Today in Madonna History: January 5, 1995

On January 5 1995, Madonna’s fabulous Bedtime Stories album was certified platinum (for shipment of 1 million units).

Barbara O’Dair reviewed the album for Rolling Stone magazine:

After the drubbing she has taken in the last few years, Madonna deserves to be mighty mad. And wounded anger is shot through her new album, Bedtime Stories, as she works out survival strategies. While always a feminist more by example than by word or deed, Madonna seems genuinely shocked at the hypocritical prudishness of her former fans, leading one to expect a set of biting screeds. But instead of reveling in raised consciousness, Bedtime Stories demonstrates a desire to get unconscious. Madonna still wants to go to bed, but this time it’s to pull the covers over her head.

Still, in so doing, Madonna has come up with some awfully compelling sounds. In her retreat from sex to romance, she has enlisted four top R&B producers: Atlanta whiz kid Dallas Austin, Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds, Dave “Jam” Hall and Britisher Nellee Hooper (Soul II Soul), who add lush soul and creamy balladry. With this awesome collection of talent, the record verily shimmers. Bass-heavy grooves push it along when more conventional sentiments threaten to bog it down. Both aspects put it on chart-smart terrain.

A number of songs — “Survival,” “Secret,” “I’d Rather Be Your Lover” (to which Me’Shell NdegéOcello brings a bumping bass line and a jazzy rap) — are infectiously funky. And Madonna does a drive-by on her critics, complete with a keening synth line straight outta Dre, on “Human Nature”: “Did I say something wrong?/Oops, I didn’t know I couldn’t talk about sex (I musta been crazy).”

But you don’t need her to tell you that she’s “drawn to sadness” or that “loneliness has never been a stranger,” as she sings on the sorrowful “Love Tried to Welcome Me.” The downbeat restraint in her vocals says it, from the tremulously tender “Inside of Me” to the sob in “Happiness lies in your own hand/It took me much too long to understand” from “Secret.”

The record ultimately moves from grief to oblivion with the seductive techno pull of “Sanctuary.” The pulsating drone of the title track (co-written by Björk and Hooper), with its murmured refrain of “Let’s get unconscious, honey,” renounces language for numbness.

Twirled in a gauze of (unrequited) love songs, Bedtime Stories says, “Fuck off, I’m not done yet.” You have to listen hard to hear that, though. Madonna’s message is still “Express yourself, don’t repress yourself.” This time, however, it comes not with a bang but a whisper.

Today in Madonna History: November 19, 1994

On November 19 1994, Bedtime Stories‘ lead single, Secret, peaked at #2 on the Hot Adult Contemporary chart in the U.S.

Secret would spend a total of 26 weeks on the Hot AC chart.

Today in Madonna History: September 8, 1994

On September 8 1994, Madonna presented the award for Video of the Year at the MTV VMA’s. She was escorted onstage by David Letterman, poking fun at their supposed feud following Madonna’s infamous profanity propelled appearance on Letterman earlier that year.

The appearance was intended to generate buzz for her soon-to-be-released single, Secret and its accompanying album, Bedtime Stories.

Today in Madonna History: July 4, 2015

On July 4 2015, Madonna’s third single off of Rebel Heart, Bitch I’m Madonna, was the Hot Shot Debut at #26 on Billboard’s Dance Club Songs Chart in the USA.

Bitch was Madonna’s 4th highest debut after Secret debuted at #18, Give Me All Your Luvin’ at #24 and Hung Up at #25.

Not bad for an irrelevant aging has-been! 

Today in Madonna History: January 5, 1995

secret-gold-jan-1 secret-gold-jan-2

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.


Today in Madonna History: November 5, 1994


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.”


Today in Madonna History: September 14, 1994


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.


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