Bedtime Stories

Album artwork

Bedtime Stories - front cover

Album cover, shot by Patrick Demarchelier

Bedtime Stories - back cover

Album tracklist

  1. Survival
  2. Secret
  3. I'd Rather Be Your lover
  4. Don't Stop
  5. Inside Of Me
  6. Human Nature
  7. Forbidden Love
  8. Love Tried To Welcome Me
  9. Sanctuary
  10. Bedtime Story
  11. Take A Bow

Single releases

  1. Secret - Sep. 1994 (US & Eur.)
  2. Take A Bow - Nov. 1994 (US & Eur.)
  3. Bedtime Story - April 1995 (US) / Feb. 1995 (Eur.)
  4. Human Nature - June 1995 (US) / Aug. 1995 (Eur.)

Outtakes & Demo tracks

Bring It
I Will Always Have You
Keep On
Let Down Your Guard
Love Won't Wait
Right On Time
Something's Coming Over Me
Tongue Tied
Your Honesty

Album production & release

The early nineties was the most controversial period in Madonna's career. In only a few years time she presented to the world the 'Sex' book, the Erotica album and the movies Truth or Dare and Body of Evidence. By 1994 the world had an overdosis of 'Madonna Erotica' and many thought the Queen of Exhibitionism had gone too far this time. Especially the 'Sex' book had given Madonna more damage than fame; sales of the Erotica album were pretty low for a Madonna album. By this time Madonna herself realized it was time for an image change again.

She teamed up with four famous producers, Dallas Austin, Dave Hall, Nellee Hooper and Babyface to work on a new studio album. It was one of the very few occasions when she worked with well-known, established collaborators. The result was Bedtime Stories, an 11-track album released on October 25, 1994.

Like we're used of Madonna, the sound of the album differed from what she'd done before: it was a combination of R&B, New Jill Swing and 70s Groove.

"I wanted a lot more of an R&B feel to this record," she explains. "The idea going in was to juxtapose my singing style with a hard core hip-hop sensibility and have the finished product still sound like a Madonna record. I began the process by meeting with the hip-hop producers whose work I most admired. I started working with Nellee later in the project, but because he was so innovative and creative, I went back with him to rework some of the earlier songs. I took the string arranger I used for Nellee's songs and put him on the material Dallas had produced. Everyone was influencing everyone else."


The image associated with Bedtime Stories was no longer sex-oriented, but rather cool and clubby. The first single Secret and its video represented this image best. For Take A Bow her image was more conservative and glamourous, though part of the video shows her in lingerie as well. Those two singles shot to the top of the charts, a welcome change after the backdrops in the early nineties. In fact, Take A Bow (which is her longest running #1 single in the US with its 7 weeks at the top spot) helped the album to stop falling down on the Billboard album chart.

However the two other singles, Bedtime Story and Human Nature, scored pretty low again. Some see the album as one of the less important madonna albums, and rather as a transition from the Erotica period into Evita and Ray Of Light. Especially with Bedtime Story we discover a new experimental Madonna sound, which she expanded years later with William Orbit.

Sales & Charts

In the album charts, Bedtime Stories reached #1 (Australia), #2 (UK, France), #3 (US), #4 (Germany), and #7 (Canada). In November 2005 it was certified triple Platinum for shipments of 3 million US copies. Worldwide it sold about 6 million copies, less than Erotica in most countries with the notable exception of the US, probably because of the American-oriented R&B sound of the record. The album also got a Grammy nomination, but didn't win any actual awards.

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