Love Symbol Album
|Studio album by Prince and the New Power Generation|
|Released||October 13, 1992|
|Recorded||September 11, 1990; May 12, 1991; September 18, 1991 – March 1992; July 1992|
|Label||Paisley Park, Warner Bros.|
|Producer||Prince and the New Power Generation|
|Singles from Love Symbol Album|
Love Symbol is the fourteenth studio album by American recording artist Prince, and the second of two that featured his backing band the New Power Generation. It was released on October 13, 1992 by Paisley Park Records and Warner Bros. Records. It was originally conceived as a "fantasy rock soap opera" with various spoken segues throughout, and contains elements of R&B, pop, soul, funk, and rock styles. While some of the seques were cut for time, the original storyline became the basis of Prince's direct-to-video film 3 Chains o' Gold.
The official title of the album is an unpronounceable symbol depicted on its cover art, which was copyrighted by Prince under the title "Love Symbol #2", and adopted as his stage name from 1993 through the end of his contract with Warner Bros. Records. Hence, the album is referred to as the Love Symbol Album, or alternatively, Love Symbol, Symbol Album, or Symbol.
Its first two singles, "Sexy MF" and "My Name Is Prince", achieved modest success on the US pop chart, though both made the top ten in the United Kingdom. Conversely, the third single, "7", was not as successful as in the United Kingdom, but was a top ten hit in the United States.
An early configuration of the album contained as many as eight segues as well as an intro. Together, they explained the album's storyline: An Egyptian princess (played by Mayte Garcia, in her debut on a Prince album) falls in love with a rock star (Prince) and entrusts him with a religious artifact, the Three Chains of Turin (or Three Chains o' Gold) during her escape from seven assassins, as referenced in hit single "7". 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. Garcia would become Prince's wife in 1996.
On the released album, the segues featuring Kirstie Alley as reporter Vanessa Bartholomew are mostly kept intact. In them, she attempts to interview Prince but fails; at first, he hangs up when being told he is being recorded, but in a later segue, Prince gives nonsense answers to Vanessa's requests. A few lines in which Vanessa inquires about the Three Chains of Turin was edited out of the final version.
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.
|Christgau's Consumer Guide||A−|
|Los Angeles Times|||
|The Rolling Stone Album Guide|||
|Spin Alternative Record Guide||7/10|
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. 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."
|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|
|8.||"I Wanna Melt with U"||3:50|
|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|
|18.||"The Sacrifice of Victor"||5:41|
- Every use of the pronoun "I" throughout the song titles and liner notes is actually represented by a stylized 'eye' symbol. This symbol is commonly transliterated as "Eye" amongst Prince fans, as "Eye No" and "I Wish U Heaven" both appeared on Lovesexy.
Several editions of this album were released. Early pressings of the album featured an embossed gold love symbol on the jewel case, sometimes matte, sometimes 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.
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.
- "My Name Is Prince"
- "Sexy MF"
- "Love 2 the 9's"
- "The Morning Papers"
- "The Max"
- "Blue Light"
- "Sweet Baby"
- "The Continental"
- "Damn U"
- "The Flow"
- "And God Created Woman"
- "3 Chains o' Gold"
- "The Sacrifice of Victor"
Prince and The New Power Generation
- Prince – vocals, guitars, keyboards, bass, drums, percussion
- Mayte – vocals
- Tony M. – raps
- Damon Dickson – dancer
- Levi Seacer, Jr. – guitars
- Tommy Barbarella – keyboards
- Sonny T. – bass
- Michael Bland – drums
- Kirk Johnson – percussion
- 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, 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.
- "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)
|Australian Albums (ARIA)||1|
|Austrian Albums (Ö3 Austria)||1|
|Dutch Albums (MegaCharts)||6|
|German Albums (Offizielle Top 100)||5|
|New Zealand Albums (RMNZ)||4|
|Norwegian Albums (VG-lista)||10|
|Swedish Albums (Sverigetopplistan)||10|
|Swiss Albums (Schweizer Hitparade)||4|
|UK Albums (OCC)||1|
|US Billboard 200||5|
|US Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums (Billboard)||8|
|United Kingdom (BPI)||Platinum||300,000^|
|United States (RIAA)||Platinum||1,000,000^|
*sales figures based on certification alone
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- Chicago Tribune review
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- Pazz & Jop 1992
- "Australiancharts.com – Prince and The New Power Generation – %5BLove Symbol%5D". Hung Medien. Retrieved May 2, 2016.
- "Austriancharts.at – Prince and The New Power Generation – %5BLove Symbol%5D" (in German). Hung Medien. Retrieved May 2, 2016.
- "Dutchcharts.nl – Prince and The New Power Generation – %5BLove Symbol%5D" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved May 2, 2016.
- "Offiziellecharts.de – Prince and The New Power Generation – %5BLove Symbol%5D" (in German). GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved May 2, 2016.
- "Charts.org.nz – Prince and The New Power Generation – %5BLove Symbol%5D". Hung Medien. Retrieved May 2, 2016.
- "Norwegiancharts.com – Prince and The New Power Generation – %5BLove Symbol%5D". Hung Medien. Retrieved May 2, 2016.
- "Swedishcharts.com – Prince and The New Power Generation – %5BLove Symbol%5D". Hung Medien. Retrieved May 2, 2016.
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- Ryan, Gavin (2011). Australia's Music Charts 1988–2010. Mt. Martha, VIC, Australia: Moonlight Publishing.
- "French album certifications – Prince – Love Symbol Album" (in French). Syndicat National de l'Édition Phonographique.
- "British album certifications – Prince – Love Symbol Album". British Phonographic Industry. Select albums in the Format field. Select Platinum in the Certification field. Enter Love Symbol Album in the search field and then press Enter.
- "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.