For You (Prince album)

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For You
Prince ForYou.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedApril 7, 1978 (1978-04-07)
RecordedSeptember 1977 – February 1978
StudioSound 80 (Minneapolis, Minnesota)
Record Plant (Sausalito, California)
Sound Labs (Hollywood, California)
Genre
Length33:11
LabelWarner Bros.
ProducerPrince
Prince chronology
For You
(1978)
Prince
(1979)
Singles from For You
  1. "Soft and Wet"
    Released: June 7, 1978
  2. "Just as Long as We're Together"
    Released: November 21, 1978

For You is the debut studio album by American recording artist Prince. It was released by Warner Bros. Records on April 7, 1978. The album was the first to feature a credit stating that all tracks were "produced, arranged, composed, and performed by Prince".

Production[edit]

Prince started recording in September 1977 at Sound 80 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where he had previously made a demo. Friend and producer David Rivkin (later known as David Z) provided advice and engineering assistance. Rivkin was being considered for the role of executive producer, but Warner Bros. instead chose Tommy Vicari, known for his work with Carlos Santana. Vicari was disappointed with Studio 80 and suggested taking the project to a studio in Los Angeles that was better equipped. Prince's manager Owen Husney chose the Record Plant in Sausalito, California, as a compromise.[3][4] Prince, Vicari, Husney, and Husney's wife later settled into an apartment in Mill Valley, California, with a view looking down at Sausalito and out to the San Francisco Bay.

Starting in October, the basic tracks were recorded over three months at the Record Plant. Vicari tried to exert his influence as producer but Prince shrugged off any advice that was contrary to his wishes.[3] Prince worked obsessively on the project, singing all vocals and playing all instruments, including acoustic, electric, and bass guitar; acoustic and Fender Rhodes piano; synth bass; various keyboard synths by Oberheim, Moog, and Arp; orchestra bells; drums and percussion. He used the Oberheim to provide the sound of a horn section, but with guitar lines layered into the mix.[4] The basic tracks were finished in late December 1977. Husney later observed that Prince had drained Vicari during the recording process, such that Vicari was "heartbroken" because he had just been "treated like shit".[3]

In January 1978, Prince and Vicari moved the project to engineer Armin Steiner's Sound Labs studio in Hollywood to begin overdubs and final mixing. Prince distanced himself further from Vicari, concentrating on laying down multiple vocal lines to create a polished commercial sound.[3] Warner Bros. selected an art director to design the album cover but Prince booked his own photography session with Joe Gianetti, resulting in a head shot taken in a dark room with Prince's face lit by candlelight.[5] Prince completed the final mixes on February 28. The total project cost $170,500—US$654,946 in 2018 dollars[6]—three times the original budget.[3] With all the work, including 46 vocal lines layered into the first track, Prince was exhausted. He later said that he was a "physical wreck" when he finished.[7]

Singles[edit]

"Soft and Wet", the album's lead single, became a minor hit on the US Billboard Hot 100, peaking at number 92. However, it became a top 20 hit on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, peaking at number 12 and establishing Prince as a popular teen star in the market. The second single released from the album, "Just as Long as We're Together", stalled at number 91 on the R&B charts.

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic2/5 stars[2]
Blender2/5 stars[8]
Christgau's Record GuideB–[1]
Entertainment WeeklyB–[9]
MusicHound2.5/5[10]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide2.5/5 stars[11]
Yahoo! Music(favorable)[12]

Reviewing in Christgau's Record Guide: Rock Albums of the Seventies (1981), Robert Christgau wrote, "Like most in-studio one-man bands, the nineteen-year-old kid who pieced this disco-rock-pop-funk concoction together has a weakness for the programmatic—lots of chops, not much challenge. But I like 'Baby,' about making one, and 'Soft and Wet,' ditto only he doesn't know it yet. And his falsetto beats Emitt Rhodes."[1]

Commercial performance[edit]

On release in 1978, For You reached number 163 on the US Billboard 200 chart and number 21 on the Billboard R&B Albums chart. It went on to sell approximately two million copies worldwide. In 2016, after Prince's death, the album re-charted on the Billboard 200, reaching number 138. The album also reached number 200 on the French Albums Chart and number 156 on the UK Albums Chart, although it did not originally chart in those countries.

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written by Prince, except where noted.

Side one
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
1."For You" 1:06
2."In Love" 3:38
3."Soft and Wet"Prince, Chris Moon3:01
4."Crazy You" 2:17
5."Just as Long as We're Together" 6:24
Side two
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
6."Baby" 3:09
7."My Love Is Forever"Prince, Chris Moon (uncredited)4:09
8."So Blue" 4:26
9."I'm Yours" 5:01

Personnel[edit]

  • Prince – all vocals, all instruments

Charts[edit]

Chart (1978) Peak
position
US Billboard Top LPs & Tapes[citation needed] 163
US Billboard Top Black Albums[citation needed] 21
Chart (2016) Peak
position
French Albums (SNEP)[13] 200
UK Albums (OCC)[14] 156
US Billboard 200[15] 138

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Christgau, Robert (1981). "Consumer Guide '70s: P". Christgau's Record Guide: Rock Albums of the Seventies. Ticknor & Fields. ISBN 089919026X. Retrieved March 10, 2019 – via robertchristgau.com.
  2. ^ a b Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Prince: For You > Review" at AllMusic. Retrieved 2011-09-15.
  3. ^ a b c d e Draper, Jason (2011). Prince: Chaos, Disorder, and Revolution. Backbeat Books. pp. 23–26. ISBN 9781458429414.
  4. ^ a b Morton, Brian (May 2, 2016). Prince: A Thief in the Temple. Canongate Books. pp. 34–36. ISBN 9781782119753.
  5. ^ Ro, Ronin (October 25, 2011). Prince: Inside the Music and the Masks. St. Martin's Press. p. 27. ISBN 9781429950732.
  6. ^ Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. "Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–". Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Retrieved January 2, 2019.
  7. ^ Light, Alan (October 6, 2015). Let's Go Crazy: Prince and the Making of Purple Rain. Simon and Schuster. p. 30. ISBN 9781476776750.
  8. ^ Blender review Archived August 23, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  9. ^ Browne, David (September 21, 1990). "Purple Products". Entertainment Weekly (#32). ISSN 1049-0434. Retrieved September 15, 2011.
  10. ^ Graff, Gary; Durchholz, Daniel (eds.) (1999). MusicHound Rock: The Essential Album Guide (2nd ed.). Farmington Hills, MI: Visible Ink Press. p. 897. ISBN 1-57859-061-2.CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link)
  11. ^ Hoard, Christian David; Brackett, Nathan (2004). The New Rolling Stone Album Guide (4, revised ed.). Simon & Schuster. ISBN 978-0-7432-0169-8. Archived from the original on March 20, 2011.
  12. ^ Clay, Jennifer (January 1, 1982). "For You". Archived from the original on July 22, 2010.
  13. ^ "Lescharts.com – Prince – For You". Hung Medien. Retrieved May 17, 2016.
  14. ^ "Prince | Artist | Official Charts". UK Albums Chart. Retrieved May 17, 2016.
  15. ^ "Prince Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved May 17, 2016.

External links[edit]