Album: Around The World in A Day
After the world-beating career-defining multimedia triumph that was Purple Rain, Prince spent years and years worrying about the follow-up, and when it came out, years later, it was crushed under the weight of expectations.
Oh wait, that’s not what happened at all: instead, he went right back into the studio with The Revolution and ended up releasing Around The World in a Day while the singles from Purple Rain were still lighting up the radio. Changing things up again, the songs on Around The World in a Day explored the psychedelic elements that lurked underneath Purple Rain songs like “When Doves Cry” and “Take Me With U” and brought them to the forefront.
It was . . . fine. But for the most part, while he brought the experimentation — of course, this is Prince — he somewhat sacrificed the tunefulness that stuck the Purple Rain songs deep into everybody’s hearts. So while you could admire Around The World in a Day for the sheer audacity, it was harder to love. The major exception was the lead single, “Raspberry Beret,” which incorporated swirling strings, bright percussion and some great backing vocals from Wendy Coleman, Lisa Melvoin & Susannah Melvoin.
She wore a
The kind you find in a second hand store
And if it was warm she wouldn’t wear much more
I think I love her
It goes to something like maturity that the woman in “Raspberry Beret” was just as aggressive as the one in “Little Red Corvette,” but instead of warning her, he falls for her, which is signaled a bit by the vocals: as the song progresses, Prince himself drops out of the chorus, and the women completely take over singing the hook while he moans and squeals all around them.
Naturally, “Raspberry Beret” was another massive hit, making it all the way to #2, kept out of the #1 slot by Duran Duran’s James Bond theme — which I don’t even know how it goes — but to my ears, it stands as the most pure pop song he ever did, a timeless combination of forward momentum, fantastic singing and a hook that nobody is ever going to forget.
“Raspberry Beret” official music video
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