Category: prince

On this day in music history: May 16, 1984 – &…

On this day in music history: May 16, 1984 – “When Doves Cry” by Prince is released. Written and produced by Prince, it is the fifteenth single release for the singer, songwriter and musician from Minneapolis, MN. With principal photography having wrapped on Prince’s first feature film “Purple Rain” by early 1984, the film quickly goes into post production to make its projected late July release date. As the film is being edited, director Albert Magnoli requests an additional song to underscore a montage sequence he is cutting together. The director gives the artist an idea of the type of song he’s looking for, stating that “it’s about your parents, and about love and loss”. Prince says “OK” to Magnoli, then returns the next day with two complete song demos. Upon hearing the one titled “When Doves Cry”, the director likes it immediately. Prince enters Sunset Sound Recorders in Hollywood on March 1, 1984, recording and mixing the song in a single thirty six hour session. During the mixing stage, Prince comes up with the idea of removing the bass line from the already spare track. Warner Bros. is initially hesitant to the release the song, but the artist insists that it be issued as is. Issued five weeks ahead as the first taste of the landmark “Purple Rain” soundtrack, it is an instant smash upon its release. “When Doves Cry” becomes the fastest selling single in the history of the label, selling over a million copies in its first five days. Part of the initial press run of 45’s are pressed on purple vinyl, with a 12" single featuring the full unedited version being released commercially a month later on June 13, 1984. The 7" and 12" singles are backed by the non LP B-side “17 Days (the rain will come down, then U will have 2 choose, if U believe, look 2 the dawn and U shall never lose)” which is originally intended for Apollonia 6, but Prince changes his mind, and re-records the song at Sunset Sound on January 8, 1984. “17 Days” also receives significant airplay and becomes a fan favorite. “When Doves Cry” hits number one on the Billboard R&B singles chart on June 30, 1984 (spending 8 weeks at the top) and top the Hot 100 on July 7, 1984 (spending 5 weeks at the top), selling more than two million copies (certified Platinum by the RIAA) in the US alone and is ranked the top single of 1984.

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On this day in music history: May 15, 1985 -…

On this day in music history: May 15, 1985 – “Raspberry Beret” by Prince & The Revolution is released. Written and produced by Prince, it is the twenty second single release for the R&B and pop music icon from Minneapolis, MN. With many of the songs on “Around The World In A Day” written and recorded during a hugely prolific period in Prince’s career, the musician would often reach back to unreleased songs to “re-imagine them”. “Raspberry Beret” is one of those compositions. It is originally recorded in April of 1982, during the sessions for the “1999” album. Unsatisfied with it, it is set aside. The narrative of “Raspberry Beret” follows a young man “working part time in a five and dime”, when he encounters a woman (wearing the title apparel) he is instantly attracted to. The basic track is re-cut with The Revolution in September 7, 1984, at their rehearsal space on Flying Cloud Drive in Eden Prairie, MN. Prince revamps “Beret”, coming up with a new arrangement. A stand out from the outset when “Around The World In A Day” is released, it is not the musicians’ first choice as a single. He tells his label Warner Bros Records that he wants “Paisley Park” to be the single. Many US stations favor “Raspberry Beret” from the beginning, giving it heavy play as an LP cut. A compromise between Prince and Warner Bros is reached, with “Paisley Park” being issued outside the US, and “Raspberry Beret” in North America. The decision proves to be a wise one, as the catchy song quickly becomes a hit. Entering the Billboard Hot 100 at #37 on May 18, 1985, and #52 on the R&B singles chart on May 25, 1985, it peaks at #2 on the Hot 100 on July 13, 1985, and #3 on the R&B chart on July 6, 1985. A 12" single featuring extended versions are released on June 19, 1985, peaking at #4 on the Club Play chart on August 10, 1985. “Beret” is accompanied by a colorful video directed by Prince, with animation by Colossal Pictures co-founder Drew Takahashi. The B-side of “Raspberry Beret” features the non-LP cut “She’s Always In My Hair”. The funky, rock influenced track, is inspired by singer and actress Jill Jones, with whom the musician had shared a long relationship with. The basic track for “Hair” is originally recorded at Sunset Sound on December 29, 1983, during the sessions for “Erotic City” and “We Can Funk”. Additional overdubs are recorded on January 8, 1984 at Sunset, and another version (left unreleased) is recorded on August 15, 1984 at the Flying Cloud Drive warehouse. The song becomes a fan favorite, and is performed live by Prince frequently, on tours between 1993 and 2015. Also issued as the B-sides of “Paisley Park” and “Girls And Boys”, “She’s Always In My Hair” makes its CD debut on the compilation “The Hits / The B-sides” in 1993.12" extended versions of it and “Raspberry Beret” are issued on CD on “Ultimate Prince” in 2006.

  

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On this day in music history: May 10, 1988 – &…

On this day in music history: May 10, 1988 – “Lovesexy”, the tenth studio album by Prince is released. Produced by Prince, it is recorded at Paisley Park Studios in Chanhassen, MN from December 1987 – January 1988. Recorded and mixed in just seven weeks, Prince issues the album in the wake of the abruptly cancelled release of “The Black Album” in December of 1987. The central theme of the album is the struggle between good and evil, and serves as a stark contrast to the “dark energy” of “The Black Album”. The artist explains (rather cryptically), he had been “tricked” by Spooky Electric (“Satan”) “into delivering the dark side of himself” and that Camille (“God”) “had figured out what to feel”, prompting him to withdraw “The Black Album”. In releasing the more musically and spiritually positive “Lovesexy”, Prince takes on his twin obsessions of sex and spirituality, searching for a balance between the two. Fan and critical reaction to the album is mixed upon its release, which is further hampered by some record store chains refusing to the stock it because of the Jean-Baptiste Mondino cover shot depicting Prince in the nude. The original CD release of the album is also issued without index separation between the songs. This is done intentionally by Prince so that the album has to be played in a continuous sequence. Later issues correct this, and include standard track indexing. The album spin off three singles including “Alphabet Street” (#3 R&B, #8 Pop), “Glam Slam” (#44 R&B), and “I Wish U Heaven” (#18 R&B). The album was scheduled for reissue as a 180 gram vinyl LP by Warner Bros/Rhino on October 18, 2016, making the vinyl configuration available for the first time in more than twenty five years. To date, the vinyl release remains in limbo and a new date has yet to be announced. “Lovesexy” peaks at number five on the Billboard R&B album chart, number eleven on the Top 200, and is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.

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On this day in music history: April 22, 1985 -…

On this day in music history: April 22, 1985 – “Around The World In A Day”, the seventh studio album by Prince is released. Produced by Prince, it is recorded at the Flying Cloud Warehouse in Eden Prairie, MN, Mobile Audio Studio, St. Paul, MN, Sunset Sound and Capitol Studios in Hollywood, CA from January – December 1984. The second album credited to Prince & The Revolution, it is issued only ten months after “Purple Rain”. Though Warner Bros wants Prince to continue to tour in support of his hugely successful album, to maximize its sales worldwide, Prince has other ideas. Bored with touring, the musician insists that his next album be released as soon as the last single from the previous album falls from the charts. The new album is the first in a number of musical departures that Prince takes in his career. Much of the albums first half has a distinctively psychedelic influence, with the rest being balanced out with funk, pop and gospel sounds. Initially it is released with minimal publicity and without a single until nearly a month later. Prince suggests that “Paisley Park” be the first single (which is released in the UK), but with US radio already giving “Raspberry Beret” heavy airplay as an LP cut, Warner Bros in the US insists that it be issued instead. The album receives favorable reviews, and a positive reaction from fans. It spins off three singles including “Raspberry Beret” (#2 Pop) and “Pop Life” (#7 Pop). The initial CD packaging of the album comes in a three panel cardboard long box that unfolds (showing the song lyrics, like the LP’s inner gatefold) with the actual CD inside of a mini cardboard sleeve (of the album cover artwork), inserted into a slot inside the longbox. This packaging is discontinued after the initial press run, and the CD comes in a regular jewel case on subsequent re-pressings. Out of print on vinyl since 1989, it is remastered and reissued in September of 2016, replicating the original LP packaging and the “Balloon Boy” hype sticker. “Around The World In A Day” spends three weeks at number one on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified 3x Platinum in the US by the RIAA.

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Remembering music icon Prince (born Prince Rog…

Remembering music icon Prince (born Prince Rogers Nelson in Minneapolis, MN) – June 7, 1958 – April 21, 2016

Remembering music icon Prince (born Prince Rog…

Remembering music icon Prince (born Prince Rogers Nelson in Minneapolis, MN) – June 7, 1958 – April 21, 2016

twixnmix: Prince photographed by Steve Parke, …

twixnmix:

Prince photographed by Steve Parke, circa 1999.

twixnmix: Prince photographed by Steve Parke, …

twixnmix:

Prince photographed by Steve Parke, circa 1999.

On this day in music history: April 20, 2004 -…

On this day in music history: April 20, 2004 – “Musicology”, the thirtieth album by Prince is released. Produced by Prince, it is recorded at Paisley Park in Chanhassen, MN, Metal Works in Mississauga, Ontario, and The Hit Factory in New York City in Mid – Late 2003. After experimenting with distributing his music through his own NPG Music Club website, Prince decides to realign himself with the more traditional form of issuing his work. Released in cooperation with Sony Music’s Columbia Records, it is the artists’ first major label release in over five years. The album also features guest appearances from musicians such as Candy Dulfer, Maceo Parker, Sheila E. and Stokley Williams of Mint Condition. Part of its commercial success is due to the unique method of selling it by including a copy of the CD along with the price of a concert ticket, during the “Musicology Tour”. It spins off two singles (three in the UK) including “Call My Name” (#75 Pop) and the title track (#3 R&B). It wins two Grammy Awards including Best Traditional R&B Vocal Performance for the title track and Best Male R&B Vocal Performance for the single “Call My Name” in 2005. Originally released only on CD and cassette, the album makes its long awaited vinyl LP debut in February of 2019. The double vinyl set is pressed purple vinyl. “Musicology” peaks at number three on the Billboard Top 200 and R&B album charts, and is certified 2x Platinum in the US by the RIAA.

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On this day in music history: April 19, 1986 -…

On this day in music history: April 19, 1986 – Prince becomes the fifth songwriter in US chart history to hold down the top two positions on the Billboard Hot 100 simultaneously. His own single “Kiss” moves to number one while The Bangles’ “Manic Monday” written by Prince under the pseudonym “Christopher”, moves up to number two. The only other songwriters to achieve this feat are John Lennon and Paul McCartney (“I Want To Hold Your Hand”, “She Loves You”) in 1964, Barry, Robin, & Maurice Gibb “Stayin’ Alive” “(Love Is) Thicker Than Water”, “Night Fever”) in 1978, Elvis Presley (“Don’t Be Cruel”, “Love Me Tender”, given a co-writing credit but not an actual co-author) in 1956, and Jim Steinman (“Total Eclipse Of The Heart”, “Making Love Out Of Nothing At All”) in 1983.

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