Why is Prince’s 1999 on my best 1,000 albums ever list?
I was dreaming when I wrote this, forgive me if it goes astray.
Some stats & info about Prince – 1999
- What kind of musical stylings does this album represent? Rock Music, Dance Music, R&B
- Rolling Stone’s greatest 500 albums ranking – #130
- All Music’s rating – 5 out of 5 stars
- When was 1999 released? 1982
- My ranking, the one you’re reading right now – #701 out of 1,000
Prince’s 1999 on Spotify
What does the “best 1,000 albums ever” mean and why are you doing this?
Yeah, I know it’s audacious, a little crazy (okay, maybe a lot cray cray), bordering on criminal nerdery.
But here’s what it’s NOT: a definitive list of the Greatest Albums of All-Time. This is 100% my own personal super biased, incredibly subjective review of what my top 1,000 albums are, ranked in painstaking order over the course of doing research for nearly a year, Rob from High Fidelity style. Find out more about why I embarked on a best 1,000 albums ever project.
What does Prince’s 1999 mean to me? What does it make me feel? Why is it exciting or compelling?
I’ve found in my travels that people typically either revere Prince as an artist and musician or are more generally meh (with serious music fans tending to be more in the former camp). I’m a little bit more in between, as full disclosure, but I do think that some of his music is absolutely brilliant. And, take this for what it’s worth: this is the first of three Prince albums you’ll find on the best 1,000 albums ever list, with a fourth (the Batman soundtrack) very nearly getting in as well.
This is pulled from my research notes on Prince’s 1999: “Genuinely fun party album that would seamlessly fit into the worlds of Trading Places or Beverly Hills Cop. Two of Eddie Murphy’s very best movies, come to think of it.”
“1999,” the title track on 1999, is one of my most favorite Prince songs of all. It’s fantastically energetic and fantastically weird. It’s kind of way ahead of its time and completely of its own thing all at once. It’s catchy and sexy and rocking and fun. You listen to it and you think, “much more music should be like this.” But sometimes you just gotta party like it’s… well you know.
The video is worth watching for the crazy stage costumes alone. But also to see Prince being Peak Prince – the dude is one exciting and dynamic performer. But also, I’m glad that the keyboardist was able to get over to the music video shoot after his shift in the ER.
Many of the same things that I wrote about “1999” also apply to “Delirious,” but amp up the parts about being silly and fun. It makes me chuckle a little every time I hear it, but much more with the song than at it. It makes me happy.
“D.M.S.R.” (which stands for Dance Music Sex Romance) applies a little keyboard and bass guitar-driven funk to the mix, and Prince’s vocals sound fantastic on this one.
Note: if you got this far you might be asking, “Where’s the “Little Red Corvette” talk, Eric? I’m just not that into it. And same goes for a lot of his more pop and R&B-oriented material. See what I wrote above about not being an all in Prince fan, but I do dig some of his stuff quite a lot.
Personal stuff that’s somehow related to Prince’s 1999
To (further) date myself, I recall listening to “1999” and watching the MTV video… well before the millennium, let’s say. I clearly recall thinking throughout my childhood that the year 1999, let alone the next century, was impossibly far away. Jetsons level future-state, surely.