Justify My Love (4:59)

Cover of The Immaculate Collection

From The Immaculate Collection and 16 other releases

“Justify My Love” was the first single by American singer-songwriter Madonna from her 1990 greatest hits compilation ‘The Immaculate Collection’ and was released on November 6, 1990 by Sire Records. It caused international controversy due to the accompanying music video which was sexually explicit and even banned by MTV. This outraged Madonna and she appeared on ABC’s Nightline to defend it. The single was also released as a Video-single and became the highest selling video single of all-time.[1] When released, the single rose to the top of the Billboard Hot 100 and many other worldwide charts. The single made No.2 in the Uk christmas charts selling over 350,000 copies.

“Justify My Love” was written by Lenny Kravitz, Ingrid Chavez and Madonna. Kravitz wrote the song for Madonna, based on a poem written by friend and Prince protégé Ingrid Chavez. Kravitz added the title hook and chorus. Madonna contributed a few lines. Chavez was not credited for the song and later sued Kravitz in 1992. She received an out-of-court settlement, and gained a co-writing credit.

Producer Kravitz sampled the intro found on Public Enemy’s instrumental, “Security of the First World”, and used it as the basis of the song. The song was unique in that Madonna’s vocals are primarily spoken and whispered. This style served as a prelude to her next album Erotica, in which she spoke the lyrics on some of the songs rather than singing them. Kravitz provided background vocals. Rumors of a love affair between Kravitz and Madonna sprang up in the press upon the release of the song. Kravitz has denied these rumors.

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