Today in Madonna History: January 30, 1993

On January 30 1993, Madonna’s Deeper & Deeper hit number-one on the Billboard Hot Dance/Club chart in the USA. Deeper & Deeper was Madonna’s 14th number-one hit on the chart.

Jose Promis (AllMusic) had this to say about the single:

Deeper and Deeper was the second single released from Madonna’s Erotica album. The song, in its regular album form, is a dance epic. The single includes seven versions, which are all club mixes of a song that was a club hit to begin with. This single begins with an edit of the album mix, followed by two stripped-down house mixes (featuring a sample from Vogue where “Greta Garbo, Greta Garbo” is repeated throughout the song). The fourth mix is a basically the extended album version, which, in the breakdown, substitutes piano for the Spanish guitars. The fifth and sixth versions are dub mixes, while the seventh is little more than a few extra minutes of bonus dub beats, which, in the long run, wind up being somewhat indistinguishable from one another. The mixes don’t stray too far from the original’s winning recipe, but, with nearly 45 minutes worth of dance beats, one can hardly say this single doesn’t satisfy.

Today in Madonna History: December 5, 1992

On December 5 1992, Madonna’s Deeper and Deeper single was the week’s Hot Shot Debut entry on the Billboard Hot 100 in the U.S., bowing in at #38.

Pop radio had taken an immediate liking to Deeper and Deeper upon the album’s release, with some stations choosing to spin it in favor of the album’s darker lead single, well ahead of its official promotional launch. The support wasn’t unanimous, however, as Madonna was facing a severe public backlash following the release of her Sex book and the forthcoming release of the film Body Of Evidence.

The fact that Deeper and Deeper managed to climb to #7 on the Hot 100 amidst a tidal wave of contempt is a true testament to song’s irresistible appeal.

Today in Madonna History: November 26, 1992

On November 26 1992, Rolling Stone magazine published their review of Madonna’s Erotica album, written by Arion Berger:

It took Madonna ten years, but she finally made the record everyone has accused her of making all along. Chilly, deliberate, relentlessly posturing. Erotica is a post-AIDS album about romance — it doesn’t so much evoke sex as provide a fetishistic abstraction of it. She may have intended to rattle America with hot talk about oral gratification and role switching, but sensuality is the last thing on the album’s mind. Moving claustrophobically within the schematic confines of dominance and submission, Erotica plays out its fantasies with astringent aloofness, unhumid and uninviting. The production choices suggest not a celebration of the physical but a critique of commercial representations of sex — whether Paul Verhoeven’s, Bruce Weber’s or Madonna’s — that by definition should not be mistaken for the real thing. It succeeds in a way the innocent post-punk diva of Madonna and the thoughtful songwriter of Like a Prayer could not have imagined. Its cold, remote sound systematically undoes every one of the singer’s intimate promises.

Clinical enough on its own terms when compared with the lushness and romanticism of Madonna’s past grooves, Erotica is stunningly reined in; even when it achieves disco greatness, it’s never heady. Madonna, along with co-producers Andre Betts and Shep Pettibone, tamps down every opportunity to let loose — moments ripe for a crescendo, a soaring instrumental break, a chance for the listener to dance along, are over the instant they are heard. Erotica is Madonna’s show (the music leaves no room for audience participation), and her production teases and then denies with the grim control of a dominatrix.

Against maraca beats and a shimmying horn riff, Erotica introduces Madonna as “Mistress Dita,” whose husky invocations of “do as I say” promise a smorgasbord of sexual experimentation, like the one portrayed in the video for Justify My Love. But the sensibility of Erotica is miles removed from the warm come-ons of Justify My Love, which got its heat from privacy and romance — the singer’s exhortations to “tell me your dreams.” The Madonna of Erotica is in no way interested in your dreams; she’s after compliance, and not merely physical compliance either. The song demands the passivity of a listener, not a sexual partner. It’s insistently self-absorbed — Vogue with a dirty mouth, where all the real action’s on the dance floor.

Look (or listen) but don’t touch sexuality isn’t the only peep-show aspect of this album; Erotica strives for anonymity the way True Blue strove for intimacy. With the exception of the riveting Bad Girl, in which the singer teases out shades of ambiguity in the mind of a girl who’d rather mess herself up than end a relationship she’s too neurotic to handle, the characters remain faceless. It’s as if Madonna recognizes the discomfort we feel when sensing the human character of a woman whose function is purely sexual. A sex symbol herself, she coolly removes the threat of her own personality.

Pure disco moments like the whirligig Deeper and Deeper don’t need emotional resonance to make them race. But the record sustains its icy tone throughout the yearning ballads (Rain, Waiting) and confessional moods (Secret Garden). Relieved of Madonna’s celebrity baggage, they’re abstract nearly to the point of nonexistence — ideas of love songs posing as the real thing. Even when Madonna draws from her own life, she’s all reaction, no feeling: The snippy Thief of Hearts takes swipes at a man stealer but not out of love or loyalty toward the purloined boyfriend, who isn’t even mentioned.

By depersonalizing herself to a mocking extreme, the Madonna of Erotica is sexy in only the most objectified terms, just as the album is only in the most literal sense what it claims to be. Like erotica, Erotica is a tool rather than an experience. Its stridency at once refutes and justifies what her detractors have always said: Every persona is a fake, the self-actualized amazon of Express Yourself no less than the breathless baby doll of Material Girl. Erotica continually subverts this posing to expose its function as pop playacting. The narrator of Bye Bye Baby ostensibly dumps the creep who’s been mistreating her, but Madonna’s infantile vocal and flat delivery are anything but assertive — she could be a drag queen toying with a pop hit of the past. Erotica is everything Madonna has been denounced for being — meticulous, calculated, domineering and artificial. It accepts those charges and answers with a brilliant record to prove them.

Today in Madonna History: January 30, 2004

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On January 30 2004, Madonna’s Official Fan Club (ICON) and Madonna.com published a fan club exclusive photo book titled, Nobody Knows Me. The 52-page soft cover photo book featured previously unreleased photos (spanning her career).

Here’s what Liz Rosenberg had to say when asked to comment on a highlight she witnessed in Madonna’s career:

“Highlights? There’s just too many.

It’s a highlight for me just to dance around the living room to Deeper and Deeper. And also when we played Vogue at a club for the first time.

The list goes on and on and I’m thrilled to have had a front row seat to most of it.”

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Today in Madonna History: November 24, 1992

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On November 24 1992, the music video for Deeper And Deeper premiered on MTV.

The clip was directed by Bobby Woods, who was an Executive Producer at Madonna’s companies Boy Toy Inc. and the film division of Maverick. The Warhol-inspired trip down memory lane featured many familiar faces from Madonna’s life, including Seymour Stein, Debi Mazar & Guy Oseary.

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Woods recalled the video and shared Madonna’s handwritten concept notes for the shoot in an interview with fansite Madonna New Era:

Madonna wanted to do an Andy Warhol/Edie Sedgwick styled video. She believed, and I think this is accurate, that there was a similar feel to the times of America in the Roaring ’20’s and the Disco ’70’s. A wildness. The video was made very quickly. Deeper and Deeper is a great song, one of her best dance records for sure, thanks to Shep Pettibone. The dance sequences in the video are 100% spontaneous. We loaded a dance floor with people, put her record on, and the dancing began. I have danced with Madonna many times. So I can understand why those people wanted to dance with her as well. It’s a thrill. She also brought along Udo Kier and Holly Woodlawn who were part of the original Warhol crowd. Her pal Sofia Coppola (who I adore) came along, too, as well as Debi Mazar and Ingrid Casares… For me, working with her was a lot of fun. First off, she’s extremely smart. Secondly, it’s all her doing. Thirdly, nobody is more professional. And most importantly, she has the great ability to bring together very talented people, and make them want to do their very best for her. This is true of all the stylists, musicians, dancers, filmmakers, photographers, everybody. Many of them do the best work of their careers during their time with her. It’s a great and rare talent. It is my belief that this spirit carries over to the fans, who are also lifted up by this talent.”

Today in Madonna History: January 30, 1993

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On January 30 1993, the second single from Madonna’s Erotica album, Deeper and Deeper, hit #7 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the USA.

Slant Magazine ranked Deeper and Deeper at number 33 on their list of 100 Best Singles of the 1990s:

“Among Madonna’s finest achievements, the angsty pop anthem Deeper and Deeper is both an acute distillation of Erotica ’​s smut-glam decadence and the singer’s lifelong blond ambition.”

Today in Madonna History: December 8, 1992

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On December 8 1992, Deeper and Deeper was released by Maverick Records as the second single from Erotica.  The song was written by Madonna, Shep Pettibone & Anthony Shmikin and was produced by Madonna & Pettibone.

“Someone said that romance was dead
And I believed it instead of remembering
What my mama told me
Let my father mold me
Then you tried to hold me
You remind me what they said
This feeling inside
I can’t explain
But my love is alive
And I’m never gonna hide it again”

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