Musings in the Dark: Prince's Legacy #5


Prince's Legacy #5

#5: 1999

1999 dropped in 1982.  It’s synth-heavy; you get the impression that Prince was experimenting with a lot of different keyboards and drum machines.  As a child, I was a fan of keyboard-laden music and so one-nine-nine-nine was right up my alley.  It was the first of his albums to crack the top 10 (peaking at 9 when it was released and 7 after he died).  It’s the album that made people stand up and take notice of the Purple One.  The cover is unbelievable; I haven’t seen an album cover that comes close to the artistry that is 1999’s face.  1999 also marks the introduction of The Revolution.

Favorite cuts:  “1999,” “Little Red Corvette,” “Delirious,” “Automatic,” “D.M.S.R.,” “Lady Cab Driver,” and “International Lover.”

The first cut is the title track and it is legendary.  It opens with Don’t worry/I won’t hurt you/I only want you to have some fun and a sickening beat.  Then the keyboards hit and the rest is history.  I prefer the extended cut…and who in the Purple Army doesn’t?  When I first heard “1999,” all I could think about what an awesome track to bring in the new millennium…17 years later.  The video…Prince is wearing a shiny purple coat and he’s beautiful.

Also there was this

This is Jill Jones and Lisa Coleman.  Both sang backup and Lisa, of course, was wicked on the keyboard.  When I think of the video for 1999, this is the image that pops into my head a split nanosecond before Prince's does.  I was always curious as to where Lisa’s other hand was.

Lawd Jaysus, somebody done uploaded the video!  It’s a bittersweet moment.

“Little Red Corvette” starts with the following:

I guess I shoulda known/By the way you parked your car sideways/That it wouldn’t last
See you’re the kinda person/Who believes in making out once/Love ‘em and leave ‘em fast
I guess I must be dumb/She had a pocket full of horses/Trojans and some of ‘em used
But it was Saturday night/I guess that makes it all right/And you say what have I got to lose

Genius, right there.  Pure unadulterated genius.  Love the idea of a woman doing a hit and run.  No more need be said.  And the way Prince looked and danced in that video is sickening.  I remember feeling a kind of way as a prepubescent girl watching that beautiful man in tight jeans, lip gloss and high-heeled boots bust a split and caress his hair. 

 Courtesy of uproxx.

“Delirious” is a song where Prince is lamenting about a woman turning him on.  It’s fun with suggestive lyrics, a nice quick beat done on a drum machine, and a killer keyboard hook.  I get a crazy urge to snap my fingers whenever I hear it, and I indulge.  “Automatic” contains similar fare, almost like a continuation of the events of “Delirious” and “Little Red Corvette.”  Love that synthesizer!

“Lady Cab Driver” has a great opening beat and a funky-ass groove.  You have to clap to the beat.  Prince is singing to a lady driver while in the back of her taxi…and they end up fucking at the end of the song.  What’s not to love?

“International Lover” has always been a personal, personal favorite.  Everything about that cut is sublime.  It reminds me of a long-ago relationship I had with a musician, but I am making new memories with the track now that I’m an expatriate.

“D.M.S.R.” is a song I fell in love with later on in life. It’s a simple song with a catchy hook and it’s all about getting folks on the dance floor.  I belt out the chorus as loud as I can.  Oooh, all right/Dance Music Sex Romance  

I'm about to go and listen to it again.  *sniff*

1999 is one of Prince’s most influential albums, if not the most influential. 

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