Madonna March Madness: Vote For The Best “Sex”-y Era Videos
Introducing the top eight videos from Madonna’s “Sex”-y era, the time from 1990 to 1995 during the album cycles for Erotica and (the beginning of) Bedtime Stories. There are some real heavy-hitters in this mix — from the scandalous and NSFW “Justify My Love” to the iconic “Vogue”. Now it’s up to you to decide which of these videos is best, in four matchups. Voting is open until Thursday, March 15 at 6 p.m. EST. The four victors to emerge will move on to the next round of voting in our Madonna March Madness: the Sweet 16. Now head below to get voting!
MATCHUP #1: “VOGUE” VS. “SECRET” “Vogue”, one of Madonna’s most iconic videos, found her once again teaming up with director David Fincher. House music and the underground (at the time) gay voguing dance craze meet Golden Age-era Hollywood glamor in the Art Deco-drenched visual for this 1990 Dick Tracy soundtrack chart-topper. It faces off against “Secret,” Madonna’s lead Bedtime Stories single, in which she writhes on the stage of a Harlem blues club in the black-and-white video. The sexcapades are slightly toned-down at this point (1994) as Madge chooses to concentrate once again on both religious imagery and interracial themes.
MATCHUP #2: “EROTICA” VS. “DEEPER AND DEEPER” In the supremely racy “Erotica,” Madge slicks back her short-cropped hair, brandishes a riding crop, slaps on a mask and gold tooth and assumes the role of dominatrix Dita in the Fabien Baron-directed tie-in video for her 1992 album Erotica and naughty coffee table book Sex. But will it dominate “Deeper And Deeper”? Debi Mazar, German actor Udo Kier and then-21-year-old director Sofia Coppola are just a few of the guest stars in the Andy-Warhol-meets-disco-themed visual, one of the more tame offerings from Erotica.
Madonna, “Deeper And Deeper”
MATCHUP #3: “TAKE A BOW” VS. “BAD GIRL” The matador-themed “Take A Bow” won Madge a Best Female Video MTV VMA in 1995, and, at seven weeks atop the Hot 100, the song itself remains her longest-running #1 single. Real-life torero Emilio Munoz stars in the clip, which served as Madonna’s (successful) audition piece for Alan Parker’s film Evita. Will wild card slot winner “Bad Girl” be able tame the bull? Madonna’s third single off Erotica, the video for “Bad Girl” was shot by David Fincher and stars Christopher Walken (!) as the misbehaving Madge’s guardian angel. Our heroine meets a tragic end in the clip, which also contains a cameo by Matt Dillon.
Madonna, “Take A Bow”
Madonna, “Bad Girl”
MATCHUP #4: “BEDTIME STORY” VS. “JUSTIFY MY LOVE” Mark Romanek directed “Bedtime Story”, which, while being an effects-packed, dreamlike trip-out video (watch a levitating Madonna give birth to a pack of white dives) with a $5 million price tag, unfortunately became the Material Girl’s first single to miss the Top 40 since “Burning Up”. The surreal clip took six days to shoot. All that hard work might be for naught, as it goes up against the seminal “Justify My Love.” The roots of Madonna’s Sex era can be traced to this 1990 Immaculate Collection single and its explicit, gender-bending hotel romp video. Jean-Baptiste Mondino (“Open Your Heart”) directed the racy clip, which was banned by MTV — thus causing Warner Bros. to release the single in VHS format, a first at the at the time. Madonna, “Bedtime Story”
Watch Madonna’s NSFW “Justify My Love” video on YouTube.