Bad Girl (Madonna song): Wikis


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"Bad Girl"
Single by Madonna
from the album Erotica
B-side "Fever" (US/Japan)
"Erotica" (William Orbit Edit) (Europe)
Released February 22, 1993
Format CD, 7", 12"
Recorded 1992
Genre Pop
Length 5:23 (Album Version)
4:38 (Edit)
Label Maverick, Sire, Warner Bros.
Writer(s) Madonna, Shep Pettibone, Anthony Shimkin
Producer Madonna, Shep Pettibone
Madonna singles chronology
"Deeper and Deeper"
"Bad Girl"
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"Bad Girl" is a song by Madonna, released as the third single from her 1992 studio album Erotica. It was released in February 1993 by Maverick Records.

The music video to accompany the single was directed by David Fincher who had previously collaborated on Madonna's "Express Yourself", "Oh Father" and "Vogue" videos. It also features the American actor Christopher Walken who plays "a guardian angel (or the angel of death)."[1]

Madonna has only ever performed the song live once during an appearance on Saturday Night Live in January 1993. In North America the single included remixes of the album track "Fever," which was released independently in Europe as the fourth single from Erotica.

The single was released a month after the controversial erotic thriller Body of Evidence, which also starred Madonna. The song was a modest success on the charts, reaching #36 on the US Billboard Hot 100 [2] and #10 on the UK Singles Chart, dropping off in a few weeks.[3] This caused the release of the next UK single "Fever" to be released only four weeks later.[4]


Song information

The song was written by Madonna and Shep Pettibone in 1992 for the studio album Erotica. The song has two demo working titles: "Cheat" and "Drunk Girl", which leaked on the internet in November 2007.

The B-side of the US single release was Madonna's cover of "Fever", which was released as the fourth single in Europe and Australia after "Bad Girl" while the B-side of the UK single release was a William Orbit dub of "Erotica".

Madonna performed "Bad Girl" live only on Saturday Night Live in January 1993. At the end of the song she tore up a picture of Joey Buttafuoco, telling the audience to "fight the real enemy!" This was a spoof of Sinéad O'Connor's controversial SNL appearance a few months earlier in which she had done the same to a picture of Pope John Paul II.


Critical response

The song received mixed reviews and was described by Rolling Stone magazine as "riveting" and describes "the mind of a girl who'd rather mess herself up than end a relationship she's too neurotic to handle, the characters remain faceless. It's as if Madonna recognizes the discomfort we feel when sensing the human character of a woman whose function is purely sexual. A sex symbol herself, she coolly removes the threat of her own personality." [5] Entertainment Weekly reviewed it as a "lonely-at-the-top, lovesick-victim song."[6]

Chart performance

In the United States, "Bad Girl" debuted at Billboard Hot 100 at number seventy-five on the issue dated February 20, 1993.[7] On its sixth week of charting, the song peaked at number thirty-six, becoming Madonna's first single to miss the top twenty and breaking her streak of twenty-seven consecutive Top 20 hits that had begun with "Holiday", in 1983. The single remained on the chart for eveven weeks[7] The sales and airplay were poor, so "Bad Girl" peaked on Hot 100 Singles Sales and Hot 100 Airplay at numbers thirty-six and forty-four respectively.[7] However, it reached the top spot on the Hot Dance Music/Maxi-Singles Sales chart, thanks to the remixes of "Fever", which were included on the Maxi-single.[7]

The song fared better in the other countries. In the United Kingdom, "Bad Girl" debuted at number eleven and reached its peak one week later, peaking at number ten on March 13, 1993 and remained on chart for seven weeks.[8] The song also entered top ten in Italy and Canada, where it peaked at numbers eight and five respectively. Although "Bad Girl" was a hit in those countries, in others it failed to enter top ten but reached its peak in top forty. In Australia, the song also reached the top forty, peaking at number thirty-two.

Music video

Madonna as "Louise Oriole" in the "Bad Girl" music video. Also present in the background is actor Christopher Walken as Madonna's guardian angel.

The video featured Madonna as "Louise Oriole" (Madonna's middle name is Louise and Oriole is a street she once lived on), a high-powered Manhattan female executive who was an alcoholic and had a penchant for one-night stands with many different men (from affluent yuppies to shady low lifes). She behaved this way in order to try to deal with her depression and sadness over a relationship with someone she loved deeply, but ultimately had no future. Through her days, Louise got distracted by cigarettes, cocktails, and random hook-ups, as lamented in the song's lyrics. Christopher Walken played her guardian angel, who watched over her activities and delivered Louise with a "kiss of death" before her final encounter with a man who strangles her with her pantyhose.[9]

After Ellen Von Unwerth and Tim Burton had rejected the offer to direct the music video, it was eventually directed by David Fincher and filmed on location in New York City from January 12-18, 1993. The video also features an uncredited cameo appearance from Matt Dillon who plays a crime scene cop.[9]

  • Director: David Fincher
  • Producer: Oliver Fuselier
  • Director of Photography: Juan Ruiz-Anchia
  • Editor: Bob Jenkis
  • Production Company: Propaganda Films

Track listing

US 7" Vinyl / US Cassette single
JP 3" CD single

  1. "Bad Girl" (Edit) - 4:38
  2. "Fever" (Album Version) - 5:00

US 12" Vinyl Maxi-single

  1. "Bad Girl" (Extended Mix) - 6:29
  2. "Fever" (Extended 12") - 6:08
  3. "Fever" (Shep's Remedy Dub) - 4:29
  4. "Fever" (Murk Boys Miami Mix) - 7:10
  5. "Fever" (Murk Boys Deep South Mix) - 6:28
  6. "Fever" (Oscar G's Dope Mix) - 4:55

US CD Maxi-single

  1. "Bad Girl" (Edit) - 4:38
  2. "Fever" (Murk Boys Miami Mix) - 7:10
  3. "Fever" (Extended 12") - 6:08
  4. "Bad Girl" (Extended Mix) - 6:29
  5. "Fever" (Murk Boys Deep South Mix) - 6:28
  6. "Fever" (Hot Sweat 12") - 7:55

UK CD Single / UK 12" Vinyl

  1. "Bad Girl" (Edit) - 4:38
  2. "Erotica" (William Orbit 12") - 6:07
  3. "Erotica" (William Orbit Dub) - 4:53
  4. "Erotica" (Madonna's In My Jeep Mix) - 5:46

UK Cassette Single

  1. "Bad Girl" (Edit) - 4:38
  2. "Erotica" (William Orbit Dub) - 4:53

AU / EU 7" Vinyl Single

  1. "Bad Girl" (Edit) - 4:38
  2. "Deeper And Deeper" (Shep's Deep Bass Dub) - 5:00

AU / EU CD Single / 12" Single

  1. "Bad Girl" (Edit) - 4:38
  2. "Deeper And Deeper" (Shep's Deep Bass Dub) - 5:00
  3. "Deeper And Deeper" (Shep's Deepstrumental) - 5:31

Official versions

Remix/Version Run Time
Album Version 5:23
Edit 4:37
Extended Mix 6:29
Video Instrumental 6:03
Video Version 6:03


Chart (1993) Peak
Australian Singles Chart[10] 32
Canadian Singles Chart [11] 20
Dutch Top 40[10] 34
French Singles Chart[10] 44
German Singles Chart[12] 26
Irish Singles Chart[13] 20
Italian Singles Chart[14] 8
Swiss Singles Chart[10] 25
UK Singles Chart[3] 10
U.S. Billboard Hot 100[2] 36
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 Airplay[7] 44
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 Singles Sales[7] 36



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