On July 15 1995, Madonna’s Human Nature single peaked at #46 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the U.S.
The North American Human Nature single was backed with the album version of Sanctuary.
On January 5 1995, the lead single from Madonna’s Bedtime Stories album, Secret, was certified gold in the USA for shipment of 500,000 units.
The images in this post are for the UK Secret cassette single.
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 November 3 1994, Madonna began filming the Take A Bow music video in Ronda, Spain.
The video was directed by Michael Haussman. Haussman later directed the follow-up video to Take A Bow, You’ll See (in 1996).
Take A Bow was filmed between November 3 and 8 in Ronda. The bullfighting scenes were filmed at Plaza de Toros de Ronda.
The video depicts Madonna as a bullfighter’s neglected lover, yearning for his unrequited love. The bullfighter in the video was played by real-life Spanish bullfighter Emilio Muñoz.
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 May 6 1995, the first of a two-day shoot for the music video for Human Nature took place at Raleigh Studios in Hollywood, California.
The video was directed by Jean-Baptiste Mondino while the work of S&M comic artist Eric Stanton provided inspiration.
Mondino found this book by this illustrator named Stanton who did kinda S&M drawings and stuff, but we didn’t want to go with the straight S&M; we wanted to have it be more about making fun of it.” – Madonna
All I know is…my main problem is I don’t like videos when somebody’s dancing, that the camera is moving a lot. I’m more like an old-time, classic guy, because I remember most of the video you had shot with the crane, some Steadicam, plus some panning. So you have about five different cameras shooting a performance, and after they edit like crazy. It gives you a lot of freedom, but I feel very frustrated because I like to see somebody dancing. I hate when there’s too much editing. I like the steadiness of the performance because then you can really enjoy the movement of the body. You see the skill. I like to shrink — as much as I can — the stage because I can grab her. If not, everyone is running around and I’m not good with this. So I came up with the boxes [laughs] and I knew that with the boxes I had to do with something quite un-expect-able because there’s not too much stage to dance in. So there’s something beautiful about it and they looked like bees or something. And the rest of it was how to create some kind of choreography and some graphic imagery with the S&M outfits, but with humor. So she has a little dog and she has some funny moments where she drops down, there’s some Charlie Chaplin-esque moments into in it. Because S&M is a game, you know? It’s dark, it looks dark, but I think people have fun. When you wear rubber like this, you better have fun. If not, you stop using it for sex and you become a diver, you know?” – Jean-Baptiste Mondino