On April 13 1995, Bedtime Story was released by Maverick/Sire as the third international single from the album Bedtime Stories. The song was written by Björk, Nellee Hooper & Marius DeVries and was produced by Madonna & Nellee Hooper.
The commercial maxi-single featured remixes by Junior Vasquez and Orbital. Additional promo-only remixes by
On April 9 1995, Madonna’s Bedtime Story single peaked at number five in Australia, where it stayed in that position for three weeks. It fell out of the top ten in the fifth week, and eventually exited the charts after a total run of nine weeks, falling to 44 on its last week in the charts.
Sal Cinquemani of Slant Magazine praised the song, claiming that the song had unfulfilled potential and that it “could have been the next Vogue“.
On February 25 1995, Madonna’s Take A Bow hit #1 in the USA on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. The hit single remained #1 for 7 weeks, and became Madonna’s 11th single to top the charts in the USA.
Billboard called the song a “plush pop ballad” that was “as close to perfect as top 40 fare gets”. Adding that the lead vocal was “both sweet and quietly soulful”.
On February 18 1995, Madonna performed Secret and Take A Bow on the Wetten Dass TV show in Ravensburg, Germany.
On December 23 1995, Madonna won two Billboard Music Awards: Top Hot 100 Singles Artist – Female and Top Hot Dance Club Play Artist.
Madonna had the following singles chart during 1995: Secret, Take A Bow, Bedtime Story, Human Nature and You’ll See.
On December 5 1994, Madonna began filming the music video for Bedtime Story at Universal Studios in Los Angeles, CA.
The video marked her second collaboration with director Mark Romanek and featured cinematography by Harris Savides. To assist in the process of developing her ideas for the video into something more tangible, Madonna again turned to storyboard artist Grant Shaffer, who had previously collaborated on her videos for Deeper And Deeper and Rain.
Madonna recalled the inspiration for the video in an interview with Aperture magazine:
“My Bedtime Story video was completely inspired by all the female surrealist painters like Leonora Carrington and Remedios Varo. There’s that one shot where my hands are up in the air and stars are spinning around me. And me flying through the hallway with my hair trailing behind me, the birds flying out of my open robe – all of those images were an homage to female surrealist painters; there’s a little bit of Frida Kahlo in there, too.”
The effects-laden video was shot over six days and has been noted by Madonna as being one of the more grueling video shoots of her career. Filming of a scene that featured Madonna bathing in blue-coloured water yielded unexpectedly colourful results; when Madonna emerged from the water, she later recounted, it quickly became apparent that her skin had been temporarily stained blue.
Fortunately any on-set difficulties were not evident in the final product. Following several months of post-production work, the video’s stunning surrealist imagery was enthusiastically received by viewers upon its release in March, 1995.
A very special thank you to artist Grant Shaffer for generously sharing a selection of his original storyboards used in the development of the Bedtime Story video! We’d like to invite readers to check out more of Grant’s art on his official website – including his sketches for Deeper And Deeper, Rain and Madonna’s Japanese Takara commercial.