Prince's 'The Gold Experience': A Guide to Every Track

Prince’s 17th studio album, The Gold Experience, was the primary to be launched after he modified his title to an unpronounceable "Love Symbol" as a part of a public feud with Warner Bros. Records — a battle which led him to scrawl "SLAVE" on the facet of his face with a marker pen.

It’s extensively thought-about that the artist then previously recognized As Prince’s albums from this period had been mere contract-fillers, handed into Warners to permit him to interrupt freed from their creative chains and launch music at his personal tempo. But The Gold Experience is totally different. Released on Sept. 26, 1995, it’s clear that the Artist took Gold fairly severely as a possible hit. And whereas it did have hits, it didn’t fairly deliver him the success he hoped for.

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

“P. Control”

Prince kicks off the album with one in every of his strongest forays into hip-hop. Despite the refrain’ use of the phrase “pussy,” “P. Control” is definitely an anthem for feminine empowerment. Prince raps the story of the oddly-named protagonist as she sees off bullies and suitors to pursue her schooling and profession. The perspective expressed within the track is emblematic of Prince’s lifelong assist of feminine musicians, from Wendy & Lisa to 3rdeyegirl and past.

Read extra: Prince’s ‘P. Control’ Makes a Unique Case for Female Empowerment

“Endorphinmachine”

A straight-ahead rock monitor, “Endorphinmachine” shows the 1995 incarnation of Prince’s band, the New Power Generation, in blazing type. Unlike a lot of Prince’s work, which noticed the Purple One enjoying each instrument himself, this recording showcases the skills of Michael B. on drums, Sonny T. on bass, and Morris Hayes & Tommy Barbarella (who will get referred to as upon by title for a solo) on keyboards.

“Shhh”

It wasn’t uncommon for Prince to pen a track for an additional artist earlier than deciding he’d reasonably report it himself (see additionally: “Kiss” and “International Lover”), however “Shhh” was one of many few tracks that he recorded himself after one other artist had already launched their model. In this case, it was teen heartthrob Tevin Campbell who did it first. He put the monitor out on the Prince-assisted album I’m Ready in 1993. There’s no report that Campbell was upset about Prince taking it again, however the two by no means labored collectively once more.

Read extra: Prince Hands ‘Shhh’ to Tevin Campbell, Then Takes It Back

“We March”

On “We March,” Prince faucets into his political facet, advocating for racial, monetary and gender equality, and evoking Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in his risk to protest if issues don’t enhance. Though Prince’s music didn’t get political typically, this track is a part of a convention that runs during to one in every of his ultimate singles, “Baltimore.”

Read extra: Prince Channels the Spirit of Martin Luther King Jr. in ‘We March’

“The Most Beautiful Girl In The World”

Warner Bros. refused to launch “The Most Beautiful Girl In The World” themselves in 1994, fearing “market saturation.” Instead, they allowed Prince to place it out an impartial distributor. With that in thoughts, it was astoundingly profitable. It was the Artist’s first U.Ok. No. 1, and his final U.S. Top 10 hit. The track’s chart success is probably going right down to its earworm melody, and the common enchantment of its lyrics. It’s extensively considered written about Prince’s then-girlfriend and future spouse Mayte Garcia, however Garcia herself has a distinct idea…

Read extra: Prince’s ‘Most Beautiful Girl’ Isn’t Who You Think It Is

“Dolphin”

Another full band, guitar-based monitor, the lyrics to “Dolphin” make little or no sense at first: "If I got here again as a Dolphin would you hearken to me then? / Would you let me be your buddy? / Would you let me in?" Unsurprisingly contemplating their strained relationship throughout its recording course of, the track is definitely a cryptic diss monitor aimed toward Warner Bros.

Read extra: Prince Wants to Come Back as a ‘Dolphin’

“Now”

Prince dipped his toe into the hip-hop waters as soon as once more for “Now.” Rapping over a scratch-heavy beat, the artist urges his fellow “freaks” to get on the dance flooring. The “NPG Operator” talking the interlude earlier than the track tells us it’s "nice for dancing and enhancing shallowness," even when one lyric does appear to advocate under-eating to drop pounds. "Other songs on this class embody “Irresistible Bitch,” “Housequake,” and “Sexy MF,”" she says. “Now” doesn’t measure as much as any of them, however what does?

“319”

Prince’s gorgeous falsetto is on show all through “319.” Think “Kiss,” however noisier and fewer catchy. The high-volume instrumentation seems to be scoring a photoshoot, with Prince because the photographer and his paramour because the mannequin. According to PrinceVault, “319” was impressed by Elizabeth Berkley, the star of the film Showgirls, by which the track additionally appeared.

“Shy”

Telling the story of a mysterious girl, who might or might not be a assassin, this atmospheric track is constructed across the interaction between Prince’s acoustic guitar and electrical bass. Though he was primarily referred to as a singer, guitarist and pianist, Prince’s bass abilities had been simply as spectacular. Countless bassists have praised his enjoying over time, and this monitor reveals why.

Read extra: Prince Becomes a Bass Hero on ‘Shy’

“Billy Jack Bitch”

Prince typically had a troublesome relationship with the press. Though critics adored lots of his albums, the artist was a notoriously personal particular person, and gossip columnists prying into his private life was not one thing he took calmly. Though Prince denied it, “Billy Jack Bitch” is extensively understood to be a few particular Minneapolis journalist, one who now calls “Billy Jack Bitch” her favourite Prince track.

Read extra: Prince Battles the Press in ‘Billy Jack Bitch’

“Eye Hate U”

Far extra than simply one other lovelorn ballad, “Eye Hate U” was written about and for Prince’s ex-girlfriend Carmen Electra. After he found her and guided her to fame, Prince broke up with Electra when he found she’d pursued one other man. As a part of the breakup course of, Prince gave her an unique preview of “Eye Hate U” and informed her to pay attention intently to the track’s lyrics. Melodramatic? Perhaps, however that is Prince.

Read extra: Prince Pens ‘Eye Hate You’ as a Breakup Ballad for Carmen Electra

“Gold”

“Gold,” because the album’s epic nearer, was meant to be the brand new “Purple Rain.” Prince stated so himself. Sadly, it didn’t reside as much as expectations. As a single, it solely reached No. 88 within the charts. “Purple Rain,” however, reached the Top 10 in dozens of nations. It’s been steered that Prince was attempting too exhausting to copy his previous successes with “Gold,” however the track does do job of closing the album. It’s simply overshadowed by the track the artist himself in contrast it to.

Read extra: Homesick for Peak Superstardom, Prince Reaches for ‘Gold’