Prince's 'Dirty Mind': A Guide to Every Track

Prince launched his third studio album, Dirty Mind, in 1980, nearly precisely a 12 months after his self-titled sophomore album of 1979. Though Dirty Mind charted decrease, it was a transparent creative development on its predecessors, exploring grownup themes in a daring approach and fusing quite a lot of completely different genres together with funk, rock, new wave and punk into a unique concoction. The stripped-down, minimal preparations gave the album an additional punch, and the catchy hooks made it clear that Prince was on his technique to crossover success.

Other than one keyboard solo courtesy of Dr. Fink, and a few vocals by Lisa Coleman, each observe of the album was produced, organized and carried out by Prince. (Contrary to the official credit, Prince wrote 5 of the eight tracks and co-wrote the opposite three with bandmates.)

Dirty Mind might not have been Prince’s industrial breakthrough, however it was adored by critics and followers alike, and it laid the foundations for his future profession. The album’s daring, salacious lyrics coupled with Prince’s falsetto supply earned him comparisons to each Smokey Robinson and Richard Pryor. The self-proclaimed “dean of American rock critics”, Robert Christgau, mentioned, “Mick Jagger ought to fold up his penis and go dwelling”.

Read on for a track-by-track information to the album, and hyperlinks to extra detailed tales for every tune, taken from Diffuser’s 365 Prince Songs in a Year collection.

“Dirty Mind”

Kicking off the album with a robotic, pulsating beat, “Dirty Mind” made it clear that Prince’s music had been reworked. Gone had been the comparatively typical sounds of his first two albums. The new Prince was funky, filthy and on the trail to crossover success. “Dirty Mind” was the primary time Prince shared a co-writing credit score with a band member. Keyboard maestro Dr. Fink instructed Diffuser about how they got here up with the tune collectively, and what it was wish to collaborate with the notorious workaholic.

Read extra: Dr. Fink Reveals Just How Quickly He and Prince Wrote ‘Dirty Mind’


“When You Were Mine”

Despite being one of the vital radio-friendly tracks he had ever recorded, Prince by no means launched “When You Were Mine” as a single. The tune would as a substitute discover chart success when Cyndi Lauper launched her personal soak up 1983. “When You Were Mine”'s wistful lyrics and nearly perversely catchy melody make extra sense when you realize the place Prince was when he wrote it: sitting in an Orlando lodge room whereas his bandmates had enjoyable at Disney World.

Read extra: ‘When You Were Mine’ Was a Hit – For Other People


“Do It All Night”

With an prolonged opening keyboard riff, “Do It All Night” served because the opening quantity on 1980-1981’s Dirty Mind tour. The tour was Prince’s first headline outing since he hit the street as Rick James’ help act earlier in 1980, and his most intensive trek thus far. Though he by no means gave a reputation to his backing band, the group featured eventual Revolution members Dr. Fink, Bobby Z. and Lisa Coleman, alongside longtime mates and collaborators Dez Dickerson and André Cymone.


“Gotta Broken Heart Again”

A candy, unusually sunny breakup anthem, “Gotta Broken Heart Again” is an early instance of Prince’s presents as a vocal arranger. His wrenching vocal harmonies distinction with a plodding, jaunty time signature, hammering dwelling each the tragedy and the banality of getting a damaged coronary heart… once more.




According to its liner notes, the entire of Dirty Mind was recorded “someplace in Uptown." The place had a double that means for Prince. On the one hand, it was a literal location: the Uptown district of Minneapolis, recognized for its nightlife. On the opposite, it was Prince’s concept of utopia, the place folks of all races, genders and sexualities might celebration collectively. The concept of Uptown would stay central to Prince’s philosophy for a few years, and it began right here.

Read extra: Prince Creates His Utopia With ‘Uptown’



Even for an artist recognized for his sexually specific materials, “Head” is especially risqué. One of Prince’s funkiest-ever tracks, “Head” was initially meant as a concert-only tune, presumably as a result of Prince thought his label would by no means enable it on a document. Featuring an early vocal look from eventual Revolution member Lisa Coleman, “Head” would stay a spotlight of Prince’s stay performances all through a lot of the '80s.

Read extra: Prince Crashes a Wedding in Spectacular Fashion with ‘Head’



Dirty Mind is packed filled with specific and controversial lyrics, however “Sister” is essentially the most taboo of all. Over a loud, fast-paced instrumental backing, the tune’s narrator recollects a sexual encounter along with his sister. But was it autobiographical?

Read extra: Did Prince Really Sleep With His ‘Sister?’


“Party Up”

Segueing straight in from “Sister”, “Party Up” is an upbeat anti-war anthem that was initially conceived by Prince’s former Grand Central bandmate Morris Day. When Prince heard him taking part in it, he provided to purchase the tune off him, or to get him his personal document deal. Day selected the document deal, and collectively they created the Time as a car for him. But as Morris himself instructed Diffuser, he had a really completely different concept in regards to the tune’s route…

Read extra: Morris Day Tells the Full Story of ‘Partyup’