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2012 Reissue wish list / Day 6 / Madonna: Erotica

Madonna / Erotica / Super Deluxe EditionApart from her three greatest hits, Madonna has not shown much interest in repackaging and expanding her back catalogue.

Her first three records were remastered and reissued back in 2001, but it was a rather haphazard affair, with a simple 1CD re-release with two or three remixes bolted on to the albums proper. Some bizarre decisions were made, such as not even including Into The Groove as a bonus track on Like A Virgin when many European fans knew it as part of the album (it became track six on the 1985 reissue for most of the world).

Madonna had always used controversy and shock tactics to help promote her image and her records, but in 1992 Madonna took this to a new level. She appealed to the baser instincts of her fanbase. She released (through Warner Books) a luxuriously packaged coffee table book called… Sex. Basically soft-core porn, but with Madonna as the star of the show and a few other people you might know (Isabella Rossellini, Naomi Campbell).

The message was something along the lines that sex is naughty, sex is fun, sex is bad, sex is good, sex is pleasure, sex is pain and that we should all explore the bounds of our own sexuality. The idea was that the book would be released at the same time as Madonna’s new album, Erotica.

The book itself was massively successful, selling out the 1.5m print run in a matter of days, but such was the publicity and ‘outrage’ around the book and Madonna’s antics at this time, that the album got somewhat overshadowed.

The initial excitement of seeing a big star sans clothes (sex tapes hadn’t been invented, yet) wore off surprisingly quickly, and images of ‘Madge’ larking about in the buff with Vanilla Ice became rather dull and slightly ridiculous.

Not unlike a one-night-stand, the promise and excitement of the build-up didn’t really deliver, and you woke up in the morning, wishing you were somewhere else.

Anyway, once you put aside the toe-sucking picture discs (Erotica 12inch withdrawn from the UK market) and pictures of Madonna in the ‘naughty, naked, nude’ you might actually get around to playing the Erotica album, which is really rather good.

Madonna worked primarily with ’80s remix legend Shep Pettibone on this record. He co-wrote and produced much of it, resulting in some very intelligent, sophisticated pop, such as Bad Girl, Rain and Why It’s So Hard. The ‘rude’ songs like Where Life Begins, Erotica and Deeper and Deeper are also great, and if truth be told, you are not at much risk of being ‘turned on’ while listening to this album. Neither are you likely to be ‘outraged’ and end up slinging it across the room in anger.

The album is ripe for re-evaluation in it’s 20th anniversary year, and given the multi-media nature of the output back in 1992, there is only one format that would bring everything together nicely – the Super Deluxe Edition.

Many Super Deluxe Editions have quality books at the heart of their offering (The Who: Quadrophenia, Paul McCartney & Wings: Band on the Run, to name but two) so it would make sense for an Erotica Super Deluxe Edition to include a reprinted version of the Sex book as per the original specification.

Most of the six singles from the album had many remixes (Erotica alone had at least 14 different versions) so it would be absurd to attempt to cram the best of these onto one or two CDs. So in a bold move, the approach for this Super Deluxe Edition would be to allocate a CD for each single that would contain all the remixes/edits of the song, and any non-album tracks (e.g. Up Down Suite from Rain).

A further CD would cover “The Rain Tapes” a collection of demos that are known to exist, some of which were leaked in 2007.

A DVD/Blu-ray would gather together all the videos and Erotica-related super 8 footage. Furthermore The Girlie Show on DVD/Blu-ray would be included with this box set.

So the Erotica Super Deluxe Edition would be a stunning ten-disc set. Excessive? Maybe, but the recent U2 Achtung Baby Super Deluxe Edition was 10 discs with a book, and that retailed at around £75.

The Sex book may be one controversial chapter, in a career full of controversy, that Madonna wishes to keep firmly shut. However, I think if this super deluxe edition was a limited numbered box set and released in October 2012, there would be massive demand from collectors and Madonna fans alike.

ALBUM: Erotica by Madonna
ANNIVERSARY: 20th
WHY REISSUE?: Sex book out of print, massive amount of remixes to gather in one place.

Tomorrow> Day 7> Prince: Sign ‘O’ The Times 

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14 responses to 2012 Reissue wish list / Day 6 / Madonna: Erotica

  1. Pingback:2012 Reissue wish list / Day 5 / Fleetwood Mac: Tango In The Night | superdeluxeedition

  2. Nice to see this underrated album receive appreciation – it’s a shame the stupid book overshadowed it. Secret Garden is one of the great “unknown” Madonna songs.

    Personally, I’d be more interested in a selection of the best of the remixes – the thought of sitting through hours of generic Shep Pettibone stuff is too much to bear.

    And you’re right about Into the Groove – it was absolute insanity to leave it off Like A Virgin.

    • Paul Sinclair says:

      Hi Bruno…. Maybe they could do an “Uber” Deluxe with all the remixes and cut it down for a Super Deluxe or 3-disc CD set…?

      What on earth were they thinking with Into The Groove? Like A Virgin was never the kind of record that a pop song like ‘Into The Groove’ would ‘spoil’, arguably it was the best thing on the album once they added it in 1985. That decision could only have come from Madonna herself, surely. She must now dislike that record for some reason, or at least disliked it back in 2001 when the remasters came out…

      • Dan says:

        She released a new version of Into the Groove with Missy Elliott for the GAP advert in 2003 and performed it on the Reinvention tour so she must like it. I just think Warner threw those 3 remasters together without any given thought. And why did they stop at True Blue? LAP needs remastering desperately!

  3. Steve Marine says:

    I’d be happy with a special deluxe remastered edition of ANY Madonna album, particularly “Like a Prayer.”

  4. Julie Skaggs says:

    Although I much prefer Ray Of Light in regards to her discography, I agree that such a package as you have envisioned would be a best-seller for both fans and the puriently curious.

  5. The post is a great point, Paul! Now that the lady has left Warner Bros., they could, and should, think of such an undertaking, eventually. I wanted to point out quickly that Warner is not very keen on releasing any renewals, but then again I must admit, for example, the R.E.M. 5.1 mixes album series was quite a nice surprise to me once. So there is hope.
    “Erotica” was the lady’s fifth album, and I think the record company would rather throw at least some new editions, one by one, beginning with the first album. Maybe beginning this year actually, as first new album outside Warner comes out – and those folks should also be conscious of the slow demise of physical carriers. Perhaps they came up with a plan to do multiple titles in phases, like Queen catalogue last year.
    I guess 1983’s “Madonna” and 1984’s “Like a Virgin” would still be single disc editions because there is doubtedly any additional material produced to fill an extra disc (plus, I think, in the end, a pop icon of such a format would never officially want people hear her demos and different takes of her early hits). But with 1986’s “True Blue” the waterfall of remixes begins…
    Nevertheless, a giant box with “Erotica” alone which you describe here would be a huge thing. And finally, I would add yet another disc to it, with the album’s instrumental versions which I’m hunting for, for years now.

  6. Pingback:Prince and Madonna / Original Album Series box sets due soon | superdeluxeedition

  7. probablyrustin says:

    I have so far resisted buying any of the recent wave of “super deluxe” albums as they’re mostly beyond my price range compared to how much I like each album/band, but for something like this… I’d save up! “Erotica” is SO under-appreciated and a reissue could be something truly spectacular, especially with the now-scarce Sex book.

    some things to add on:
    – the footage from the ultra-rare Sex promo video (from which the “Erotica” video was drawn)
    – the demo version of “Erotica” (simply titled “Erotic”) that was included on a 1-track disc with the Sex book

    I for one am hoping Warner realizes the potential of her back catalog and starts rolling out some reissues at some point. the 2001 editions are a joke, and I somehow think Madonna was barely involved in putting them out – they just reek of a record company putting out the bare minimum and her giving it a cursory OK at most.

  8. notfornothing says:

    I was obsessed with Erotica as a kid and have almost every official remix that came off that album. I winnowed them down to the following tracks as a sort of Erotica 2.0 and they go together quite well (I listen to it all the time). Also hunted down some unique cover art.

    1. Erotica (William Orbit 12″) 6:12
    2. Fever (Edit One) 4:05
    3. Goodbye to Innocence 4:53
    4. Bye Bye Baby (NY Hip Hop Mix) 3:50
    5. Deeper and Deeper (David’s Klub Mix) 7:39
    6. Where Life Begins 5:57
    7. Bad Girl (Extended Mix) 6:26
    8. Waiting (Remix) 4:40
    9. Rain (Radio Remix) 4:35
    10. This Used To Be My Playground (Movie Version) 6:56
    11. Secret Garden (Demo) 3:45

    Nixed ‘Words’ and ‘Thief of Hearts’ because they’re not terribly good. Also nixed ‘Why’s It So Hard’ and ‘In This Life’ because they haven’t aged well, substituted ‘Playground’ because it was part of the Erotica sessions and I always felt like it should’ve been included.

    • Brett G says:

      Yea Im dying to get the instrumental version of Rain.. Does anyone know if there is one?.. Cause ive searched the net for years!

  9. Saiful says:

    I also dreamed about this to be realised!!

    I hope that Warner would commisioned this proposal and may I add to the list:

    I’d like the unreleased Daniel Abrahams Remix of Bye Bye Baby, which Madonna used for her Girlie Show, to be included in this mega set!

    Yes guys, this remix does exist!

  10. Erotica = my favorite Madonna album of all time (2nd fav = I’m Breathless, followed by Like A Prayer) so this Super Deluxe Edition would be a dream come true! I’d put the chances of it actually happening as slightly higher than me winning the lottery unfortunately.

  11. eroticolivier says:

    erotica 2.0

    1) erotica (radio edit)
    2) fever (album edit)
    3) deeper and deeper (7″edit)
    4) bad girl (edit)
    5) rain (album version)
    6) this used to be my playground (movie version)
    7) goodbye to innocence
    8) shame
    9) dear father
    10) you are the one
    11) jitterbug

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