The pop icon’s 1994 opus “Bedtime Stories” has hit the top of iTunes chart overnight.
Like with Mariah Carey’s 2008 “E=MC2” project that also catapulted the chart earlier this week, a social media-powered campaign, “#JusticeForBedtimeStories” fueled the rise of Madonna’s sixth studio album.
Unlike the Billboard charts, which track weekly sales, iTunes charts reflect by-the-hour sales trends through a somewhat mysterious algorithm.
The Warner Bros.-distributed opus was marked down to $4.99, and a campaign was launched to purchase and stream the album, which inevitably ratcheted up its positioning.
Madonna, herself, even acknowledged the new overnight success.
Following her fast and furious romantic interludes with Tupac Shakur in 1993 and Dennis Rodman in 1994, the “Material Girl” recruited the top-notch producers of the ’90s pop/R&B era for “Bedtime Stories.”
Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds, Dave “Jam” Hall, and Dallas Austin served a string of soulfully sonic sounds, including “Take A Bow,” “Human Nature” and “Secret,” which were all released as singles.
Soul II Soul and Sinead O’Connor producer Nellee Hooper produced four songs on the album, including the title track which he co-wrote with Bjork and Marius De Vries.
Released in October, the 11-track set also featured collaborations with Meshell Ndegeocello, who was a breakout artist signed to Madonna’s Maverick imprint.
Though the album peaked at number three on the Billboard 200, some songs have remained radio staples, particularly the Babyface-produced “Take A Bow,” which became a Billboard Hot 100 mainstay and was certified gold in the United States.
“Madonna was a fan of a song I did, ‘When Can I See You.’ Because of that, she was interested in working with me,” Edmonds recalled to Billboard in 2014. “She came to me for lush ballads, so that’s where we went.”
“Take A Bow” – which the duo performed at the 1995 “American Music Awards” – also stands out as Madonna’s 11th chart-topper and for breaking Carole King’s three-decade-long record as the female songwriter with the most number 1 songs. She was 36.
“There’s lots of ways to get your point across and lots of ways to try and influence people,” Madonna said in an October 1994 interview about the album. “You can be aggressive and loud, and you can shock people, and you can hit them over the head. But then there are other ways. You can subliminally seduce someone, or you can do it — well, I can’t even think of a word to describe it, because ‘sweet’ sounds stupid to me.”
“I don’t think of this album as being sweet; I think of it as being bittersweet.”