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Alternative Rock, Pop, and R&B album by Prince

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1999's gone, but "1999" isn't going anywhere

  • Jan 7, 2009
  • by
In 1982, "Thriller" burst through doors that Prince had been trying to unlock. With those doors unlocked, he presented his first real work of genius. Some songs stand above others--the titular apocalypse romp, for one, or "D.M.S.R.," the ultimate party track. The best of the bunch is the divinely salacious "Little Red Corvette," which, for the last time, is not about a car, but which is one of the best songs of the decade. Most of the songs are just damn good funk ditties that are danceable and brilliant. The anti-war piece, "Free," is a little heavy-handed, and that brings things down a little--but then "Lady Cab Driver" is a resurrection of Lazarean proportions. The album never loses any momentum--and for a funk record composed of six- to nine-minute songs occupying 70 minutes, that's something special. As is the artist behind it all: with "1999," he proved he could write brilliantly-constructed songs that would get a dead man dancing, but also that he could make those songs socially relevant. He's even interesting when he veers off into surrealistic Dickian abstraction ("Something in the Water (Does Not Compute)"). How many funk/dance/pop artists could you say that about?

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More 1999 reviews
review by . March 30, 2003
posted in Music Matters
Prince's 1999 CD is a super dance recording with many spunky beats. Everyone knows about the classic hits 1999 and Little Red Corvette. But what about the fabuluous CD closer International Lover? Love the rap effect where Prince is in airplane in love. Cool sexy lyrics indeed.There are many other winning tracks on here such as Lady Cab Driver, Free, and D.M.S.R. Many of the eleven tracks are on the long side. Automatic is the most trying one of these as the melody surely does not justify its 9:24 …
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Tom Benton ()
Ranked #353
Aspiring high school English teacher with dreams of filmmaking and a strong taste for music.
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About this album


Prince's fifth album came right before the lascivious multi-instrumentalist became a huge star with his 1984 film and soundtrack,Purple Rain. But Prince had already proved himself to be the most audacious talent to emerge in the 1980s, and1999, the bulk of which features Prince on all the instruments, reflects the dance-rock styles that he also brought to the acts he produced, particularly the Time. Prince knows how to run a one-man-band individual instruments don't blend together as much as they compete in a funky showdown which allows tracks like "Automatic," "D.M.S.R.," and "Delirious" to sustain their long playing times. But the album's two enduring hits, "1999" and "Little Red Corvette," outshine the rest, and define the essential roles that rock and funk play in Prince's music. "Little Red Corvette" is a sexy song about a car, which would have been enough to make it a terrific rock song even if it didn't also boast an infectious chorus and a great guitar part. As for "1999," count on it being the dance song of the millennial year.--John Milward
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Label: Warner Bros, Wea
Artist: Prince
Release Date: October 25, 1990

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"Quality Dance Music"
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