Celebrating Erotica! MadonnaTribe meets Tony Shimkin
“Put your hands all over my body…” Today, twenty years ago, Madonna released Erotica, her most provocative and daring album which was also her first release on her now defunct Maverick Records label.
Erotica is indeed a masterpiece that at the time of release got a bit caught up in the controversy and mess 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 well received like True Blue, Like a Prayer or The Immaculate Collection compilation, but fans loved it right away and twenty years on, the critics love it too!
To celebrate the release of Erotica the MadonnaTribe team invited you to read our interesting interview with Tony Shimkin co-producer and co-author of some of the album’s greatest songs, who brings our reader behind the scenes of making of this album. Here are a few Q&A from the interview that you can read in full by clicking HERE
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’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 a track called 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: Fever was also re-remixed in a new version to be used in the music video. Did you work on the production of that remix as well?
Tony Shimkin: No I was not aware that it was done as a video. We did arrange that live version for her Saturday Night Live appearance though.
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 uptemo 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.
Click HERE to read the whole interview!