Thieves in the Temple

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"Thieves in the Temple"
UK 7" single
Single by Prince
from the album Graffiti Bridge
B-side "Thieves in the Temple (Part II)"
"Thieves In the House" (12")
"Temple House Dub" (12")
Released July 17, 1990
Format 7" single
12" single
CD Maxi single
Recorded Paisley Park Studios, January 1990
Genre Pop
Length Album/7": 3:20
12" Remix: 8:08
Label Paisley Park/Warner Bros.
Writer(s) Prince
Producer(s) Prince
Certification Gold (RIAA) - October 2, 1990
Prince singles chronology
"Thieves in the Temple"
"New Power Generation"
Prince (UK) chronology
"The Future"
"Thieves in the Temple"
"New Power Generation"

"Thieves in the Temple" is a song by American musician Prince from the 1990 soundtrack album, Graffiti Bridge. Added at the last minute, it was the final song recorded for the album. "Thieves in the Temple" topped the U.S. R&B chart and became a number six hit in the U.S.,[1] and a number seven hit in the UK. The single also peaked at number 9 on the dance charts.[2]

The track has a unique sound, starting quietly with echoed keyboards and vocals before the main section of the song booms in with a pulsating synth bass, syncopated drum machines, Middle Eastern melodies and opera-like layered vocals. Prince also samples a harmonica solo from a recording by The Chambers Brothers. The vocals are emotional, and accuse the subject of rejecting Prince and lying to him. The "temple" in the title recalls the ever-present spirituality in many of Prince's songs. The maxi-single contains extended lyrics that continue the theme before diverging into more dance-oriented material.

The maxi-single also contains a Junior Vasquez remix called "Thieves in the House", which is distinctly more dance oriented. It also contains samples from earlier Prince songs "Eye No" and "Batdance," as well as a dub version of the house track. The music video for the song was pulled from the film, but an extended video exists which mirrors the extended remix.

Track listing[edit]

7": Paisley Park / 7-19751 (US)[edit]

  1. "Thieves in the Temple" – 3:20
  2. "Thieves in the Temple" (Part II) – 1:41

12": Paisley Park / 0-21598 (US)[edit]

  1. "Thieves in the Temple" (Remix) – 8:03
  2. "Thieves in the House Mix" – 6:50
  3. "Temple House Dub" – 5:06
  • also available on UK 12" picture disc (W9751TP)
  • also available on CD (9 21598-2)


peak position (1990) Position
U.S. Billboard Hot 100[3] 6

See also[edit]

Cover versions[edit]


  1. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942-2004. Record Research. p. 471. 
  2. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Hot Dance/Disco: 1974-2003. Record Research. p. 208. 
  3. ^ "Billboard Top 100 - 1990". Retrieved 2009-09-15. 

External links[edit]