portrait of this blog's author - by Stephen Blackman 2008

Saturday, October 28, 2017

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 his fourth album “Controversy” wraps, Prince’s restless creativity sends him back into the studio in January of 1982. More ambitious than ever, 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 the one that will be 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 his label Warner Bros. that he wants the album to be a two LP set, they are initially hesitant. A compromise is reached, releasing it as Prince intends, but issuing it with a lower $10.98 list price, rather than 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, including almost three consecutive months in the top ten on the pop chart, and several more in the R&B album top ten. 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 the track “DMSR” since it would breach the seventy minute time limit placed on a single disc at the time. The track is restored to the album in 1992 when the CD is reissued. “1999” is inducted into the Grammy Hall Of Fame in 2008, making it Prince’s first album to receive that acknowledgement. The album is reissued on vinyl in 2011 by Warner Bros’ Rhino Records reissue division, replicating all of the original cover artwork, inner sleeves and the custom “eye” labels used on the original pressings. 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. “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.

and despite all the brouhaha since his tragic death from yet more over prescribed legal medication opioids and such, we can still sit back and boogie to this amongst my favourite top three Prince songs, check the lyrics and wonder. The man was a genius! Guitarist and songwriter par excellence!

thanks to the most excellent Jeff Harris' blog 'Behind The Grooves  On this day in Music History

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