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Madonna's 1995 Singles


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This has long been one of my favorite things to ponder.

In 1995, every single song Madonna had released for twelve years was a top 40 hit in the USA. Hell, with the exception of Bad Girl (#justiceforBadGirl), they were all top 20 hits, and Rain was basically a top ten (actually it was on some charts). She had just enjoyed three of her biggest hits in a row, I'll Remember, Secret, and Take A Bow.

She then gave us two of her most creative videos ever, Bedtime Story and Human Nature.

I've often wondered what she thought when she was filming/promoting Bedtime Story. Did she think: "I've had radio hits for more than a decade, and now I'm going to release what I want no matter how uncommercial." Or did she think: "Radio is loving me, of course they will play this experimental dance track."

In this day and age, we can all speculate that if Madonna released Nothing Fails as first single from AL, it would have smashed, and half the time we're just having fun speculating. But I think it's safe to say that in 1995, had she released Don't Stop and Forbidden Love, she would have had two more top 10 hits in America.

As always in her career, I'm happy things went the way they did. We got two amazing videos, followed by her return to the top 10 with the exquisite You'll See, amazing performance in Evita, and then the fucking fantastic second half of her music career.

But I always wonder, did she think Bedtime Story and Human Nature would be top 40 hits in the States? Or did she think "fuck it, these are the statements I want to make now."

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This has long been one of my favorite things to ponder. Bear with me, as we all know I'm wordy.

In 1995, every single song Madonna had released for twelve years was a top 40 hit. Hell, with the exception of Bad Girl (#justiceforBadGirl), they were all top 20 hits, and Rain was basically a top ten (actually it was on some charts). She had just enjoyed three of her biggest hits in a row, I'll Remember, Secret, and Take A Bow.

She then gave us two of her most creative videos ever, Bedtime Story and Human Nature.

I've often wondered what she thought when she was filming/promoting Bedtime Story. Did she think: "I've had radio hits for more than a decade, and now I'm going to release what I want no matter how uncommercial." Or did she think: "Radio is loving me, of course they will play this experimental dance track."

In this day and age, we can all speculate that if Madonna released Nothing Fails as first single from AL, it would have smashed, and half the time we're just having fun speculating. But I think it's safe to say that in 1995, had she released Don't Stop and Forbidden Love, she would have had two more top 10 hits.

As always in her career, I'm happy things went the way they did. We got two amazing videos, followed by her return to the top 10 with the exquisite You'll See, amazing performance in Evita, and then the fucking fantastic second half of her music career.

But I always wonder, did she think Bedtime Story and Human Nature would be top 40 hits? Or did she think "fuck it, these are the statements I want to make now."

Depends where you are. They were both top ten in the UK!!!

When she was writing Erotica, she said to Shep 'Not every song can be a Vogue' which I think shows a very open and intelligent attitude to her own music.

Both Bjork and RnB were big at the time and they both heavily influenced BS and HN respectively so it was reasonable to expect a hit although the under performance of Erotica and some of its singles would mean she's aware that she's not guaranteed a top ten.

However, when Oh Father failed to go top ten, she did have a go at David Fincher so clearly, around this period, she was definitely conscious of the charts.

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Depends where you are. They were both top ten in the UK!!!

When she was writing Erotica, she said to Shep 'Not every song can be a Vogue' which I think shows a very open and intelligent attitude to her own music.

Both Bjork and RnB were big at the time and they both heavily influenced BS and HN respectively so it was reasonable to expect a hit although the under performance of Erotica and some of its singles would mean she's aware that she's not guaranteed a top ten.

However, when Oh Father failed to go top ten, she did have a go at David Fincher so clearly, around this period, she was definitely conscious of the charts.

Thank you! I edited my post to specify US charts.

What is this about having a go at Fincher?

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However, when Oh Father failed to go top ten, she did have a go at David Fincher so clearly, around this period, she was definitely conscious of the charts.

I always heard of this story but do you think Madonna was being dead serious or do you think she was being tongue in cheek sarcastic about Oh Father breaking her top 10 streak and making him feel guilty about it?

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I remember reading in a spanish newsaper that they were worried, in her camp, because her latest singles have been flopping (BS and HN) and that that was the reason to release YS with a safe proucer...you have to love some journalists!

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I remember reading in a spanish newsaper that they were worried, in her camp, because her latest singles have been flopping (BS and HN) and that that was the reason to release YS with a safe proucer...you have to love some journalists!

Yet aside from You'll See none of her singles from Something to Remember had much if any airplay at all. I wasn't too turned into the charts around this time but I do recall this Madonna period and her absence from radio kind of weird. But its also amazing with the lack of radio play that the album was so huge, which again like I said before is a testament to how much people love her ballads just as much as her dance songs.

It wasn't until Ray of Light up until MUSIC and Die Another Day when radio jumped back on the Madonna train. Ever since then its been some radio hits, and a lot of misses.

Okay...Two radio hits after Die Another Day...Hung Up, and 4 Minutes, with the rest being misses. :lol: I am sorry but I know GMAYL was a top 10 but any traction it had at radio was nothing but a payola deal.

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You should look at Nightshades timeline. There were plans for the bedtime story video very early on, I think during the release of Secret. I think it was always M's intention to release BS as a single with a big video.

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With all the success Madonna had up until that point I think she deserved the right to say FUCK RADIO PLAY!!!! And simply release a left of center single with a kickass video that she knows wont appeal to soccer moms and tween girls.

Another reason why I am still OUTRAGED that Gang Bang was never released as a single!

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She had a go at David Fincher? What she say?

I remember reading that David said something along the lines of "After Oh Father flopped Madonna came to me and said 'because this flopped you have to make Vogue now!'"

something along those lines I'm pretty sure!

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Strongly feel it was almost obvious at the time that BS and HN would not perform well on US charts, but there were no surprises about the singles being hits in the more progressive European market.

There were potentially safer single choices from BS, but I'm happy about the artistic risks she took. :yes:

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I remember reading in a spanish newsaper that they were worried, in her camp, because her latest singles have been flopping (BS and HN) and that that was the reason to release YS with a safe proucer...you have to love some journalists!

Spanish newspapers said she wouldn't do a bigger tour after Drowned World because 'she was getting old' :1251:

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I always heard of this story but do you think Madonna was being dead serious or do you think she was being tongue in cheek sarcastic about Oh Father breaking her top 10 streak and making him feel guilty about it?

I remember reading that she was pissed off about him convincing her to make the video and no one ended getting to view it on MTV because the song flopped. I think her annoyance was rooted in the fact that they had wasted such a good music video rather than directly because of charts.
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I remember reading that she was pissed off about him convincing her to make the video and no one ended getting to view it on MTV because the song flopped. I think her annoyance was rooted in the fact that they had wasted such a good music video rather than directly because of charts.

Well her hardcore fans at least appreciate it for being an amazing song and video.

I think artists should take risks like that every once in awhile though with choices that aren't "commercial". It makes for a much more diverse and varied collection of songs and videos.

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Guest bluejean

It made NO sense to release Bedtime Story. After the success of Take a Bow it would have made way more sense to keep the rnb vibe going and release Don't Stop, Survival or even Forbidden Love.

But THANK FUCK she didn't do that because the song, the video and the remixes of Bedtime Story are all incredible. It's one of her best singles of the 90's basically and who gives a fuck about charts. Some of her best singles ever were flops.

Nothing Really Matters
The Power of Goodbye

Oh Father

Bad Girl

Bedtime Story

Human Nature

Get Together

Give It 2 Me

Nothing Fails

Etc etc etc

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1994 she had three big hits in a row "I'll Remember", "Secret" and "Take a Bow". "Bedtime Story" and "Human Nature" were definitely not safe choices for singles because they didn't have the same appeal to radio listeners, in my opinion. The songs had incredible videos - probably two that rank up there with her best - but not popular enough to push them into the Top 40.

Also, despite having enjoyed three big hits, the public was still cautious about Madonna following the Sex/Erotica era. They still liked her music but I don't think the public in general was on board with her more risk-taking singles choices. They still enjoyed her catchy songs and I'll Remember and Take a Bow definitely were catchy and radio-friendly; BS and HN weren't as radio-friendly.

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It made NO sense to release Bedtime Story. After the success of Take a Bow it would have made way more sense to keep the rnb vibe going and release Don't Stop, Survival or even Forbidden Love.

yes, and no. Yes, because with donĀ“t stop or forbidden love she would have had two top ten hits. But, she loved HN and BS, and I really think the message was important for her, even more important than having a hit.after all, she already had two from the album!

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I think Madonna had an extremely strong affinity with Bedtime Story from the start and always intended for it to become a single. She even wanted the following shot (which I love) as the album cover so it's clear that she was feeling very artsy at the time:

7baef8f3bb7d3936503455590ae90f5e.jpg

I'm very surprised at the lack of success Human Nature had on the US charts. I actually thought it had 'hit' written all over it especially with that video. Maybe the public didn't want to embrace her unapologetic attitude?

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Bedtime Story was indeed a strange choice. I'm thankful it was chosen as we wouldn't have had those breathtaking remixes or that amazing video. It also came to life on RIT.

I think Don't Stop or Survival would have been safe, radio friendly choices as singles.

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It made NO sense to release Bedtime Story. After the success of Take a Bow it would have made way more sense to keep the rnb vibe going and release Don't Stop, Survival or even Forbidden Love.

But THANK FUCK she didn't do that because the song, the video and the remixes of Bedtime Story are all incredible. It's one of her best singles of the 90's basically and who gives a fuck about charts. Some of her best singles ever were flops.

Nothing Really Matters

The Power of Goodbye

Oh Father

Bad Girl

Bedtime Story

Human Nature

Get Together

Give It 2 Me

Nothing Fails

Etc etc etc

+1

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You should look at Nightshades timeline. There were plans for the bedtime story video very early on, I think during the release of Secret. I think it was always M's intention to release BS as a single with a big video.

Yeah, Madge wanted "BS" to be the lead single. Looking back, going electronica with "ROL" isn't much of a surprise considering how hard she was pushing for "BS" through this era.

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It made NO sense to release Bedtime Story. After the success of Take a Bow it would have made way more sense to keep the rnb vibe going and release Don't Stop, Survival or even Forbidden Love.

But THANK FUCK she didn't do that because the song, the video and the remixes of Bedtime Story are all incredible. It's one of her best singles of the 90's basically and who gives a fuck about charts. Some of her best singles ever were flops.

Nothing Really Matters

The Power of Goodbye

Oh Father

Bad Girl

Bedtime Story

Human Nature

Get Together

Give It 2 Me

Nothing Fails

Etc etc etc

A couple of those were only flops in America though.

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Bedtime Story was a top 5 in Australia and on the charts for ages. I think from memory it actually debuted at no 5 and the video got a lot of AirPlay. We also got a poster with the single.

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Bedtime Story was a top 5 in Australia and on the charts for ages. I think from memory it actually debuted at no 5 and the video got a lot of AirPlay. We also got a poster with the single.

Wasn't it only heavily played on Triple J though?

Those Australian formats we got were indeed splendid but the gold disc and poster edition was only released because Take a Bow had just missed the top 10 and Warner Music USA had asked Warner Aus to up its game and undertake a heavy campaign for Bedtime Story. As a result, it debuted and peaked at number 5 on the ARIA charts.

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Agree GI2M was not a flop internationally, but it definitely pretty performed poorly in US! Assume Madonna's team expected a sizable hit in US, especially with Pharrell.

Like it was said so many times before, beat goes on would have had a better chance for impact with GP in the states.

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This has long been one of my favorite things to ponder.

In 1995, every single song Madonna had released for twelve years was a top 40 hit in the USA. Hell, with the exception of Bad Girl (#justiceforBadGirl), they were all top 20 hits, and Rain was basically a top ten (actually it was on some charts). She had just enjoyed three of her biggest hits in a row, I'll Remember, Secret, and Take A Bow.

She then gave us two of her most creative videos ever, Bedtime Story and Human Nature.

I've often wondered what she thought when she was filming/promoting Bedtime Story. Did she think: "I've had radio hits for more than a decade, and now I'm going to release what I want no matter how uncommercial." Or did she think: "Radio is loving me, of course they will play this experimental dance track."

In this day and age, we can all speculate that if Madonna released Nothing Fails as first single from AL, it would have smashed, and half the time we're just having fun speculating. But I think it's safe to say that in 1995, had she released Don't Stop and Forbidden Love, she would have had two more top 10 hits in America.

As always in her career, I'm happy things went the way they did. We got two amazing videos, followed by her return to the top 10 with the exquisite You'll See, amazing performance in Evita, and then the fucking fantastic second half of her music career.

But I always wonder, did she think Bedtime Story and Human Nature would be top 40 hits in the States? Or did she think "fuck it, these are the statements I want to make now."

My thoughts on this haven't changed much since 1995. I remember (at 16 years old) thinking that BS could be a hit, especially since she was coming off her longest running #1 in the U.S. ever. I think she felt confident after being back on top and decided to release a song she obviously loved and thought was cool (it was obvious to me that if Erotica hadn't "underperformed" she might have released an album entirely like BS, as she loved Nellee Hooper's work and Bjork's album).

Then it flopped.

And my thoughts on what happened next haven't changed much either. I've always thought "Forbidden Love" would have been the best/safe choice to follow-up TAB, or "Don't Stop," which was getting airplay in some smaller markets. But I think instead of playing it safe, she said "Fuck it" and went with "Human Nature" as a sort of "Fuck you" and to close the chapter on the Sex era.

We got two great singles (and videos) out of it, but I do think she could have scored one or two more bona fide hits from that album (and sold at least another million CDs) had she played it safe. Anyway, that's my take.

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I was at the BS video premiere in NY back in the day (yes I'm "old") and the fans there reacted very enthusiastically when we all saw the amazing video projected on the big screen for the the very first time. I remember thinking that the video really helped Madonna come across seeming even more edgy and alternative if that makes sense, but other tracks on the album could have been bigger hits for sure. BS was not a US hit because most Americans taste in music at the time sucked and was not progressive.

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