Today in Madonna History: October 20, 1992

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On October 20 1992, Madonna’s fifth studio album, “Erotica” was released by Maverick Records.

Music critic Sal Cinquemani commented on the album’s impact:

By 1992, Madonna was an icon—untouchable, literally and figuratively—and Erotica was the first time the artist’s music took on a decidedly combative, even threatening tone, and most people didn’t want to hear it. Erotica’s irrefutable unsexiness probably says more about the sex=death mentality of the early ’90s than any other musical document of its time. This is not Madonna at her creative zenith. This is Madonna at her most important, at her most relevant. No one else in the mainstream at that time dared to talk about sex, love, and death with such frankness and fearlessness.

Today in Madonna History: September 2, 1993

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On September 2 1993, Madonna opened the 1993 MTV Video Music Awards performing “Bye Bye Baby“.  She cavorted on stage with three scantily clad women in a brothel-style setting, dressed in tuxedos and top hats, in a choreographed, highly sexual routine.  According to choreographer Alex Magno, he wanted to do “Justify My Love” or “The Beast Within” on MTV, but Madonna decided that they might be too controversial for live television and abandoned the idea. Nevertheless, “Bye Bye Baby” was chosen and performed with the choreography they had been practicing for “The Girlie Show World Tour“, since it represented the whole idea behind the tour.  Louis Virtel from The Backlot ranked the performance at number eight on a list for “Madonna’s 11 Greatest VMA Moments”. He praised Madonna’s rendition of the song at the Video Music Awards, calling it “a hell of a VMA performance” and a “killer cinematic throwback”.