Miles Away and Crave.
  12. I didn't really get into this album on release (unlike Erotica). I found three of the singles a bit boring. The upside down cover is best. And the pale blue tray is pretty.
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2019
    torontodj likes this.
  13. A Bedtime Stories, tour, wow what a thought. And such a shame it never materialised too.
  14. Madonna with Donna and Niki on tour again for this album would have been heaven. I've always wondered what a Bedtime Stories set list would have looked like.
  15. Bought this on release day (24th October 1994) from Woolworths! I liked it from the start having not been keen on Erotica, which lasted at least a fortnight. BS isn’t perfect, but it’s fits together nicely in its low-key way. Always loved the artwork (I got the right side up version) and the powder blue disc tray!

    Bedtime Stories is kind of overlooked in Madonna’s catalogue being neither good enough to compete with her very best work or bad enough to sit alongside her worst! Just 11 songs that don’t outstay their welcome. Pleasantly melodic and quietly sexy. You could do far worse than Bedtime Stories.
    Jacques and WhatKindOfKylie? like this.
  16. I would've loved a tour for Bedtime Story and Ray of Light.
    Humanracin and YourLeadSinger like this.
  17. Take a Bow still gives me chills. Love to listen to it and This Used to be My Playground together.
    Humanracin likes this.
  18. Listening to Bedtime Stories this 25th Anniversary night, and currently on Forbidden Love. Bliss.
  19. Brilliant and underrated masterpiece. It’s my favorite Madonna album, and one of my all time favorites.
  20. I still will always prefer Bedtime Stories over Ray Of Light, and to quote a lyric from one of the album's best. empowering tracks, "And I'm not sorry", for that fact either.
    DiscoIgor07 likes this.
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