If you grew up in the 80s and 90s, you probably loved Madonna – and it didn’t matter if you were a girl or guy. She was astounding in a million and twelve ways. It isn’t until the last few years that I really began looking at the amazing impact she had on our generation.
Here is a great article about the Bedtime Stories Album that is celebrating its 20th Anniversary. I thought this article was worth sharing because it takes a look at the impact this particular album had and why it is one of her most important.
For as long as Madonna has made music, she has endured relentless criticism for her sexuality. She’s been perhaps the most consistent target in the music industry, drawing critiques for more than three decades, and reviews of her work have served as a roadmap for how we scrutinize women at each stage in their music career. Whether it was public speculation on why she isn’t “like a virgin” or it was chastising her middle-aged body in a leotard, the shaming has had many iterations despite its one unwavering resolution: She goes too far.
That’s why her album Bedtime Stories, even as it celebrates its 20th anniversary, is still her most important work. For months leading up to its release, it was marketed as an apology for her sexual behavior, and critics hoped it would be her return to innocence. Instead, she offered a lyrical #sorrynotsorry and a response to the problem of female musicians being scrutinized for their sexuality rather than their music. As a result of the public’s moral concerns, it has become Madonna’s most quietly important album, setting the tone for how artists deal with critiques of their sex life.