Dirty Mind

Dirty Mind

Released in 1980, Dirty Mind finds Prince kicking off the most prolific period of his career—a revolutionary run in which he’d not only steer the careers of such Minneapolis acts as The Time, The Family, and Vanity/Apollonia 6, but also become a chart-topping, globe-conquering pop icon. Dirty Mind was his third album in as many years, and it found the barely-twentysomething singer declaring his musical (and sexual) maturity: If the bare-chested, feather-haired young artist on the cover of 1979’s Prince looked like a playful innocent, the bikini-briefed “Head”-master staring back from the cover of Dirty Mind seemed prime to pull off listener’s panties. No doubt: After teasing us with the frisky funk-pop of “Soft and Wet”—from his 1978 debut album, For You—and then turning up the temptation with hot Prince bops like “Sexy Dancer,” the foreplay was officially over with Dirty Mind. Kicking off with the slinky synth seduction of the title track—co-written by keyboardist Dr. Fink—Prince made his carnal intentions clear from the jump: “It doesn’t matter where we are/It doesn’t matter who’s around/It doesn’t matter, I just wanna lay ya down.” Don’t misunderstand him. After the punk-spiked indecency of “When You Were Mine”—one of the very best Prince songs to never become a hit—and the drown-in-your-own-orgasm debauchery of “Do It All Night,” Dirty Mind reaches its climax with the back-to-back bangers of “Head” and “Sister.” While the former is an explicit, insatiable ode to the joy of oral sex that remains one of Prince’s funkiest tracks—which is sure saying something—the latter is a punk-rock rave-up that dares to tackle the taboo topic of incest. Elsewhere on Dirty Mind, “Gotta Broken Heart Again” puts a folky spin on the R&B romanticism of Prince, while “Uptown” and album closer “Partyup” foresee the political and utopian visions of soon-to-come classics like Controversy and 1999.

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