On November 29 1994, Madonna: Innocence Lost, the made-for-TV movie based on Christopher Andersen’s 1991 book Madonna Unauthorized, premiered on Fox-TV. Madonna was played by 26-year-old newcomer Terumi Matthews.
Pop Matters had this to say about the TV movie:
Based on Christopher Andersen’s 1991 biography Madonna Unauthorized, the film’s introduction borrows verbatim from a three-page letter Madonna wrote to Stephen Jon Lewicki to appear in his 1979 underground feature A Certain Sacrifice. In it (and in the voiceover by Matthews), she writes, “I was born and raised in Detroit, Michigan where I began my childhood in petulance and precociousness. By the time I was in the fifth grade, I knew I wanted to be a nun or a movie star. Nine months in a convent cured me of the first disease. During high school I became slightly schizophrenic as I couldn’t choose between class virgin or the other kind. Both of them had their values as far as I could see.” It’s through quotes such as these that we are given the veracious-feeling lens of Madonna’s early days pre-New York and, subsequently, pre-fame.
On November 16 1994, Madonna began filming Four Rooms in Los Angeles.
Madonna played one of the witches, Elspeth, in the first segment of the film called, The Missing Ingredient, directed by Alison Anders. Other actresses playing witches in the coven included: Valeria Golino (Athena), Alicia Witt (Kiva), Sammi Davis (Jezebel), Lili Taylor (Raven), Ione Skye (Eva) and Amanda de Cadenet (Diana).
This beautiful illustration of Elspeth is by Sarah Hedlund Design. Check out Sarah’s Facebook and webpage to see more of her amazing work! We have published Sarah’s version of Elspeth with her permission.
On November 12 1994, Madonna’s Bedtime Stories was the week’s highest debut on the Billboard 200 album chart, peaking at #3 with sales of 145,000 units.
While the figure represented a 15% drop in first-week sales from her previous long player, Erotica, the album proved to be a commercial grower in America – where the runaway success of its second single, Take A Bow, would push its overall U.S. sales tally well beyond that of its predecessor.
Illustrating urban/r&b’s U.S. chart domination at the time, Bedtime Stories was held back from the top spot by the Murder Was The Case soundtrack (performed by Snoop Doggy Dogg) and Boyz II Men’s II.
On November 5 1994, Madonna’s Secret hit #3 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the USA.
Here’s what Larry Flick from Billboard had to say about Secret:
“The lushly layered album mix simmers with a strumming acoustic intro that breaks into a languid funk/R&B beat. As Madonna delivers a solid performance that emphasizes her increasingly strong lower vocal range, a meticulously woven arrangement of quasi-psychedelic colors and raw hip-hop elements percolates. Naturally, the hook is pure pop candy, sticking to the brain after one spin.”
On September 14 1994, the lead single from Madonna’s Bedtime Stories album, Secret, was made available for download on the internet through America Online (AOL) and CompuServe.
Before the single was made available, Madonna posted this message for her fans:
Hello, all you Cyberheads! Welcome to the 90’s version of intimacy. You can hear me… You can even see me… But you can’t touch me… do you recognize my voice?… It’s Madonna. Often imitated, but never duplicated. Or, should I say, often irritated? If you feel like it, you can download the sound file of my new single Secret, from my new album, Bedtime Stories, which comes out next month. I just shot the video in New York, and will be premiering an exclusive sample of it online. So check back soon. In the meantime, why don’t you post me a message and let me know what you think of my new song. And by the way, don’t believe any of those online imposters pretending to be me… ain’t nothing like the real thing. Peace out.
On June 18 1994, Madonna’s I’ll Remember spent a second week at #1 on the Billboard Adult Contemporary chart in the USA. I’ll Remember spent a total of 4 weeks at the top of the chart.