Sunday, November 6, 2011

1999

Some love for GAW.
If you are a Prince fan, you know what 1999 means.  Double album.  Penis drawn on cover.  "Little Red Corvette."  Mommy, why does everybody have a bomb?  It brings back memories.  You can sing every single song on it.  (There were 11, which is a small number for a double album.)  I was 11 when it came out.  I still have it today.

It's nearly impossible to pick a favorite song on the release.  It is, like Pretty Hate Machine from Nine Inch Nails, a perfect album.  Even the songs that don't hit quite as hard as "Let's Pretend We're Married" are still pretty damn incredible.  And would such a combination of sexuality and patriotism fly on any other album?  Unlikely.  This is Prince before Purple Rain, before the symbol, before he pretty much dropped out of the public mind.  Anyone who listened to it prior to Purple Rain would be blown away.  "1999" and "Little Red Corvette" were all over the radio (even with LRC's incredible sexual imagery -- "Because you had a pocket full of horses/Trojans and some of them used.").  It was the album to have, and nothing else released in 1982 was dripping with as much sex and funk.  An anomaly?  Of course, but a delightful one.

Listening to this album today not only brings back memories (some of them quite obscene), but it also makes me realize just how timeless 1999 it is -- unlike most other releases from the early '80s.  It could be released today and still be as strong.  Few other performers can make the same claim.

When Prince dies he will be remembered for many things.  Purple Rain will probably outshine 1999, but it shouldn't.  The former may have been a bigger hit with the public, and while it was a great album, the latter was far more artistic and impressive in scope.  Michael Jackson thought he was always in some kind of competition with the diminutive one, but from where I stand there really was no competition.  Jackson never did anything like 1999, therefore: game over. Prince wins, and this album did it.  Take that, dead Jackson.


Mandatory FTC Disclaimer: I paid for this release, and if you click on a link, you may get me a commission.  Buy the damn thing already.

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