Erotica is the fifth studio album by American singer and songwriter Madonna. It was released on October 20, 1992, by Maverick Records. The album was released simultaneously with Madonna's first book publication, Sex, a coffee table book containing explicit photographs featuring the singer. It marked Madonna's first release under her own multimedia entertainment company, Maverick. Erotica is a concept album about sex and romance, incorporating her alter ego named Mistress Dita, inspired by actress Dita Parlo. Some songs also take on a more confessional tone, influenced by the loss of Madonna's two close friends to AIDS.
Madonna recorded the album in New York City with Shep Pettibone and André Betts while she was working on her book and film projects. She began creating the album's demos with Pettibone in his apartment in October 1991. Madonna 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, the album was less successful than Madonna's previous records. It peaked at number two on the Billboard 200, becoming her first studio album not to top the chart since her debut. Internationally, it topped the charts in Australia, Finland and France, while peaking inside the top five in many other countries, such as Canada, Germany, Japan, New Zealand and the United Kingdom. Erotica was certified double-platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and has sold more than six million copies worldwide.
Six singles were released from the album, including "Erotica" and "Deeper and Deeper", both of which reached the top ten of the US Billboard Hot 100 chart. The album was supported by Madonna's fourth concert tour, The Girlie Show World Tour, which visited cities in Europe, North America, Latin America, Asia and Australia in 1993. Overlooked at the time of its release due to the backlash surrounding the Sex book, Erotica has been retrospectively considered as one of "The 100 Best Albums of the 1990s" by Slant Magazine and one of the most revolutionary albums of all time by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Music critics noted the influence of the album on the works of other female artists, from Janet Jackson to Beyoncé.
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