Monday, October 22, 2012
MADONNA'S EROTICA ALBUM TURNS 20
Erotica, was a hip hop inspired tune that resembled her remarkable Justify My Love from a couple of years prior. A little more nasty and gritty, the song peaked at #3 on the Hot 100. More radio friendly singles like Deeper and Deeper(#7) and Rain(#14) would go on to make their mark on the charts, but for the first time in her career in the US one of her singles, the gorgeous and moody Bad Girl, would miss the top 20, peaking at #36. All the singles from Erotica would make the top 10 in the UK, including the European release of Fever. As time went on, and Madonna released her next, softer album Bedtime Stories, she backed off slightly from the oversexualized image she put forth with Erotica and its accompanying book, Sex, but she never apologized for her art. As a matter of fact, the single from Bedtime Stories, Human Nature, is about the backlash (And I'm not sorry. It's human nature) Madonna endured from her Erotica era. (Did I say something wrong? Oops, I didn't know I couldn't talk about sex. I must have been crazy) Most fans and critics agree, looking back, that Erotica is quite possibly one of Madonna's finest albums to date and its videos (which you can watch by clicking on the songs above) are all oustanding. It was ahead of its time with its sampling and frankness, its electro-lounge feel, but like most great works, sometimes things are not appreciated in their time. As for myself, I ALWAYS knew and appreciated the sheer genius of the cooly sexy album. The songs that people tend to forget to mention -- the sadness of In This Life, about all the friends Madonna lost to AIDS, and Why's It So Hard, her ode to acceptance and solidarity -- are the heart of the album really. It's where we get to hear the longing in her voice and the realness behind the sexual sheen. There are also moments of pure pop joy like Deeper and Deeper and Theif of Hearts, and of course the exquisite Rain, arguably Madonna best ballad. Erotica has stood the test of time and even improved with repeated listening over the years. Not many albums can do that. So happy 20th birthday to Erotica. You still got it, baby.