The Holy River

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"The Holy River"
Prince holy.jpg
UK CD single
Single by Prince
from the album Emancipation
B-side "Somebody's Somebody" (Radio edit)
"Somebody's Somebody" (Livestudio Mix)
"Somebody's Somebody" (Ultrafantasy Edit)
"The Most Beautiful Girl in the World" (Mustang Mix)
"On Sale Now!"

January 13, 1997

United States(CHR/Pop Radio)
United Kingdom (CD Single)
Format Cassette single
CD single
Recorded Paisley Park Studios, 1995–1996
Genre Pop rock
Length Radio edit 4:00
Album: 6:55
Songwriter(s) Prince
Producer(s) Prince
Prince singles chronology
"Betcha by Golly Wow!"
"The Holy River"
"Somebody's Somebody"
"Betcha by Golly Wow!"
"The Holy River"
"Somebody's Somebody"
Prince (UK) singles chronology
"Betcha by Golly Wow!"
(1996) Betcha by Golly Wow!1996
"The Holy River"/"Somebody's Somebody"
(1997) The Holy RiverSomebody's Somebody1997
"The War"
(1998) The War1998

"The Holy River" is a song from Prince's (his stage name at that time being an unpronounceable symbol, see cover art) 1996 album, Emancipation.[1]

The song is pop/rock-based number that tells the story of spiritual enlightenment and of Prince's decision to marry Mayte Garcia. The mid-tempo number features a guitar melody without a chorus. The song climaxes in a searing guitar and Pipe organ solo.

The UK CD single was released as a two separate discs which fit in a double jewel case that was included with the first disc. Both discs had different picture sleeves and different contents, other than a "radio edit" of "The Holy River" and edit of "Somebody's Somebody" (also from Emancipation). Disc one also included two remixes of "Somebody's Somebody": a "Livestudio Mix" and an "Ultrafantasy Edit". Both were mostly re-recorded versions of the song with additional lyrics. Disc 2 included the previously released "The Most Beautiful Girl in the World (Mustang Mix)" and a one-minute commercial called "On Sale Now!". The UK cassette single was the same as disc 2, but without "On Sale Now".

A US promotional release was sent to Pop radio stations at the same time as "Somebody's Somebody" was sent to Urban radio stations, it was also made available to consumers for free, and only through book chain, Borders Music. It was a cassette single with the previously unreleased "Welcome 2 the Dawn", advertised as being from the upcoming album The Dawn. In reality, the song was later released on The Truth. A music video for the single was also produced.[2]

Excluding the re-release of "1999", "The Holy River"/"Somebody's Somebody" became his final UK Top 40 single in his lifetime.


Chart (1997) Peak
Belgium (Ultratip Flanders)[3] 4
Germany (Official German Charts)[4] 92
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[5] 63
US Billboard Hot 100 Airplay 58
US Billboard Mainstream Top 40 19
US Billboard Hot Adult Top 40 Tracks 31
The Holy River/Somebody's Somebody (1997) Peak
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[6] 19