Many of my favorite people (musical and otherwise) cite Prince as a huge inspiration. As in, “I based most of my songwriting career off of this artist” and “He changed the face of pop music forever.” Yet somehow, before this week, I had never listened to a full Prince album all the way through. Not acceptable. So obviously “a Prince album” was moved to the top of our Album of the Week queue. But which one? Purple Rain was a bit of an anomaly because it’s a soundtrack, and we wanted something relatively early in his career, and…let’s stop making excuses, it was the cover. It was the album cover all the way that made us pick Dirty Mind.
Unexpected bonus: when we picked up the record at Rasputin in Mountain View, we found this poster included:
|It looks great in our living room.|
The goal of these ‘Album of the Week’ (or Every Other Week, or whatever it turns out to be) posts are not so I can write album reviews. I actually really dislike the idea of doing album reviews, I guess that’s because I’m selfish and would rather make these posts more about my personal experiences than providing any sort of useful information.
So instead, I will focus on why we chose the album, how we obtained it, and what it was like listening to it for the first time. In this case, we popped on the record right after getting home from a weekend of beer-adventuring in Sacramento, and proceeded to boogie all the way through Side 1 while preparing a meal of Trader J’s tortellini and peas. Question: did Dirty Mind define the sound of the 80s? This album is from 1980 and while parts of it are distinctly disco-influenced, the rest is just SO SYNTHY AND FRESH. Makes you think about how much less fabulous the 80s would’ve been without Prince. Side 2 was spent eating the aforementioned tortellini and peas, punctuated by sudden, spastic head-bobbing and bouts of uncontrollable dancing.
A select few favorite parts:
Unfortunately there’s a severe lack of Prince songs on YouTube (copyrights and whatnot), so to listen to these I suggest just getting the album! It will be worth whatever you spend.
When You Were Mine. The backing vocals in this song are so OK Go (or should I say, OK Go backing vocals are so Prince). I’ve known for a long time that Damian Kulash is a major Prince fan (a relevant NPR article), so I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to listen to the man himself.
Do It All Night. DANCE DANCE DANCE DANCE.
The transition between Uptown and Head. Uggghhhh, so SWAG.
Sister. This song reminds me of a Spencer Owen song, except it’s about incest. So there you go.
We’re off to find another album this weekend. Recommendations wholeheartedly welcomed.