Category: 1999

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Michael Jackson with his children Michael Jr (known as Prince) and Paris-Michael in 1999.  

Photos by Hamid Moslehi  

On this day in music history: October 27, 1982 – “1999”, the fifth album by Prince is released. Produced by Prince, it is recorded at Kiowa Trail Home Studio in Chanhassen, MN and Sunset Sound Recorders in Hollywood, CA from January – August 1982. Even before the tour for “Controversy” wraps, Prince’s restless creativity sends him back into the studio. The musician looks to push the boundaries of what he has done previously, but also reach a wider audience without any artistic compromise. Ironically enough, the first song recorded for the new album is its closing track (“International Lover”), and its opening track (“1999”) is the last one completed. By the time recording wraps, Prince realizes he has more material than can fit on a single LP. When he suggests to Warner Bros. that he wants it to be a two LP set, they are initially hesitant. A compromise is reached, releasing it as Prince intends, but with a lower $10.98 list price, rather than the normal list price of $13.98 or $14.98 for a two album set. “1999” is the first to be credited to “Prince And The Revolution” (the latter written in reverse on the front cover), is his breakthrough to a wide mainstream audience. It spins off four singles including “Little Red Corvette” (#6 Pop, #15 R&B), “Delirious” (#8 Pop, #18 R&B) and the title track (#1 Dance, #4 R&B, initially peaked at #44, re-charted in 1983 peaked at #12 Pop). Prince supports the project with the now legendary “Triple Threat Tour” featuring The Time and Vanity 6 as the opening acts. “1999” spends over three years on the pop album charts and nearly two years on the R&B chart. Prince also receives his first Grammy nominations for Best R&B Vocal Performance (“International Lover”) and Best Pop Vocal Performance, Male (“1999”) in 1984 (losing to Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean” and “Thriller”). When the album is first released on CD, it omits “DMSR” since it would breach the seventy minute time limit placed on a single disc at the time. The track is restored to the CD in 1992. “1999” is inducted into the Grammy Hall Of Fame in 2008. The album is reissued on vinyl in 2011 by Rhino Records, replicating all of the original packaging. After Prince’s untimely passing in April of 2016, “1999” re-enters the Billboard Top 200, peaking at number seven, surpassing its original chart peak of number nine on May 28, 1983. On November 29, 2019, “1999” is scheduled to be released in multiple reissues. The ultimate of these is a 5 CD + DVD, or 10 LP Super Deluxe box set, featuring 12" extended mixes, 7" edits, previously unreleased outtakes, and two full live concerts recorded at Masonic Hall in Detroit, MI and The Summit in Houston, TX in 1982. “1999” peaks at number four on the Billboard R&B album chart, number seven on the Top 200, and is certified 4x Platinum in the US by the RIAA.

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TLC photographed by Ron Davis, 1999.

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Dennis Rodman and

wife Carmen Electra

celebrate his first win as a Los Angeles Laker at

Goodbar in Beverly Hills on February 26, 1999.

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Prince photographed by Steve Parke, circa 1999.

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Prince photographed by Steve Parke, circa 1999.

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Prince playing basketball at his Minnesota estate Paisley Park, circa 1999.

(Photos by Steve Parke) 

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Justin Timberlake, Aaliyah,

and Lance Bass

photographed by George Lange, 1999. 

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Michael Jackson with his children Michael Jr (known as Prince) and Paris-Michael in 1999.  

Photos by Hamid Moslehi  

Prince photographed by Allen Beaulieu, 1982.