Madonna: The Discography Rate - COMPLETE | Page 526 | The Popjustice Forum

Madonna: The Discography Rate - COMPLETE

Discussion in 'Charts, rates etc' started by RJF, Apr 19, 2020.

  1. RJF


    I remember when Madonna and I first started working together on Erotica. We were listening in my home studio to one of the first songs and I turned to her and said "It's great, but it's no Vogue." She told me that not every song could be Vogue - not every cut could emerge as the top-selling record of all time. She was right, but I pressed my case anyway: "I guess I'm always trying to out-top myself," I told her, "the next thing should be bigger than the last." Madonna just turned and looked me straight in the eye. It had been a long time since I'd been star-struck by her, but she was glowing differently now. "Shep," she began, "no matter how fierce something is, you can't ever do the same thing twice." She sat down to record the final vocals on Erotica and looked out onto the terrace and into the New York City night. "Ever," she repeated.


    SCORE: 9.345

    2015 PLACEMENT: UP 5
    - 19 of 210 (8.835)
    HIGHEST SCORE: 10 x 90 (@RJF @nikkysan @AshtrayHeart @funkyg @Tigerlily @Vasilios @cheida @Jwentz @Raichu @No hay banda @dodoriazarbon @eatyourself @HEARTCORE @nanafan @discoteca @tom71 @Euphoria @tylerc904 @Doenjang @sfmartin @rav4boy @Cutlery @Suburbia @matthew. @gezza76 @soratami @dylanaber @Mjg0806 @relby @Jonathan27 @elear @Andy French @fatyoshi @Up Down Suite @godspeed @CasperFan @torontodj @theelusivechanteuse @1991 @dancingwithmyself @Babylon @Aester @Syzygyz @Dreampopboy @Fuchsia @NightmareBoy @BreatheBox @Modeblock @DominoDancing @scottdisick94 @Fortune @R27 @Sideout @RetroPhysical @Zdarlight @citoig @joeee @Xanax @VeryPSB @aaronhansome @SloMover @BEST FICTION @paperboyfriendd @joe_alouder @Miss Lange @Michael17 @Mister_G @Lila @Pop Life @K94 @clowezra @wintersleep @evilsin @TheChoirgirlHotel @KingBruno @Remorque @Digital Ghost @acl @RainOnFire @nametag @sexercise @Mr Blonde @Music Is Death @FrozenNight @Chezam @fancygreen @Bangers&Bops @Weslicious @tommylander @Touchofmyhand)
    LOWEST SCORE: 5 x 1 (@TrueBeliever)
    MY SCORE: 10/10

    Madonna spent most of the early 90s pushing the envelope. First, it was getting MTV to show her bare breasts in the "Vogue" video, and then it was forcing everybody's collective hand with "Justify My Love" and watching everyone lose their shit over a bit of hair pulling. She was, rightfully, a little flummoxed at the fact this seemed to cause such a stir. Look, Madonna is no stranger to courting controversy. I have no doubt that a lot of what she was doing at the time was at least partially motivated by the fact that she knew it would turn heads. But she also understood that sometimes, heads need to be turned. There was something wrong with how society interacted with a large part of itself, so she was going push its shoulders against the back of the chair, strap its head down, and make it look at her titties. This was the release of the SEX book. Push the envelope? Sis tore up the damn envelope and threw the pieces into the fire.

    Working with Stephen Meisel, Madonna worked with a host of models and celebrities and... how did she even pitch this to them? "So I'm gonna eat your ass and we're gonna photograph it. Bend over, baby." INVENTED OnlyFans, to be honest. The likes of Naomi Campbell and her then-boyfriend Vanilla Ice, along with other models, basically posed for several photos that depicted sex in all its forms. Straight, gay, in the pussy, up the ass, back of the hand, end of the riding crop, tied to a chair, hung from the ceiling, hung from the sky, just plain hung, in the lap of an old man, you get it. You add in a heavy dose of gender bending and you get what is easily one of Madonna's most powerful, lasting, intriguing statements that has only grown in importance and reverence as the years have worn on after the initial rough reception it had on release. Along with some of her finest photos. We've spoke about this in passing, but it was around this time that sex had become something to vilify in the press, something seedy and furtive and shameful. AIDS was ravaging the country, and no one seemed to be talking about it. So Madonna did two things: drive the message home that sex is amazing and natural, as long as it's safe and consensual, and get everybody talking about it in the process. What always amuses me about the release of SEX is that, for all the hand-wringing about its content, everybody still wanted a piece. SEX remains the fastest selling coffee table of all time, has moved over 1.5 million copies, and is one of the most highly sought after out-of-print books out there, with copies frequently going for hundreds - sometimes thousands - of dollars depending on their condition. The book had to be sold in a plastic packaging to save the precious eyes of the children or whatever, but even Madonna styled that out so it looked like a condom wrapper. She even wanted the book to be circular so it definitely looked like a condom instead of just alluding to one. Alas, it was too expensive to produce, and everyone involved already wasn't convinced this was going to make any money. Little did they know.

    On July 7, we did the mixing for Erotic the ode to S&M that Madonna wanted to include in her book, Sex. She felt it should sound the same as Erotica (the song on the album), with just a bass line, her voice and some sensuous Middle Eastern sounds. But by then I had seen the book and had come up with an interesting idea.

    "You have all these great stories in the book," I told her, "Why don't you use them in the song?" I knew that Madonna was developing a 1930s dominatrix look for Erotica, but I didn't realize how far she was willing to go before I saw Sex. It contained stories authored by her mysteriously dark alter, Dita. Madonna took the book and walked out of the room and didn't come back until about half an hour later. Suddenly she was on the mic, speaking in this very dry voice. "My name is Dita," she said, "and I'll be your mistress tonight." I knew that the original Erotica would never be the same again, and it wasn't. The chorus and bridge were changed entirely and the whole psyche of the song became sexier, more to the point. It seemed as if Dita brought out the best in her, actually serving as a vehicle for the dangerous territory she was traveling. Actually, it was the same name Madonna used when she'd stay in hotels around the world. Not anymore.

    From the moment you hear that rumbling, ominous baseline, you know "Erotica" means business. We're officially on the clock and we've only got enough cash for an hour, so let's not waste any time. That jangling-keys production, that spiking brass that sounds like cats fighting in the middle of the night. And then Dita arrives, sounding like she just finished her second packet of cigarettes of the night. It's hard to know what line in the opening couplet is more threatening. Will I take you from behind? Push myself into your mind? The physical or emotional penetration? Pick one. And the song swings between both; Madonna swings between a light, airy vocal and a husky, crackling spoken word as she figures out the terms and conditions of this arrangement we're entering into, before she enters into us. We spoke about this with "Justify My Love" as well, how a lot of the stakes derive less from the physical aspect of sex and more the emotional and mental side of it. Putting down your pride, placing your trust in someone else, giving it all up, getting lost in a trance. "Erotica" does the exact same thing; almost every line presents either a direct physical/emotional setup, or one that can be interpreted as such. So it made the perfect soundtrack to everything that would follow, as Madonna held a mirror up to society's naked body and forced it to react. The entire package - book, single, video, then album - is easily one of her finest, most important moments. It's just scrumptious.

    Speaking of the video, it was banned on MTV after a measly three post-10PM plays for being too raunchy. In it, clips of Madonna as Dita play and are cut in with footage from the making of SEX. I can almost guarantee the video caused a few awkward and/or confused feelings to any impressionable young and/or conservative minds that saw it, as well it should. The song was also performed during The Girlie Show (where it opened the show) MDNA (where it was... mashed up with "Candy Shop") and on Confessions, where it was essentially mashed up with its own demo. I would also include some Joey Stefano videos, but I don't think I should get banned from the forum when we're thirteen songs out from finishing this beast. All above, below, etc. Enjoy!

    After three and a half months of working in the same studio and hearing the same songs day after day, it was a relief to have the album finished. Everything went smoothly except the last two songs, Why's It So Hard and Words, both of which we had to recall for changes. On September 12, I walked out of Soundworks with the completed master of Erotica in my hands.

    A month later, I went to the Sex party. The Erotica blitz was about to hit in music, video, and book form and a variety of stars were coming out for the party. Madonna herself surveyed the scene during the midnight hour. I walked over to meet her in the DJ Booth.

    There was all this wild stuff going around us: people tattooing one another, couples simulating sex - it was crazy. And when I went to talk to Madonna, who was in the middle of it all, our conversations turned to music. For all the multimedia extravaganzas that were braying for her attention, it was still the music that mattered and it was the record that we fawned over. I realized that no matter how far I've come, I still feel the same way that I always did. And then she put the handcuffs on me. NOT!

    - Shep Pettibone, Erotica Diaries

  2. "Erotica" out at # 1 4 ? ! ? ! ?

  3. RJF


    Into The Groove
    Papa Don't Preach
    Open Your Heart
    Live To Tell
    Like A Prayer
    Deeper And Deeper
    Drowned World / Substitute For Love
    Ray Of Light
    The Power Of Good-Bye
    Don't Tell Me
    Hung Up​
  4. I don't think you know what pain is
    I don't think you've gone that way
    I could bring you so much pleasure
    I'll come to you when you say...I know you want me
    I'm not gonna hurt you
    (í͘͝'̀m ̛not͡ ̕g̶̵o͞͠ń͝n͡a̕ ̛͘͠ḩ̛͟u̵r̛t͠ ҉yo̸͢u)
    Just close your eyes

  5. Letting Erotica go out before the top 10??????????

    You better watch out!!

    Music Is Death, Maki, Chezam and 5 others like this.
  6. I really can't believe "The Power Of Good-Bye" outlasted "Erotica".

  7. I’m wearing a metaphorical T-shirt and it says Justify My Love does it better.
    TrueBeliever likes this.
  8. "Okay stop! What happened to the count off?!"
    Rehearsal footage of the strut at the end of "Erotica" from 'The Girlie Show' begins around 4:50...

  9. They're two sides of the same horny coin and I absolutely wouldn't have it any other way thank you VERY much
  10. Why does this sound like a Dick Tracy character.
  11. This is incorrect.

    Erotica is impeccable and there's not a single version of this song (the really early Love Hurts demo* with Junior, You Thrill Me*, the SEX version, all the remixes, etc) that isn't absolutely spellbinding.

    *My dream would be to have a huge deluxe re-issue/anniversary edition boxset of Erotica with all that era's demos cleaned up a bit, reprint of the SEX book, remix collection, prints, etc etc. Ugh!
    Music Is Death, Maki, acl and 8 others like this.
  12. My bottom hurts just thinking about it ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)
  13. RJF


    I made my first bit of art for the finale today.
  14. A reminder that Dancing With The Stars panelist Carrie Ann Inaba is the topless woman on the pole in the Girlie Show performance. Can you say legendaric?
    acl, Sail On, discoteca and 2 others like this.
  15. RJF


    People talking about I'm Breathless again reminds me of the first fortnight where we talked about nothing but I'm Breathless because I was eliminating songs from it every day. And now we haven't spoke about it in literal months. When will this rate end?
  16. Music Is Death, Push, K94 and 5 others like this.
  17. You can all just fucking die a painful death like slowly painful I want you to suffer and I want your dying breaths to be your ruminating on the life you all committed to being dirty sinners and when the light finally leaves your eyes I want the only thing you feel to be deep eternal regret
  18. Which reminds me - I’m Breathless was done WRONG!!!
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