|Studio album by|
|Released||October 8, 1980|
|Singles from Dirty Mind|
Dirty Mind is the third album by American recording artist Prince. It was released on October 8, 1980, by Warner Bros. Records as the follow-up to his self-titled second album, Prince, (1979). It was produced, arranged, and composed entirely by Prince in his home studio in Minneapolis, Minnesota during May to June of 1980. Dirty Mind has been considered by critics as Prince's most creative and boldest album, setting the baseline for his artistic direction in the following years.
During the spring of 1980, Prince and his backing band members Dez Dickerson, André Cymone, drummer Bobby Z, and keyboardists Doctor Fink and Gayle Chapman spent nine weeks on the road opening for Rick James, a musical rival of Prince. Following the end of James' tour, Prince returned to Minnesota and rented a house in Wayzata where he set up a 16-track studio. During the recording of the album, Doctor Fink's jam-out during a rehearsal provided the basis for the album's title track.
A fusion of post-disco, new wave, funk and dance, Dirty Mind is more prevalent in punk sounds than Prince's previous albums. Prince’s high and feminine vocals, along with his androgynous image during the Dirty Mind era, has been recognized for bringing attention to gaydar. Controversially, the album's theme is fueled by explicit topics including oral sex, threesome, incest and ejaculation, which has been credited for opening the doors for sexually explicit albums in the coming years.
The first single of Dirty Mind, "Uptown" reached number five on both the Billboard Hot Soul Singles and the Billboard National Disco Action Top 30 charts. Though the album only reached number 45 on the Billboard 200, it earned widespread acclaim from music critics and crossover success. Due to its fusion of genres, critics have hailed it for setting the sound for urban black music of the early 1980s. The album has been ranked by several publications as one of the greatest albums of all time.
During the spring of 1980, Prince and his backing band members Dez Dickerson, André Cymone, drummer Bobby Z, and keyboardists Doctor Fink and Gayle Chapman spent nine weeks on the road opening for Rick James, a rival of Prince. James accused Prince of "copping my licks" throughout the tour.
Following the end of James' tour, Prince returned to Minnesota, rented a house in Wayzata where he set up a 16-track studio that Warner Bros. paid for. Although there were problems with the amount of space, Prince told Rolling Stone, "Nobody knew what was going on, and I became totally engulfed in it...It really felt like me for once."
In the past Prince mostly recorded alone but the backing band members contributed to Dirty Mind. A keyboard line that Doctor Fink jammed out during a rehearsal provided the basis for "Dirty Mind"; Doctor Fink cut the track.
Dirty Mind was mainly recorded in Prince's home studio throughout 1980, and several of the songs were cut in one night, giving them a sparse, demo-like quality. The title track was released as a single and described as "robotic funk" by AllMusic's Stephen Thomas Erlewine, while "When You Were Mine", notably covered by Cyndi Lauper on her album She's So Unusual, is "pure new wave pop". "Do It All Night" and "Head", a sexually explicit song about a chance meeting with a bride-to-be and seducing her with oral sex, contain "sultry funk"; "Gotta Broken Heart Again", the only ballad on the record, features "soulful crooning"; and the rock-influenced "Sister" describes incest between the song's protagonist and his older sibling ("Incest is everything it's said to be"). "Uptown" and "Partyup" are "relentless dance jams", according to Erlewine; the former became a top-five hit on the Billboard Dance and R&B charts in late 1980, and the latter was performed on Saturday Night Live on February 21, 1981.
Dirty Mind peaked at number 45 on the Billboard 200 and number 7 on the Billboard Top Black Albums chart. On June 6, 1984, the album was certified Gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). Following the death of Prince in 2016, the album re-entered the Billboard 200 and also entered the album charts in France, Switzerland and the UK for the first time.
The first single, "Uptown" reached No. 101 on the Billboard Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles but peaked within the top five of the R&B Singles chart and the Dance chart. The title track was released as the second single and was modestly successful on the R&B chart. The songs "Uptown", "Dirty Mind", and "Head" were released together, reaching the dance chart's top five. "Head" was featured in the movie Waiting to Exhale.
Critical reception and legacy
|Christgau's Record Guide||A|
|The Rolling Stone Album Guide|||
|Spin Alternative Record Guide||10/10|
Dirty Mind received widespread critical acclaim. According to Ken Tucker from Rolling Stone, "Prince's first two collections established him as a doe-eyed romantic. Nothing could have prepared us for the liberating lewdness of Dirty Mind. Dirty Mind jolts with the unsettling tension that arises from rubbing complex erotic wordplay against clean, simple melodies. Across this ELECTRIC surface glides Prince's graceful quaver, tossing off lyrics with an exhilarating breathlessness. He takes the sweet romanticism of Smokey Robinson and combines it with the powerful vulgate poetry of Richard Pryor. The result is cool music dealing with hot emotions. At its best, Dirty Mind is positively filthy." Village Voice critic Robert Christgau likened Prince's impact as a "commercially viable" yet "visionary" artist to John Lennon, Bob Dylan, and Jimi Hendrix, and said, "Brashly lubricious where the typical love man plays the lead in 'He's So Shy,' he specializes here in full-fledged fuckbook fantasies—the kid sleeps with his sister and digs it, sleeps with his girlfriend's boyfriend and doesn't, stops a wedding by gamahuching the bride on her way to church. Mick Jagger should fold up his penis and go home." Michaelangelo Matos from The A.V. Club later said the last sentence of Christgau's review "remains the single best sentence ever written on Prince".
Stephen Thomas Erlewine from AllMusic describes the album as "stunning, audacious amalgam of funk, new wave, R&B, and pop, fueled by grinningly salacious sex and the desire to shock" and that it "set the style for much of the urban soul and funk of the early '80s". According to The New Rolling Stone Album Guide (2004), "Dirty Mind remains one of the most radical 180-degree turns in pop history." Robert Hilburn of the Los Angeles Times described the music from the album as "confident and highly danceable blend of post-disco funk and tasty, hard-line rock". Prince's songwriting contains prominently sexual lyrics. Keith Harris of Blender characterizes its songs as "confessions of a sex junkie" with "new-wave funk".
Due to Dirty Mind's fusion of genres, critics have hailed it for setting the sound for urban black music of the early 1980s. Prince’s high and feminine vocals, along with his androgynous image during the Dirty Mind era, has been recognized for bringing attention to gaydar. The album's theme of explicit topics including oral sex, threesome and ejaculation has been credited for opening the doors for sexually explicit albums in the coming years.
Pitchfork ranked Dirty Mind number 87 on its 2002 list of the Top 100 Albums of the 1980s. Slant Magazine listed the album at number 53 on its "Best Albums of the 1980s" list. It is ranked number 206 on Rolling Stone's list of The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. The same magazine ranked it at number 18 on its list of the "100 Greatest Albums of the 1980s". In 2013, NME ranked it number 393 in its list of The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.
All tracks are written by Prince, except where noted.
|1.||"Dirty Mind"||Prince, Doctor Fink||4:14|
|2.||"When You Were Mine"||3:47|
|3.||"Do It All Night"||3:42|
|4.||"Gotta Broken Heart Again"||2:16|
|8.||"Partyup"||Prince, Morris Day||4:24|
- Prince – all vocals and instruments, except as noted below
- Lisa Coleman – backing vocals on "Head"
- Doctor Fink – synthesizer on "Dirty Mind" and "Head"
|United States (RIAA)||Gold||500,000^|
^shipments figures based on certification alone
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...Dirty Mind. An album of what can only be described as lo-fi new-wave punk-funk... black-rock mashup. It could have been a novelty act, a punk-funk one-off...
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