On this day in music history: October 8, 1980 …

On this day in music history: October 8, 1980 – “Dirty Mind”, the third album by Prince is released. Produced by Prince, it is recorded in Uptown (Wayzata Home Studio) in Wayzata, MN and Hollywood Sound Recorders in Hollywood, CA from May – June 1980. After having his first taste of mainstream success with his self-titled second album, Prince takes a stylistic left turn. The musician records an album of raw, stripped down funk and rock songs on a 16-track multi-track recorder set up in his home studio on Lake Minnetonka. Recording begins after Prince completes a tour, as the opening act for fellow R&B star Rick James. At first, Warner Bros Records are taken aback at the sexually explicit lyrics of tracks such as “Head” and “Sister”, but eventually agree to release the album after the raw tapes are remixed by Prince and engineer Mick Guzauski. The track “Partyup” is co-written by Prince and his friend and former high school band mate Morris Day, and is the catalyst for Prince putting together the band The Time around Day. Initial pressings of the album also carry a disclaimer sticker on the front, to advise those of its explicit content. Though sales wise it is much less successful than his previous release, the album and the subsequent tour in support of it attracts the attention and universal praise from the rock press helping to widen his fan base beyond his core R&B audience.

To promote the album, Prince plays a series of live shows in venues traditionally hosting rock acts, including now legendary performances at The Stone in San Francisco, and The Ritz in New York City.

It spins off two singles including “Uptown” (#5 R&B, #101 Pop) and the title track. Initially selling around 300,000 copies at the time of its release. The album eventually reaches Gold status in the US less than one week before the release of “Purple Rain” (the soundtrack) in June of 1984. The album is reissued on 180 gram vinyl by Warner Bros’ Rhino Records reissue division in 2011. The vinyl release is remastered and reissued again in 2016 by NPG/Warner Bros, along with a cassette tape reissue of the classic title. “Dirty Mind” peaks at number seven on the Billboard R&B album chart, number forty five on the Top 200, and is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.