Raspberry Beret

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"Raspberry Beret"
Prince RaspBeret.jpg
Japanese vinyl cover
Single by Prince and the Revolution
from the album Around the World in a Day
B-side
  • "She's Always in My Hair" (US)
  • "Hello" (UK)
ReleasedMay 15, 1985
RecordedSunset Sound (Studio 2), April 27, 1982 (basic tracking of unreleased 1982 version) Flying Cloud Drive Warehouse (Eden Prairie, Minnesota), September 7 or 12, 1984 (basic tracking of album version)
Genre
Length3:31 (7" Single/Album Version)
6:36 (New Mix)
4:18 (Video Version)
LabelPaisley Park, Warner Bros.
Songwriter(s)Prince
Producer(s)Prince
Prince and the Revolution singles chronology
"Take Me with U"
(1985)
"Raspberry Beret"
(1985)
"Pop Life"
(1985)
Music video
«Raspberry Beret» on YouTube
Prince (UK) singles chronology
"Paisley Park"
(1985)
"Raspberry Beret"
(1985)
"Pop Life"
(1985)

"Raspberry Beret" is a song written by American musician Prince and the lead single from Prince & the Revolution's 1985 album Around the World in a Day.

Background[edit]

The sound of the song expanded upon previous Prince arrangements, incorporating stringed instruments, Middle Eastern finger cymbals, and a harmonica on the extended version. The song was also more in the pop vein than before, though the 12-inch single and video of the song feature a funky intro.

The song tells of a teenage romance and first sexual experience with a girl who wears a raspberry-colored beret. The extended version was included on the compilation album Ultimate in 2006. While the song hit number one in Cash Box and reached number two on the Billboard Hot 100 in the US (behind "A View to a Kill" by Duran Duran), it only reached number 25 on the UK Singles Chart.[3]

Releases[edit]

The US B-side, "She's Always in My Hair", is a rock and roll number, with guitar and organs and emotional lyrics screamed toward the end. The UK B-side was "Hello", which was included on the U.S. release of "Pop Life".

Reception[edit]

Cash Box described the single as "an immediately accessible track, melodic and teasingly sexual."[4]

Following Prince's death, "Raspberry Beret" re-charted on the Billboard Hot 100 at number 33 on the chart dated the week of May 14, 2016. As of April 30, 2016, it has sold 691,421 copies in the United States.[5]

Music video[edit]

The video for the song was directed primarily by Prince, with animation created by Colossal Pictures co-founder Drew Takahashi. It combines footage of Prince & The Revolution performing the song surrounded by dancers and overlaid with various animations. The video uses an extended version of the song with a longer intro. Guitarist Pat Smear of Germs and Foo Fighters fame, appears as one of the background dancers in the video but, according to bandmate Dave Grohl, he was nearly fired. In the 2010 book I Want My MTV, Grohl elaborates further: "everyone has to do a synchronized dance. Pat can't dance so they sent him home[...] Prince whispers in the bodyguard's ear. The bodyguard says, "You can stay. He likes your hair."[6]

In the same book, producer Simon Fields also recalls production on the video: "For 'Raspberry Beret', we filmed a whole video, then Prince got a Japanese animator to do a completely different video and we mashed the two up."[6]

In an interview with Earl Jones, Jones recalls that Prince damaged his hair so poorly prior to the Raspberry Beret video that "the hairstyle... was literally all I could do with it."[7]

Live performances[edit]

"Raspberry Beret" remained a perennial live favourite in Prince's concerts for many years. It was initially performed in a full version for his 1986 Hit N Run World Tour whilst later performances including those on his Lovesexy Tour feature it as a stripped-down piece performed solely by Prince on piano, often as part of a medley with other songs from around the same period.

Warren Zevon performed the song on Late Show with David Letterman. Zevon had previously recorded a version as part of the Hindu Love Gods, which was released in 1990.

Legacy[edit]

"Raspberry Beret" is widely considered one of Prince's finest songs. In 2016, Paste ranked the song number eight on their list of the 50 greatest Prince songs,[8] and in 2022, American Songwriter ranked the song number four on their list of the 10 greatest Prince songs.[9]

Track listings[edit]

  • US 7″ single
A. "Raspberry Beret" – 3:31
B. "She's Always in My Hair" – 3:27
  • US 12" single
A. "Raspberry Beret (New Mix)" – 6:34
B. "She's Always in My Hair (New Mix)" – 6:32
  • UK 7" single
A. "Raspberry Beret" – 3:31
B. "Hello" – 3:23
  • UK 12″ single
A. "Raspberry Beret (New Mix)" – 6:34
B. "Hello (Extended Remix)" – 6:23

Personnel[edit]

Charts[edit]

Chart (1985) Peak
position
Australia (Kent Music Report)[10] 13
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)[11] 25
Canada Top Singles (RPM) 8
Finland (Suomen virallinen singlelista)[12] 13
Ireland (IRMA) 24
Netherlands (Dutch Top 40)[13] 19
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[14] 23
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[15] 2
UK Singles (OCC)[16] 25
US R&B (Billboard) 3
US Billboard Hot 100[17] 2
US Mainstream Rock (Billboard)[18] 40
West Germany (Official German Charts)[19] 35
Chart (2016) Peak
position
France (SNEP)[20] 36
Year-end chart (1985) Rank
US Top Pop Singles (Billboard)[21] 51

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/sales
United Kingdom (BPI)[22] Gold 400,000double-dagger

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

References[edit]

  1. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Around the World in a Day - Prince and the Revolution, Prince | Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved September 14, 2011.
  2. ^ Mason, Stewart. "Raspberry Beret - Prince, Prince & the Revolution | Song Info". AllMusic. Archived from the original on April 28, 2016. Retrieved February 23, 2020.
  3. ^ "Prince - Raspberry Beret | Beyond The Lyrics". Story of Song. Retrieved 2021-01-08.
  4. ^ "Single Releases" (PDF). Cash Box. May 18, 1985. p. 13. Retrieved 2022-07-26.
  5. ^ "Hip Hop Single Sales: Prince, Desiigner & Drake". HipHopDX. April 30, 2016. Retrieved April 30, 2016.
  6. ^ a b Tannenbaum, Rob; Marks, Craig (2011). I Want My MTV: The Uncensored Story of the Music Video Revolution. Penguin. pp. 15–16. ISBN 978-1101526415.
  7. ^ "Prince: 12 things we've learned since his death". BBC News. 19 April 2017.
  8. ^ Ham, Robert (April 27, 2016). "The 50 Best Prince Songs". Paste. Retrieved March 22, 2022.
  9. ^ Walthall, Catherine (February 8, 2022). "The Top 10 Prince Songs". American Songwriter. Retrieved March 22, 2022.
  10. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992 (illustrated ed.). St Ives, NSW: Australian Chart Book. p. 239. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
  11. ^ "Prince & The Revolution – Raspberry Beret" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50. Retrieved May 6, 2016.
  12. ^ 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. Retrieved July 3, 2022.
  13. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – Prince & The Revolution" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40. Retrieved July 3, 2022.
  14. ^ "Prince & The Revolution – Raspberry Beret" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved May 6, 2016.
  15. ^ "Prince & The Revolution – Raspberry Beret". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved May 6, 2016.
  16. ^ "Prince: Artist Chart History". Official Charts Company. Retrieved May 6, 2016.
  17. ^ "Prince Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved May 6, 2016.
  18. ^ "Prince Chart History (Mainstream Rock)". Billboard. Retrieved May 6, 2016.
  19. ^ "Offiziellecharts.de – Prince & The Revolution – Raspberry Beret". GfK Entertainment charts. Retrieved May 6, 2016.
  20. ^ "Prince & The Revolution – Raspberry Beret" (in French). Les classement single. Retrieved May 9, 2016.
  21. ^ "1985 The Year in Music & Video: Top Pop Singles". Billboard. Vol. 97, no. 52. December 28, 1985. p. T-21.
  22. ^ "British single certifications – Prince & The Revolution – Raspberry Beret". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved October 19, 2021.