Erotica may have been the first Madonna LP since her debut not to reach the number one spot on the Billboard albums chart, but in retrospect it’s her strongest album – produced at the peak of her power and provocativeness during the same burst of creativity that yielded the Sex book and tour documentary Truth or Dare and helped elevate her from mere pop star to an era-defining icon. Over the years demos for that album, referred to by superfans as “the Rain tapes,” have made their way online, mostly as snippets, along with a lot of fakes.
Yesterday two full tracks purporting to be Erotica outtakes were posted on Soundcloud:
“You Are the One” exemplifies the club-pop approach of her early-’90s recordings, with a bubblegum vocal part over a organ-driven Shep Pettibone house beat and a post-acid-house bass line.
“Shame” is a relatively serious song with a self-empowerment hook seemingly intended to repeat the success of “Express Yourself” from her previous album, and would have fit in with Erotica’s political streak. It may have had a better chance of making the album if it had been kicked up a few BPM.
Madonna’s people have done a fairly good job of keeping the Rain tapes off the Internet so far—but this apparent leak of two complete tracks suggests that the rest of it may make it online before too long.