Björk Co-Wrote This Madonna Hit Despite Disliking Madonna's Music
Madonna and Björk are two very different artists, however, the Queen of Pop once asked Björk to write a song for her. This is because Madonna found one of Björk’s albums inspiring. Björk responded by writing a song that reflected what she thought of Madonna at the time.
Why Björk wrote a song for Madonna even though she didn’t like the Queen of Pop’s music
Madonna became known in the 1980s for upbeat dance songs like “Holiday,” “Into the Groove,” and “Like a Virgin.” In the 1990s, she made a sharp left turn into R&B music with her album Bedtime Stories. One of the songs from the album is very different from the rest of it, perhaps because Björk co-wrote it.
According to the book Björk: Wow and Flutter, the Queen of Pop looked to Björk’s album Debut for musical inspiration. Afterward, she asked Björk to write a tune for her. This flattered Björk — even though she wasn’t really a fan of Madonna’s music. Regardless, she took the offer because she wanted the Queen of Pop to sing her words.
Why Björk wanted Madonna to sing a song with such strange lyrics
As one might expect, the track Björk co-wrote for Madonna is offbeat. “Bedtime Story” is about Madonna leaving the realm of logic behind. It has the unusual refrain “Let’s get unconscious, honey.” In a 2001 interview with James Servin of Nylon, Björk said she wanted Madonna to sing those lyrics — even though they may not have aligned with her perception of Madonna.
Björk said she wrote that lyric “when everything about [Madonna] seemed very controlled. I think she’s a very intuitive person, and definitely her survival instinct are incredible…. At the time, the words I thought [she should] say were, ‘I’m not using words anymore, let’s get unconscious honey. F*ck logic. Just to be intuitive. Be more free. Go with the flow.’ Right now, she seems pretty much to be going with the flow.’”
Did ‘Bedtime Story’ get the Queen of Pop to go with the flow more?
Servin asked if the lyrics of “Bedtime Story” inspired the Queen of Pop to approach a more laid-back approach to life. Björk didn’t know. Afterward, Servin reached out to Madonna’s publicist, Liz Rosenberg, to see if “Bedtime Story” changed her life. Rosenberg gave fans a little insight into the Queen of Pop.
“I wish I could get an answer from Madonna for you,” Rosenberg said. “I can tell you [she] certainly thinks Björk is inspiring and a brilliant artist…. I’ve never thought Madonna was a ‘go with the flow’ person before or after recording ‘Bedtime Story.’ She goes with a flow — but it’s a flow of her own creation, if you know what I mean.” “Bedtime Story” may not have impacted Madonna — but did it impact the public?
How the public reacted to ‘Bedtime Story’
“Bedtime Story” peaked at No. 42 on the Billboard Hot 100. Since the Queen of Pop produced so many No. 1 singles, “Bedtime Story” is far from being one of her more popular songs. However, the track proved two very different artists could make a successful song together.
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