The Gold Experience

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The Gold Experience
Prince Gold.jpg
Studio album by Prince
Released September 26, 1995
Genre Funk rock[1]
Length 65:04
Label Warner Bros., NPG
Producer Prince
Prince chronology
The Black Album
(1994)
The Gold Experience
(1995)
Girl 6
(1996)
Singles from The Gold Experience
  1. "The Most Beautiful Girl in the World"
    Released: February 24, 1994
  2. "I Hate U"
    Released: September 12, 1995
  3. "Gold"
    Released: November 30, 1995

The Gold Experience is the seventeenth studio album by American recording artist Prince (his name at the time being an unpronounceable symbol). It was produced entirely by Prince and released on September 26, 1995 on NPG Records and Warner Bros. Records. The album charted at number 6 on the Billboard 200 and number 2 on the Top R&B Albums.[2] The singles "The Most Beautiful Girl in the World", "I Hate U", and "Gold" charted on the Billboard Hot 100 at numbers 3, 12, and 88 respectively.[2]

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 4/5 stars[3]
Blender 4/5 stars[4]
Chicago Tribune 3/4 stars[5]
Entertainment Weekly A−[6]
The Guardian 4/5 stars[7]
Los Angeles Times 4/4 stars[8]
NME 7/10[9]
Q 3/5 stars[10]
Rolling Stone 4/5 stars[11]
The Village Voice A[12]

The Gold Experience sold 500,000 copies in the United States and peaked at number six on the Billboard 200, failing to meet the record label's commercial expectations. According to biographer Jason Draper, it may have undersold because Prince was losing touch with younger listeners and how his contractual dispute with Warner Bros. Records overshadowed the album's promotion, which he had done well before it was released.[13]

Nonetheless, The Gold Experience was a success with critics.[13] Melody Maker called it Prince's best record in years,[14] while Vibe said it was his best since Sign o' the Times in 1987.[15] In The Village Voice, Robert Christgau wrote that it showcased not only the unbridled artistry displayed on his other records but also "a renewal. It's as sex-obsessed as ever, only with more juice—'Shhh' and '319' especially pack the kind of porno jolt sexy music rarely gets near and hard music never does."[12] He believed its best songs, specifically "Endorphinmachine" and "P Control", "funk and rock as outrageously and originally as anything he's ever recorded".[16] Jon Pareles was less enthusiastic in The New York Times, finding most of the songs to be minor successes and calling it "a proficient album, not a startling one; most of its songs are variations and retreads of previous Prince efforts."[17]

The Gold Experience was voted the 30th best album of 1995 in the Pazz & Jop, an annual poll of American critics published by The Village Voice.[18] Christgau, the poll's supervisor, ranked it 10th best in his own year-end list.[19] In a retrospective review, Keith Harris from Blender cited The Gold Experience as the best album Prince recorded in the 1990s, "a mix of newly stripped-down funk and delicate balladry that reasserts his dynamic range".[4]

Several people speculated that the song "Billy Jack Bitch" was written about a Minneapolis Star Tribune gossip columnist known as "CJ".[20][21][22] Prince denied the song was about the columnist when CJ herself interviewed him.[23]

Track listing[edit]

All songs written by Prince, except where indicated.

  1. "Pussy Control" (censored as "P Control") – 5:59
  2. "NPG Operator" - 0:10
  3. "Endorphinmachine" – 4:07
  4. "Shhh" – 7:18
  5. "We March" (Prince, Nona Gaye) – 4:49
  6. "NPG Operator" - 0:16
  7. "The Most Beautiful Girl in the World" – 4:25
  8. "Dolphin" – 4:59
  9. "NPG Operator" - 0:18
  10. "Now" – 4:30
  11. "NPG Operator" - 0:31
  12. "319" – 3:05
  13. "NPG Operator" - 0:10
  14. "Shy" – 5:04
  15. "Billy Jack Bitch" (Prince, Michael B. Nelson) – 5:32
  16. "I Hate U" – 5:54
  17. "NPG Operator" - 0:44
  18. "Gold" – 7:23

Special edition vinyl bonus tracks:

  1. "I Hate U" (Extended Remix) – 6:17
  2. "I Hate U" (LP Version) – 6:08
  3. "I Hate U" (Quiet Night Mix) – 3:56
  4. "I Hate U" (Single Version With Guitar Solo) – 4:25
  5. "I Hate U" (Edit - No Guitar Ending) – 3:48

Credits and personnel[edit]

  • Prince - lead vocals and various instruments
  • Tommy Barbarella, Mr. Hayes - keyboards (3, 4, 8, 12, 15, 16, 18)
  • Sonny T. - bass (3, 4, 8, 12, 15, 16, 18), backing vocals (5)
  • Michael Bland aka 'Michael B.' - drums (3, 4, 8, 12, 15, 16, 18)
  • Ricky Peterson - additional keyboards (5, 7, 12, 16, 18)
  • Kirk Johnson - drum programming (5)
  • James Behringer - additional guitar (7)
  • Brian Gallagher - tenor saxophone (10, 12, 15)
  • Kathy Jensen - baritone saxophone (10, 12, 15)
  • Dave Jensen, Steve Strand - trumpet (10, 12, 15)
  • Michael B. Nelson - trombone (10, 12, 15), horn arrangement (15)
  • Nona Gaye - co-lead vocals (5)
  • Lenny Kravitz - backing vocals (15)
  • Mayte - spoken vocals (1, 5)
  • Rain Ivana (as NPG Operator) - voice (2, 6, 9, 11, 13, 15-18)

Produced by Prince, except: 7, 12, 16, 18, co-produced by Ricky Peterson, and 5, co-produced with Ricky Peterson and Kirk Johnson.[24]

Singles[edit]

Another track, "Shhh", charted from The Gold Experience in July 1994; it was not the album version, but rather a live version performed on The Beautiful Experience TV special, which aired in 1994. It received some R&B airplay, causing it to chart and peak at #62 on the US Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Airplay chart.

Charts[edit]

Chart (1995) Peak
position
Australian Albums (ARIA)[25] 13
Austrian Albums (Ö3 Austria)[26] 28
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Flanders)[27] 5
Dutch Albums (MegaCharts)[28] 3
Finnish Albums (Suomen virallinen lista)[29] 24
German Albums (Offizielle Top 100)[30] 24
Norwegian Albums (VG-lista)[31] 12
Swedish Albums (Sverigetopplistan)[32] 11
Swiss Albums (Schweizer Hitparade)[33] 7
UK Albums (OCC)[34] 4
US Billboard 200[35] 6

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/Sales
United Kingdom (BPI)[36] Gold 100,000^
United States (RIAA)[37] Gold 500,000^

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

References[edit]

  1. ^ Sullivan, Jim (October 5, 1995). "The Artist Formerly Known as Prince The Gold Experience". The Boston Globe. Calendar section, p. 17. Retrieved July 19, 2013. he releases the long- delayed 'The Gold Experience' and zooms back up to the A-level of funk-rock.  (subscription required)
  2. ^ a b "Gold Experience - Prince : Awards". Allmusic. Retrieved June 6, 2013. 
  3. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Prince: Gold Experience > Review" at AllMusic. Retrieved 16 September 2011.
  4. ^ a b Harris, Keith (June–July 2001). "Every Original CD Reviewed - Prince". Blender. Alpha Media Group (1). 
  5. ^ Kot, Greg (September 29, 1995). "Sonic Gold". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved August 30, 2015. 
  6. ^ Flaherty, Mike (29 September 1995). "The Gold Experience". Entertainment Weekly. Time (#294). ISSN 1049-0434. Retrieved 16 September 2011. 
  7. ^ Price, Simon (April 22, 2016). "Prince: every album rated – and ranked". The Guardian. London. Retrieved April 25, 2016. 
  8. ^ Coker, Cheo H. (24 September 1995). "With 'Gold,' Prince Regains His Midas Touch". Los Angeles Times. Tribune Company. ISSN 0458-3035. OCLC 3638237. Retrieved 16 September 2011. 
  9. ^ "Prince - The Gold Experience". NME. IPC Media: 49. 23 September 1995. ISSN 0028-6362. Retrieved 16 September 2011. Symbol's most consistently enjoyable, fully-rounded album for at least five years. 
  10. ^ "Prince - The Gold Experience". Q. Bauer Media Group: 116. October 1995. Retrieved 16 September 2011. …the New Power Generation's finest hour. 
  11. ^ Cooper, Carol (2 November 1995). "Prince: The Gold Experience". Rolling Stone. Wenner Media. ISSN 0035-791X. Retrieved 16 September 2011. 
  12. ^ a b Christgau, Robert (November 14, 1995). "Consumer Guide". The Village Voice. New York. Retrieved June 6, 2013. 
  13. ^ a b Draper, Jason (2011). "The Exodus Has Begun". Prince: Chaos, Disorder, and Revolution. Backbeat Books. ISBN 1458429415. Retrieved August 30, 2015. 
  14. ^ Melody Maker. London: 38. October 14, 1995. 
  15. ^ "Prince - The Gold Experience". Vibe. InterMedia Partners: 131–132. October 1995. ISSN 1070-4701. Retrieved 16 September 2011. …a Prince experience par excellence. 
  16. ^ Christgau, Robert (October 1995). "Oct. 1995: Randy Newman, Prince". Playboy. Retrieved June 6, 2013. 
  17. ^ Pareles, Jon (17 September 1995). "Still Moaning, Still Shimmying". New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. OCLC 1645522. Retrieved 16 September 2011. 
  18. ^ "Pazz & Jop 1995". The Village Voice. 1996. Retrieved August 30, 2015. 
  19. ^ Christgau, Robert (1996). "Pazz & Jop 1995: Dean's List". The Village Voice. Retrieved August 30, 2015. 
  20. ^ Grove, Lloyd (7 June 2002). "The Reliable Source ‒ Live Transcript". WashingtonPost.com. Retrieved 16 September 2011. 
  21. ^ Webster, Nick (10 April 2004). "From Sex God to Doorstep Bible Basher". The Mirror. 
  22. ^ blackvoices.com[dead link]
  23. ^ "About the Artist". ArtworkByCJ.com. Retrieved 16 September 2011. 
  24. ^ http://princevault.com/index.php/Album:_The_Gold_Experience
  25. ^ "Australiancharts.com – The Symbol – The Gold Experience". Hung Medien. Retrieved May 1, 2016.
  26. ^ "Austriancharts.at – The Symbol – The Gold Experience" (in German). Hung Medien. Retrieved May 1, 2016.
  27. ^ "Ultratop.be – The Symbol – The Gold Experience" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved May 1, 2016.
  28. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – The Symbol – The Gold Experience" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved May 1, 2016.
  29. ^ "The Symbol: The Gold Experience" (in Finnish). Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland. Retrieved May 1, 2016.
  30. ^ "Offiziellecharts.de – The Symbol – The Gold Experience" (in German). GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved May 1, 2016.
  31. ^ "Norwegiancharts.com – The Symbol – The Gold Experience". Hung Medien. Retrieved May 1, 2016.
  32. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – The Symbol – The Gold Experience". Hung Medien. Retrieved May 1, 2016.
  33. ^ "Swisscharts.com – The Symbol – The Gold Experience". Hung Medien. Retrieved May 1, 2016.
  34. ^ "Prince | Artist | Official Charts". UK Albums Chart Retrieved May 1, 2016.
  35. ^ "Prince – Chart history" Billboard 200 for Prince. Retrieved May 1, 2016.
  36. ^ "British album certifications – Prince – The Gold Experience". British Phonographic Industry.  Enter The Gold Experience 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
  37. ^ "American album certifications – Prince – The Gold Experience". Recording Industry Association of America.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH

External links[edit]