Thursday, June 11, 2009

Prince - Dirty Mind (1980)

It's time for the best album from one of my musical heroes. I decided the other day that I'm going to get into hanging out with celebrities. I mean, my friends are cool, but there are probably way cooler people out there, such as Prince, Ben Affleck, and Heather Graham (bombers). So yeah, attention all celebrities, why don't you come over and listen to records.

Prince's absurdly prolific output from the early 80s is unbearably, appallingly consistently great - a real monsoon of musical creativity and weird-ass grooves. I don't even know what to say about this other than if you don't like it, come over and I'll gladly cut your ears off for you. Idiot.

Underneath the layers of synth tones and guitar embellishments, these songs embody a stark "less is more" philosophy. Notice that Uptown is based upon the same chord progression for the entire song, broken only briefly for a pre-chorus, and structuring changes are brought about by changing instrumentation. As in the construction of human language, a collection of basic rules gives rise to infinite variations in meaning through recursive groove structuring and adolescent incest fantasies.

I usually hate the lyrics to just about everything, but I truly envy the voracious, animalistic sexuality represented here. Prince wants to bang more than I've ever wanted anything in my life, and that is something that rules. Another cool thing about these lyrics is that they are very offensive to those with morals and values. Here is a funny video of Zappa and other whites on Crossfire discussing censorship in the 80s. Sister features prominently in the discussion, which is actually one of Prince's best choruses, home to one of the catchiest, non-diatonic notes of all time.

Also I back Prince singing in falsetto almost the whole time. Really good move; totally maxes out the androgyny.


Roger Camden said...

it bothers Prince that his lady is with another guy in When You Were Mine
so he decides that a threesome will make it all better

I wish my brain worked that way

my allegiance is torn between Dirty Mind/Controversy (sort of like Rubber Soul/Revolver), Sign 'o the Times, and The Hits/B-Sides disc 3.

Todd said...

I never was the kind to make a fuss
When he was there
Sleeping inbetween the two of us

Pat said...

I got around to this record, and I'm happy I did. The surprising thing about When You Were Mine is how sweet Prince seems.

I used to let you wear all my clothes
You were so fine
Maybe that's the reason that it hurts me so.

This line seems like a nod to the earnest pop songs of the 50/60s, which I'm sure Prince is fond of. I also agree with Roger, P is having and okay with having more threesomes. Pretty cool! I like the romantic lyricist who's not afraid to be a perv.