on 5 August 2001
Seemingly tired of the implied naughty sexuality of the first two albums Prince went all out to shock on his third, giving listeners an insight into his "Dirty Mind". Prince was clearly not going to be a MOR average artist.
From the suggestive album cover (Prince in bikini briefs against bed springs) he left the listener in no doubt to what the album theme would be...
And this proved the case. Aside from the political statement "Party Up" (Allegedly written by The Time frontman Morris Day), the anti-establishment "Uptown" and the tender ballad "Gotta Broken Heart Again", it was all sex fuelled relations from there on in. The synth-pop title track opens the album with a clear indication of his future manifesto. Sex would play big a big part of Prince's music for years to come yet.
Songs like "Head" (A story of ....) and "Sister" (...) set out to shock from the start. But when the music's this fresh and challenging who was arguing! Well the "Moral Majority" were for one. ;)
It was the Beatle-esque pop perfection of "When You Were Mine" that is my undoubted highlight and arguably his best song to date. It was later covered by Cyndi Lauper.
By very nature of the topics covered Prince limited his potential fanbase here. So although not as big a seller as the former more commercial based album, Prince declared his will to experiment and push boundaries dramatically.
Rough and raw sounding as it is, this remains one of mine and many other Prince fans favourite albums.
Listening to 'Dirty Mind' today is quite a remarkable experience. What hits you about the album is how fresh it still sounds, how full of passion/aggression the vocals are and how tight, snappy, funky and cool the music is. Ironically, back in 1980, what hit the headlines about the album was its lyrical content and controversial explicit adult content. While its true songs like 'Head' and 'Sister' (in particular) were way outside any of societies acceptable boundaries back in the day, its a shame that whenever an artist breaks new ground his or her's work is usually slated for doing so. In many cases, innovative work like this often gets 'buried' under the weight of criticism and scandal and results in a premature end to a recording career!
So, what exactly have we got here? The simple answer to that is 30 minutes (its not the longest album you will ever buy) of the tightest funk that's bristling with great guitar riffs and which mixes new instruments (synths) with old as if they had always been together. 'Do It All Night' and 'Uptown' were U.K. single releases but were nothing like anything being played on U.K. radio at the time. Production wise the album was as ahead of its time as Kraftwerk's 'Autobahn in 1975 and only the rock tinged, radio friendly 'When You Were Mine' would have had a chance of charting had it been chosen as a single...
So then, to sum up, you can dance to tracks like 'Uptown' and the title track but none of the material here was designed particularly for dancing. A whole lot more is going on here than just another black wannabe trying to move yo' ass!
While Prince went on to make a lot of more successful records than this he rarely made a record anywhere near as good.
The first "proper" Prince album for many, "Dirty Mind" remains a classic. Yes, the sound is dated, falsetto vocals and synths dominant in the mix, but there is much to love here.
As dirty as its title suggests, the album is pure filth from start to finish, and I just love it! The title track is a cracker, but is immediately bettered by "When You Were Mine", still one of his greatest ever songs, a great guitar riff running through it. "Do It All Night" harks back to the sound of the "Prince" album, and "Gotta Broken Heart Again" is the album's sole ballad.
The second half is stunning. "Uptown" is a boisterous anthem about a night on the town, but then this gives way to the notorious "Head", a song devoted to the tale of Prince deflowering a virgin by means of oral sex. Nothing could prepare you for the punky thrash of "Sister", its shocking lyrics dealing with the taboo subjects of incest and, once again, oral sex. Finally, "Partyup" is, as its title suggests, a party anthem, the companion piece to "Uptown".
His first classic.
on 28 January 2010
Dirty mind was a hopeful purchase for me, as i did not expect much really. WOW was a amazed when i got it. The CD has 8 tracks and clocks in at around 30 mins, but that 30 minutes was the one of the best musical experiences i have ever had. It is simple in sound but yet very complex and that is often the great things about Prince. Every track on here flows off the last, making it a great party tracklist (perhaps over 18's only though!) It is outrageous and provocative (sister, Head) but also tender (when you were mine) while the stand out funk tracks are partyup and uptown, which display The artists knack for a killer chorus and message very early in his career. This album is one of the 4 Prince seminal works along with 1999, purple rain and sign o the times, and is thus a given for any Prince fans collection, but is also strongly reccomended for music lovers in general. Outstanding.
This really is a 30 minute tour-de-force. It has the lot - ballads, rock, funk work-outs etc and should sound dated given the instrumentation. But these songs are so, so good. By far Prince's most satisfying album - for any other artist this would qualify as a Greatest Hits compilation.
on 24 March 2014
I'll keep this short, like 'Dirty Mind' itself. I'm fairly parsimonious when it comes to spending money on a particular item, and so spending a fiver on a mere 30 minutes of music would usually be unthinkable. But you'll never find a 30-minute gem this aesthetically perfect by anyone - not by the Beatles, not by Steely Dan, not by anyone. This is the ne plus ultra, and possibly even the sine non qua, of poprockfunk.
The lyrics are wicked, Prince's delivery is infectious and impossibly natural, the whole record was hugely influential, and it's the most fun you can have without laughing. BUY IT NOW, and impress all your friends when you tell them that what they're obviously digging was released in 1980.
on 23 March 2001
This album marked the start of a remarkable run of albums that ended 8 years later with Lovesexy. This was Prince's 3rd album and was something of a departure from his 1st two. This is a raw engery filled funk fest of an album. The emphasis is on the funk but there also a cracking ballad in gotta broken heart again and also contains one of his best pop songs in when u were mine, fantastic lyrics " following him whenever hes with u" sloppy seconds for poor old Prince. Head is pure funk class with a wonderfully keyboard solo. This album is very Dirty, and Very Very Funky.
on 20 July 2001
This is one of Prince's most stand out albums. Its packed full of controversial references to masterbation and incest, and was the first of his albums to reveal his distinctive androgonous style, leaving people somewhat unsure of his sexuality. Every track on this record is a winner. Highlights definately include "When You Were Mine" , "Head" and "Uptown". If you dont know much of his Purple Majesty, then this is the album for you. A perfect introduction to the Prince that his fans know and love. Some of the best rock and funk songs you'll find.
on 2 June 2011
I bought this as a audio tape in the 1980s and lost it. It was only the other day I thought about checking amazon for a copy. This album makes me smile and laugh out loud, I used to be a crazy Prince fan, and this man never lets you down. I love this album, and agree with many of the reviews here. This man is filthy in the most forgiveable of ways and his music is just funky-disco-craziness piled into one. What a talent and just before he became global, a worthy pre-Purple Rain album for any interested fans out there.
on 17 December 2004
...and I will herald this as one of my favourite albums ever. Certainly it's in my top 2 fave Prince albums.
Let's deal with the cover first shall we? What can I say, it's cheesy and somewhat dated, and the underwear is horrible, but yet despite these factors, it makes me frisky!
Then we get to the first track Dirty Mind, who can resist this naughty gem of perfection. This is the sort of track that I think should be played at weddings instead of that Celine and Mariah type rubbish.
When You Were Mine is a gorgeous little heartbreaker. Do It All Night brings us back to his favourite subject, whilst Gotta Broken Heart Again is another lovely, sad ballad, one of my favourite Prince ballads in fact.
Then we get to the last four tracks, which are all perfect!
Uptown, wow, this never fails to get me dancing, and the lyrics are fantastic.
Head, the best track on the album and a real contender for a top ten slot of all his songs. So sexy lyrically, but the music is equally good. Very funky. A real masterpiece.
Sister is pure filth, a little bit odd, the lyrics being very shocking in parts.
Then, finally, Partyup, another cracking dancey number. Again never fails to get my feet tapping and hips gyrating.
Take his advice people, give some money and buy yourself a Dirty Mind. I'm going back to gazing at the inside cover picture....