Love Symbol Album

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"Love Symbol" redirects here. For the heart symbol commonly used to represent love, see Heart (symbol).
Love Symbol Album
Love Symbol Album (Prince and the New Power Generation album - cover art).jpg
Studio album by Prince and The New Power Generation
Released October 13, 1992
Recorded September 1991 – March 1992
Genre R&B, pop, soul, funk, rock[1]
Length 74:56
Label Paisley Park, Warner Bros.
Producer Prince and The New Power Generation
Prince chronology
Diamonds and Pearls
Love Symbol Album
The Hits/The B-Sides
Singles from Love Symbol Album
  1. "Sexy MF"
    Released: June 30, 1992
  2. "My Name Is Prince"
    Released: September 29, 1992
  3. "7"
    Released: November 17, 1992
  4. "Damn U"
    Released: November 17, 1992
  5. "The Morning Papers"
    Released: April 3, 1993

Love Symbol Album is the fourteenth studio album by American recording artist Prince, and the second (and final) to feature his backing band The New Power Generation. It was released on October 13, 1992 by Paisley Park Records and Warner Bros. Records.[2] The title of the album is an unpronounceable symbol as depicted in its cover art, which Prince adopted as his stage name in 1993. As the symbol was copyrighted under the title "Love Symbol #2",[3] the album is commonly referred to as the Love Symbol Album, but alternatively as the Symbol Album or simply Symbol.

The album contains elements of musical styles including funk, R&B, hip hop, jazz, reggae, and synthpop.[4] The album was originally conceived as a "fantasy rock soap opera" with various spoken segues throughout.[5] It has sold over five million copies worldwide.[citation needed]


The album's first two singles, "My Name Is Prince" and "Sexy MF", achieved modest success on the US pop chart, though both made the top ten in the UK. Conversely, the third single, "7", was not as successful as the first two singles in the UK, but was a top ten hit in the US.


An early configuration of the album contained as many as eight segues as well as an intro. Together they explained the album's storyline.[6] However, in a last-minute attempt to add an additional song ("I Wanna Melt with U", which was originally considered to be a B-side to the "7" maxi single, and which contains several sampled sounds also present in "7"), most of the segues had to be cut for album length. The few that remained were somewhat confusing in context. The unreleased segues have been bootlegged since.

The album debuts Mayte Garcia, who plays a part in the album's storyline and would become Prince's wife in 1996.

3 Chains o' Gold, a direct-to-video film produced and directed by Prince, was released in 1994. The film is based on the storyline and songs of the Love Symbol Album and contains some of the original segues which were planned to be on the album.

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 4.5/5 stars[1]
Chicago Tribune 3.5/4 stars[7]
Christgau's Consumer Guide A−[8]
Entertainment Weekly A−[9]
The Guardian 4/5 stars[10]
Los Angeles Times 2/4 stars[11]
Q 4/5 stars[12]
Rolling Stone 3.5/5 stars[12]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide 4/5 stars[13]
Spin Alternative Record Guide 7/10[14]

The Love Symbol Album was voted the 14th best record of 1992 in the Pazz & Jop, an annual poll of American critics nationwide, published by The Village Voice.[15] Robert Christgau, the poll's creator, later wrote of the album: "Designed to prove his utter inexhaustibility in the wake of Diamonds and Pearls, by some stroke of commerce his best-selling album since Purple Rain, this absurdly designated 'rock soap opera' (is he serious? is he ever? is he ever not?) proves mainly that he's got the funk."[8]

Track listing[edit]

Produced, arranged and performed by Prince and The New Power Generation.
All songs composed by Prince, except where noted.

No. Title Length
1. "My Name Is Prince" (Prince, Tony M.) 6:36
2. "Sexy MF" (Prince, Tony M., Levi Seacer, Jr.) 5:25
3. "Love 2 the 9's"   5:45
4. "The Morning Papers"   3:57
5. "The Max"   4:30
6. "Segue"   0:21
7. "Blue Light"   4:38
8. "I Wanna Melt with U"   3:50
9. "Sweet Baby"   4:01
10. "The Continental"   5:31
11. "Damn U"   4:25
12. "Arrogance"   1:35
13. "The Flow" (Prince, Tony M.) 2:26
14. "7" (Prince, Lowell Fulson, Jimmy McCracklin) 5:13
15. "And God Created Woman"   3:18
16. "3 Chains o' Gold"   6:03
17. "Segue"   1:30
18. "The Sacrifice of Victor"   5:41

Special Editions[edit]

Several editions of this album were released. Early pressings of the album featured an embossed gold love symbol on the jewel case, sometimes matt, sometime s glossy. Later editions feature it printed on the booklet or not present at all. A Special Limited Edition Gold Box CD was released with a purple love symbol engraved in the golden box. One boxed set came with a bonus "Sexy MF" CD single, another with a specially-created CD single of "My Name Is Prince" mixes.

Early configuration[edit]

Below is the early version of the album with all the original segues. Also, "The Sacrifice of Victor" is slightly longer on the early configuration.

  1. "Intro"
  2. "My Name Is Prince"
  3. "Sexy MF"
  4. "Segue"
  5. "Love 2 the 9's"
  6. "The Morning Papers"
  7. "The Max"
  8. "Segue"
  9. "Blue Light"
  10. "Segue"
  11. "Sweet Baby"
  12. "Segue"
  13. "The Continental"
  14. "Damn U"
  15. "Segue"
  16. "Arrogance"
  17. "The Flow"
  18. "Segue"
  19. "7"
  20. "Segue"
  21. "And God Created Woman"
  22. "3 Chains o' Gold"
  23. "Segue"
  24. "The Sacrifice of Victor"


Prince and The New Power Generation[edit]

  • Prince: Vocals, guitars, keyboards, bass, drums, percussion
  • Mayte: Vocals
  • Tony M.: Raps
  • Damon Dickson: Dancer
  • Levi Seacer: Guitars
  • Tommy Barbarella: Keyboards
  • Sonny T.: Bass
  • Michael Bland: Drums
  • Kirk Johnson: Percussion

Additional personnel[edit]

  • Carmen Electra: Guest rap on "The Continental"
  • The Steeles (Jevetta, Jearlyn, JD and Fred Steele): Backing vocals on "The Sacrifice of Victor"
  • Kirstie Alley plays frustrated reporter Vanessa Bartholomew in the two included segue tracks.
  • Eric Leeds: Saxophone on "Blue Light"
  • Michael Koppelman: Bass on "Blue Light"
  • DJ Graves: Scratching
  • Mike Nelson, Kathy J., Dave Jensen, Brian Gallagher and Steve Strand: Horns
  • Airiq Anest: Programming
  • Clare Fischer: String arrangements


  • Arranged by Prince and The New Power Generation
  • Produced by Prince and The New Power Generation; additional production by Keith Cohen; additional production on "I Wanna Melt with You" by George Black; strings produced by Clare Fischer
  • Recorded by Michael Koppelman, Dave Friedlander, Steve Noonan, Ray Hahnfeldt and Brian Poer; strings recorded by Larry Mann; Kirstie Alley's voice recorded by Peter Arata
  • Mixed by Keith Cohen, Michael Koppelman, Tom Garneau, Bob Rosa and Steve Beltran; additional mixing by Dave Aron, Airiq Anest, Steve Durkee, Biran Poer, Steve Noonan and Ray Hahnfeldt
  • Mastered by Brian Gardner and Steve Noonan


  • All songs published by Controversy Music/WB Music Corp.; except:
    • Track 1 (Copyright NPG Music/Michael Anthony Music), track 15 (NPG Music)
    • Track 12 (Controversy Music/WB Music Corp; contains a sample of "I Know You Got Soul" by Eric B. & Rakim which is published by Songs of Polygram International Inc./Robert Hill Music; contains a sample of "Jazz It Up" originally by C.F.M. Band and also a sample of "Niggaz 4 Life" by N.W.A; copyright Ruthless Attack Muzik/Sony Songs/Bridgeport Music).
    • Track 14 published by Controversy Music; additional publishing by Powerforce Music/Budget Music; sample of "Tramp" by Lowell Fulsom published by Blues Interactions, Inc.

Singles and Hot 100 chart placings[edit]

  • "Sexy MF" maxi-single (#66 US, #76 US R&B, #4 UK)
  • "My Name Is Prince" maxi-single (#36 US, #25 US R&B, #7 UK)
  • "7" maxi-single (#7 US, #3 US R&B, #27 UK)
  • "Damn U" (#105 US, #32 US R&B)
  • "The Morning Papers" maxi-single (#44 US, #8 US R&B, #52 UK)


Chart (1992) Peak
Australian Albums (ARIA)[16] 1
Austrian Albums (Ö3 Austria)[17] 1
Dutch Albums (MegaCharts)[18] 6
German Albums (Offizielle Top 100)[19] 5
New Zealand Albums (RMNZ)[20] 4
Norwegian Albums (VG-lista)[21] 10
Swedish Albums (Sverigetopplistan)[22] 10
Swiss Albums (Schweizer Hitparade)[23] 4
UK Albums (OCC)[24] 1
US Billboard 200[25] 5
US Billboard R&B Albums[25] 8


Region Certification Certified units/Sales
United Kingdom (BPI)[26] Platinum 300,000^
United States (RIAA)[27] Platinum 1,000,000^

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone

Preceded by
Automatic for the People by R.E.M.
UK number one album
October 17, 1992 – October 23, 1992
Succeeded by
Glittering Prize 81/92 by Simple Minds
Preceded by
Some Gave All by Billy Ray Cyrus
Australian ARIA Albums Chart number-one album
October 25, 1992 – October 31, 1992
Succeeded by
Erotica by Madonna


  1. ^ a b Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Prince & the New Power Generation: The Love Symbol Album" at AllMusic. Retrieved 25 October 2009.
  2. ^ "Prince & The New Power Generation Discography". Discogs. Retrieved 15 April 2009. 
  3. ^ Carter, Andrew (June 23, 1999). "The People Formerly Known as Fans". CityPages. Retrieved December 12, 2007. 
  4. ^ "Prince And The New Power Generation* – Untitled (Symbol)". Discogs. Retrieved 16 April 2009. 
  5. ^ Willman, Chris (11 October 1992). "Prince's Latest Fleshed-Out Fantasy". Los Angeles Times. Tribune Company. ISSN 0458-3035. OCLC 3638237. 
  6. ^ "The lost album segues / original version". 
  7. ^ Chicago Tribune review
  8. ^ a b Christgau, Robert (2000). Christgau's Consumer Guide: Albums of the '90s. Macmillan Publishers. p. 252. ISBN 0312245602. 
  9. ^ Sandow, Greg (23 October 1992). "The Artist Formerly Known As Prince(1992): Prince". Entertainment Weekly. No. #141. Time. ISSN 1049-0434. Retrieved 16 September 2011. 
  10. ^ Price, Simon (April 22, 2016). "Prince: every album rated – and ranked". The Guardian. London. Retrieved April 25, 2016. 
  11. ^ Los Angeles Times review
  12. ^ a b "Prince/Prince & the New Power Generation - Love Symbol Album CD Album". Retrieved 16 September 2011. 
  13. ^ "Prince: Album Guide". Archived from the original on March 20, 2011. Retrieved April 23, 2016. 
  14. ^ Weisbard, Eric (10 October 1995). Spin Alternative Record Guide (1st ed.). Vintage. ISBN 978-0-679-75574-6. 
  15. ^ Pazz & Jop 1992
  16. ^ " – Prince & The New Power Generation – [Love Symbol"]. Hung Medien. Retrieved May 2, 2016.
  17. ^ " – Prince & The New Power Generation – [Love Symbol"] (in German). Hung Medien. Retrieved May 2, 2016.
  18. ^ " – Prince & The New Power Generation – [Love Symbol"] (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved May 2, 2016.
  19. ^ " – Prince & The New Power Generation – [Love Symbol"] (in German). GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved May 2, 2016.
  20. ^ " – Prince & The New Power Generation – [Love Symbol"]. Hung Medien. Retrieved May 2, 2016.
  21. ^ " – Prince & The New Power Generation – [Love Symbol"]. Hung Medien. Retrieved May 2, 2016.
  22. ^ " – Prince & The New Power Generation – [Love Symbol"]. Hung Medien. Retrieved May 2, 2016.
  23. ^ " – Prince & The New Power Generation – [Love Symbol"]. Hung Medien. Retrieved May 2, 2016.
  24. ^ "Prince | Artist | Official Charts". UK Albums Chart Retrieved May 2, 2016.
  25. ^ a b "The Love Symbol Album > Charts & Awards > Billboard Albums" at AllMusic. Retrieved September 16, 2011.
  26. ^ "British album certifications – Prince – Love Symbol Album". British Phonographic Industry.  Enter Love Symbol Album in the field Keywords. Select Title in the field Search by. Select album in the field By Format. Select Platinum in the field By Award. Click Search
  27. ^ "American album certifications – Prince – Love Symbol Album". Recording Industry Association of America.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH


  • Nathan Brackett, Christian Hoard (2004). The New Rolling Stone Album Guide: Completely Revised and Updated 4th Edition. Simon and Schuster. ISBN 0-7432-0169-8. 

External links[edit]