Bedtime Stories is the sixth studio album by American singer-songwriter Madonna, released on October 25, 1994 by Maverick Records. Madonna collaborated with Dallas Austin, Babyface, Dave "Jam" Hall and Nellee Hooper, deciding to move into a more R&B direction. Madonna tried to soften her image after releasing several sexually explicit works earlier in the decade.
The album was inspired by contemporary R&B and new jack swing, developing a generally more mainstream, radio-friendly sound. Like its predecessor Erotica (1992), Bedtime Stories explores lyrical themes of love, sorrow, and romance, but with a toned-down, less sexual approach. Critics described the album as "autobiographical". The album's final single "Human Nature" addresses the controversy surrounding Erotica, while "Bedtime Story" was written by Icelandic singer-songwriter Björk. Bedtime Stories received generally favorable reviews from music critics, who praised the album's candid lyrics and production.
Commercially, the album proved to be successful. Debuting and peaking at number three on the Billboard 200, the album was certified triple-platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America. It peaked in the top five in most territories, topping the charts in Australia. Four singles were released from the album. The lead single, "Secret", gave Madonna her record-breaking 34th consecutive top ten single in the United Kingdom, while "Take a Bow" spent seven weeks at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 (the longest run for any of Madonna's chart-toppers). Other singles released were "Bedtime Story" and "Human Nature". The album was not accompanied by a tour.
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