Friday, October 26, 2012


Prince broke through into the mainstream with the funky electronic explorations of this double album of dance pop new wave magnificence. '1999' was recorded at Kiowa Trail Home Studio in Chanhassen, Minnesota and Sunset Sound Recorders in Hollywood, California. The sessions were produced by Prince with minimal imput from his new band the Revolution:  Dez Dickerson giving the co-lead vocal on "1999" and "Little Red Corvette" and guitar solos on "Little Red Corvette"; Wendy Melvoin giving background vocals on "Free"; Lisa Coleman giving co-lead vocal on "1999" and "Little Red Corvette", background vocals on "Delirous", "D.M.S.R.", "Automatic" and "Free", handclaps on "D.M.S.R."; J.J. giving co-lead vocal on "1999", background vocals on "Automatic", "Free" and "Lady Cab Driver"; Vanity giving background vocals on "Free"; and Jamie Shoop, Carol McGovney, Peggy McCreary, Brown Mark, Poochie and "the Count" giving background vocals and handclaps on "D.M.S.R.". All other vocals and instruments were done by Prince.

Prince explained:  "The reason I don't use musicians a lot of the time had to do with the hours that I worked. I swear to God it's not out of boldness when I say this, but there's not a person around who can stay awake as long as I can. Music is what keeps me awake. There will be times when I've been working in the studio for twenty hours and I'll be falling asleep in the chair, but I'll still be able to tell the engineer what cut I want to make. I use engineers in shifts a lot of the time because when I start something, I like to go all the way through. There are very few musicians who will stay awake that long."

The album featured a wild fusion of different musical styles ranging from pop, soul, gospel, and rock to the synthesized extended funk jams that kept people dancing until they dropped. Prince would exclaim: "What's missing from pop music is danger. There's no excitement and mystery - people sneaking out and going to these forbidden concerts by Elvis Presley or Jimi Hendrix."

'1999' went to number thirty five in Australia, thirty in the UK, twenty-five in Canada, nine in the US, and number six in New Zealand. It has been certified platinum in Canada and the UK and quadruple platinum in the US. The lyrics of the album rose eyebrows for their explicit sexual imagry. Prince considers:   "I guess if there's a concept, it's freedom—personal freedom—and the fact that we all have to do what we want to do. I think I say exactly the way it is. I don't particularly think what I sing about is so controversial. My albums deal with being loved and accepted. They deal with war. They deal with sex. When a girl can get birth control pills at age twelve, she knows just about as much as I do. My mom had stuff in her room that I could sneak in and get...books, vibrators. I did it. I'm sure everybody does...It could be that I have a need to be different."

The single for the apocalyptic title track hit twenty-one in Ireland, fourteen in the Netherlands, twelve in the US, six in Canada, four in New Zealand and on the US R&B chart, two in Australia and Switzerland, and number one on the US dance chart.

"Little Red Corvette"
This racy number drove its way to number sixty-one on the US dance chart, fifteen on the US R&B chart, twelve in New Zealand, eight in Australia, six in the US, five in Canada, and number two in the UK.

"Delirious" went to thirty-three in New Zealand, twenty-seven in Canada, eighteen on the US R&B chart, and number eight on the US pop chart.

 "Let's Pretend We're Married"  
charted at number fifty-five on the US R&B chart, and number fifty-two on the US dance and pop charts.

"dance music sex romance!"

full album:

All tracks written by Prince. 

Side one
1. "1999"   6:15
2. "Little Red Corvette"   5:03
3. "Delirious"   4:00
Side two
4. "Let's Pretend We're Married"   7:21
5. "D.M.S.R."   8:17
Side three
6. "Automatic"   9:28
7. "Something in the Water (Does Not Compute)"   4:02
8. "Free"   5:08
Side four
9. "Lady Cab Driver"   8:19
10. "All the Critics Love U in New York"   5:59
11. "International Lover"   6:37

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