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- Jakob Olsen.
Artists name: Prince
Album title: Controversy
Release date: October 14, 1981
No. of tracks: 8
Top chart position: 3
- Do Me, Baby
- Private Joy
- Ronnie, Talk to Russia
- Let's Work
- Annie Christian
- Jack U Off
Finally an album that doesn't show Prince naked on the cover, this album certainly spells change for Prince... Large portions of "Controversy" are somewhat autobiographical, dealing with the fuzz that followed "Dirty Mind" with its explicit lyrics and pretty naughty shows. Prince probably decided to tone the explicitness down on this album, fearing that he might become famous for something else than his music. The press had an ongoing campaign about wether he was black or white, gay of straight, and he did not want that to set the music in the background.
The music on "Controversy" is both a return to the sound of his first two albums and a hint of what's to come on "1999". It has a much more produced sound than "Dirty Mind" which almost sounded like a demo.
The most interesting tracks, apart from the title track, are, "Ronnie, Talk To Russia" a strange anti-war anthem reminding me of Hendrix's "Machine Gun" but with a naive and strange theme and sound, and "Annie Christian" which is a very direct political statement about the need for gun control in the United States.
This album is played almost exclusively by Prince. It does, however, have some appearances by Lisa, Fink and Bobby Z. It is the first album, apart from "For You", to come with accurate sleeve notes on this point.
Lisa Coleman : Backing vocals and Keyboards
Bobby Z : Drums
Doctor Fink : Keyboards
"Controversy" was a good success for Prince and reached no.3 on the R&B-chart and no.21 on the Pop-chart, almost exactly the same spots as "Prince" had reached two years earlier. Now with three albums in a row reaching the top 10 on the R&B-chart one could begin to suspect that Prince was someone to be reckoned with for years to come.
Three singles were released from "Controversy". The first one, "Controversy" reached the third spot on the R&B-chart but, as always, didn't get the same success on the Pop-chart only reaching no.70. The second single "Let's Work" reached no.9 on the R&B-chart and didn't make it on the Pop-chart. The third single "Do Me Baby" didn't make it on any of the charts at all.
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