The power ballad at the center of Queen of Pop’s Bedtime Stories gets released as a digital single and includes rare remixes and instrumentals giving fans all new takes on the classic that would go one to become one of the biggest hits of Madonna’s career.
The 80s introduced us to Madonna. Thought she hit the radio scene with an impressive slew of singles, the girl from Detroit was often in those early years considered little more than a dance-club act. Many stalwart critics thought the vocals on many of those premiere tracks including “Holiday”, “Everybody” and “Borderline” were thin and unimpressive. That is until the world got a good look at Madonna, and MTV proved without a doubt that video had indeed killed the radio star. With an instantly unique appeal and provocative allure, Madonna was out of the bottle!
The 80s undoubtedly shaped Madonna’s career, but in the 90s she had transcended to a new level and the phenomenon that would emerge an icon was in full development. The hitmaker evolved into a transcendent songwriter with the release of 1989’s Like a Prayer and that was followed-up with the transformative dance-inspired Erotica. Madonna was one among a handful of artists at the time that commanded multi-million dollar record deals, reshaped the scope of the live concert experience and helped to develop new artists, and still charted top-selling album of their own.
New Stories to Tell
In 1993, she decidedly took a turn to slow things down a bit after a series of sexually-charged projects that culminated in the Girlie Show Live Tour which criss-crossed much of Europe and only selectively played in venues in the States, while she dealt with much of the criticism surrounding her elaborately ornate photo-album SEX. Her collaboration with renowned fashion photographer Steven Meisel resulted in a flourish of editorial images of Madonna in various states of undress and exploring fetishes. Fortified by the equally sex-centric album Erotica she found herself in a whirlwind backlash!
All the negative attention, forced Madonna to reevaluate the direction she was on. A master of marketing when it came to her image and exploring her sound, Madonna sought an all-new approach to her next project; the result was the R&B tinged and more soulful Bedtime Stories which included the beautifully crafted ballad “Take a Bow” featuring Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds. The R&B singer/songwriter contributed to the hit track that became Madonna’s fifth number-one single on the US Adult Contemporary music charts.
The video for the song also one of Madonna’s most prolific works was directed by Michael Haussman and served the artist two-fold. At the time, Madonna was heavily vying for the title role of Evita in director Alan Parker’s big-screen adaptation of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Broadway musical. The video for “Take a Bow” was shot in Spain and period-styled, depicting Madonna in 1940s glamor as she pines after a bullfighter played by Spanish actor Emilio Muñoz. In essence much of the video, which was inspired by filmmaker Pedro Almodóvar, is a screen test for Evita. Madonna would land the role.
Check it out here:
Available now for the first time in most Digital Download Music Stores, the “Take a Bow” Single features the Radio Edit as well as the Album Version, along with remixes from Indasoul and Silky Soul along with full-length Instrumentals of each.
TAKE A BOW | by Madonna (feat. Babyface) | is available to download on iTunes and additional digital music store outlets and appears on the album reissue Bedtime Stories. Download from iTunes here.