Madonna wrote this with Shep Pettibone, a New York producer who she collaborated with on her Erotica
album, including "Vogue
" and the ballad "Rain
Pettibone was thrilled to get to work with all live musicians for the first time on this song. He told Billboard
: "We took the track and put a live drummer to it and live strings and live piano. We didn't have any strings written for the song [originally]. Jeremy Lubbock was chosen to do the arrangement on the strings and I think that had a lot to do with the final outcome of the song."
But working with the orchestra did not turn out how Pettibone expected. He told Icon
in 1992: "Everything went fine until the point when the orchestra played their parts; we didn't like what we heard. Madonna and I had to change the whole arrangement, right there in the studio, with a full orchestra sitting there getting paid for taking up space - around $15,000 for three hours, $3000 for every half hour over that. And of course, Lubbock was talking to two people who didn't know a C from a B natural. The pressure was on.
I can only sing the notes I hear at the moment, so that's what I did. Madonna and I stood there over my little Mac, singing the notes, and Lubbock would go, 'Oh, that's a G; Oh, that's a B' and that's how it got done. We completed the session in 2 hours and 58 minutes – two minutes away from another three grand."
Jeremy Lubbock, among many other credits, worked with Madonna on I'm Breathless
, the soundtrack album for Dick Tracy
(1990), another film starring the singer.