In , Madonna was as astronomically popular as a boundary-bulldozing, unapologetically bacchanalian performance artist could get. The tour showcasing it, Blond Ambition, mixed spectacle with social commentary so sharply that it reinvented the pop concert and yielded the smash documentary Truth or Dare. But for her vast audience, she was nothing less than liberating, and her uninterrupted string of hits defined pop for a decade. Nearly everything changed two years later with Erotica and Sex. It remains one of the most in-demand out-of-print publications of all time. Popular on Rolling Stone.
Madonna spent the s blowing up boundaries, but her most provocative album Erotica was released on this day 25 years ago. Erotica debuted at Number Two on the Billboard charts. It was her fifth album, the first on her own Maverick label, and the first since her debut to not to enter the charts at Number One. You think she might have purchased copies at Tower Records just to be on top.
25 Years Later, Madonna's 'Sex' Book Is Still Pop's Most Radical Moment
Erotica is the fifth studio album by American recording artist Madonna , released on October 20, by Maverick and Sire Records. The album was released simultaneously with Madonna's first book publication Sex , a coffee table book containing explicit photographs featuring the singer, and marked her first release under Maverick, her own multimedia entertainment company. Erotica is a concept album about sex and romance, incorporating her alter ego Mistress Dita, inspired by actress Dita Parlo. Some of its songs also take on a more confessional tone, influenced by the loss of Madonna's two close friends to AIDS. She began creating the album's demos with Pettibone in his apartment in October , and wrote the melodies and lyrics on top of the basic music which Pettibone produced in the style of his remixes.
Practically since her debut album in , the media have been lining up to have a shot at her. From Like a Virgin in to Like a Prayer in , Madonna was never too far away from criticism and detractors. Whilst many of her male peers were discussing sex in a very open and explicit way on records and at concerts, there seemed to be a very different set of rules when it came to female artists. Madonna, to be fair, was bolder than a lot of her peers, but she was hardly going out of her way to offend!