Original Release Date
Oct. 24, 1994
March 1996 on cassette
What is the memory you most associate with this title?
Spring break 1996. A number of college friends and I traveled to Moloka`i for the weekend. Having lived most of my life up till that point in highly urbanized Honolulu, I never imagined a place where every destination could be described in the singular — not a grocery store but the grocery store.
We rented a pair of cars, and I couldn’t abide by the radio. So we went to the record store, where I picked cassette tapes of Sade’s Diamond Life and Madonna’s Bedtime Stories. I liked Bedtime Stories enough to get it on CD when we got back to Honolulu.
What was happening in your life when it was released?
A year had passed since I returned from a college exchange program in New York City, and I could feel my focus slowly changing from music to journalism.
I was contributing more to the college newspaper, and I felt the music program was changing in a way I didn’t like. A beloved composition teacher had retired, and one of his replacements hadn’t yet developed the skill of letting students find their own voice, even if they were floundering. It was such an encounter that steered me away from composition a number of years after I graduated from college.
What was happening in your life when you bought it?
I was features editor of the college newspaper, which made me realize I was too dictatorial for management. I’ve avoided taking on leadership positions in my career since then.
On this trip, I smoked marijuana for the first time. I also had my first same-sex kiss — with a straight guy. With his girlfriend supervising. It was a good trip.
What do you think of it now?
Bedtime Stories is definitely one of the albums you should own if you’re a very casual Madonna listener.
She faltered a bit with Erotica, between a disastrous appearance on David Letterman and a controversial photo book that seems to have been forgotten. One of the photos from Sex popped up as an Internet meme, misattributing a naked Madonna as Marilyn Monroe.
Madonna recalibrated with Bedtime Stories, focusing more on a smoother R&B sound and even enlisting Björk to contribute the title track.