Its a start. got some attention. stevie was red hot, and warners wanted their own stevie. the title cut opener is a hell of a trojan horse entry into this world. i came aboard in 84 determined to complete my “all things Prince” collection against my parent’s will. For You was the one album i could play w/o red light sirens going off. didn’t mind “In Love” as much. “Soft And Wet” got enough airplay to justify investing in his ideas. whenever i reminisce about lazy saturdays in the 70s at my grandmother’s house the musical backdrop is always the opening 8 bars of “my love is forever”—even though this album wasn’t in my childhood at the time of its release, somehow this is what i think about when i think about those days when my parents were on the road. sunny. isolated. pancakes. dust. plastic couch covers. memories. steady start.
when it came out? @@@1/2
how does it rank 38 years later? @@@1/2
He spent 500k tryna convince warner to not force verdine white of Earth, Wind & Fire to produce him and all he got was a top 20 soul hit (“soft and wet”). he had to write a number one song or that was his ass. enter “i wanna be your lover” of the “early period” this is the better album of the two. when it came out? @@@1/2 (i mean in 1979 music was making miracles everyday! so albums like this were common. now had this came out in 2015 in this condition idda slapped @@@@@ on it just for going against the grain for what is called music now. how does it rank 37 years later? @@@@ (first three cuts kilt and still kill dance floors to this day: “With You” proves that he can craft a great ballad. “Bambi” was a display of guitar mastery. “I Feel For You” turned out to be a massive pop hit. and Kanye’s Big Brother with the “Gonna be Lonely” sample (or at least the first draft b4 Prince ixnayed it) ups the value in my head. this shoulda been a contender. and did bigger numbers when it first came out.
Its like you play roulette with your check and you win! so you go home right? nope. you take all you won and bet on black. or in his case you bet on rock. very telling that both Prince and MJ scoffed at the idea of settling for scraps off the table. they wanted not only the table but the house that said table was in. MJ broke records with Off The Wall but only got Soul nods at the grammys. Prince was on his third album but only had 1 number one single and he was stuck on the rick james circuit. so his answer? “eff all dat. Dirty Mind didn’t do the numbers BUT it got the Pitchfork of its time (Rolling Stone) to write a jaw dropping never done before lead review (someday our prince will come: @@@@1/2)–this review alerted the village voices of world that there was a new jello sheriff in town. this is prince at his most focused: 8 songs. each with perfect melody. perfect musical execution. the idea of “the Minneapolis sound” starts here: crack snares tuned real low to a deep THUD. the horn section now lives in an oberhiem synth. his bass playing is bar none the BEST funk bass playing in the 80s. add his clever wordplay and pushing the envelope (this was the original 2 Live Crew As Nasty As They Wanna Be) no hits here. but BRILLIANT songwriting. when it came out?: @@@@1/2 (NOTHING like it.) how does it rank some 35 years later? @@@@1/2 (prince-cologists will gasp at me not giving it 5 stars, but its still not focused in the way that 99/Rain was. this album simply was putting all people on notice you have about 3 years to clear way cause after that? NOONE is gonna be the same.
Similar to his sophomore album Warners was like “you can push the envelope all you want, but at these prices, you better do numbers too!” so this is a cleaner political Dirty Mind with hits. weird tho: Dirty Mind is more meaningful, but all the songs i LOVE are on this album. he uses this record to explore his personality. who am i? what am i? am i who they say i is? title cut is another bed notch post as is “let’s work”. but the crown jewel here is the “too weird for a 10 year old to be hearing” ‘Do Me Baby”—ill go on record and say this is his finest vocal performance committed to tape in his entire career. he was the anti-Pendergrass (COME HERE WOMAN!!!!! TURN EM OFF!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)—sang whole song in a high falsetto, which gives a sense of being vulnerable, but with an intense urgency not seen since….well….since? (only james brown could scream that uncontrollably and it be seen as normal….he screamed on his incest/statutory rape diatribe “Sister” but that hardly held a candle to this. when it came out: @@@@ how does it rank some 34 years later? @@@@ (the cold war/ronald reagan specific lyrics is what dates the shit out of it but not to the point that you dont see where this train is going)