Bad Girl (Madonna song)
|Single by Madonna|
|from the album Erotica|
|B-side||"Fever" (US, Japan)
"Erotica" (William Orbit Dub) (UK)
"Deeper and Deeper" (Shep's Deep Bass Dub) (Europe)
|Released||February 22, 1993|
|Format||CD single, 7" single, 12" single|
(Manhattan, New York)
at Soundworks Recording Studio
(Astoria, New York)
|Length||5:23 (album version)
4:38 (radio edit)
|Madonna singles chronology|
|Problems playing this file? See media help.|
"Bad Girl" is a song by Madonna, released as the third single from her 1992 studio album Erotica in February 1993 by Maverick Records. Written by Madonna, Shep Pettibone, and Anthony Shimkin and produced by Madonna and Shep Pettibone, the single was released a month after the controversial erotic thriller Body of Evidence, which also starred Madonna and has similar themes. The song was a modest success on the charts, reaching number 36 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 and number ten on the UK Singles Chart, falling off the chart shortly after. This caused the release of the next UK single "Fever" to be released only four weeks later.
The music video to accompany the single was directed by David Fincher, who had previously collaborated on Madonna's "Express Yourself", "Oh Father" and "Vogue" videos. It also features the American actor Christopher Walken who plays "a guardian angel ".
Madonna has only ever performed the song live once during an appearance on Saturday Night Live in January 1993. At the end of the performance, she referenced Sinéad O'Connor's actions of ripping a photograph of Pope John Paul II and yelling "Fight the real enemy" during O'Connor's Saturday Night Live performance in October 1992. The photograph Madonna ripped was of Joey Buttafuoco. Bad Girl is the only single release off of Madonna's Erotica album that she did not perform on her The Girlie Show World Tour of 1993. In North America the single included remixes of the album track "Fever", which was released independently in Europe as the fourth single from Erotica.
The single was a critical darling and was described by Rolling Stone magazine as "riveting" and describes "the mind of a girl who'd rather mess herself up than end a relationship she's too neurotic to handle, [and] the characters remain faceless. It's as if Madonna recognizes the discomfort we feel when sensing the human character of a woman whose function is purely sexual. A sex symbol herself, she coolly removes the threat of her own personality." Entertainment Weekly reviewed it as a "lonely-at-the-top, lovesick-victim song."
In the United States, "Bad Girl" debuted at Billboard Hot 100 at number 75 in the issue dated February 20, 1993. In its sixth week of charting, the song peaked at number 36, becoming Madonna's first single to miss the top 20 and breaking her streak of 27 consecutive top 20 hits that had begun with "Holiday", in 1983. The single remained on the chart for 11 weeks. Its sales and airplay were poor, so "Bad Girl" peaked on Hot 100 Singles Sales and Hot 100 Airplay at numbers 36 and 44 respectively. However, it reached the top spot on the Hot Dance Music/Maxi-Singles Sales chart, thanks to the remixes of "Fever", which were included on the maxi single.
The song fared better in the other countries. In the United Kingdom, "Bad Girl" debuted at number 11 and reached its peak one week later, peaking at number ten on March 13, 1993 and remained on the chart for seven weeks. The song also entered the top ten in Italy and top twenty in Canada, where it peaked at numbers eight and twenty respectively. Although "Bad Girl" was a hit in those countries, in others it failed to enter top ten but reached its peak within the top 40. In Australia, the song also reached the top 40, peaking at number 32.
The video features Madonna as "Louise Oriole" (Madonna's middle name is Louise and Oriole is a street she once lived on), a high-powered Manhattan female executive who is a chain smoking alcoholic that has a penchant for one-night stands with many different men (from affluent yuppies to shady low-lifes). She behaves this way in order to try and deal with her depression and sadness over a relationship with someone she loves deeply, but ultimately has no future. Through her days, Louise gets distracted by cigarettes, cocktails, and random hook-ups, as lamented in the song's lyrics. Christopher Walken plays her guardian angel, who watches over her self-destructive activities. In one scene Louise wakes up alone in her bed after a one-night stand and discovers a hand-written note laying on the pillow beside her. She is clearly upset after reading the note and she crumples it and throws it to the ground. The next scene shows her guardian angel reading the note which simply reads "thank you whoever you are." In a later scene her guardian angel delivers Louise with a "kiss of death" before her final encounter with a man, during which she is suggested to have been strangled with pantyhose. After her death, she reappears as a spirit alongside with her guardian angel overseeing the police taking her body away to the morgue.
This is the first time to show Madonna wearing pencilled-on eyebrows after shaving them prior to the filming of the video for the previous single "Deeper and Deeper".
After Ellen von Unwerth and Tim Burton had rejected the offer to direct the music video, it was eventually directed by David Fincher, who worked with Madonna in her videos for "Express Yourself", "Oh Father" and "Vogue", and filmed on location in New York City from January 12–18, 1993. The video also features an uncredited cameo appearance from Matt Dillon, who plays a crime scene cop. Madonna said her idea for the video was influenced by the film "Looking for Mr. Goodbar".
- Director: David Fincher
- Producer: Oliver Fuselier
- Director of Photography: Juan Ruiz-Anchia
- Editor: Bob Jenkis
- Production Company: Propaganda Films
- Mad-eyes.net - "Bad Girl" Single Page - last accessed on October 24, 2005
- Allmusic (1993). "Billboard Charts". allmusic.com. Retrieved 2008-07-16.
- Every Hit (1995). "UK Singles Chart (Search)". everyhit.com. Retrieved 2008-07-16.
- "Discography – Sticky & Sweet Tour". Madonna.com. 2010-04-06. Retrieved 2012-01-15.
- [dead link]
- "Another 'Bad Girl' Rips Up a Photograph on 'SNL'". Deseret News (Deseret News Publishing Company). 1993-01-18. Retrieved 2012-12-23.
- Berger, Arion (1992-11-26). "Erotica". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2012-02-12.
- Reviewed by David Browne (1992-10-23). "Erotica Review | Music Reviews and News". EW.com. Retrieved 2012-01-15.
- "videography - bad girl". madonna-online.ch. 1993-02-11. Retrieved 2012-01-15.
- Hit Parade (1993). "Madonna — Bad Girl (European Charts)". hitparade.ch. Retrieved 2008-07-16.
- Volume 57, No. 11, March 27 1993
- Charts-Surfer (1993). "German Singles Chart (Search)". charts-surfer.de. Retrieved 2008-07-16.
- "Irish Singles Chart (Search)". irishcharts.ie. February 25, 1993. Retrieved 2008-07-16.
- "Madonna: Discografia Italiana" (in Italian). Federation of the Italian Music Industry. 1984-1999. Retrieved 2010-01-08.
- "I singoli più venduti del 1993". Hit Parade Italia. Federation of the Italian Music Industry. 1996-12-31. Retrieved 2012-06-06.