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”.
On February 9 1995, Madonna: The Girlie Show – Live Down Under video was certified gold for sales of 50,000 units in the USA.
Originally released on home video and laser disc in 1994, it later became Madonna’s first commercially available DVD – and one of the first concert DVD’s marketed by Warner-Reprise Video – when it was reissued in the format in 1997.
On September 2 1993, Madonna opened the 1993 MTV Video Music Awards performing Bye Bye Baby.
Rolling Stone magazine ranked the performance as #8 of the 20 Best MTV VMAs Opening Performances:
Before there was Jo Calderone, there was Madonna’s gender-bending performance of Bye Bye Baby, the singer donning a tailcoat and top hat in a burlesque/bordello setting that previewed Madonna’s 1993 Girlie Show World Tour, which would kick off in a few weeks. In retrospect, the song selection is strange — “Bye Bye Baby” wasn’t even released as a single in the States. But Madonna’s VMAs portfolio is stacked with captivating presentations, and the risqué Bye Bye Baby performance (full of stroked inner-thighs, spanks, frottage, etc.) was another visual stunner.
On November 28 1993, Madonna’s Bye Bye Baby single was released in Japan to coincide with the Japanese leg of her Girlie Show world tour.
The 3″ CD snap pack included 2 tracks:
- Bye Bye Baby
- Rain (Radio Remix)
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 un-sexiness 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.