|"Deeper and Deeper"|
|Single by Madonna|
|from the album Erotica|
|B-side||"Deeper and Deeper" (Instrumental)|
|Released||December 8, 1992|
|Format||7" single, 12" single, cassette single, CD single|
|Recorded||November 13, 1991
(Manhattan, New York)
June 16, 1992
at Soundworks Recording Studios
(Astoria, New York)
|Genre||Dance-pop, house, disco|
|Length||5:33 (album version)
|Madonna singles chronology|
"Deeper and Deeper" is a song by American singer-songwriter Madonna from her fifth studio album Erotica. The song was released as the album's second single by Maverick Records in December 1992. The song was written by Madonna, Shep Pettibone and Anthony Shmikin and was produced by Madonna and Shep Pettibone. It also appeared on her 2001 compilation album GHV2 in a shorter edit form.
"Deeper and Deeper" is a dance-oriented song. It also features other musical structures such as the use of acoustic guitars, with some Spanish, flamenco style lead and the use of castanet beats in the song's bridge. The song has been described by critics as "Pure Disco". Lyrically the song is a metaphor about a boy coming to accept his homosexuality. The song also shares similarities with Madonna's previous 1990 hit "Vogue" and also features a reference to "Vogue" towards the ending part of the song (the lyrics "You got to just let your body move to the music/you got to just let your body go with the flow" are taken from "Vogue"). There's also a reference to the song "Do-Re-Mi" from the musical The Sound of Music in the line "When you know the notes to sing, you can sing most anything". Despite the sexual nature of the Erotica album and the controversy surrounding Madonna and the album at that time, "Deeper and Deeper" was met with positive reviews and received significant radio and airplay. Music critics have called the song one of Madonna's strongest disco inspired tracks and complimented the song's refreshing dance oriented nature. Slant Magazine listed "Deeper and Deeper" as number thirty-six on their "Best Singles of the '90s" list.
The music video for "Deeper and Deeper" was directed by Bobby Woods and shot on November 7–8, 1992. It was seen as a homage to artist Andy Warhol and his films. It was set in the 1970s and featured Madonna playing a character based on Edie Sedgwick who goes out to a nightclub and finds her friends and boyfriend (played by actor Udo Kier, who had appeared in the Andy Warhol films Flesh for Frankenstein and Blood for Dracula and had previously appeared on her "Erotica" video). The video received mixed reviews from both music critics and fans alike. It's considered one of Madonna's most intriguing yet least appealing music videos.
Madonna has performed "Deeper and Deeper" in two of her concert tours. She first performed the song on The Girlie Show World Tour in 1993. This performance, like the song's music video, had a strong disco theme, with Madonna and her back up singers and dancers wearing afro wigs and bell bottom pants. The song was not included on a tour until eleven years later on the Re-Invention World Tour (2004) where, as opposed to the original disco version, it was performed as a slow-cut jazz version, with trumpets and an up-right bass and featuring Madonna dressed as a circus showgirl. It was also rehearsed for Madonna's 2006 Confessions Tour but ultimately was not included.
A 30 second sample from "Deeper and Deeper"
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During the early 1990s, Madonna altered her identity and image once more, as she had done in the past. She began to answer directly to her minority fans and critics in the homosexual community and became known as a self-conscious postmodern icon of gender and sexuality. "Deeper and Deeper" (along with its music video) is one such example of this image change. It was released as the second single from Erotica in late 1992. The song was released on vinyl as a 12" maxi single in the US and Germany, and as a 12" picture disc in the UK. A 7" single was also released in Germany and the UK. A collectible 2 vinyl disc set was released in the US, in a full colour sleeve as a promo containing exclusive remixes.
The song shares similarities with Madonna's previous 1990 hit "Vogue" and also features a reference to "Vogue" towards the ending part of the song (the lyrics "You got to just let your body move to the music/you got to just let your body go with the flow" are taken from "Vogue"). The line "When you know the notes to sing, you can sing most anything" is a reference to the song "Do-Re-Mi" from the musical The Sound of Music.
"Deeper and Deeper" is a disco inspired song written by Madonna, Shep Pettibone and Anthony Shimkin. It contains a juxtaposition of swirling disco synths, of-the-moment Philly house beats, and flamenco guitar. Lyrically it talks about a boy coming to terms with his homosexuality. The song has been remixed by Shep Pettibone, who both co-wrote and produced the track with David Morales. Some of their remixes featured the use of the pitch shift. In Pettibone's Classic 12" version, when Madonna sings "pretend", the syllable "-tend", which echoes at the same pitch in the original, is lowered quite a few octaves, raised to normal for a few seconds, and is then raised to an almost childlike pitch for about 3 or 4 seconds before going to the final line. In Morales' club mix, after she sings, "never gonna hide it again", the pitch in "deep" is alternated between the original and a slightly lowered version for nearly 32 seconds.
According to Anthony Shinkin, who is a co-writer of the song, Madonna wanted to add flamenco style guitar to the song after hearing him play Spanish flamenco style lead on his acoustic guitar. Castanets and voila were also added and that is how the Latin style bridge of the song was created. Shep Pettibone was opposed to the idea of having a flamenco guitar used in the song, but Madonna insisted on including it.
In the "David's Love Dub" version, Madonna's heavily-phased "deeper and deeper" is at normal pitch for the first 15 seconds of the song, then gets lowered an octave until the bass starts a few seconds later; however, you can barely understand her, because the loop's phased quality distorts her words quite a lot. Pettibone described the song as "Philly House music". The song also has references to the song "Do-Re-Mi" from the musical The Sound of Music in the opening line for the first verse ("When you know the notes to sing you can sing most anything") as well as another reference to Madonna's previous hit song "Vogue" in the lines "You got to just let your body move to the music/You got to just let your body go with the flow". According to Author Georges-Claude Guilbert, the sampling of Vogue "enhance[s] the ending of the song, in an ultimate post-modern twist."
"Deeper and Deeper" received generally positive reviews from music critics. Rolling Stone described the dance-pop song as a "pure disco" moment, adding that the track doesn't need "emotional resonance" to make it race. When reviewing Madonna's compilation album GHV2 in 2001, Sal Cinquemani from Slant Magazine said the song was "both a product of its time and a timeless Madonna classic in the 'Vogue' vein." He goes on to say, "The track even invokes that famous chart-topper's invitation to the dancefloor: 'Let your body move to the music!' One of the few tracks from 'Erotica' not weighed down or muddled by Pettibone's gritty production, 'Deeper and Deeper' sounds just as good today as it did nearly a decade ago." In 2011, Slant Magazine listed "Deeper and Deeper" at number 36 on their "Best Singles of the '90s" list, referring to the pop anthem as among Madonna's "finest achievements" and describing it as "both an acute distillation of Erotica's smut-glam decadence and the singer's lifelong blond ambition." Entertainment Weekly said that the song "whooshes like a subway train going express at 4 a.m." Billboard Magazine called the song a "playful disco-throwback" and also added that it was a "potential hit single" from the Erotica album. Charlotte Robinson of PopMatters.com also gave the song a positive review, stating that the song is "at heart, a great pop song about the importance of listening to Mom and Dad's advice." Stephen Thomas Erlewine wrote in All Music Guide to Rock that "Deeper and Deeper" (along with Rain) is some of Madonna's "best and most accomplished music."
"Deeper and Deeper" achieved success worldwide, reaching number one in Italy, the top 10 in most countries and peaked higher than the lead single in Canada and France, but failed to have as big an impact as her previous singles. In the United States, the song peaked at number seven on the Billboard Hot 100 and spent a total of 17 weeks on the chart. It topped the Hot Dance Club Play chart and also reached number two on the U.S. Pop Chart. On the Billboard Hot 100 year-end chart it came in the number 66 position. In Canada, it peaked at number two on the Canadian Singles Chart.
In Europe, "Deeper and "Deeper" reached number one in Italy (her second number one single from the album), the top 10 in Belgium, Ireland and the UK, and also became the only top 20 hit from Erotica in France, reaching number seventeen. It peaked at number nine in the European Hot 100 Singles chart. It debuted at number ten on the UK Singles Chart and peaked at number six in its second week, spending a total of nine weeks in the chart, seven of which were in the top 40. It was her first record to miss the UK top five since "The Look of Love" in 1987. As of 2008, "Deeper and Deeper" has sold over 136,800 copies in the United Kingdom. It became Madonna's 21st top 10 hit in New Zealand, and almost broke into the top 10 in Australia, peaking at number 11.
The music video for "Deeper and Deeper" was shot on November 7–8, 1992 at Ren-Mar Studios and The Roxbury nightclub in Hollywood, California, and was directed by Bobby Woods (who was also the executive producer at Madonna's company, Boy Toy Inc.). The 1970s inspired music video is a tribute to American artist Andy Warhol and Italian director Luchino Visconti. The video begins with a male character, played by German actor Udo Kier (who had appeared in the Andy Warhol films Flesh for Frankenstein and Blood for Dracula and had previously appeared in Madonna's "Erotica" video and Sex book), in a darkened room speaking German words that are subtitled in English: "Beware! Our idols and demons will pursue us. Until we learn to let them go!" Then in the video Madonna(playing a character which was inspired by Edie Sedgwick), visits a night club and looks for her friends. She walks around and dances in the night club until she finds her boyfriend (played by Kier), who seems to have a big influence on the character Madonna plays. According to Author Georges-Claude Guilbert in his book Madonna as Postmodern Myth, the viewer is "obviously meant to gather [Madonna's character] has signed some kind of Faustian pact with the diabolical Udo Kier."
The video features images in both color and black-and-white and features appearances and cameos from gay-porn director Chi Chi LaRue, Sofia Coppola (acclaimed director of films such as The Virgin Suicides and Lost in Translation) and Madonna's long time friend and collaborator, actress Debi Mazar, who had previously appeared on Madonna's music videos for her songs "Papa Don't Preach", "True Blue" and would once again appear in a Madonna music video seven years later in Madonna's video for "Music".
There are two different versions of the "Deeper And Deeper" music video: One for the 'Radio Edit'-Version of the song, which is edited in a more mainstream and accessible way, and a slightly longer version which fits the 'Album Version' of the track. The longer version features more footage of Udo Kier, including the ending scene, in which he cuts off Madonna's balloons. Additionally there's also a scene of Madonna and her girlfriends peeling and eating bananas while watching a stripper (played by gay pornographic actor Joey Stefano, who had also appeared on Madonna's controversial Sex book) pose in his underwear. The bananas in this scene have been thought to be a reference to a Warhol print of a banana, which was featured on the album cover to The Velvet Underground & Nico. The "Deeper and Deeper" music video marked the first time Madonna appeared in one of her musics video with her eyebrows completely shaved off, which according to herself one of the best things she ever did. Shown within a scene in the music video is a vinyl record with the Maverick Records logo, the record label which Madonna had just co-founded at that time.
Up until 2009, the music video for the song had never been commercially available, as it had been excluded from Madonna's Video Collection 93:99 compilation released in 1999. It was not until 10 years later that it was included on Madonna's Celebration DVD that the video was finally made available to the public.
Madonna first performed "Deeper and Deeper" during The Girlie Show World Tour of 1993. The beginning of the song was connected to the end of the previous performance, "Express Yourself". This performance began with a male member from the audience jumping onto the stage trying to dance with Madonna, who starts calling out for security. The man then proceeds to rip off his breakaway pants revealing himself as one of the dancers from the show. For this performance, Madonna and her dancers were dressed in a Donna Summer-style disco ensemble, which consisted of a blond afro wig, 1970's style halters and royal blue bell-bottom pants, and sang the song in a retro-seventies mode, with disco balls sparkling across the stage. John Pareles from The New York Times felt that it was during the performances of "Express Yourself" and "Deeper and Deeper" that the show reached it's climax; "The core of the show takes place in a disco stage setting with glittering Mylar curtains and mirrored balls. Madonna and the dancers, wearing wildly patterned neo-1970's halters and bell-bottoms, romp through "Express Yourself" and "Deeper and Deeper"—songs about freeing desire." Towards the end of the performance, Madonna and her dancers found themselves engaging in an hedonistic orgy, which gave way to the next performance of the show; "Why's It So Hard". In the book Madonna's Drowned Worlds, the "boyish" and "androgynous" looks of the female dancers in the Girlie Show World Tour are discussed, and it is said that it is only when one of the females appears topless during the performance of "Deeper and Deeper", that her sex is determinable.
11 years later, during 2004's Re-Invention World Tour, a slowed-down cabaret, jazzy-style version of "Deeper and Deeper" was included on the show's Circus-Cabaret segment. Following the energetic performance of "Hanky Panky", Madonna performed the song flanked by her two back-up singers Donna De Lory and Siedah Garrett. Dressed in a sequined red-and-white striped showgirl corset with flapper headband and red high-heels, Madonna sang the phrase "when you know the notes to sing, you can sing most any - thing" instead of the original "when you know the notes to sing, you can sing most anything". Critics praised Madonna's vocals during the performance. A reviewer from The Washington Times commented that the Madonna "brought a jazzy touch to “Deeper and Deeper,” which showed vocal nuances we didn’t know she had." Liz Smith from The New York Times commented that "The arrangements are forcefully driven or sensually slowed" and praised Madonna's ability of turning a dance song into a slow romantic one; "who knew her 1992 'Deeper and Deeper' dance hit had such erotic/romance resonance?".
Tracklisting and formats
- "Deeper and Deeper" (Shep's Deep Makeover Edit) – 5:10
- "Deeper and Deeper" (Shep's Deepstrumental) – 5:59
- "Deeper and Deeper" (David's Radio Edit) – 4:04
- "Deeper and Deeper" (David's Classic 12") – 7:02
- "Deeper and Deeper" (Momo's Fantasy) – 2:55
Chart procession and succession
"I'm Gonna Get You" by Bizarre Inc featuring Angie Brown
|Billboard Hot Dance Club Play number-one single
30 January 1993
"Don't You Want Me" by Felix featuring Jomanda
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