Remembering '1999': A Defining Album for Prince
    • FRIDAY, OCTOBER 27, 2017

    • Posted by: Maddie Brown

    Today we celebrate the 35th anniversary of Prince's fifth studio album 1999; a visionary masterpiece that would go on to influence artists of various genres. Electronic music is such a staple in contemporary music that it can be easy to dismiss its weight and neglect its history. But today we look back at an artist who truly shaped the course of its past, present, and future. 1999 was electrifying.

    Prince was a pioneer, a tour de force, and his 1999 album exemplifies a defining moment in synth-pop music. 1999 whets our appetites with 11 intoxicating songs that fuse funk, rock, disco, and R&B elements together. The album experiments with the technology of the early 80s, and combines groovy retro vibes in a futuristic soundscape. The music incorporates socio-political statements with jives about sex and romance to create a work of art that people are still going nuts over. The album includes two iconic singles "1999" and "Little Red Corvette." "1999" opens with a message delivered by a robotic voice, telling us "Don't worry I won't hurt you, I only want you to have some fun." This sets the tone for the record's celebratory atmosphere. Prince creates the sort of environment that makes you want to dance all night long.

    His single "Little Red Corvette" peaked at number six on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart, becoming his first hit to reach the top 10 in the U.S. The song is actually a double entendre about sex, specifically coming to grips with a short-lived encounter. He's clearly infatuated by this woman, but needs her "to slow down" and get "a love that's gonna last." This song is a timeless banger with an irresistible melody and rockin' synths.

    Songs like "Delirious" and "D.M.S.R." are sexually charged declarations that embrace psychedelia. The thrilling grooves fuel whirling sensations that encourage liberation and celebration. Other songs like "Let's Pretend We're Married" and "All The Critics Love U In New York" exhibit the heavy utilization of sequencing technology and a Linn-LM1 Drum Machine.

    Prince wants you to have a good time, but still evaluate social and political conditions. He sprinkles these beliefs throughout his work. In "Free," a spiritual anthem that treasures freedom and unity, he says "Soldiers are a marching, they're writing brand new laws/Will we all fight together for the most important cause?"

    Prince left a legacy, and we're forever inspired by his musical greatness.

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