Review Summary: Dirty Mind showed everybody in a mere 28 minutes what Prince capable of, and whats in store for us listeners. Prince's first masterpeice, as he strangely has more than one.
As a long time visitor of Sputnik, I always found it disheartening that Prince gets no love, just about. While he certainly may not be everybody's cup of tea, his powers should not be entirely discarded. He truly is a musical genius who walks to the funky beat of his own drum. However, I feel as though it is his image that scares people off. Sure, he wears heels and his choice in clothing can be a bit weird at times (though not lately, as he’s been sporting the illest of ill Gucci suits around). But, this website is a true music fan's haven, and I’m very glad to shine some light upon one of my most favorite artists. Prince's blend of pop accessibility and musical knowledge speaks to and reaches millions and millions of fans, and his journey had to start somewhere.
All rise for Dirty Mind! Dirty Mind is the third full-length lp from the wonder of Minneapolis, but the first to show the Prince we know and (most of the time) love. While his first album "For You" had its moments, it certainly wasn't as solid as one would think. The self-titled "Prince" album was the very same.
In 1980, Prince had put in a primitive studio in his home, basically to get some rough ideas down for his next album. He had scored a top ten hit with I Wanna Be your Lover, so his confidence was beginning to rise. While I wanna be your Lover was a sweet little tune, Dirty Mind is the absolute exact opposite. Due to the old equipment, Dirty Mind has a VERY organic sound to it, which compliments the album and the album's lyrical content as well. Entirely written and recorded by Prince himself (except for a synth solo by Dr. Fink and some vocals by Gayle Chapman), it really proves a point in saying that one can do it "do it yourself". It is very sparse, but very human sounding if that makes any sense to you. It is also of notable mention that the songs that you hear on Dirty Mind are all demo versions, and Prince had to fight quite hard to release them as such. And boy, do we love him for it.
The title track kicks things off with a very simplistic synth beat, and Prince singing some of the nastiest stuff put to tape. This track might throw you off at first. But as per usual with Prince Albums, repeated listens is a must. Next track up is When You Were Mine, a rock-a-billy sort of jam that wouldn’t sound out of place in the 1950s. It became a quick favorite, and even Cyndi Lauper performed a cover of this tune. The lyrics tell a tale of a woman whos been unfaithful, and actually sleeps with men in the bed Prince and her share ("You didn’t have the decency to change the sheets" haha). Cool, cool stuff.
Do It All Night is a great example of a song in which every throw-away pop band tried to mimic in the 1980s. Of course, nobody could even touch this track as it is so good, with a chorus that you'll hate Prince for because it really sticks in your head. Gotta Broken Heart Again is a fantastic "ballad" (as it certainly is not) with an upbeat tempo, but with depressing lyrics. I can remember listening to this song over and over again after a nasty break-up with a girl. Musically, Prince plays some great note-bending chords that add a charming element.
Uptown! A great song, this is a perfect example of how Prince seamlessly mixes together all sorts of genres to make it his own. Great synths, guitar, and some fine yelling by Prince, Uptown is a stronger one on here (if they weren’t all strong to begin with). And then of course, there’s Head. Head is undoubtedly the most bad-ass tune on this album, as the music is so funky. I can't even explain, but I will say that this song will make any Prince doubters be undoubtful. I guarantee it. As the title suggests, Prince and Gayle Chapman share vocals about Prince getting a nice blow job before this woman is to be wed. Also, watch out for Dr. Fink's mind-numbing synth solo.
Well, we now have Sister. Sister runs about a minute thirty seconds, and is the most disgusting song he has ever released. All jokes aside, this song is about incest. Yikes! But that Prince, I tell you, he can make a nasty topic and make it so singable and awesome that you would forget just what you were singing about in the first place! Did I already mention I love this dude's music?
The album ends with Partyup, and the title is exactly what the song is like. A rave-ish sort of song, once could easily dance those problems away. With some fine funky guitar by the man, it's a nice fitting way to end an album so blatant and fun.
Prince got loads of criticism around this time, for his image. Musically, the critics applauded him and respected his self-assured attitude (You have to respect a dude that would walk around in a trench coat and nothing but a thong and leg warmers on). Most radio stations would not even dare touch this record, as it is indeed filthy. In a mere 28 minutes, Prince teaches all of us that it's always ok to be yourself, no matter what other's think. His first classic.