The Rain Tapes

The Rain Tapes

"The Rain Tapes" refers to a collection of songs recorded by American singer Madonna in late 1991 and early 1992, during the development of her Erotica album. The songs were written by Madonna, Shep Pettibone and Tony Shimkin, and produced by Madonna and Pettibone. Some of the songs were early versions of songs used on the Erotica album, while others remain unreleased Madonna songs. The tapes are sometimes referred to as the "Shep Pettibone sessions".

The Tapes

The songs from the Erotica album sessions appear registered with the U.S. copyright office together on two 90-minute cassette tapes. Because "Rain" is the first track on the cassette, written centered on the title card of the cassette while the other songs below it are written to the left margin of the card, fans decided to give the cassettes the title "The Rain Tapes." The first descriptions circulated were done by Bruce Baron, who wrote the 1999 Goldmine article on Madonna's unreleased material and had the chance to listen to most of the tracks in the Library Of Congress. His description and tracklistings were incomplete and partly incorrect and have recently been revised [Actual visit in year 2000 by 1999 Goldmine article author to US copyright office to review materials discussed in article. [ See notes at] ] , corrected and expanded. See Erotica Diaries article from 1992 at Madonna-online for background. [cite web
url= :: interviews
] Tracklisting here, description and registration numbers for significantly different unreleased demo songs compared to released versions follow below.

Track listing

TAPE ONE SIDE ONE:(track #, title, time, date)
* 01. Rain (final demo, new harms) 5:23 6 December 1991
* 02. Rain (new vocal – damaged) 5:34 13 November 1991
* 03. Deeper & Deeper (final demo) 5:39 13 November 1991
* 04. Bye Bye Baby (first day ruff) 5:52
* 05. Bye Bye Baby (final demo) 4:02
* 06. Bye Bye Baby (second day ruff) 4:22
* 07. You Are The One (final edit demo) 4:36
* 08. Shame (final demo) 6:12

* 01. Shame (straight pass) 6:31
* 02. In This Life (edit) 6:27
* 03. Cheat (Drunk Girl) (edit) 5:36
* 04. Goodbye To Innocence (final edit) 6:11
* 05: Goodbye To Innocence (straight pass) 5:46
* 06: Actions Speak Louder Than Words (final edit 1) 5:45
* 07. Erotica (final demo 1) 5:14 16 January 1992

* 01. Actions Speak Louder Than Words (first day) 5:54
* 02. Actions Speak Louder Than Words (final edit 2) 5:49
* 03. Erotica (rough mix) 5:16 15 January 1992
* 04. Erotica (final demo 2) 5:24 15 January 1992
* 05. Thief Of Hearts (old music) 3:55 17 January 1992
* 06. Thief Of Hearts (new music) 5:12 20 January 1992
* 07. Jitterbug 0:36 15 January 1992
* 08. Thief Of Hearts (old music again) 5:15 22 January 1992

S.Pettibone/M. Ciccone/T.Shimkin

Description of selected songs

* Rain (final demos) U.S. copyright registration# PAu-1-605-634Of the two versions of Rain found on the Tapes, the second (new vocal) is badly distorted but appears to have very minimal differences to the released version. Madonna sings the outro twice ("I'll stand out on the mountain top") and she can be heard to say "Whatever" as the music fades. The first version (Final Demo New Harms) is recorded at too low a level at the beginning though it raises to the correct level after the first verse. As the title suggests, the harmonies are highlighted in this version and include some which were removed in the final mix. Again the final line is sung twice.

* Bye Bye Baby (alternate rough and final demos) U.S. copyright registration# PAu-1-605-635 The first of the Bye Bye Baby demos ('First Day Ruff') is extremely distorted on the original tapes, having been recorded with too much input. Despite this, it appears to be a first run-through of the song and is extremely rough, mostly spoken and includes some minor alternate lyrics including "What makes you sexy?" and "Does it make you feel good to make me cry?". Fortunately this and the second "Rain" demo are the only two which suffer from distortion or serious quality issues.The 'Second Day Ruff' demo is interesting in that it uses a unique vocal which is much darker than that on the finished mix. Like the 'First Day Ruff', it is a very basic run-through of the track though the lyrics are more developed but still include minor differences. The final demo is very close to the album mix though again there are several minor differences, for example, it lacks the spoken "Bitch!" in the bridge. None of the demos feature the "You f**ked it up" line which closes the album version and each uses an alternate vocal.

* Deeper and Deeper (alternate demo version) U.S. copyright registration# PAu-1-605-634. Has slightly different arrangements than the released version. This version is missing the Latin guitar break which Shep told "EQ magazine" that he hated and that Madonna insisted on in the released version. This one might be closer to his original vision with the house pattern. The end is a little different using the same released lyrics but the music goes on for longer.

* You Are The One (unreleased) U.S. copyright registration# PAu-1-605-636 Completely unreleased in any format. Song not used on the album. The lyrics are rather mundane, such as "You are the one, my only one, you are the one for me". The sound is very dance/club/house and includes a break with 80s-style scratching and backing vocals which are also used on the "Goodbye To Innocence" demos. It was abandoned at the demo stage.

*Shame (unreleased) U.S. copyright registration# PAu-1-605-637 Completely unreleased in any format. Song not used on the album. The song opens with a spoken intro, "Why do you wanna waste your life away? It's a shame". Later she sings "Anyone can learn to fly, keep your head up - keep your held held high". The chorus starts with "It's a Shaaaaaame, the way you live your life is a shame - and you've got no one to blame" which sounds an awful a lot like the song of the same title and time period by Monie Love. This is possibly the source of the old rumor that she and Madonna were going to do something together. The similarity ends there, with Madonna's "Shame" demo breaking off into its own unique melody. The tapes contain two mixes of the track which are substantially different in arrangement. An high quality except has been leaked in the middle of 2008.

* Goodbye To Innocence (unreleased alternate demos) U.S. copyright registration# PAu-1-605-640 This is very different from the commercially released remixed version which appeared on the various artists collection "Just Say Roe" and in a further revised dub, "Up Down Suite", as one of the B-sides for the "Rain" single. The unreleased demo versions use the same theme and many of the same lyrics, but everything is switched around and feels much darker than the released versions. It is a different vocal recording (strong-and-clear unlike the commercial mix). Much of the song's melody is different including the chorus. The arrangement is pure pop-funk-dance, no club remix style here. Extra lyrics include the spoken line: "Goodbye to innocence, anonyminity (sic), peace of mind . . . Goodbye to privacy, goodbye to all of that. Hello mankind!" The chorus is also completely different: "You know you'd better stop, stop and think about how you get your kicks, God knows I didn't ask for this - you know you'd better stop, stop and think about it, before you mess with someone else, why don't you pay attention to yourself - yourself and nobody else". Most who have heard these demos cannot understand why the song was abandoned at this stage. It is probably the strongest of the unreleased "Erotica" demos. The first of the GTI demos is interesting as studio talk can be heard in the background, notably Madonna laughing and saying "You ARE!" as the song ends. The two demos are mixed and arranged differently, the first incorporating an alternate vocal harmony during the refrains that isn't present in the second demo. It seems likely that the attributions of these two demos - Straight Pass and Final Edit - has been mixed up, as the edit is longer than the Straight Pass and also includes studio talk which is normally only found in a straight pass.

* Actions Speak Louder Than Words (alternate rough and final demos) U.S. copyright office registration PAu-1-605-641.These are without the eastern instrument found in the released version simply called "Words". Instead the synth keys that are found at the end of the commercial mix are used during the chorus. There is also a subtle guitar-like sound. Additional lyrics include "Your words are for fools", and "Your words are so cruel". The backing vocals and bridge arrangements are slightly different, the first Rough Mix, as you would expect, uses a different vocal take to the final edits and the eventually-discarded refrains have not yet taken form. The two final edits are actually different in mix and quality, the one on the first tape being noticeably clearer and more polished.

* Erotica (alternate rough and final demos). U.S. copyright registration PAu-1-605-642 Known to fans as You Thrill Me since these words are contained in the alternate lyrics. Madonna incorporated this demo into the version of Erotica that she performed on her 2006 Confessions Tour. It is significantly different from the released album version. The verse lyrics are the same as those used on the album, though there is no trace of the familiar chorus lyric "Erotic, Erotic, put your hands all over my body". Instead Madonna sings a different chorus line with a different melody in the same type of voice that ends with the line: :"....You are who you are....and I:Wouldn't want to change a spite of:All the pain that love can bring...:Tell me, what can I do? I'm so in love with you.:You thrill me, surround me, you fill me:You send me, you put me in a trance:You fill me, inside of me, you take me:You thrill me, you put me in a trance."

The instrumentation is approximately the same as the commercial mix but is jazzier and much more bass-heavy. The Rough Mix includes the complete refrain, "Erotica, romance, I'd like to put you in a trance . . . Erotica, romance, I'd like to do a different kind of dance" (the word 'dance' bing lost by final demo stage) and uses an alternate vocal in parts.

The two "final demos" are actually slightly different, not only in mix and quality (that on the first tape being noticeably clearer and more polished), but also in some vocal sections. This is borne out by the different mixing completion dates of the two "final demos" which makes it clear these are two different works. The fact that "Final Demo 2" was completed on the 15th - the same day as the Rough Mix - and "Final Demo 1" on the 16th makes it likely that the track credited as "Final Demo 2" is actually a straight pass representing a development of the "Rough Mix" - this would be borne out by the studio talk still present on the second demo and the fact that some different vocal elements are used on "Final Demo 1" which is the most polished and complete of all three "Erotica" demos.

* Jitterbug (song fragment, about 30-45 seconds) This song was mostly taped over, but showed up between two of the other tracks. It is listed on the handwritten tape label, but it has no copyright registration of its own. The title was originally spelled with a "G", but was written over darker with a "J" in blue ink. It features typical generic Shep Pettibone dance music with Madonna finishing up with "Jitterbug, Jitterbug". Madonna stops singing but the music continues, and she can be heard asking "Is this gonna go on forever and ever"? The music still continues and she finally demands "Somebody end this dance lesson!" It abruptly ends. She then says into the microphone "There were some cute ideas there".

* Thief Of Hearts (alternate demo versions) U.S. copyright registration# PAu-1-605-643Use slightly different intro, bridge and outro arrangements. One version has what we know at the end of the song placed at the beginning. One uses the voice of a southern black woman to say the line "now sister sit your a** down" instead of Madonna herself as done on the commercial release, and Madonna is briefly heard laughing immediately after. Each demo uses an alternate vocal take.

The Fake Rain Tapes

A set of fakes of the two cassettes is in circulation, created by a fan who claimed to want to "recreate the experience of listening to the real Rain Tapes". These fakes include the five genuine leaked tracks and are fleshed out with over 20 fake tracks which used the leaked clips, homemade instrumentals and interview excerpts - sourced from many TV sources such as "In Bed With Madonna" and the "Happy Birthday MTV" speech - blended with the officially released tracks and including a "Rain Tapes Megamix" of the clips. Unfortunately, these fakes have simply been labelled "The Rain Tapes" and many have accepted them unquestioningly as the genuine item, though most of the fakes bear no resemblance at all to the genuine demos.

These fakes are easily recognisable to most thanks to their clumsy editing and sampling. For example, a European fan / musician known as cristiandiorproject took the 25-second clip of Shame and used it as the basis for his own instrumental, inventing lyrics which he then sang over the resulting track ( This version was then blended with the authentic 25-second clip to create a fake which is instantly recognisable thanks to his off-key vocals and the typical inclusion of monologue from Madonna's TV interviews.

The tracklisting of the fakes is typically shuffled around in order but usually consists of the following (those marked with an asterisk are the only real demos on this collection):

* 01. Rain (Final Demo - New Harms)
* 02. Rain (New Vocal) (Damaged)
* 03. Deeper And Deeper (Final Demo)
* 04. Bye Baby Baby (1st Day Ruff) *
* 05. Bye Baby Baby (Final Demo)
* 06. Bye Baby Baby (2nd Day Ruff)
* 07. You Are The One (Final Edit Demo) - (listen to the fake here: [] ) (Using a mix of Cathy Dennis song "Everybody Moves (Everybody's House Mix)")
* 08. Shame (Final Demo) - (lsten to the fake here:
* 09. Shame (Straight Pass - Instrumental)
* 10. In This Life [Edit]
* 11. Cheat (Drunk Girl) [Edit] *
* 12. Goodbye To Innocence (Final Edit)
* 13. Goodbye To Innocence (Straight Pass) *
* 14. BONUS - Erotica (1st Day Demo)

* 01. Actions Speak Louder Than Words (Final Edit)
* 02. Erotica (Final Demo 1 )
* 03. Actions Speak Louder Than Words (First Day)
* 04. Actions Speak Louder Than Words (Final Edit 2)
* 05. Erotica (Rough Mix )
* 06. Erotica (Final Demo 2 ) *
* 07. Thief Of Hearts (Old Music) *
* 08. Thief Of Hearts (New Music)
* 09. Jitterbug (Song Fragment) (Using an old mix of Cathy Dennis song "Just another Dream (12" Mix) - listen to the fake here: ")
* 10. Thief Of Hearts (Old Music Again)
* 11. Bonus - Rain Tapes Megamix (uses the real clips used as the basis for some of these fakes) *
* 12. Bonus - Cheat (Drunk Girl) [Alternate Demo] * (Real, but not on the Rain Tapes)
* 13. Bonus - Fever (Demo)

If you want to hear comparisons between "Jiterbug" and "Everybody move"; "You are the one" and "Just another dream" and "Shame (Original)" and "Shame (fanmade)"; you can follow this link: [] .

The only genuine tracks in circulation are those five listed in Distribution Of Material, above.

Distribution of material

Between November 2007 and 22 February 2008, 5 full tracks from the Rain Tapes appeared on the net on madonna fan sites. Later that year, high quality versions of three of the tracks already leaked appeared, apparently coming from the same source. No actual new material, however, has surfaced since February 2008.

*Cheat (Drunk Girl] (320 MP3)
*Bye Bye Baby (First Day Ruff) (mp3)
*Thief Of Hearts (Old Music) (WAV)
*Erotica (final demo 2) 15 January 1992 (WAV)
*Goodbye To Innocence (Straight Pass) (WAV, 128 MP3)

Also leaked were low-quality 25-second fragments of Actions Speak Louder Than Words [Final Edit] , Erotica [Rough Mix] , Goodbye To Innocence [Final Edit] and Shame [Final Edit Demo] . Later that year HQ versions of the same clips - excluding Erotica Rough Mix and Goodbye To Innocence Final Edit - appeared online.


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.