Erotic City

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"Erotic City"
German CD single
Single by Prince and The Revolution
B-side "I Would Die 4 U (Extended Version)"
Released 1989 (3" CD)
June 29, 1990 (5" CD)
Format 3" CD single
5" CD single
Recorded 1984
  • 3:55 (original)
  • 7:24 (dance mix)
Writer(s) Prince
Producer(s) Prince
The Hits/The B-Sides track listing
"I Love U in Me"
"Erotic City"

"Erotic City ("make love not war Erotic City come alive")" is a song by the musician Prince. It was released as the B-side to the 1984 single "Let's Go Crazy" and the 12" version of the 1986 single "Girls & Boys". The dance mix of "Erotic City" was released as a 3" and 5" CD single in Germany in 1989 and 1990 respectively.[1] The artwork for the single features the same image of Prince that was used for the cover of "I Would Die 4 U". The extended version of the latter was included as the B-side of "Erotic City".

"Erotic City" was re-released on CD on The Hits/The B-Sides in 1993 and the Girl 6 soundtrack in 1996. The song can be heard in the Spike Lee film Girl 6.

While delivering his speech prior to the induction of the Funk collective known as Parliament-Funkadelic into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in May 1997, Prince explained that "Erotic City" was recorded directly after seeing Parliament-Funkadelic at the Beverly Theatre in Los Angeles in 1983.

The song starts with a guitar string plucked and whammied, before dropping into the drum track. The experimental number relies on a strong bass line and a simple keyboard riff. The song features Prince's voice both sped up and slowed down at various times to sound like different singers. Also featured is Sheila E., in her recording debut (with Prince), who would become a close associate with Prince and work with him extensively over the years. Even though the song was a B-side to a #1 hit, it received significant radio play itself.

The song was quite notable for its sexual references, and the use of the word fuck ("we can fuck until the dawn"), although people especially Sheila E. (who sings the chorus) have claimed the word is actually funk, allowing it to be played on the radio in the late 1980s into the 1990s.[2] However, since 2004, currently the radio version is edited to repeat part A of the hook and omit the potential obscenity misheard in part B, because the Federal Communications Commission has in the past levied fines against stations that played the song for broadcasting allegedly indecent material, including KLUC-FM in Las Vegas, Nevada;[3] KTFM in San Antonio, Texas; and KBZR (now KZON) in Phoenix, Arizona.[4]

Track listing[edit]

CD maxi-single: Paisley Park/Warner Bros. Records 21185 (Germany)[edit]

  • 1. "Erotic City" (Dance Mix) – 7:24
  • 2. "I Would Die 4 U" (extended version) – 10:15

* also available as a 3" Mini CD

Cover versions[edit]

  • George Clinton covered "Erotic City" for the 1994 film PCU.
  • DJ Flash The Future MC's Released "Erotic City Rapp" aka "Erotic Rapp" in 1984
  • DJ Flash MC Fosty & Lovin'C and Captain Rapp of Rappers Rapp Group Released "When Doves Cry Rapp" in 1984
  • Arto Lindsay recorded a version for his 1996 album, Mundo Civilizado.
  • Semisonic covered it on its 1998 maxi-single, Singing In My Sleep.
  • Berlin recorded a version on its 2005 album, 4play.
  • Yo La Tengo bassist James McNew's sideproject Dump recorded a version on That Skinny Motherfucker with the High Voice? an entire album of Prince covers.
  • Supafly released a 12-inch single of "Erotic City" in 2004.

Live cover performances[edit]



  1. ^ "PRINCE". Retrieved 2012-01-07. 
  2. ^ "Prince - Erotic City Lyrics". Archived from the original on 2011-08-19. Retrieved 2012-01-07. 
  3. ^ "Leykis Leads Counterattack Against FCC Fines : Radio: KFI afternoon drive-time personality says he'll probably dedicate several shows to indecency issue. - Los Angeles Times". 1989-10-28. Retrieved 2012-01-07. 
  4. ^ "Indecent Links". Retrieved 2012-01-07. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
"No Favors" by Temper
Billboard Hot Dance Club Play number-one single
(with "Let's Go Crazy")

September 29, 1984
Succeeded by
"The Medicine Song" by Stephanie Mills