Planet Earth (Prince album)

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Planet Earth
Studio album by Prince
Released July 15, 2007
Recorded 2006–2007
Genre R&B, pop, funk, rock
Length 45:00
Label NPG, Columbia
Producer Prince
Prince chronology
3121
(2006)
Planet Earth
(2007)
Indigo Nights
(2008)
Singles from Planet Earth
  1. "Guitar"
    Released: July 9, 2007
  2. "Chelsea Rodgers"
    Released: August 6, 2007
  3. "The One U Wanna C"
    Released: September 2007

Planet Earth is the twenty-ninth studio album by American musician Prince, first released July 15, 2007 in the UK as a free covermount with The Mail on Sunday national newspaper. This was followed by the album's worldwide distribution. It features contributions from his newest protegée Bria Valente and former New Power Generation members Marva King, Sonny T, and Michael Bland, as well as Sheila E. and former Revolution members Wendy & Lisa.[1] The album debuted at number 3 on the U.S. Billboard 200 chart, selling 96,000 in its first week.

Release and promotion[edit]

On June 27, 2007, "Future Baby Mama" was leaked to the Internet via an American online radio station. The first single, "Guitar", was distributed in partnership with Verizon Wireless.[2] During the week of September 3, 2007, Prince flew to Prague, and then Spain to film a music video for "Somewhere Here on Earth". The clip was released but it has only been played on the TV channel BET.

Initially, Prince came to an agreement with Columbia Records to distribute the record worldwide. Prince and Columbia had previously teamed up for the release of his Musicology album in 2004.[3] However, Prince's management struck a deal with The Mail on Sunday to release Planet Earth as a free covermount CD with the July 15, 2007 edition of the paper. This move brought much criticism from UK record stores which resulted in Columbia refusing to distribute the album in the UK, though its release in the rest of the world remained unaffected.[4]

Giving away albums for free was not new for Prince. In 2004, he gave free copies of Musicology to all concert goers during the tour of the same name.[5] Similarly, the Planet Earth album was given away with tickets to his 2007 concerts in London. As a result of the decision by Sony BMG to not distribute the album in the UK, record store chain HMV announced it would stock the 15 July 2007 edition of The Mail on Sunday in lieu of the CD, admitting that "selling the Mail on Sunday next week will be the only way to make the Prince album available to our customers, which, ultimately, has to be our overriding concern".[6] On July 10, 2007, several days before the official UK release through The Mail on Sunday, a low quality version (recorded from a stream) of Planet Earth was leaked onto the Internet.[7] Prince forwent $4.6 million in licensing fees, but the promotion paid off with his subsequent sold out 21 show concert run at London's O2 Arena, earning him a gross of $23.4 million, and thus a $18.8 million profit.[8]

Singles[edit]

"Chelsea Rodgers" is the second single from Planet Earth, and was released worldwide on August 6, 2007. The B-side is album track "Mr. Goodnight". A video was made using footage of the band's performance at London Fashion Week. It premièred on October 28, 2007.

"Somewhere Here on Earth" is the third single from the album. On the week of 3 September 2007, Prince flew to Prague, and then Spain to film a music video for the song.[9] The full music video premiered on the BET Channel on February 12, 2008.

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Source Rating
Metacritic (65/100)[10]
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3.5/5 stars[11]
The A.V. Club B[12]
Entertainment Weekly B+[13]
Los Angeles Times 3.5/4 stars[14]
NME 6/10[15]
Pitchfork Media 4.8/10[16]
Rolling Stone 3.5/5 stars[17]
Slant Magazine 3/5 stars[18]
Spin 4.5/5 stars[19]
The Village Voice mixed[20]

The album debuted on the U.S. Billboard 200 at number three with 96,000 units sold in its first week. This is less than half of both Musicology and 3121.[21] As of October 2007, the album has sold about 298,000 copies in America, with almost no promotion, with the exception of the Verizon Wireless ad for "Guitar". Although not released as a single, "Future Baby Mama" gathered radio airplay on American R&B radio and charted within the top 40 of Billboard's Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs. The song won Prince a Grammy Award for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance at the 2008 Grammy Awards.

Planet Earth received generally positive reviews from most music critics, based on an aggregate score of 65/100 from Metacritic.[10] In his consumer guide for MSN Music, Robert Christgau gave the album a three-star honorable mention ((3-star Honorable Mention)),[22] indicating "an enjoyable effort consumers attuned to its overriding aesthetic or individual vision may well treasure."[23] He cited "Guitar" and "The One U Wanna C" as highlights and quipped, "Viva Las Vegas and later for Viagra -- but not never".[24]

Track listing[edit]

All songs written and produced by Prince.

  1. "Planet Earth" – 5:51
  2. "Guitar" – 3:45
  3. "Somewhere Here on Earth" – 5:45
  4. "The One U Wanna C" – 4:29
  5. "Future Baby Mama" – 4:47
  6. "Mr. Goodnight" – 4:26
  7. "All the Midnights in the World" – 2:21
  8. "Chelsea Rodgers" – 5:41
  9. "Lion of Judah" – 4:10
  10. "Resolution" – 3:40

Release history[edit]

Country Date
United Kingdom July 15, 2007
Germany July 20, 2007
United States July 24, 2007

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Columbia Snaps Up Prince's 'Planet Earth'". Billboard.com. June 12, 2007. 
  2. ^ "Prince Reunites With Wendy & Lisa!". Pitchfork Media. [dead link]
  3. ^ "Prince Album Drama". Yahoo! Music. June 28, 2007. Retrieved June 28, 2007. 
  4. ^ "Prince Free Album Causes BMG U.K. to Pull Distribution". singersroom.com. June 30, 2007. Archived from the original on July 2, 2007. 
  5. ^ Brook, Stephen (July 9, 2007). "HMV defends about-face over Prince giveaway". The Guardian (London). Retrieved May 22, 2010. 
  6. ^ "Planet Earth". Prince Vault. June 22, 2011. Retrieved September 17, 2011. 
  7. ^ O'Reilly, Terry (20 April 2013). "Loss Leaders: How Companies Profit By Losing Money". CBC Radio: Under the Influence. Retrieved 20 April 2013. 
  8. ^ "Expo40p14-15Prince". fuji.co.uk. Archived from the original on November 21, 2008. 
  9. ^ a b "Planet Earth Reviews, Ratings, Credits, and More at Metacritic". Metacritic. Retrieved August 6, 2012. 
  10. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Prince: Planet Earth > Review" at AllMusic. Retrieved November 29, 2009.
  11. ^ Hyden, Steven (July 31, 2007). "Prince: Planet Earth". The A.V. Club (Chicago: The Onion). Retrieved 2012-08-06. 
  12. ^ Willman, Chris (July 23, 2007). "Planet Earth (2007): Prince". Entertainment Weekly (Time) (#945). ISSN 1049-0434. Retrieved November 29, 2009. 
  13. ^ Powers, Ann (July 24, 2007). "It's worth a visit to Prince's 'Planet'". Los Angeles Times (Tribune Company). ISSN 0458-3035. OCLC 3638237. Retrieved November 29, 2009. 
  14. ^ Martin, Dan (August 6, 2007). "Prince: Planet Earth". NME (IPC Media). ISSN 0028-6362. Retrieved November 29, 2009. 
  15. ^ Wolk, Douglas (July 23, 2007). "Prince: Planet Earth". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved November 29, 2009. 
  16. ^ Sheffield, Rob (August 1, 2007). "Planet Earth". Rolling Stone (Wenner Media). ISSN 0035-791X. Retrieved November 29, 2009. 
  17. ^ Henderson, Eric (July 24, 2007). "Prince: Planet Earth". Slant Magazine. Retrieved 2012-08-06. 
  18. ^ Light, Alan (September 2007). "The Ruler's Back". Spin: 121. ISSN 0886-3032. Retrieved November 29, 2009. 
  19. ^ Lewis, Miles Marshall (July 17, 2007). "Purple Drizzle". The Village Voice (New York). ISSN 0042-6180. Retrieved November 29, 2009. 
  20. ^ Hasty, Katy (August 1, 2007). "'NOW 25' Fends Off 'Hairspray,' Prince To Remain No. 1". Billboard (Prometheus Global Media). ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved August 1, 2007. 
  21. ^ Christgau, Robert. "CG: Prince". RobertChristgau.com. Retrieved August 6, 2012. 
  22. ^ Christgau, Robert. "CG 90s: Key to Icons". Robert Christgau. Retrieved 2012-08-06. 
  23. ^ Christgau, Robert (October 2007). "Consumer Guide". MSN Music. Retrieved 2012-08-06. 

External links[edit]