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Thread: Bedtime Stories

  1. #76
    Hock...hockety-pockety? Joey's Avatar
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    I honestly feel that Bedtime Stories is her most sorely underappreciated/underrated/underwhatever album. I think it's a beautiful record and I think the production is exceptionally lush and warm. Sure, there are a few middle-of-the-road songs on it, but as a whole I think it really shines. As I said earlier in this thread, I'd say this album and Confessions are about level for me in terms of quality and consistency.

    Also, the one-two punch of "Sanctuary" and "Bedtime Story" is my favorite section of any of her albums. Perfection.

    Fun Fact: "Take a Bow" is her most successful U.S. single to date, topping the Billboard Hot 100 chart for 7 weeks.

    And can we talk about the artwork? Because it's glorious and definitely my second favorite Madonna era in terms of look after Ray of Light. One day I'll get my hands on a copy of the limited edition CD with the blue velvet-like cover.


  2. #77
    Crimson Liberator Faust's Avatar
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    It's my favorite record of hers, stylistically. I think she really nails lush R&B – Bedtime Stories is somewhere between this weird warm comfort of "Nick at Night" and gritty 90s R&B/urban. I love that shade of green too and her makeup. Even fluff like "Don't Stop" works for me.
    'Tis better to bend with the wind than stand tall and be broken. Therein lies hope; therein lies freedom.

  3. #78
    ^ "Don't Stop" is actually one of my favourites; I've never understood the hate for it.

  4. #79
    Get Out The Dark Adam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joey View Post
    I honestly feel that Bedtime Stories is her most sorely underappreciated/underrated/underwhatever album. I think it's a beautiful record and I think the production is exceptionally lush and warm. Sure, there are a few middle-of-the-road songs on it, but as a whole I think it really shines. As I said earlier in this thread, I'd say this album and Confessions are about level for me in terms of quality and consistency.

    Also, the one-two punch of "Sanctuary" and "Bedtime Story" is my favorite section of any of her albums. Perfection.

    Fun Fact: "Take a Bow" is her most successful U.S. single to date, topping the Billboard Hot 100 chart for 7 weeks.

    And can we talk about the artwork? Because it's glorious and definitely my second favorite Madonna era in terms of look after Ray of Light. One day I'll get my hands on a copy of the limited edition CD with the blue velvet-like cover.

    Yes to ALL of this! @Faust, I LOVE "Don't Stop". It's such a perfectly breezy little pop song.
    The Landslide Never Brought, Brought Me Down

  5. #80
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    I thought I was the only Don't Stop fan! It's not amazing or anything but it's cute. And the album photos are my favorite of any album. I wonder why none of the shots are full body though, hmmm. Not suggesting anything by that btw, I just wonder if it was deliberate.

    M told Rupert Everett that this was her toughest album to make - due to the multiple (4) producers and trying to find a coherent sound. I think it was an interesting time in her career. People were definitely reacting negatively to the Erotica period. She did a great job of "softening" up her image in a seamless way. Some of her interviews from this period - Ruby Wax stands out - are some of my favorites as well.
    Last edited by YellowBird; 08-31-2017 at 06:05 AM.

  6. #81
    Senior Member Carey's Avatar
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    I think it's good, but too uneven. For example, I love Forbidden Love, Inside of Me, Love tried to welcome me and Sanctuary, but I think they are too much all together in the same album, because even if soothing and sultry, they still feel quite bland. The transition from Sanctuary to Bedtime Story is the best thing, indeed. Don't Stop and I'd Rather be Your Lover, to my ears, are simply bad. Take a Bow sounds like it's a bonus track coming from another album and Secret also has a slightly different sound, even if it blends in better.

    Except for the forementione IRBYL and DS, I either live or love all of the songs, but the album lacks personality as a whole.
    "If neurotic is wanting two mutually exclusive things at one and the same time, then I'm neurotic as hell. I'll be flying back and forth between one mutually exclusive thing and another for the rest of my days."

  7. #82
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carey View Post
    Take a Bow sounds like it's a bonus track coming from another album
    I agree. Why not putting it earlier in the album ? The transition between Sanctuary and Bedtime Story would have been the perfect ending for the album.

  8. #83
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    I love 'Bedtime Story'. That's basically the only track I listen to anymore, though if 'Take a Bow' comes on I won't skip to the next track. Still think it's crazy that the cover pic is upside down in the US.

  9. #84
    Quote Originally Posted by dollsbitches View Post
    I love 'Bedtime Story'. That's basically the only track I listen to anymore, though if 'Take a Bow' comes on I won't skip to the next track. Still think it's crazy that the cover pic is upside down in the US.
    Even though I don't own the US edition, I've grown so used to that version of the cover, that the right side up European take looks even weirder to me...

  10. #85
    Hock...hockety-pockety? Joey's Avatar
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    Well, the cover photo itself was taken from that angle:


  11. #86
    Get Out The Dark Adam's Avatar
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    My god. I just watched that VH1 vid Joey posted on the first page. Just how iconic is Take A Bow? I remember that no one could stop talking about the video or the song. It was EVERYWHERE. And it's GORGEOUS.
    The Landslide Never Brought, Brought Me Down

  12. #87
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    Thank you for making that amazing collage, Joey!

    I love this album. This was such a fantastic, underrated, and, I think, important era for her. I was in 11th grade when this album came out and was such a big Madonna fan (I still am). The Erotica/SEX era rocked my world and was basically the ballsiest and most badass thing I have EVER seen from a major pop star in my lifetime. I read about all these supposed major backlashes against pop stars today and roll my eyes--it all seems very minor in comparison. Madonna could really have been toast post-1994. Bedtime Stories was really a brilliant response to those years--other than two tracks asserting her resilience (gently in "Survival" and angrily in "Human Nature") she basically responded by digging deep, exposing her vulnerabilities, and reminding people that even if they hated her persona, it's pretty much impossible to hate her a a recording artist. I remember classmates at the time saying "I can't stand Madonna, but I love ____" (fill in the blank: "Secret," "Take a Bow," etc.). I remember that the reviews of this album were positive but almost begrudgingly so. It was also the first Madonna album to be nominated in an album category at the Grammys (BS was nominated for Best Pop Album). ROL was the first time there seemed to be consensus that Madonna was talented and made great music, but BS helped lay the groundwork. Of course, now it's more widely acknowledged that her records were pretty much awesome from the beginning, but this was NOT the case in the 80's and most of the 90's. I think BS played a significant role in shifting the narrative, especially as it was a move away from the candy-coated pop she was known for, but was not as divisive as Erotica.

    I loved Erotica and remember being initially struck that Bedtime Stories was less bold, but she pulled off a neat trick--the album doesn't downplay her inherent sexiness, the aching vulnerability on display would only surprise people that hadn't really been paying attention all along, and she pushed her sound forward in several directions at once (trip-hop, lush R&B). Basically, she ended up releasing an album that felt very much like another great Madonna album, didn't feel like a retraction or step back after the shit-show following Erotica, and didn't sound out-of-place during a time when the pop music she was known for in the 80's was just not popular.

    I will also echo the other posters who have said that they liked her image for this record--to me, she looked very womanly and sexy in the album artwork and "Secret" video in particular. I always thought she was striking, but she looked particularly amazing during this era. Yellowbird noted that there were no full-body shots in the album artwork. Part of that might have been to soften up her image, but I also remember there being rumors at some point during this album cycle that she was pregnant at some point. Who knows if that's true or not, but it's certainly possible.

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