For You (Prince album)
|Studio album by Prince|
|Released||April 7, 1978|
|Recorded||September 1977 – February 1978|
|Singles from For You|
For You is the debut album by American recording artist Prince. It was released on April 7, 1978 by Warner Bros. Records. The album was the first to feature a credit indicating all tracks were "produced, arranged, composed, and performed by Prince".
Prince started recording in September 1977 at Sound 80 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where he had previously made a demo recording. 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 location.
Shifting the project to Northern California, Prince, Vicari, Husney, and Husney's wife settled into an apartment in Mill Valley, with a view looking down at Sausalito and out to the San Francisco Bay. The basic tracks were recorded over three months at the Record Plant, starting in October. Vicari tried to exert his influence as producer but Prince shrugged off any advice that was contrary to his wishes. Prince worked obsessively on the project, singing all the parts and playing all the instruments, including acoustic and electric guitars, acoustic piano and Fender Rhodes piano, synth bass, various keyboard synths by Oberheim, Moog and Arp, orchestra bells, drums, percussion, and bass guitar. He used the Oberheim to provide the sound of a horn section, but with guitar lines layered into the mix. At the end of December 1977, the basic tracks were finished. 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."
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. Warner 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 candle light. Prince completed the final mixes on February 28. The total project cost $170,500 (US$639,723 in 2017 dollars) – three times more than was budgeted by Warner. With all the work, including 46 vocal lines layered into the first track, Prince was exhausted. He later said, "I was a physical wreck when I finished." The album was released on April 7, 1978.
Its lead single, "Soft and Wet", 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.
|The Rolling Stone Album Guide|||
Critical reviews were mixed. While critics[who?] felt Prince had talent and possessed "the most thrilling falsetto since Smokey Robinson", the album itself was regarded as a promising but somewhat insubstantial early disco effort.
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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.
All tracks written by Prince, except where noted.
|3.||"Soft and Wet"||Prince, Chris Moon||3:01|
|5.||"Just as Long as We're Together"||6:24|
|7.||"My Love Is Forever"||4:09|
|US Billboard Top LPs & Tapes||163|
|US Billboard Top Black Albums||21|
|French Albums (SNEP)||200|
|UK Albums (OCC)||156|
|US Billboard 200||138|
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