Around The World In A Day
After the smash success of 1984’s Purple Rain—both the movie and the soundtrack—Prince was more than just music royalty; baby, he was a star. And just two weeks after wrapping his Purple Rain Tour in the spring of 1985, His Royal Badness dropped his seventh studio album, Around the World in a Day, which he’d begun working on before Purple Rain’s release (to put that in context, Michael Jackson—Prince’s challenger to the King of Pop throne at the time—would take five years between Thriller and Bad). But Around the World in a Day was hardly a Purple Rain sequel. Instead, it boldly defied commercial convention and expectation—to the point that Prince refused to release a single or video from the album before its release. A psychedelic adventure that takes you on a journey through your own mind, Around the World makes its Purple-less purpose clear from the opening title track: “Open your heart, open your mind/A train is leaving all day/A wonderful trip through our time/And laughter is all you pay,” sings Prince, amid the Middle Eastern strains of darbuka, oud, and finger cymbals. Meanwhile, the Beatles-esque dreaminess of “Paisley Park”—the name of Prince’s new label, and soon, his massive Minneapolis complex—was worlds away from the First Avenue club of Purple Rain. But sex (“Tamborine”), politics (“America”), and religion (“The Ladder,” “Temptation”) were still in Prince’s mercurial mix. And despite all of the album’s concerted anti-commercialism, the Purple One’s answer to Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band would still manage to top the charts, thanks to a pair of singles—“Raspberry Beret” and “Pop Life”—that were heard around the world for days (and years) on end.