Musicology (album)

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Studio album by Prince
Released April 20, 2004
Recorded Metalworks Studios, Mississauga, ON
Genre Funk, psychedelic pop[1]
Length 47:26
Label NPG, Columbia
Producer Prince
Prince chronology
The Chocolate Invasion
Singles from Musicology
  1. "Musicology"
    Released: April 3, 2004
  2. "Call My Name"
    Released: June 22, 2004 (promo)
  3. "Cinnamon Girl"
    Released: September 7, 2004

Musicology is the twenty-eighth studio album by American recording artist Prince. It was released on April 20, 2004 by NPG Records and distributed by Columbia Records. The album proved to be his most successful in years, reaching the Top 5 of the album charts in the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, and many other countries.

Musicology was the first album in five years that Prince released through a major label (Sony Music) and, being partially recorded in Mississauga, Ontario, was his first to be recorded outside Minneapolis in many years. Musicology is R&B themed.[2]

At the end of the song "Musicology" snippets of "Kiss", "Little Red Corvette", "Sign o' the Times", "17 Days", "If I Was Your Girlfriend", as well as "Illusion, Coma, Pimp & Circumstance" can be heard. At the time of release Prince was quoted as saying he wished the album to provide musical education to listeners.[3]

Commercial performance[edit]

Musicology quickly proved to be Prince's most successful album since Diamonds and Pearls, reaching the Top 5 in the United States, United Kingdom and Germany and making a significant impression on charts around the world. It also proved to be well received by music critics. The title track was only released as a single in Australia, where it enjoyed moderate chart success and airplay. However it was also a hit on the US R&B charts through airplay. The album was certified platinum by Billboard in June 2004[4] and was certified double platinum in late January 2005.[5][6]

Part of the album's chart success is due to concertgoers receiving a copy of Musicology, with the album cost included in the ticket price for the Musicology Tour. This prompted Billboard magazine and Nielsen SoundScan to change its chart data methodology: For future album releases, Billboard says that customers "must be given an option to either add the CD to the ticket purchase or forgo the CD for a reduced ticket-only price."[7]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Source Rating
Metacritic 72/100[8]
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3.5/5 stars[9]
Chicago Sun-Times 3/4 stars[10]
Entertainment Weekly B−[11]
The Guardian 4/5 stars[12]
Mojo 4/5 stars[13]
NME (6/10)[14]
Pitchfork Media (5.8/10)[15]
Q 4/5 stars[16]
Rolling Stone 4/5 stars[17]
Slant Magazine 3.5/5 stars[18]

Musicology received generally positive reviews from music critics. In his review for The Village Voice, critic Robert Christgau said that after the album's opening uptempo songs, "pleasant shocks lurk near the surface and go against the flow of the quality material, and almost everything packs payback".[19] In a less enthusiastic review, Mojo magazine found it better produced and performed than it was written.[13]


Prince won two Grammy Awards, for Best Traditional R&B Vocal Performance ("Musicology") and Best R&B Vocal Performance—Male ("Call My Name"), and was nominated for Best Pop Vocal Performance—Male ("Cinnamon Girl"), Best R&B Song (awarded to the songwriter) ("Call My Name"), and Best R&B Album (Musicology). Prince was chosen by Rolling Stone magazine's readers as the best male performer and most welcome comeback.[20][21]


Prince toured North America from 27 March - 9 September to promote Musicology. The tour was often billed as the Musicology Live 2004ever, or more commonly, the Musicology Tour. The tour earned 87.4 million dollars and was attended by 1.47 million fans[22] Although the tour promoted Musicology, only a select few tracks from the album were played during the concerts. The title track, "Musicology", and the two singles, "Call My Name" and "Cinnamon Girl", were among them. The tour featured many of Prince's more famous tracks, such as "Little Red Corvette", "Raspberry Beret", "Kiss", and "Purple Rain." A copy of Musicology was included with every concert ticket sold.

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written by Prince.

  1. "Musicology" – 4:26
  2. "Illusion, Coma, Pimp & Circumstance" – 4:46
  3. "A Million Days" – 3:50
  4. "Life 'o' the Party" – 4:29
  5. "Call My Name" – 5:15
  6. "Cinnamon Girl" – 3:56
  7. "What Do U Want Me 2 Do?" – 4:15
  8. "The Marrying Kind" – 2:49
  9. "If Eye Was the Man in Ur Life" – 3:09
  10. "On the Couch" – 3:33
  11. "Dear Mr. Man" – 4:14
  12. "Reflection" – 3:04


  • Prince — all vocals and instruments except as indicated[2]
  • Candy Dulfer — vocals on "Life 'O' the Party" and "Cinnamon Girl", saxphone on "Life 'O' the Party", horns on "The Marrying Kind", "If Eye Was the Man in Ur Life", and "On the Couch"
  • Chance Howard — vocals on "Life 'O' the Party", "Call My Name", and "Cinnamon Girl"
  • Stokley- vocals on "Call My Name"
  • Kip Blackshire — vocals on "Call My Name"
  • Clare Fischer — strings on "Call My Name"
  • Rhonda Smith — vocals on "Cinnamon Girl", bass on "Dear Mr. Man"
  • John Blackwell — drums on "The Marrying Kind", "If Eye Was the Man in Ur Life", "On the Couch", and "Dear Mr. Man"
  • Maceo Parker — horns on "The Marrying Kind", "If Eye Was the Man in Ur Life", and "On the Couch"
  • Greg Boyer — horns on "The Marrying Kind", "If Eye Was the Man in Ur Life", and "On the Couch"
  • Ornella Bonaccorsi — Italian speech on "What Do U Want Me 2 Do?"
  • Sheila E. — shaker on "Dear Mr. Man"
  • Renato Neto — fender rhodes on "Dear Mr. Man"


Region Certification Sales/shipments
Canada (Music Canada)[23] Gold 50,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[24] Gold 100,000^
United States (RIAA)[25] 2× Platinum 2,000,000^

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

Hot 100 positions[edit]


  1. ^ Phipps, Keith (April 26, 2004). "Prince: Musicology". The A.V. Club (Chicago). Retrieved November 23, 2013. 
  2. ^ a b "Musicology". Prince Vault. 21 June 2011. Retrieved 17 September 2011. 
  3. ^ "The Purple Reign". Musicology. Retrieved 17 September 2011. 
  4. ^ "RIAA Certifications For June 2004". Archived from the original on 27 August 2004. 
  5. ^ "RIAA Certifications For January 2005". Archived from the original on 9 February 2005. 
  6. ^ "Prince: Comeback from what?". USA Today (Gannett). 4 May 2004. ISSN 0734-7456. Retrieved 17 September 2011. 
  7. ^ D'Angelo, Joe (28 May 2004). "Billboard Sours On Prince's Musicology Sales Experiment". Retrieved 17 September 2011. 
  8. ^ "Musicology Reviews, Ratings, Credits, and More at Metacritic". Metacritic. Retrieved 5 August 2012. 
  9. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Prince: Musicology > Review" at AllMusic. Retrieved 17 September 2011.
  10. ^ DeRogatis, Jim (April 25, 2004). "Prince, Patti Smith". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved November 23, 2013. 
  11. ^ Browne, David (30 April 2004). "Musicology (2004): Prince". Entertainment Weekly (Time) (#762-763). ISSN 1049-0434. Retrieved 17 September 2011. 
  12. ^ Petridis, Alexis (16 April 2004). "Prince, Musicology". The Guardian (London: Guardian Media Group). ISSN 0261-3077. OCLC 60623878. Retrieved 17 September 2011. 
  13. ^ a b "Review: Musicology". Mojo: 112. June 2004. 
  14. ^ Nicolson, Barry (7 May 2004). "Prince : Musicology". NME (IPC Media). ISSN 0028-6362. Retrieved 17 September 2011. 
  15. ^ Leone, Dominique (28 April 2004). "Prince: Musicology". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved 17 September 2011. 
  16. ^ "Review: Musicology". Q: 105. June 2004. 
  17. ^ DeCurtis, Anthony (5 April 2004). "Prince: Musicology". Rolling Stone (Wenner Media). ISSN 0035-791X. Retrieved 17 September 2011. 
  18. ^ "Slant review". Slant Magazine. Retrieved November 23, 2013. 
  19. ^ Christgau, Robert (27 April 2004). "The Small Paybacks". The Village Voice (New York). Retrieved 17 September 2011. 
  20. ^ "Prince". Timeline: December 2004. Retrieved 17 September 2011. 
  21. ^ "Prince opens 'Musicology' tour in L.A.". USA Today (Gannett). 30 March 2004. ISSN 0734-7456. Retrieved 17 September 2011. 
  22. ^ "Prince's Musicology tour is top moneymaker of 2004". Jet (Johnson Publishing). 17 January 2005. ISSN 0021-5996. Retrieved 17 September 2011. 
  23. ^ "Canadian album certifications – Prince – Musicology". Music Canada. 
  24. ^ "British album certifications – Prince – Musicology". British Phonographic Industry.  Enter Musicology in the field Keywords. Select Title in the field Search by. Select album in the field By Format. Select Gold in the field By Award. Click Search
  25. ^ "American album certifications – Prince – Musicology". Recording Industry Association of America.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH

External links[edit]