After the Blond Ambition Tour, and her greatest hits album “The Immaculate Collection”, Madonna shifted her interests into making movies and put her musical career on hold for a while. However in late 1991 she reunited with Shep Pettibone and new collaborator André Betts to start work on her 5th studio album. The recording sessions would take place for the first three quartes of 1992 and by October she was ready to unveil her new piece of work. “Erotica” may be one her most ambitious projects, not only was she releasing a full studio album, but a coffee table book called “Sex” and a few months later, the highly erotic thriller “Body of evidence”.  

Musically the album displays elements from disco music, house and techno mixed with jazz and sleaze, the songs talk about mostly about romance, breakups and provocative sexual situations, but it’s also filled with yearning, longing and pain, Madonna sings very emotional autobiographical lyrics. The visual imagery of the album clearly pays homage to Andy Warhol.

The reactions to the album were mostly positive, despite the huge controversy surrounding the Sex book. However many critics stated that Madonna in Erotica sounded robotic, calculated and artificial, some even calling it the end for Madonna, the she had gone too far and when the album did not meet with expectations sales wise this sentiment on the media went even further.

Erotica made its debut at number 2, selling 167,000 copies on the first week, falling short of number one by just 4,000 copies, and becoming her third album in a row to hit the runner up position. While the album was considered successful earning a double platinum certification by the R.I.A.A., and selling over 5 million copies worldwide, for Madonna’s standard it was viewed as a failure and for most of 1993 she would experience a huge backlash in the USA. While she would recover eventually (as she always does), “Erotica” is nowadays viewed as a shrewd, intelligent album, a testimony for her ever changing musical growth and one of the most talked about moments in pop culture. 

Worldwide positions & Sales

Australia: #1 (3xPlatinum)
Austria: #10 (Gold)
Canada: #1 (2xPlatinum)
Germany: #5 (Gold)
Hungary: #15
Italy: #2
Japan: #5
Norway: #11
Netherlands: #8 (Gold)
New Zealand: #5
Spain: #5 (3xPlatinum)
Sweden: #6
Switzerland: #5 (Gold)
UK: #2 (2xPlatinum)
USA: #2 (2xPlatinum)

Producers: Madonna/Shep Pettibone/André Betts

1. EROTICA (Madonna/Shep Pettibone/Anthony Shimkin)
2. FEVER (Eddie Cooley, John Davenport)
3. BYE BYE BABY (Madonna/Shep Pettibone)
4. DEEPER AND DEEPER (Madonna/Shep Pettibone)
5. WHERE LIFE BEGINS (Madonna/André Betts)
6. BAD GIRL (Madonna/Shep Pettibone)
7. WAITING (Madonna/André Betts)
8. THIEF OF HEARTS (Madonna/Shep Pettibone)
9. WORDS (Madonna/Shep Pettibone)
10. RAIN (Madonna/Shep Pettibone)
11. WHY’S IT SO HARD (Madonna/Shep Pettibone)
12. IN THIS LIFE (Madonna/Shep Pettibone)
13. DID YOU DO IT? (Madonna/André Betts)
14. SECRET GARDEN (Madonna/André Betts)

US Chart Run


Release date: October 20, 1992
Debut date: November 7, 1992
Debut position: #2
Peak position: #2 (1 week)
Final week on chart: November 6, 1993
Number of weeks on Billboard 200 Albums: 53 weeks
Soundscan Debut: 167,000
Soundscan sales: 1,890,000 (08/14/2009)
Certified 2xPlatinum by the RIAA

Chart run in 1992: 2-4-9-10-16-17-21-25 (8 weeks)
Chart run in 1993: 38-37-28-34-27-27-36-45-58-58-61-65-70-76-83-103-117-122-134-156-170-170-160-148-140-163-185-184-177-175-152-148-144-140-128-123-123-117-123-132-156-165-171-172-190-off (45 weeks/53 weeks total)


Debut date: October 24, 1992
Debut position: #2
Peak position: #2 (2 weeks)
Number of weeks in the Official UK Albums Chart: 38 weeks

Chart run in 1992: 2-2-2-7-8-11-13-12-15-15 (10 weeks)
Chart run in 1993: 15-14-17-27-40-45-58-58-73-71-49-49-63-60-52-59-59-74 (18 weeks/28 weeks total)
Re-entry 07/31/1993: 71-34-30-28-34-42-49-61-off-63-47-off (10 weeks/38 weeks total)
  1. #1 by Hamlet on July 30, 2012 - 2:15 am

    I love this record. Can’t stop listening to “Where live begins”. Only Madonna could get away with doing such a song thats why I adore this woman.

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  • Learn more about each Madonna album, single, release dates, peaks and chart runs

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