On December 10 1992, Madonna’s Erotica single was certified gold in the USA for the shipment of 500,000 units.
In 2011, Slant Magazine listed Erotica at number thirty-four on their list “The 100 Best Singles of the 1990s”, stating that Madonna’s “throaty” delivery throughout the song was effective in making the lyrics “incredibly honest”. The magazine went on to say that Madonna’s “invitation to the dance, a slithering, sinister snake rising from a gaudily ornate chalice. The beats are, by design, hypnotic—at once alluring and devious. With Erotica, Madonna promises to get you off, but not without giving you something”.
On September 19 1990, Madonna’s Hanky Panky was certified gold (for shipment of 500,000 units) in the USA.
During an interview with Rolling Stone, Madonna talked about getting a good “spanky”:
The spanking thing started because I believed that my character in Dick Tracy liked to get smacked around and that’s why she hung around with people like Al Pacino’s character. Warren Beatty asked me to write some songs, one of them, the Hanky Panky song, was about that. I say in the song ‘Nothing like a good spanky’, and in the middle I say, ‘Ooh, my bottom hurts just thinking about it’. When it came out everybody started asking, ‘Do you like to get spanked?’ and I said: ‘Yeah. Yeah, I do’.
On August 11 1987, Madonna’s True Blue album was certified 5x platinum (for shipment of 5 million units) in the USA.
Stephen Thomas Erlewine noted that “True Blue is the album where Madonna truly became ‘Madonna the Superstar’—the endlessly ambitious, fearlessly provocative entertainer that knew how to outrage, spark debates, get good reviews—and make good music while she’s at it.”
On July 16 1985, Madonna’s hit single, Crazy For You, was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) for shipment of one million copies of the single in United States—the requirement for a gold single prior to 1989.
According to the book Risky Business: Rock In Film, the single has sold two million copies in the U.S., making it one of her biggest selling physical singles, behind Vogue and Like A Prayer. The lack of any further certification to verify this figure is plausible considering Crazy For You was released through Geffen Records; because Madonna was not a Geffen recording artist they would have had little incentive to invest in additional certifications once the initial promotional push for the soundtrack had ended.
On April 11 1990, Madonna’s Keep It Together single was certified Gold by the RIAA for shipment of over 500,000 units in the U.S.
Keep It Together was Madonna’s last 7-inch single to be issued with a picture sleeve by Warner Bros. Records in the U.S. until the release of a 4 Minutes/Give It 2 Me double 7-inch set eighteen years later.