Baby I'm a Star
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|"Baby I'm a Star"|
|Song by Prince and The Revolution from the album Purple Rain|
|Released||June 25, 1984|
|Recorded||Live, First Avenue, Minneapolis, 3 August 1983|
|Genre||funk rock, R&B, hard rock|
|Purple Rain track listing|
Background and recording
"Baby I'm a Star" was originally composed and recorded in 1982, a highly prolific period which yielded many songs which Prince released over the years. The version on Purple Rain was re-recorded with The Revolution during a live performance in 1983 (the debut performance of Wendy Melvoin). Prince later reworked the live recording in the studio, adding overdubs and other refinements.
The upbeat song is about pop stardom, specifically a rising star as the chorus states "You might not know it now, baby, but I are — I'm a star. I don't wanna stop 'til I reach the top." This would coincide with Prince's status in 1982. Musically, it is a dance number propelled by a drum machine pattern and an understated bass. The song makes heavy use of rapidly played synthesizers, often made to simulate a horn section (Prince would sometimes add a real horn section to the song in later performances). Revolution member Doctor Fink gets a call-out in the song to deliver a synth solo. The song also contains an unusual backmasking at the beginning and end of the song:
"So like, fuck them man! What do they know?
All their taste is in their mouth
Really, what the fuck do they know?
Come on, baby
Let's go crazy!"
"Baby I'm a Star" has been played live many times since its inception and was one of the songs Prince played during the Halftime Show of Super Bowl XLI. It was also in the original cut of Tim Burton's 1989 film Batman, used in the Joker's parade scene. However, when Prince agreed to compose the Batman soundtrack, he opted for the song to be replaced by "200 Balloons" (of which when rejected, turned up as a B-side on "Batdance") and later with "Trust", the latter of which seemed the most musically similar to "Baby I'm a Star", for both songs are about the same length, have a similar drum loop and lyrical pace. "Baby I'm a Star" is often played in sequence with "I Would Die 4 U", the track prior to it, on Purple Rain.
- Prince – lead vocals and various instruments
- Wendy Melvoin – guitar and vocals
- Lisa Coleman – keyboards and vocals
- Matt Fink – keyboards
- Brown Mark – bass
- Bobby Z. – drums and percussion
- Novi Novog – violin and viola
- David Coleman – cello
- Suzie Katayama – cello
- 2000: Tina Turner recorded a version which is included on Target-exclusive greatest hits All That Glitters. It was also included on her Twenty Four Seven Tour and Celebrate! – 60th Birthday Special setlists.
- 2006: American artist P. Diddy sampled the song on his song "Special Feeling", featuring singer Mika Lett, released on his album Press Play.
- 2009: A cover by Craig Wedren was included on the Prince tribute compilation Purplish Rain. A free download of the song was offered by Spin magazine.