• Chloe Calvin

Prince's 1999. 38 years on.

“Prince really liked releasing albums and singles in October init!” Lil_MissCC via Twitter

Album: 1999 by Prince Nelson

Released: October 27, 1982

Recorded: January - August 1982

When people ask me what is my favourite Prince album it's always a hard question to answer but I look back at my purple music journey where I explore the beginning well mid-way from the “calm” before the storm of Purple Rain and answer is the 1999 album. I wanted to understand where and what P was studying and working with before his blockbuster movie and soundtrack of 1984.

The use of the colour purple during the era was the beginning of some of Prince’s iconic looks. This was Prince’s fifth studio album and his first studio album recorded with The Revolution. This album gave him his first grammy nomination for "International Lover" nominated for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance at the 26th Grammy Awards. The themes discussed in the album I can relate to as I grow older and I understand more now at 25 compared to when I first listened to it when I was 18.

P talks about the future, love, war, sex, freedom, lust, God and the end of the world. Mostly things that young adults fear or care about. The main thing that captured my ears and heart for this album was the grassroots of what was the beginning of the Minneapolis Sound, the fusion of R&B, Techno, Funk, Rock, Synth-Pop and New Wave. Prince pioneers synthesizers and the drum machine in this album.

“If you think I'm crazy, you're probably right But I'm gonna have fun every motherfuckin' night If you like to fight, you're a double-drag fool I'm goin' to another life, how 'bout you” Let’s Pretend We’re Married Prince

Ok so let’s get to the fun part of this blog post! One of my favourite Prince songs of all time. One of the first songs I bought on Google Play. The song that I listened to on repeat on the way home after seeing Prince for the first time at the Electric Ballroom in Camden, London February 2014 at 2am on the 31 bus. Ironically the seventh track on this album Something in the Water (Does Not Compute).

'Something In The Water (Does Not Compute)', from 1999. One of Prince and The Revolution's best avant-garde tracks ever made? The Revolution via Facebook

Yes. One of the best avant-garde tracks ever made! Whatever that means! The song slaps you into a psychedelic thrill into the love lost of this young man's anguish. The emotive creativity from this track makes you happy and sad at the same time. Happy to the enjoyment as this is some of the best screams I have ever heard from Prince. Sad that maybe Prince was singing from a personal experience. I hate to say it but in our early mid 20’s we’re all experienced some sort of pain and trauma from a breakup. Relatable. For me its how Prince is able to relay this message through his music which we all end up learning by listening further into his catalogue. I could talk about Prince all day as he lives in my head rent free... musically.

“It don't not compute I'd buy you clothing, buy you fancy cars But you gotta talk to me, baby, tell me who you really are Must be something in the water, babe It's been the same with every girl I've had Must be something in the water you drink 'Cause why else would a woman want to treat a man so bad?” Something in the Water (Does Not Compute) Prince

38 years ago on this day Prince and The Revolution released an album that raised the bar for 80s funk.

My top 5 songs from this album are:

  1. Something in the Water (Does Not Compute)

  2. Automatic

  3. D.M.S.R

  4. Lady Cab Driver

  5. All the Critics Love U In New York

Honourable Mention: How Come You Don’t Call Me Anymore

“It's time for a new direction It's time for jazz to die” All the Critics Love U In New York Prince

Once again thank you Prince for creating another essential piece of music for the world to listen to. You may not be here physically but we still have the gifts you left behind.

C.C. x

Listen to the album

Personnel Via Prince Vault Prince - all vocals and instruments, except where noted. Lisa Coleman - background vocals on 1999, Little Red Corvette, Delirious, D.M.S.R., Automatic and Free Dez Dickerson - co-lead vocals on 1999, background vocals on Little Red Corvette, guitar solos on Little Red Corvette Jill Jones - co-lead vocals on 1999, background vocals on Automatic, Free and Lady Cab Driver (credited as "J.J.") Jesse Johnson - background vocals on 1999 (uncredited) Brown Mark - background vocals and handclaps on D.M.S.R. (credited as "Brown Mark") Jamie Shoop - background vocals and handclaps on D.M.S.R. (credited as (Jamie") Carol McGovney - background vocals and handclaps on D.M.S.R. (credited as "Carol") Peggy McCreary - background vocals and handclaps on D.M.S.R. (credited as "Peggy") Poochie - background vocals and handclaps on D.M.S.R. The Count - background vocals and handclaps on D.M.S.R. Vanity - background vocals on Free Wendy Melvoin - background vocals on Free (credited as "Wendy")

"Thank U - God.

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