A remixed version of the track was also used as a video interlude on her Re-Invention World Tour in Critics and scholars noted that the song foreshadowed Madonna's move towards electronic music in her future work.
Madonna also wanted to explore British club music scene, where genres such as dub had been growing in popularity. She decided to work with several European producers and composers from the electronic scene, including Nellee Hooper , who pleased Madonna due to his "very European sensibility". The singer clarified, "When I was offered to write a song for [Madonna], I couldn't really picture me doing a song that would suit her But on second thought, I decided to do this to write the things I have always wanted to hear her say that she's never said.
Once the song demo had been finished, De Vries and Hooper rearranged the track and the final version was called "Bedtime Story". The song was eventually released as the third single from the parent album, Bedtime Stories , on February 13, The ending of the track has a pulsating beat and a mix of the lead synth, with Madonna's voice whimpering and uttering "Ha-ha-aahs".
It ends abruptly saying "And all that you've ever learned, try to forget, I'll never explain again" making the listener believe that it was all the part of a dream. According to Victor Amaro Vicente in his book The aesthetics of motion in musics for the Mevlana Celal ed-Din Rumi , the song's music bears many resemblances to new age -era music and different forms of Sufi music. Rikky Rooksby, author of The Complete Guide to the Music of Madonna , noted that the lyrics of "Bedtime Story" are an hymn to the joys of unconsciousness and a rejection of the supposed constraints of reason and language, hence the line "Words are useless, especially sentences, They don't stand for anything, How could they explain how I feel?
Vicente noted that postmodernism and new age themes are prevalent within the lyrics, especially with regards to their incapability of articulating the concept of the truth, as well as the song's theme of meditation and relax.
Islamic mystic and sexual themes have also been noted within the song's lyrics. The lyrics allude to concepts of movement which are "central" to Sufi philosophy: "It indicates achieving fana through sema getting 'lost' and 'leaving logic and reason to the arms of unconsciousness' ".
Stephen Thomas Erlewine of AllMusic , in a review for the parent album, wrote that "Bedtime Story" was among the "best songs on the album" and that it "slowly works [its] melodies into the subconscious as the bass pulses". He finished his review praising its "ingratiating" hook and "it is an affecting plea for unconscious bliss and escape, voiced with underplayed angst and resolve". O'Brien wrote that "'Bedtime Story' was a vivid track that foreshadowed Madonna's move towards electronica ".
Gracie commended the influence of UK dance music and Madonna's provocative vocals, finding the song to be a direct inspiration for singer Britney Spears ' "Breathe on Me", from her fourth studio album In the Zone Matthew Rettenmund wrote in his Encyclopedia Madonnica that the song was a "total curveball" because of its inclusion on the album.
He also believed that releasing it as a follow-up single to the commercially successful "Take a Bow" diminished its potential. She would have achieved a consecutive string of 33 top 40 hits, starting from her single " Holiday " Fred Bronson from Billboard explained that the song's loss of radio airplay and sales prevented it from peaking within the US top It left the top 20 two weeks later, eventually spending nine weeks on the charts.
It peaked at number 38 in Belgium for one week only. It fell out of the top ten in the fifth week, and eventually exited the charts after a total run of nine weeks, falling to 44 on its last week in the charts. He met with Romanek the next day, who played "Bedtime Story" for Shaffer and also showed him some photographs of Madonna, which were supposed to be used as the album cover.
The surrealism inspired images portrayed a mystical looking Madonna, with white hair billowing behind her. Romanek wanted to have the music video capture the same look. Madonna called from Florida and together with Romanek they described to Shaffer every aspect of the video, including budget and their concepts. For the next few days, Shaffer sketched the storyboards and faxed them to Romanek for review. About 20 days later, Shaffer dropped the final sketches at Propaganda Films , who were producing the video.
Production started from December 5, , at Universal Studios. He also observed that many of his storyboard ideas had evolved, but they retained the core concepts. The preliminary shots used a Madonna body double and the singer arrived afterwards, proceeding with the shots in a water tank. Filming stopped for few hours when a minor earthquake shook the film studio. One shot involving Madonna lying in the lap of a skeleton had to be postponed since the skeleton was too small for the singer, and had to be rebuilt from scratch.
The last scene filmed was the one involving the laboratory where Madonna was shown sleeping in a futuristic dress. It was the most expensive video at the time of its release, alongside the clip for her single " Express Yourself " Due to the vast number of digital effects required for the video, post-production lasted for weeks.
My "Bedtime Story" video was completely inspired by all the female surrealist painters like Leonora Carrington and Remedios Varo. There's that one shot where my hands are up in the air and stars are spinning around me. In order to promote the video, Madonna did a special known as Madonna's Pajama Party on March 18, However, Konowitch and his team were aware that such an event could not be organized for every release because it would cause problems with investments.
Odeon VP Freeman Fisher explained that since it was a slow theatrical season, allowing the video's release enabled them to sell more tickets, "for four minutes the audience sees astounding cinematic images in a first class feature-like production. The best songs on the album "Secret," "Inside of Me," "Sanctuary," "Bedtime Story," "Take a Bow" slowly work their melodies into the subconscious as the bass pulses. In that sense, it does offer an antidote to Erotica , which was filled with deep but cold grooves.
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