Erotica is the fifth studio album by American singer-songwriter Madonna, released on October 20, 1992 by Maverick Records. The album was released simultaneously with Madonna's first book publication, Sex. The RIAA certified it Gold, Platinum & Double Platinum on January 6th 1993, recognising two million shipments throughout America. The album has went onto sell more than five million copies worldwide.
Madonna's intentions were that the album would be an accompaniment to her book Sex, which share the same cover photograph - a colored reverse negative of Madonna's face done à la Andy Warhol, from whom Madonna found much inspiration during her so-called "Erotica period" (for example, her "Erotica" and "Deeper and Deeper" videos were shot in near identical style to many of Warhol's films, with Madonna paying obvious homage to Edie Sedgwick in the latter). The photos included in the album's liner notes also come from the Steven Meisel Studio photographs shot for the Sex book.
The album is Madonna's first album to bear a "Parental Advisory" label (the only other albums to do so being 2003's American Life and 2007's live concert album, The Confessions Tour). A separate "clean" version was released, the only difference being the omission of the sexually explicit "Did You Do It?".
Originally, "Bad Girl" was planned as the second single from the album with an X-rated video to match the '"Erotica" single, but it was changed due to the backlash of the Sex book and instead it was released as the third single. Madonna performed "Erotica", "Fever", "Bye Bye Baby", "Deeper And Deeper", "Rain", "Why's It So Hard" and "In This Life" on her 1993 The Girlie Show Tour.
Early versions of some of the songs on the album, as well as demo versions of songs that were not included, were included in The Rain Tapes - a collection of songs registered during the album development stage.
The final image used is identical to the Sex book foil cover; if you place the CD on the cover it is the same size and fits perfectly. Up until near the release date, the finished artwork did not include any writing on the cover. At the last minute a "Madonna" font sticker was added to the bottom right corner using the same font as the "Bad Girl" single.
The completed track listing was not what Madonna originally had planned, if the Maverick Records press information is to be believed:
"Did You Do It?" does not appear and "Goodbye to Innocence" was included on the various artists compilation, Just Say Roe. The catalogue number for this track listing is the Parental Advisory version.
|01||"Erotica" 1 3||Madonna, Shep Pettibone, Anthony Shimkin||Madonna, Shep Pettibone||5:17|
|02||"Fever"||Eddie Cooley, John Davenport||Madonna, Shep Pettibone||5:00|
|03||"Bye Bye Baby" 1||Madonna, Shep Pettibone, Anthony Shimkin||Madonna, Shep Pettibone||3:56|
|04||"Deeper and Deeper"||Madonna, Shep Pettibone, Anthony Shimkin||Madonna, Shep Pettibone||5:33|
|05||"Where Life Begins"||Madonna, André Betts||Madonna, André Betts||5:57|
|06||"Bad Girl" 1||Madonna, Shep Pettibone, Anthony Shimkin||Madonna, Shep Pettibone||5:21|
|07||"Waiting"||Madonna, André Betts||Madonna, André Betts||5:46|
|08||"Thief of Hearts" 1||Madonna, Shep Pettibone, Anthony Shimkin||Madonna, Shep Pettibone||4:51|
|09||"Words" 1||Madonna, Shep Pettibone, Anthony Shimkin||Madonna, Shep Pettibone||5:55|
|10||"Rain"||Madonna, Shep Pettibone||Madonna, Shep Pettibone||5:24|
|11||"Why's It So Hard"1||Madonna, Shep Pettibone, Anthony Shimkin||Madonna, Shep Pettibone||5:23|
|12||"In This Life"||Madonna, Shep Pettibone||Madonna, Shep Pettibone||6:23|
|13||"Did You Do It?" 2||Madonna, Shep Pettibone, André Betts||Madonna, André Betts||4:54|
|14||"Secret Garden"||Madonna, André Betts||Madonna, André Betts||5:32|
1 ASCAP has officially added Anthony Shimkin as co-writer to these songs. Inlay notes to the album do not include this.
2 Performed by Madonna, Mark Goodman and Dave Murphy. Available only on the Parental Advisory version of the album, omitted from the clean version. Shep Pettibone has been officially added by BMI as co-writer of this song.
3 Contains a sample of "Jungle Boogie", performed by Kool and the Gang.
In Malaysia, Erotica was the first Madonna album banned for homosexual-related content (the second would be live album The Confessions Tour for the crucifixion scene during "Live to Tell"). At the same time, SEX was also banned from bookstores around the country. In spite of this, her singles "Rain" and "Deeper and Deeper" were significant airplay hits.
Interestingly, the sexual imagery Madonna put forward in both Erotica and Sex was widely criticized for not actually being erotic, but sterile and calculating. On the subject, Madonna said to CNN's Larry King on January 19, 1999, "I didn't write a book about sex. I wrote a book that -- I mean I published a book that basically was sort of a -- an ironic tongue-in-cheek, sticking-my-tongue-out-at-society photo essay..."
Reviews of Erotica that concentrated only on the musical aspect of the album were mostly positive; Rolling Stone hailed the album as one of Madonna's best. In hindsight, both fans and critics have warmed to the album over the years, with some even considering it to be among her best work. In its 15th anniversary review of the album, Slant Magazine called it "Madonna at her most important, at her most relevant.
|02||"Deeper and Deeper"||November 1992 (UK) / December 1992 (US)|
|03||"Bad Girl"||February 1993|
|04||"Fever"||March 1993 (UK, France, Italy and Australia)|
|06||"Bye Bye Baby"||September 1993 (Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Germany, Italy)|
|Australian ARIA Albums Chart||ARIA||1||3× platinum||210,000|
|Austrian Albums Chart||IFPI||10||Gold||25,000|
|Brazilian Albums Chart||ABPD||n/a||Gold||100,000|
|Canadian Albums Chart||CRIA/Nielsen SoundScan||n/a||2× platinum||200,000|
|Dutch Albums Chart||NVPI/Megacharts||n/a||Gold||35,000|
|German Albums Chart||IFPI/Media Control||5||Platinum||500,000|
|Norwegian Albums Chart||IFPI/VG Nett||6|
|Swedish Albums Chart||GLF||6|
|Swiss Albums Chart||IFPI||5||Gold||25,000|
|UK Albums Chart||BPI/The Official UK Charts Company||2||2× platinum||600,000|
|U.S. Billboard 200||RIAA/Billboard||2||2× platinum||1.9 million|