1999 (Prince album)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

1999
1999 cover.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedOctober 27, 1982
RecordedJanuary–August 1982
StudioKiowa Trail Home Studio
(Chanhassen, Minnesota)
Sunset Sound Recorders
(Hollywood, California)
Genre
Length70:33
LabelWarner Bros.
ProducerPrince
Prince chronology
Controversy
(1981)
1999
(1982)
Purple Rain
(1984)
Singles from 1999
  1. "1999"
    Released: September 24, 1982
  2. "Little Red Corvette"
    Released: February 9, 1983
  3. "D.M.S.R."
    Released: 1983 (promo) (non-US single)
  4. "Delirious"
    Released: August 17, 1983
  5. "Automatic"
    Released: August 1983 (non-US single)[8]
  6. "Let's Pretend We're Married"
    Released: November 23, 1983

1999 is the fifth studio album by American recording artist Prince, and the first to feature his band the Revolution. It was released on October 27, 1982, by Warner Bros. Records. 1999's critical and commercial success propelled Prince to a place in the public psyche, and marked the beginning of two years of heightened fame via his following releases.[9]

1999 was Prince's first top 10 album on the Billboard 200, peaking at number nine, and was fifth in the Billboard Year-End Albums of 1983. "1999", a protest against nuclear proliferation, was a Billboard Hot 100 top 20 hit, peaking at number 12. It has since become one of Prince's most recognizable compositions. "Delirious" reached number eight on the Billboard Hot 100, while "Little Red Corvette" peaked at number six, becoming Prince's highest charting US single at the time. "International Lover" was also nominated for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance at the 26th Grammy Awards, which was Prince's first Grammy Award nomination.

1999 received widespread acclaim from critics, and was seen as Prince's breakthrough album. On March 24, 1999, 1999 was certified quadruple platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). Following Prince's death in 2016, the album re-entered the Billboard 200 and peaked at number seven, besting its original performance on the chart thirty-three years earlier. A re-release and remaster of the album, including 35 previously unreleased recordings, was released in November 2019.[10]

1999 has been ranked as one of the greatest albums of all time by several publications and organizations.[11] The music videos for both "1999" and "Little Red Corvette" received heavy rotation on MTV, making Prince one of the first black artists to be in heavy rotation on the television channel.[12] According to the Rolling Stone Album Guide (2004), "1999 may be Prince's most influential album: Its synth-and-drum machine-heavy arrangements codified the Minneapolis sound that loomed over mid-'80s R&B and pop, not to mention the next two decades' worth of electro, house, and techno."[9] In 2008, the album was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.[13]

Composition[edit]

The album's opening title track, "1999", was also its first single and initially peaked at number 44 on the US Billboard Hot 100.[14] It was subsequently re-released following the huge success of its follow-up single and 1999's second track, "Little Red Corvette", which peaked at number 6 on the US Billboard Hot 100. Shortly after being reissued, "1999" hit number 12[15] and has since become one of Prince's most recognizable compositions. The music videos for both "1999" and "Little Red Corvette" were significant as two of the first videos by a black artist to receive heavy rotation on the newly launched music video channel, MTV. The two tracks were later combined as a double A-side single in the United Kingdom, where it peaked at number 2. A subsequent single from the album and its third chronological track, the rockabilly-influenced "Delirious", still managed top ten status in the United States at number 8, but a fourth, the double-sided single "Let's Pretend We're Married"/"Irresistible Bitch", got no further than number 52.

While "Little Red Corvette" helped Prince cross over to the wider rock audience, the rest of 1999 retains the funk elements featured in previous albums and is dominated by the use of synthesizers and drum machines. The album is, however, notable within Prince's catalogue for its wide variety of themes in addition to the sexual imagery which had already become something of a trademark on his previous work. "Automatic", extending to almost ten minutes, starts side three of the album with a prominent synthesizer melody and bondage-inspired lyrical imagery which, transplanted to the music video for the track (with a scene that depicted Prince being tied up and whipped by band-members Lisa Coleman and Jill Jones), had been deemed too sexual for MTV in 1983.

"Something in the Water (Does Not Compute)", an ode to a harsh lover, is the centerpiece of a preoccupation with Computer Age themes that would continue into future albums. This is also reflected in various aspects of the album's instrumentation, with Prince fully embracing the gadgetry and sounds of emergent electro-funk and 1980s sequencing technology on tracks like "Let's Pretend We're Married" and "All the Critics Love U in New York", songs that widen his use of synthesizers and prominently feature the use of a Linn LM-1 drum machine. 1999 also contains two ballads in "Free", a piano piece expressing patriotism and appreciation for American freedoms, and "International Lover", a slow-paced love song for which Prince received his first Grammy Award nomination in 1984 under the category of Best Male R&B Vocal Performance.[16]

Artwork[edit]

The album's cover features elements from the front cover of Prince's previous album, Controversy; namely the eyes and the "Rude Boy" pin in the "1999", the jacket studs in the "R" and the smile in the "P". The "I" in "Prince" contains the words "and the Revolution" written backwards (as "dna eht noituloveR"), both acknowledging his backing band and foreshadowing the next four years of his career.

Release[edit]

1999 was released on October 27, 1982, by Warner Bros. Records. It was the fifth album released by Prince. 1999 was Prince's first top ten album on the Billboard 200, peaking at number nine. It was fifth in the Billboard Year-End Albums of 1983. Following Prince's death in 2016, the album re-entered the Billboard 200 and peaked at number seven, besting its original performance on the chart thirty-three years earlier. It also peaked in the top 10 in New Zealand, reaching number six on the New Zealand Albums Chart in 1982.

Re-issue[edit]

An expanded and remastered version of 1999 featuring previously-unreleased tracks and concert footage was released on November 29, 2019. The 5 disc/record collection features 65 songs with a running time of 5 hours & 53 minutes.[17] It reached the top 20 of the charts in Belgium, the Netherlands and Hungary.

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic5/5 stars[4]
Blender4/5 stars[18]
Chicago Sun-Times4/4 stars[19]
Entertainment WeeklyA−[20]
The Guardian5/5 stars[21]
Pitchfork10/10[22]
Rolling Stone4/5 stars[6]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide4.5/5 stars[23]
Spin Alternative Record Guide8/10[24]
The Village VoiceA−[5]

1999 received widespread acclaim from critics. Its critical and commercial success secured Prince a place in the public psyche, and marked the beginning of two years of heightened fame via massively successful tours, hit singles and a Hollywood movie — Purple Rain. In a Rolling Stone review, Michael Hill praised Prince for "working like a colorblind technician who’s studied both Devo and Afrika Bambaataa and the Soulsonic Force, keeping the [1999's] songs constantly kinetic with an inventive series of shocks and surprises."[25]

Reappraisal and legacy[edit]

According to the Rolling Stone Album Guide (2004), "1999 may be Prince's most influential album: Its synth-and-drum machine-heavy arrangements codified the Minneapolis sound that loomed over mid-'80s R&B and pop, not to mention the next two decades' worth of electro, house, and techno."[9]

Paul A. Thompson of Pitchfork noted the way Prince "marshal[led] the Reagan years and the LM-1 for his own purposes" has rarely been replicated and called 1999 a "rare record that has come to define its era while also existing outside of it, a masterpiece that immediately precedes the albums Prince fashioned, conspicuously, as masterpieces." Thompson also described the album as a "computer breathing."[26]

Also writing for Pitchfork, Maura Johnston wrote in 2016 that through the "balancing synth-funk explorations...taut pop construction, genre-bending, and the proto-nuclear fallout of lust, 1999 still sounds like a landmark release in 2016". Johnston further praised Prince's "singular vision and willingness to indulge his curiosities" for creating an "apocalypse-anticipating album that, perhaps paradoxically, was built to last for decades and even centuries to come."[27]

Writing for PopMatters, Eric Henderson called 1999 a "massive, sexy, rump-shaking, and sometimes even disturbing masterpiece" and stated that even though it may not be better than Dirty Mind, Purple Rain, and Sign O’ the Times, the album represented a "quantum leap in sophistication and scope." Henderson also claimed that 1999 raised the bar for ‘80s funk.[28]

In 1989, Rolling Stone ranked 1999 16th on its list of the 100 Greatest Albums of the 1980s.[11] In 2003, VH1 placed 1999 number 48 in its list of the 100 Greatest Albums.[29] The album was also part of Slant Magazine's list The 50 Most Essential Pop Albums[30] and the magazine listed the album at number 8 on its list of Best Albums of the 1980s.[31] In 2003, the album was ranked number 163 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time, maintaining the rating in a 2012 revised list.[32] The album was also included in the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.[33] The album was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2008.[13]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks are written by Prince.

Side one
No.TitleLength
1."1999"6:15
2."Little Red Corvette"5:03
3."Delirious"4:00
Side two
No.TitleLength
4."Let's Pretend We're Married"7:21
5."D.M.S.R."8:17
Side three
No.TitleLength
6."Automatic"9:28
7."Something in the Water (Does Not Compute)"4:02
8."Free"5:08
Side four
No.TitleLength
9."Lady Cab Driver"8:19
10."All the Critics Love U in New York"5:59
11."International Lover"6:37

Alternate formats

  • Originally released on vinyl as a double LP (the first of a number of double sets from Prince), 1999 was cut to a single vinyl edition in some countries, omitting "D.M.S.R.", "Automatic", "All the Critics..." and "International Lover"; this single LP was reissued as part of Record Store Day 2018.[34] Some countries in 1983, such as Brazil and Kenya, opted to issue the release as two separate vinyl albums, 1999 I and 1999 II.[35]
  • The original compact disc version of the album was also cut, omitting "D.M.S.R." There is a disclaimer on the back cover of the original compact disc pressing that reads "To enable the release of 1999 as a single compact disc, the song DMSR has been omitted from the original LP edition".[36][unreliable source] Later compact disc pressings (from a 1990 reissue onward) included the track.
  • On the cassette release, "Free" was placed after "D.M.S.R." to end the first side, balancing out the lengths of both sides of the cassette.

Remastered, Deluxe and Super Deluxe editions[edit]

The album was released as a Remastered, Deluxe and Super Deluxe edition on November 29, 2019. The Remastered edition contains a remaster of the original album. The Deluxe edition contains the remaster and a bonus disc with all the single, maxi-single and promo mixes as well as the B-sides. The Super Deluxe edition contains four more discs: Two of them contain 24 previously unissued studio tracks, the third contains a complete live audio performance of the 1999 Tour recorded at the late show (the second of two that day) in Detroit, Michigan, on November 30, 1982, and a DVD with another complete, previously unreleased concert from the 1999 tour, recorded in multi-cam live at the Houston Summit on December 29, 1982. The albums were also issued on vinyl in a 2 LP, 4 LP and 10 LP + DVD set.[37]

Personnel[edit]

  • Prince – lead vocals and all other instruments
  • Dez Dickerson – co-lead vocals (1), guitar solos and backing vocals (2)
  • Lisa Coleman – co-lead vocals (1), backing vocals (2, 3, 5, 6, 8)
  • Jill Jones – co-lead vocals (1), backing vocals (6, 8, 9)
  • Vanity – backing vocals (8)
  • Wendy Melvoin – backing vocals (8)

While not performance credited for the studio recordings, band members Doctor Fink (keyboards), Bobby Z. (drums) and Brown Mark (bass) do appear in the music videos.

Singles[edit]

  • "1999" (#12 US, #4 US R&B, #25 UK)
  1. "1999"
  2. "How Come U Don't Call Me Anymore?"
  1. "Little Red Corvette"
  2. "All the Critics Love U in New York"
  1. "Delirious"
  2. "Horny Toad"
  1. "Automatic"
  2. "Something in the Water (Does Not Compute)"
  1. "Let's Pretend We're Married"
  2. "Irresistible Bitch"

Charts[edit]

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/sales
Canada (Music Canada)[55] Gold 50,000^
New Zealand (RMNZ)[56] Gold 7,500^
United Kingdom (BPI)[57] Platinum 300,000^
United States (RIAA)[58] 4× Platinum 4,000,000^

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone

References[edit]

  1. ^ Rolling Stone
  2. ^ Nathan Brackett; Christian David Hoard (2004). The New Rolling Stone Album Guide. Simon and Schuster. p. 655. ISBN 978-0-7432-0169-8.
  3. ^ Kory Grow (November 26, 2019). "Prince's '1999' Box Set Contains Incredible Alternate Universe of Unreleased Songs".
  4. ^ a b Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "1999 – Prince". AllMusic. Retrieved September 15, 2011.
  5. ^ a b Christgau, Robert (December 28, 1982). "Consumer Guide". The Village Voice. New York. Retrieved March 10, 2012.
  6. ^ a b Hill, Michael (December 9, 1982). "Prince: 1999". Rolling Stone. New York (384). ISSN 0035-791X. Archived from the original on July 17, 2007. Retrieved September 15, 2011.
  7. ^ Format Team (April 21, 2016). "A Visual Celebration of Prince Through His Album Covers". Format.
  8. ^ "45cat – Prince – Automatic / Something In The Water (Does Not Compute) – Warner Bros. – Australia – 7-29520". 45cat. Retrieved July 9, 2015.
  9. ^ a b c "Prince: Biography". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on October 21, 2006.
  10. ^ "Prince estate to reissue '1999' along with 35 previously unreleased songs".
  11. ^ a b "163 | 1999 – Prince". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on March 6, 2010. Retrieved September 15, 2011.
  12. ^ "Prince '1999' Reissue to Feature 35 Unheard Songs". Billboard. Retrieved January 6, 2020.
  13. ^ a b "News Release: 2008 Grammy Hall of Fame® Inductees Announced" (PDF). grammy.com. The Recording Academy. December 19, 2007. p. 4. Archived from the original (PDF) on February 16, 2008.
  14. ^ "Longbored Surfer - 1983". longboredsurfer.com.
  15. ^ "Music: Top 100 Songs | Billboard Hot 100 Chart". Billboard.
  16. ^ Weiss, Shari (April 21, 2016). "Grammys Mourn Prince – See Statement From Grammy Awards Recording Academy". Gossipcop.com. Retrieved April 24, 2016.
  17. ^ "Prince's Estate to Reissue '1999' Album with Unreleased Songs, Concert Footage". September 12, 2019.
  18. ^ Harris, Keith (June–July 2001). "Prince — Every Original CD Reviewed: 1999". Blender. New York (1). Archived from the original on August 20, 2004. Retrieved April 8, 2017.
  19. ^ Keller, Martin (April 4, 1993). "A Prince Discography". Chicago Sun-Times. Archived from the original on April 8, 2017. Retrieved April 8, 2017.
  20. ^ Browne, David (September 21, 1990). "Purple Products". Entertainment Weekly. New York (32). Retrieved August 6, 2011.
  21. ^ Price, Simon (April 22, 2016). "Prince: every album rated – and ranked". The Guardian. London. Retrieved April 25, 2016.
  22. ^ Johnston, Maura (April 30, 2016). "Prince: 1999". Pitchfork. Retrieved May 1, 2016.
  23. ^ Matos, Michaelangelo (2004). "Prince". In Brackett, Nathan; Hoard, Christian (eds.). The New Rolling Stone Album Guide (4th ed.). New York: Simon & Schuster. pp. 654–57. ISBN 0-7432-0169-8.
  24. ^ Weisbard, Eric; Marks, Craig, eds. (1995). "Prince". Spin Alternative Record Guide. New York: Vintage Books. ISBN 0-679-75574-8.
  25. ^ Hill, Michael; Hill, Michael (December 9, 1982). "1999". Rolling Stone. Retrieved January 8, 2020.
  26. ^ "Prince: 1999". Pitchfork. Retrieved January 8, 2020.
  27. ^ "Prince: 1999". Pitchfork. Retrieved January 8, 2020.
  28. ^ Henderson, Eric. "Review: Prince, 1999". Retrieved January 8, 2020.
  29. ^ "Rock On The Net: VH1: 100 Greatest Albums". www.rockonthenet.com. Retrieved October 24, 2016.
  30. ^ "Vital Pop: 50 Essential Pop Albums". Slant Magazine. June 30, 2003. Retrieved August 6, 2011.
  31. ^ "The 100 Best Albums of the 1980s | Feature". Slant Magazine. Retrieved November 20, 2013.
  32. ^ "500 Greatest Albums of All Time Rolling Stone's definitive list of the 500 greatest albums of all time". Rolling Stone. 2012. Retrieved September 18, 2019.
  33. ^ Robert Dimery; Michael Lydon (March 23, 2010). 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die: Revised and Updated Edition. Universe. ISBN 978-0-7893-2074-2.
  34. ^ "Rare Prince '1999' LP Single To Be Reissued On Record Store Day". The Future Heart. April 13, 2018.
  35. ^ "1999". sleevographia2.free.fr. Archived from the original on March 11, 2005.
  36. ^ "Prince – 1999". Discogs.com. April 28, 2008. Notes. Retrieved April 28, 2008.
  37. ^ "1999 Remastered | Shop the Prince Official Store".
  38. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992. St Ives, NSW: Australian Chart Book. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
  39. ^ "Top RPM Albums: Issue 6289a". RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved July 7, 2017.
  40. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Prince – 1999" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved July 7, 2017.
  41. ^ "Charts.nz – Prince – 1999". Hung Medien. Retrieved July 7, 2017.
  42. ^ "Official Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved July 7, 2017.
  43. ^ a b "Prince Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved July 7, 2017.
  44. ^ "Prince Chart History (Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved July 7, 2017.
  45. ^ "Swisscharts.com – Prince – 1999". Hung Medien. Retrieved May 4, 2016.
  46. ^ "Official Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved July 7, 2017.
  47. ^ "Austriancharts.at – Prince – 1999" (in German). Hung Medien. Retrieved December 12, 2019.
  48. ^ "Ultratop.be – Prince – 1999" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved December 7, 2019.
  49. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Prince – 1999" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved December 7, 2019.
  50. ^ "Offiziellecharts.de – Prince – 1999" (in German). GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved December 6, 2019.
  51. ^ "Top 40 album DVD és válogatáslemez-lista – 2019. 49. hét" (in Hungarian). MAHASZ. Retrieved December 12, 2019.
  52. ^ "Portuguesecharts.com – Prince – 1999". Hung Medien. Retrieved December 15, 2019.
  53. ^ "Top Pop Albums of 1983". Billboard. December 31, 1983. Retrieved April 24, 2014.
  54. ^ "Top Pop Albums of 1984". Billboard. December 31, 1984. Retrieved April 2, 2014.
  55. ^ "Canadian album certifications – Prince – 1999". Music Canada. Retrieved May 2, 2013.
  56. ^ "New Zealand album certifications – Prince – 1999". Recorded Music NZ. Retrieved November 19, 2019.
  57. ^ "British album certifications – Prince – 1999". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved April 2, 2014. Select albums in the Format field. Select Platinum in the Certification field. Type 1999 in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
  58. ^ "American album certifications – Prince – 1999". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved May 2, 2013. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH. 

Sources:

External links[edit]