[youtube id=”EPHUZenprKc”]Madonna’s “Secret” started out as a demo with Shep Pettibone but ended up being a collaboration with producer Dallas Austin. The haunting track was about a mystery taking place in a relationship and the importance of finding one’s own happiness. Musically, “Secret” was different from her past work that was heavily based in dance music. Austin had an acoustic guitar lead Madonna into a more soulful sound with her voice at the center of an arrangement that subtly built its intensity. Madonna wanted to change her music and with her interest in R&B, she reached out to Babyface who connected her with Austin. She wanted her Bedtime Stories album to be completely different from her Erotica album that caused a lot of backlash because of the sexual content.
“Secret” was the first single from Bedtime Stories and it opened up a new image and style for her that was positively received by fans and critics. Madonna promoted the song on the internet which at the time was rare because the medium was not widely used yet. The video was filmed at the Lenox Lounge in Harlem and Madonna played the role of a jazz singer. Critics interpreted the video as an exercise in rebirth and possibly birth itself because the singer was pregnant at the time. Bedtime Stories was one of Madonna’s best moments in the ’90s. “Secret” gave her the stylistic makeover she wanted and added another dimension to her legend. Madonna released her 14th studio album, Madame X in 2019.