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48 of 48 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Her Most Underrated Album
"Bedtime Stories" was Madonna's follow-up to "Erotica," an album so cooly received that it started a nasty backlash against the singer. So, it's not surprising that she comes across as a bit defensive on a couple of tracks: on "Survival" she promises that she's "gonna be living to tell" and she lashes back at her critics in the...
Published on May 21, 2002 by The Groove

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Eleven bedtime stories to listen to, but want to forget
I must say that 'Bedtime Stories' really wasn't THAT bad, but I was pretty disappointed in this album. I originally didn't want to buy this one, but I did, because I liked 'Bedtime Story', a track that would be more suitable for 1998's 'Ray of Light' instead, but it is also the best Madonna video ever. What I liked about 'Bedtime Stories' is the R&B/sort-of-dance...
Published on August 8, 1998


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48 of 48 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Her Most Underrated Album, May 21, 2002
By 
This review is from: Bedtime Stories (Audio CD)
"Bedtime Stories" was Madonna's follow-up to "Erotica," an album so cooly received that it started a nasty backlash against the singer. So, it's not surprising that she comes across as a bit defensive on a couple of tracks: on "Survival" she promises that she's "gonna be living to tell" and she lashes back at her critics in the dynamite "Human Nature." Elsewhere, "Bedtime Stories" was her most self-reflective album at the time, and it's also her most r&b-sounding disc since her debut. Dave Jam Hall, Dallas Austin and Babyface all supply the onetime Material Girl some solid beats and rhythms that wouldn't sound out of place on a Mary J. Blige album. The hits, "Secret" and "Take a Bow" show up here, but other tracks of note are the infectious "Inside of Me" (a tribute to her late mother) and "Don't Stop," which should have been released as a single but wasn't. This album didn't flop upon release, but it sold less than it deserved to, mainly because people were looking for a "Vogue 2" in this record. Nonetheless, "Bedtime Stories" is a straight-up r&b record that deserves a second chance.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bedtime Stories (1994), March 6, 2005
This review is from: Bedtime Stories (Audio CD)
-Bedtime Stories (1994)-

Released in 1994, two years after Madonna released "Erotica", the world was still outraged. Madonna released this album, which again, only peaked at #2, and sold 2 million copies since it's release. This album, along with "Erotica" and "American Life" are probably Madonna most underrated albums. Madonna decided to go with more of an R&B sound for this album, and it turned out amazing. This is another one of my all time favorite Madonna albums. The first single to be released from the album was "Secret", and it put Madonna back on the charts, peaking at #3. It's a really great song. And then Madonna released "Take a Bow", which put her back on top of the charts. The song peaked at #1, and stayed there for 7 weeks, giving Madonna her biggest US single to date. The song is definitely one of Madonna's greatest ballads. Two other singles were also released, "Bedtime Story" and "Human Nature". "Human Nature" is a very bass heavy song, directed to the critics that bashed her during her sex phase, and is another great song. "Bedtime Story" is just absolutely amazing, and along with "Frozen" and "Bad Girl", one of my all time favorite Madonna songs. The song was co-written by Bjork, and was years ahead of it's time when it was released. Everything about the song is just amazing, and the video is one of the best I've ever seen. Also, at the time of the videos release, it was the most expensive video ever made.

1. Survival (10/10)
2. Secret (10/10)
3. I'd Rather Be Your Lover (10/10)
4. Don't Stop (9/10)
5. Inside of Me (/10)
6. Human Nature (10/10)
7. Forbidden Love (8/10)
8. Love Tried to Welcome Me (10/10)
9. Sanctuary (10/10)
10. Bedtime Story (10/10)
11. Take a Bow (10/10)

As with "Erotica", every song on the album is great. "Survival" is a great way to start of the album, and is very R&Bish. It talks about how Madonna felt about how she was backlashed, but how she survived. "I'd Rather Be Your Lover" is another great song, that features a guest rapper. "Don't Stop" is a great dance song, but it isn't one of my favorites. "Inside of Me" is my definitely my favorite unreleased song. It's amazing. I love the way Madonna uses her breathing like an instrument. It's a song about her mother, but it could easily be interpreted a different way. "Forbidden Love" is probably the worst song on the album, but it's still a good song. "Love Tried to Welcome Me" is one of Madonna's most beautiful ballads, and could have easily replaced "Forbidden Love" on "Something to Remember". "Sanctuary" is an amazing song, that follows along the same lines as "Bedtime Story". All in all, this is another one of Madonna's best albums, which wasn't as successful as it should have been.

My Top 5 off of the album are...

5) Love Tried to Welcome Me
4) Human Nature
3) Take a Bow
2) Inside of Me
1) Bedtime Story
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars What was I thinking?, August 31, 2005
By 
This review is from: Bedtime Stories (Audio CD)
Some people have described this as Madonna's "comeback" album after the "disappointment" of the Erotica album. But, both albums sold about 2 million copies in the US, so they were just about equally successful. But, this album did produce the biggest hit of Madonna's career, "Take a Bow" (#1 for seven weeks). It also yielded the #3 hit "Secret". The other two single from the album, "Bedtime Story" and "Human Nature", became the first two singles by Madonna to fail to make the Top 40 since her first single ("Everybody"). This is a good album overall, and Madonna's fans should enjoy it.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A HIDDEN GEM, October 27, 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Bedtime Stories (Audio CD)
After all the controversy surrounding her "Erotica"/"Sex"/"Body Of Evidence" triple play in 1992, Madonna took a step back and quietly released "Bedtime Stories," a very introspective and emotional album filled with lots of hidden treasures and only a few hits. It's usually overlooked now, but given the chance, this one really stands out. This is a huge departure for Madonna. As an artist, she consistently pulls trends from the underground and introduces them to the mainstream. With "Bedtime Stories," she did the exact opposite: she used the popular sounds of the time, for the most part, but still managed to make it sound fresh and appealing. The album kicks off with "Survival," a "shoulda been" hit single that pretty much sums up Madonna's take on those who criticize her: "I'll never be an angel. I'll never be a saint, that's true." Produced by Dallas Austin (who was fresh off of his success with TLC and "CrazySexyCool"), it works very well. Madonna fires back at her critics explicitly with "Human Nature," which has a huge bass line and sounds like a hip-hop experiment. You'll either love it or you'll hate it--and that's a classic Madonna approach to music making. The album is also loaded with several R & B inspired numbers. "Love Tried To Welcome Me," "Inside of Me," "Don't Stop," and "Forbidden Love" share a variety of producers, and it's obvious that Babyface (who produced a handful of the tracks) had a profound influence on a great deal of the album. His presence is most obviously felt on "Forbidden Love" and the album closer, "Take A Bow," where he provides distinct background vocals. There are also a few tracks that come out of left field. "I'd Rather Be Your Lover" is another hip-hop inspired track, with guest vocalist Me'Shell N'degeocello. "Don't Stop" is the only thing that approaches being a dance song, but it's closer to being mid-tempo. "Secret" is a laid-back piece of summer fare with an unexpected acoustic backing track and some of Madonna's best harmonizing since "La Isla Bonita." And the one-two punch of "Sanctuary" and the Bjork-penned "Bedtime Story" puts a unique spin on the entire album. While "Sanctuary" and "Bedtime Story" are not at all suited for radio, they somehow manage to fit on this album without making it sound disjointed. The lyrics on "Bedtime Stories" are quite confessional. These are, for the most part, songs about longing and loss. But they also focus on the notions that longing and loss often come from within. While Madonna must have been hurt deeply by the critical barbs lobbed at her between 1992 and 1994, she mixes her rebuttals with a sense of personal responsibility, admissions of mistakes, and reminders that she is, deep down, a vulnerable human being, like the rest of us. Taken in the context of Madonna's career progression, "Bedtime Stories" is a link between the early days of courting controversy and her current approach, which is based more on personal fulfillment. "Bedtime Stories" is also the antithesis of "Erotica," and it's often hard to imagine an artist who would be able to turn out two such different albums in the space of four years (and she ultimately went one better--the "Evita" soundtrack was her next project, and that doesn't seem like the expected next step from either album). Where "Erotica" intentionally sounded cold and electronic, "Bedtime Stories" is as warm as a fireplace on Christmas morning. If there were one piece of criticism one could possibly add to this album, it's the inclusion of "Take A Bow" at the end of the album. The song progression builds and evolves into the electronica pairing of "Sanctuary" and "Bedtime Story," but the inclusion of "Take A Bow" as the final track is almost too abrupt. "Take A Bow" is the most lyrically accessible song on the album, and also the most contemporary sounding, but it almost strikes as an afterthought--a single that was tacked on at the end to increase album sales. Had it been placed earlier in the album, it would have fit right in. Nevertheless, this is the one small discrepancy I found in this otherwise perfect album. Madonna has done some albums bogged down with filler ("Like A Virgin," "True Blue," "I'm Breathless"), but this one sparkles from beginning to end. An extremely enjoyable album, released when the artist needed to prove to critics that she could still make music that excited the general public, "Bedtime Stories" is a delightful addition to Madonna's ever-evolving career.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars R&B Ecstasy..Madonna does it very well!, August 18, 2000
This review is from: Bedtime Stories (Audio CD)
By far the best Rhythm and Blues album a pop performer could do. Madonna keeps pushing that creative mind of hers into overdrive, this time with a funky mix of R&B, hip-hop, pop and even techno. She's really done it all when you hear this album. It's her artistic vision in many different shades. The album wanders interestingly into new territories that I'm sure Madonna never thought she would get into.
The album starts off with the autobiographical account of fame "Survival". It's a very strong track that's brilliantly upbeat dance with a funky twist. "Secret" is one of her best singles ever. A new direction altogether with blues laced guitars and her most captivating singing ever. She hooks you in with her voice. Smooth production of urban hooks combined with near trippy lightness make songs like "Inside Of Me", "Forbidden Love" and "Sanctuary" very interesting. Each has a distinctive style that keeps the record following. The return to the dance floor is found on the disco grooves of "Don't Stop". Also worth note are her complicated yet brilliant singles "Bedtime Story" and "Human Nature". "Bedtime Story" is a Bjork co-penned number that really floats lightly from deep techno to dance pop. Madonna's sensitive voice really makes it operate well. "Human Nature" is hip hoppy trip with Madonna battling the censors and critics armed with anger, honesty and cool jazzy production.
The whole album wraps up with the beautiful ballad "Take A Bow". With the help of Babyface, Madonna makes another heartbreaking ballad with lush strings and a great combination of the two superstar's vocals. That's something that just can't be bought. Another hugely diverse collection from the woman that changed the face of pop. I think it's easy to say that it was the help of the hip producers (Dallas Austin, Nelle Hooper, and the one's mentioned), but it's Madonna's artistic vision that makes the album flow so greatly while other pop albums with various producers sound clunky and mixed. It's a romantic mix of tragedy and hope all in one that manages to all fit together perfectly. Check out Madonna's best album if not second best after "Erotica".
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great, September 17, 2005
This review is from: Bedtime Stories (Audio CD)
I never was into Madonna.

This record surprised me.

It's fabulous in that smart sexual way.

And it's simply pretty too.

Not what I think of when I think of 'Madonna'
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars R&B Flavour, June 21, 2001
This review is from: Bedtime Stories (Audio CD)
After the controversial Erotica, Madonna returned two years later with her first (and only) venture into R&B. She does it very well too. Bounce along with the first track Survival, where Madonna laments on her career and how she's survived, or the thumping I'd Rather Be Your Lover. The album also contains two of her biggest hits from the 90's, the lush ballad Take A Bow, and the sing a long Secret. Madonna pays homage to her critics in Human Nature, which is one of her shining moments in her entire career. My favorite track is the Bjork written Bedtime Story, Madonna's very first venture into the realm of techno music, excellent track. The only filler I could find on this album was the song Don't Stop. Love Tried To Welcome Me and Sanctuary are some of Madonna's most underrated songs. This is a pleasant album to listen to, so give it a try!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Madonna Meets Cohesion, August 7, 2006
This review is from: Bedtime Stories (Audio CD)
After the "Erotica" album, Madonna clearly still wanted to express her artistry more. Her 1994 opus, "Bedtime Stories" made good on the flirtacious lie that was "Erotica". How so? Well "Erotica", while a decent transitional record, was what I just stated, transitional. Madonna seemed ready to want to make more "album" oriented records, but needed to find the right angle to do this. "Erotica" suffered from the self-smothering attitude that Shep Pettibone's production & Madonna's misdirected ambition brought.

Dallas Austin, Babyface, & Nelle Hooper help helm what still remains Madonna's most sensual, organic, & pleasing record pre-"Ray of Light" era. Here, we get eleven cuts, four of which were singles, each listenable & enjoyable.

The sound of this record grounds Madonna's pop sensibilities in a more "urban" or "R&B" setting. This isn't "R&B-lite", but it is pop with an edge. Madonna glides over buoyant beats & rolling melodies to deliver songs dealing with her familiar subject matter: love & life. Madonna's voice is strong here & pre-Evita actually showed the direction she would move in on subsequent projects vocally. "Secret" utilizes Madonna's range well, showing her move up & down vocally with no such problem.

Other highlights include the nitty gritty swing of "I'd Rather Be Your Lover" with Me'shell NDegeocello on bass & ad-libs. "Inside of Me" which is actually about her mother, but the lyric is so open it could be about a lover as well. The latter is beautifully orchestrated with a great backbeat, built around what sounds like Madonna's looped pant. Soft, fluttery horns add a touch of vulnerability to the slight hardness of the beat.

"Human Nature" harkens back to the harshness (attitude & song structure wise) of "Erotica". Normally, songs that find the singer in "victim" mode don't do it for me. But Madonna doesn't really play the part of victim, more commentator as she calls out the hypocritical pop culture press on their own flaws.

The latter half of the record ("Sanctuary" & the title track), barring the beautiful Canto-pop splendor of "Take A Bow", also point toward more of Madonna's latter musical evolution. Both find her playing with ambient & electronica sounds, with much success. Even the lyrical work here, languid & only clear upon further listens, seems to note her shift of consciousness toward "enlightenment".

To me, this was Madonna's first actual cohesive album. One that showed that she was still a singles artist, but able & greatly so of crafting albums that could stand the test of time. This tends to be forgotten between the controversially overrated "Erotica" & the sublime "Ray of Light". Lyrically, vocally, conceptually this record takes everything that she had toyed with prior, making it actually happen.

This album was the bridge between the two records, that showed Madonna only gets better with age. Check this out.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Powder Blue, May 31, 2006
By 
Jake "Angeljake" (St Paul, MN United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Bedtime Stories (Audio CD)
I bought this when it came out and it is one of my favorite Madonna albums. The cover says it all. Originally it came with a powder blue CD tray which matched the color of the CD. The songs here are intimate and remind me of something Madonna herself would play while putting on her make up and getting ready for the evening. I also bought all of the remix maxi-singles that came out with each single release and loved them all, especially take a bow, and the secret maxi single.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic, January 30, 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Bedtime Stories (Audio CD)
Erotica was so intense and thrilling (see my review) that Betime Stories following it seems like the aftermath with some chances to catch your breath.
"Survival" is a good opening and although some may be quick to regard it along with "I'd Rather Be Your Lover" as throw aways, they are fun and memorable enough to stand and should not be skipped. "Don't Stop" is the only track you might skip sometimes - not bad but a little too simple. Otherwise there is a wealth of wonder here. Although hip-hop so often sounds monotonous, Madonna takes hip-hop influence (the beats!) to songs like "Secret" and "Human Nature" and they wind up refreshingly addictive and make excellent singles. The attitude of "Human Nature" is awesome and makes you wanna reach for your Erotica CD again, but not so fast....there are a handful of sensuous and softer songs not to be missed. There's also "Sanctuary" and "Bedtime Story" which go places Madonna has never ventured before (and gave some indication of where she was headed on "Ray of Light"). These two songs hit deep in the soul. Madonna was obviously influenced by Bjork (the song "Bedtime Story" was even written by Bjork, the only song Madonna does not share writing credits for on the album). It all ends with the number one ballad "Take a Bow". Wonderful ending.
This album is not to be missed. It's an extremely rich set of songs that adds a tremendous amount to Madonna's already "legend" status.
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Bedtime Stories
Bedtime Stories by Madonna (Audio CD - 1994)
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