Parade (Prince album)

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A black a white photo of a man with a black tank top and his arms posed in a theatrical way with the words "PRINCE AND THE REVOLUTION/ PARADE"
Studio album / soundtrack by
ReleasedMarch 31, 1986
RecordedApril 1985 – early 1986
StudioWashington Avenue Warehouse, Edina, MN, USA; Sunset Sound, Hollywood, CA, USA
LabelPaisley Park/Warner Bros.
Prince chronology
Around the World in a Day
Sign o' the Times
Singles from Parade
  1. "Kiss"
    Released: February 5, 1986
  2. "Mountains"
    Released: May 7, 1986
  3. "Anotherloverholenyohead"
    Released: July 2, 1986
  4. "Girls & Boys"
    Released: August 4, 1986

Parade is the eighth studio album by American recording artist Prince, and the third and final album where the Revolution is billed. It also was the soundtrack album to the 1986 film Under the Cherry Moon, directed by and starring Prince. It was released on March 31, 1986 by Paisley Park Records and Warner Bros. Records.

Parade eschews the guitar and rock elements of Prince's 1984 album Purple Rain in favor of the psychedelic pop style he explored on Around the World in a Day (1985), austerely produced funk, and soundtrack compositions.[1] After the critical disappointment of his 1985 album Around the World in a Day, Parade was released to acclaim from music critics. "Kiss" reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100. Parade was certified Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) in June 1986.

Parade was named one of the best albums of 1986 by The Village Voice and NME magazine, who named it their Album of the Year.


Parade was the follow-up to Around the World in a Day and the soundtrack to Prince's second film. The album sees Prince further diversifying musically, adding orchestrations to his music. Prince also displayed a new image with Parade: his trademark ruffled shirts, wild curly hair, and purple outfits, which defined his look from 1981's Controversy to 1985's Around the World in a Day, were replaced by slicked-back hair and dress suits. The first single, "Kiss", was a number one hit, and the album as a whole was well received in the United States. Europe further embraced the album, and for the first time in Prince's career European album sales eclipsed those in the United States. While Parade was the last official release with the Revolution, a follow up called Dream Factory was recorded. Its release was canceled when Prince disbanded the group.

Music and lyrics[edit]

Parade eschews the guitar and rock elements of Prince's 1984 album Purple Rain in favor of the neo-psychedelic style he explored on Around the World in a Day (1985), austerely produced funk, and soundtrack compositions.[1] According to Blender magazine's Keith Harris, Parade "makes a pop cavalcade out of the same psychedelic affectations" of Around the World in a Day.[5] Robert Christgau of The Village Voice viewed it as a modern "fusion of Fresh's foundation and Sgt. Pepper's filigrees", with songs he described as baroque pop creations.[4] According to PopMatters editor Quentin B. Huff, "Parade doesn't sound like anything else in the Prince canon. The album is a blend of jazz, soul, and a certain French undercurrent, probably absorbed from the film being set in France."[3]

Parade is bookended by two songs—"Christopher Tracy's Parade" and "Sometimes It Snows in April"—that reference Christopher Tracy, the protagonist from Under the Cherry Moon. The latter song is an acoustic ballad with chromatic choruses and sentimental lyrics bidding farewell to Tracy.[6] Christgau wrote that the album's lyrics suggest that Prince sings as Tracy, although he cannot be certain.[4] Parade also features some French lyrics and chanson arrangements, which refer to the film's French setting.[6]

Release and reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Chicago Sun-Times[8]
Entertainment WeeklyC−[9]
The Guardian[10]
Hi-Fi News & Record ReviewA[11]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide[13]
Spin Alternative Record Guide7/10[14]
The Village VoiceA−[4]

Parade was released on March 31, 1986 to acclaim from music critics, who viewed it as a creative comeback after the critical disappointment of Around the World in a Day.[15] In a contemporary review for The New York Times, John Rockwell said that the album succeeds in part because of the more aggressive songs, "in which Prince chooses to play up the black side of his multifaceted musical sensibility."[6] The Sunday Times found its musical scope "stunning", and the Detroit Free Press called the album "a confirmation of Prince's place as a superior melodist, arranger, and player, as well as a celebration of his creativity."[15] Hi-Fi News & Record Review called songs such as "New Position and "Girls and Boys" well-crafted funk and said that "when Prince opts to go completely daft, as he does on 'Do U Lie'... even then the result is somehow endearing and instantly likeable."[11]

Commercially, Parade charted at number 3 on the pop chart and at number 2 on the R&B chart, while selling 1 million copies in the United States, where Prince's sales had decreased. However it garnered him a new commercial audience in Europe and sold 2 million copies internationally.[16] The album finished 25th in the voting for The Village Voice's annual Pazz & Jop critics poll.[17] Christgau, the poll's creator, ranked it as the 33rd best album of the year on his own list.[18] NME magazine named it their album of the year for 1986.[19]

In a retrospective review for AllMusic, Stephen Thomas Erlewine viewed Parade as a musically diverse near-masterpiece that is given depth by Prince's "weird religious and sexual metaphors".[7] Simon Price later wrote in The Guardian that it was "the sound of Prince at his most effortless and assured. Cohesive and ice cream-cool, nobody would guess it was a soundtrack for a (sub-par) film. And it has 'Kiss' on it."[10] In a less enthusiastic review for Entertainment Weekly, David Browne said the record's ornate ballads and inconsistent material made it more self-indulgent than Around the World in a Day.[9] According to Mosi Reeves of Rhapsody, Prince's die-hard fans viewed the album as a charming mix of funk, jazz, and pop rock styles, but some detractors felt that its music was overblown. Reeves himself said that "this stylistic departure is an anomaly".[20] In rapper Chuck D's opinion, Prince "turned off a lot of the black followers [with the album]. I couldn't understand that. People don't want artists to endlessly repeat themselves, yet they can't tolerate change either. Prince changes all the time, always working on the public's imagination, always trying to keep ahead of them."[21]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks are written by Prince, except where noted.

Side one: Intro
1."Christopher Tracy's Parade"Prince, John L. Nelson2:11
2."New Position" 2:20
3."I Wonder U" 1:39
4."Under the Cherry Moon"Prince, John L. Nelson2:57
5."Girls & Boys" 5:29
6."Life Can Be So Nice" 3:13
7."Venus de Milo" 1:55
Side two: End
8."Mountains"Prince, Wendy & Lisa3:57
9."Do U Lie?" 2:44
10."Kiss"Prince; arranged by David Z3:37
11."Anotherloverholenyohead" 4:00
12."Sometimes It Snows in April"Prince, Wendy & Lisa6:48



Chart (1986) Peak
Australian Albums Chart 8
Austrian Albums Chart[22] 7
Canadian Albums Chart[23] 11
Dutch Albums Chart[24] 1
Finnish Albums (Suomen virallinen lista)[25] 3
German Albums Chart[24] 6
New Zealand Albums Chart[26] 7
Norwegian Albums Chart[27] 10
Swedish Albums Chart[28] 5
Swiss Albums Chart[29] 2
UK Albums Chart[30] 4
US Billboard 200[31] 3
US Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums (Billboard)[31] 2
Chart (2016) Peak
US Billboard 200 50
US Soundtrack Albums (Billboard)[32] 3

Year-end charts[edit]

Chart (1986) Position
US Billboard 200[33] 44
US Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums[34] 24


Region Certification Certified units/sales
Austria (IFPI Austria)[35] Gold 25,000*
Denmark (IFPI Danmark)[36] Gold 10,000double-dagger
France (SNEP)[37] Platinum 300,000*
Germany (BVMI)[38] Gold 250,000^
Netherlands (NVPI)[39] Platinum 100,000^
Spain (PROMUSICAE)[40] Gold 50,000^
Switzerland (IFPI Switzerland)[41] Gold 25,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[42] Platinum 300,000^
United States (RIAA)[43] Platinum 1,000,000^

* Sales figures based on certification alone.
^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.
double-dagger Sales+streaming figures based on certification alone.


  1. ^ a b c d Bream, Jon (March 30, 1986). "Prince // 'Parade' is marketing savvy test". Star Tribune. Minneapolis. Archived from the original on December 14, 2013. Retrieved December 11, 2013.
  2. ^ White, Timothy (May 1986). "Spin". Retrieved April 14, 2017.
  3. ^ a b c B. Huff, Quentin (June 16, 2011). "Prince's Parade: It's Really All About the Music". PopMatters. Retrieved November 16, 2014.
  4. ^ a b c d Christgau, Robert (April 29, 1986). "Christgau's Consumer Guide". The Village Voice. New York. Retrieved January 18, 2014.
  5. ^ a b Harris, Keith (June–July 2001). "Prince – Every Original CD Reviewed: Parade". Blender. New York (1). Archived from the original on August 20, 2004. Retrieved April 8, 2017.
  6. ^ a b c Rockwell, John (March 30, 1986). "Prince's 'Parade' Stakes A Claim To Popularity". The New York Times. Retrieved November 24, 2011.
  7. ^ a b Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Parade [Music From the Motion Picture Under the Cherry Moon] – Prince and the Revolution / Prince". AllMusic. Retrieved September 14, 2011.
  8. ^ McLeese, Don (April 7, 1986). "Prince's lighter, brighter 'new funk' is on 'Parade'". Chicago Sun-Times. Archived from the original on June 11, 2014. Retrieved January 18, 2014.
  9. ^ a b Browne, David (September 21, 1990). "Purple Products". Entertainment Weekly. No. 32. New York. ISSN 1049-0434. Retrieved August 22, 2011.
  10. ^ a b Price, Simon (April 22, 2016). "Prince: every album rated – and ranked". The Guardian. London. Retrieved April 25, 2016.
  11. ^ a b "Prince and the Revolution: Parade". Hi-Fi News & Record Review. London. July 1986.
  12. ^ Wolk, Douglas (April 30, 2016). "Prince / The Revolution: Parade". Pitchfork. Retrieved May 1, 2016.
  13. ^ Matos, Michaelangelo (2004). "Prince". In Brackett, Nathan; Hoard, Christian (eds.). The New Rolling Stone Album Guide (4th ed.). New York: Simon & Schuster. pp. 654–57. ISBN 0-7432-0169-8.
  14. ^ Weisbard, Eric; Marks, Craig, eds. (1995). "Prince". Spin Alternative Record Guide. New York: Vintage Books. ISBN 0-679-75574-8.
  15. ^ a b Draper, Jason (2011). Prince: Chaos, Disorder, and Revolution. Backbeat Books. ISBN 978-1-4584-2941-4. Retrieved January 18, 2014.
  16. ^ Guilla, Bob (2008). Icons of R&B and Soul. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 493. ISBN 978-0-313-34046-8. Retrieved January 18, 2014.
  17. ^ "The 1986 Pazz & Jop Critics Poll". The Village Voice. New York. March 3, 1987. Retrieved January 18, 2014.
  18. ^ Christgau, Robert (March 3, 1987). "Pazz & Jop 1986: Dean's List". The Village Voice. New York. Retrieved January 18, 2014.
  19. ^ "Albums and Tracks of the Year for 1986". NME. Archived from the original on December 25, 2013. Retrieved January 18, 2014.
  20. ^ Reeves, Mosi. "Parade (Soundtrack) by Prince". Rhapsody. Retrieved November 15, 2014.
  21. ^ Select. London (1). July 1990.{{cite journal}}: CS1 maint: untitled periodical (link)
  22. ^ "Prince & The Revolution – Parade". Austrian Album Charts (in German). Hung Medien.
  23. ^ "Top Albums/CDs – Volume 44, No. 11, June 07 1986". Archived from the original on January 22, 2009.
  24. ^ a b "Prince & The Revolution – Parade". Hung Medien.
  25. ^ Pennanen, Timo (2021). "Prince". Sisältää hitin - 2. laitos Levyt ja esittäjät Suomen musiikkilistoilla 1.1.1960–30.6.2021 (PDF) (in Finnish). Helsinki: Kustannusosakeyhtiö Otava. p. 204.
  26. ^ "Prince & The Revolution – Parade". Hung Medien.
  27. ^ "Prince & The Revolution – Parade". Hung Medien.
  28. ^ "Prince & The Revolution – Parade". Hung Medien.
  29. ^ "Prince & The Revolution – Parade". Hung Medien.
  30. ^ "Prince". Official Charts Company. Retrieved January 18, 2014.
  31. ^ a b "Parade – Prince & the Revolution : Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved January 18, 2014.
  32. ^ "Prince Chart History (Soundtrack Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved July 3, 2022.
  33. ^ "Top Pop Albums 1986". Billboard. December 27, 1986. Retrieved September 11, 2022.
  34. ^ "Top Black Albums 1986". Billboard. December 27, 1986. Retrieved September 11, 2022.
  35. ^ "Austrian album certifications – Prince – Parade" (in German). IFPI Austria. Retrieved September 11, 2019.
  36. ^ "Danish album certifications – Prince – Parade". IFPI Danmark. Retrieved October 22, 2019.
  37. ^ "French album certifications – Prince – Parade" (in French). Syndicat National de l'Édition Phonographique.
  38. ^ "Gold-/Platin-Datenbank (Prince; 'Parade')" (in German). Bundesverband Musikindustrie.
  39. ^ "Dutch album certifications – Prince – Parade" (in Dutch). Nederlandse Vereniging van Producenten en Importeurs van beeld- en geluidsdragers. Enter Parade in the "Artiest of titel" box. Select 1992 in the drop-down menu saying "Alle statussen"
  40. ^ Salaverrie, Fernando (September 2005). Sólo éxitos: año a año, 1959–2002 (PDF) (in Spanish) (1st ed.). Madrid: Fundación Autor/SGAE. p. 959. ISBN 84-8048-639-2. Retrieved August 26, 2019.
  41. ^ "Gold & Platinum Awards 1987" (PDF). Music and Media. American Radio History Archive. December 26, 1987. p. 46. Retrieved January 1, 2020.
  42. ^ "British album certifications – Prince – Parade". British Phonographic Industry.Select albums in the Format field. Select Platinum in the Certification field. Type Parade in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
  43. ^ "American album certifications – Prince – Parade". Recording Industry Association of America.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]