Thieves in the Temple
|"Thieves in the Temple"|
UK 7" single
|Single by Prince|
|from the album Graffiti Bridge|
|B-side||"Thieves in the Temple (Part II)"
"Thieves In the House" (12")
"Temple House Dub" (12")
|Released||July 17, 1990|
CD Maxi single
|Recorded||Paisley Park Studios, January 1990|
12" Remix: 8:08
|Label||Paisley Park/Warner Bros.|
|Certification||Gold (RIAA) - October 2, 1990|
|Prince singles chronology|
"Thieves in the Temple" is a song by Prince from the 1990 soundtrack album, Graffiti Bridge. Added at the last minute, it was the final song recorded for the album. "Thieves in the Temple" topped the U.S. R&B chart and became a number six hit in the U.S., and a number seven hit in the UK. The single also peaked at number 9 on the dance charts.
The track has a unique sound, starting quietly with echoed keyboards and vocals before the main section of the song booms in with a pulsating synth bass, syncopated drum machines, Middle Eastern melodies and opera-like layered vocals. Prince also samples a harmonica solo from a recording by The Chambers Brothers. The vocals are emotional, and accuse the subject of rejecting Prince and lying to him. The "temple" in the title recalls the ever-present spirituality in many of Prince's songs. The maxi-single contains extended lyrics that continue the theme before diverging into more dance-oriented material.
The maxi-single also contains a Junior Vasquez remix called "Thieves in the House", which is distinctly more dance oriented. It also contains samples from earlier Prince songs "Eye No" and "Batdance," as well as a dub version of the house track. The music video for the song was pulled from the film, but an extended video exists which mirrors the extended remix.
7": Paisley Park / 7-19751 (US)
- "Thieves in the Temple" – 3:20
- "Thieves in the Temple" (Part II) – 1:41
12": Paisley Park / 0-21598 (US)
- "Thieves in the Temple" (Remix) – 8:03
- "Thieves in the House Mix" – 6:50
- "Temple House Dub" – 5:06
- also available on UK 12" picture disc (W9751TP)
- also available on CD (9 21598-2)
|peak position (1990)||Position|
|U.S. Billboard Hot 100||6|
- Herbie Hancock recorded an instrumental version of "Thieves in the Temple" on his 1996 album The New Standard, implicitly nominating the song as a contemporary jazz standard.
- A version was also recorded by experimental band Ulver, in the style of their album Shadows of the Sun with guest vocals by Siri Stranger.
- Prince's scream at the end of the song was sampled for the 1993 Eddie Murphy and Michael Jackson duet, "Whatzupwitu".