Erotica is the fifth studio album by American singer Madonna, released on October 20, 1992, by Maverick and Sire Records. The album was released simultaneously with Madonna's first book publication Sex, a coffee table book containing explicit photographs featuring the singer, and marked her first release under Maverick, her own multimedia entertainment company. Erotica is a concept album about sex and romance, incorporating her alter ego Mistress Dita, inspired by actress Dita Parlo. Some of its songs also take on a more confessional tone, influenced by the loss of two of Madonna's close friends to AIDS.
Madonna recorded the album in New York City with Shep Pettibone and André Betts while she was working on film projects and the Sex book. She began creating the album's demos with Pettibone in his apartment on October 1991, and wrote the melodies and lyrics on top of the basic music which Pettibone produced in the style of his remixes. During the sessions, they had problems during sequencing, and, as a result, Pettibone kept trying to move development as fast as possible as he did not want Madonna to lose interest in the music. According to him, Madonna's compositions were serious and intense, directing the creative direction of the songs into a deeply personal territory.
Erotica received generally favorable reviews from music critics, who regarded it as one of Madonna's most adventurous albums, and praised her comments on taboos and AIDS. Commercially, Erotica was less successful than Madonna's previous albums, peaking at number two on the US Billboard 200, becoming her first studio album not to top the chart since her 1983 debut. Internationally, it topped the charts in Australia, Finland and France, and peaked within the top-five of several other countries such as Canada, Germany, Japan, New Zealand and the United Kingdom. Erotica was later certified 2x Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), and has sold more than six million copies worldwide.
Madonna - Erotica
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