Personnel: Madonna (vocals); Paul Pesco, Jerome Dickens (guitar); Danny Wilensky (saxophone); James "Sleepy Keys" Preston (piano); Joe Moskowitz (keyboards, drums, programming); Shep Pettibone (keyboards, sequencing, programming); Tony Shimkin (keyboards, sequencing, programming, drum programming, background vocals); Andre Betts (keyboards, strings, synthesizer, piano, bass, drums); Doug Wimbish (bass); Anton Fig (drums); Sander Selover (programming); Donna Delory, Niki Harris (background vocals).
Producers: Madonna, Shep Pettibone, Andre Betts.
Recorded at Mastermix and Sound Works, New York, New York.
Personnel: Madonna (vocals); Jerome Dickens, Paul Pesco (guitar); Andre Betts (strings, piano, keyboards, synthesizer, string synthesizer, drums, programming, drum programming); Dan Wilensky (saxophone); James Preston (piano, keyboards, string synthesizer); Jimmy Preston (piano); Joey Moskowitz (keyboards, drums, programming); Tony Shimkin (keyboards, programming, drum programming, background vocals); Shep Pettibone (keyboards, programming); Doug Wimbish (bass guitar); Anton Fig (drums); Sander Selover (programming); Donna De Lory, Nikki Harris (background vocals).
Audio Mixers: George Karras; Goh Hotoda.
Recording information: Clinton Recording, New York, NY; MasterMix; Mastermix, New York, NY; Sound Works, New York, NY.
Photographer: Steven Meisel.
Unknown Contributor Role: New York Philharmonic.
Arranger: Jeremy Lubbock.
Madonna released EROTICA around the same time she released her SEX book, and that's exactly what it sounds like. The title song has a sensuously static groove over which she commands, "Put your hands all over my body." "Where Life Begins" demands that you do something a whole lot more intimate (and quite unrepeatable here) to her. The CD booklet has a photo of Madonna in bondage. To get across the album's naughty feel, Madonna dispensed with the pop prettiness of LIKE A PRAYER and returned to her hard-core dance club roots.
She and co-producer Shep Pettibone, who had made his name as a club DJ and dance remixer, craft some alluring bad-girl grooves (catch the ocean-deep bass on "Waiting") while still managing to keep things catchy. "Deeper And Deeper" is celebratory dance-pop (with a brief Latin break that nods to the music's true roots) and "Rain" stands among Madonna's major ballads. There's a strange heaviness amidst the fun, games and bondage on EROTICA, which "In This Life" goes a long way toward explaining: it's about AIDS and homophobia. At her naughtiest and most R-rated, Madonna still carries a message, and it resonates well beyond the dance floor.
Rolling Stone (11/26/92, p.70) - 4 Stars - Excellent - "...EROTICA is everything Madonna has been denounced for being--meticulous, calculated, domineering and artificial. It accepts those charges and answers with a brilliant record to prove them..."
Spin (1/93, p.62) - Recommended - "...largely poignant, reflective, and compassionate in tone..."
Q (12/92, p.121) - 3 Stars - Good - "...the substance of EROTICA resides in a range of straight-talking, almost intimate songs based, not on an idea about sex, but on experience of relationships..."
Musician (1/93, p.90) - "...ranges from the snazzy, deep house groove of `Deeper And Deeper' to the luscious, slow-tickling pulse of `Rain'..."
Village Voice (3/2/93, p.5) - Ranked #22 in the Village Voice's list of the 40 Best Albums Of 1992.