Her name is Dita
Put your hands all over my body..
On this day, 25 years ago, Madonna released Erotica, her most provocative and daring album which was also her first release on Maverick Records label.
Erotica is indeed a masterpiece that at the time of release got caught up in the controversy caused by its twin release, the SEX book. Critics were not too convinced by double entendre titles such as Deeper And Deeper and Rain and at the time the album wasn’t received in the same way as True Blue, Like A Prayer or The Immaculate Collection compilation, but fans loved it right away and 25 years on, the critics love it too!
To celebrate the 20th anniversary of the release of Erotica five years ago the MadonnaTribe team met Tony Shimkin, co-producer and co-author of some of the album’s greatest songs, Tony brought us behind the scenes of the making of this incredible album and talked about two songs that didn’t make the final cut of the album, You Are The One and Shame. Both tracks were still unknow at the time and later surfaced on the internet in Summer 2014.
MadonnaTribe: In the album version of Erotica two samples were included, one is a sound from Jungle Boogie and the other is the hauting chant El Yom.
I personally think they gave the song some added bonus and it was a great idea. Whose idea was to include samples in the songs?
Tony Shimkin: The samples were from a collection of sounds culled from Shep [Pettibone]’s extensive record collection and they were used as inspiration in building the songs, often we would get rid of them later once they have served their purpose. With the samples you mentioned, they became such an integral part of the song and the music lacked the vibe we loved when we removed them. Sometimes you can’t replace or recreate magic like that.
MadonnaTribe: Also Goodbye to Innocence was scrapped in favour of the cover of Fever at the time. How did that happen?
Tony Shimkin: When we were in the mixing stage of the production Madonna started singing Fever over the Goodbye to Innocence track. It sounded like a cool remake and we just went with it. I always loved Goodbye to Innocence and was a little dissapointed we were losing it. I was happy when she released it later on.
MadonnaTribe: Apparenlty there are a lot of tracks that were written for the album and were never completed or not released in the end. There has been talk of a song you co-wrote with Madonna and Shep called You Are The One.
Can you tell us more about this one?
Tony Shimkin: There were two song we did that were not released. You Are The One and Shame. You Are The One was an uptempo song and it was very catchy, one true thing is that Madonna never came up with any forgettable melodies. Unfortunately not every song always makes it onto the final CD. Maybe one day she will release a collection of unheard songs but I doubt it. I still have a cassette copy of those early demos. I gotta transfer it to digital one day for posterity.
MadonnaTribe: In Shame apparently Madonna reprises her Dita character from the Erotica song. I’m very curious about this song…
Tony Shimkin: Shame was extremely hooky as well, although the chorus may have been a little too close in melody to another song with the same title, yet it was still very much in keeping with the rest of the material recorded and yes her alter ego of Dita may have been born out of that song as well.
Read again our complete interview with Tony Shimkin by clicking here.