Dirty Mind (Warner Bros. 3478)
1980 was the year of cocaine sprawl in rock music, with everyone and their cousin making really loud double and triple albums trying to capture all the frantic end-of-the-decade (or is that end-of-the-eight-ball) energy they could put into song. Lots of great stuff emerged from this moment, and lots of noisy, bloated crap as well.
Meanwhile, there's Prince ensconced in his home studio making Dirty Mind. Eight songs, not even clocking in at a half-hour, with the drug of choice being endorphins, or jizz, or perhaps sensual lubricant.
And it's still provocative today, when you hear his sweet, cocky falsetto singing about coming on some girl's wedding dress, or getting a blowjob from his sister.
But getting off on that is like reading Judy Blume books only for the "juicy parts." Dirty Mind also rocks and sways, and grooves, and parties up. It's a party record through and through, and an underground classic that deserves its reputation.
Prince's first two albums still sound like demos clear genius abounds, yet nothing gels. With Dirty Mind, Prince showed the world how it was going to be. And thus began a very long, very productive, very unparalleled winning streak whose ending is still argued over. (I vote for The Scandalous Sex Suite.)
Nearly every song is stellar ("Dirty Mind," "Head," "Sister," "Uptown," "Partyup," and the best new wave song of all, "When You Were Mine") and the two that don't quite cut it ("Gotta Broken Heart Again" and "Do It All Night") still pretty much cut it.
It's a good thing Prince wasn't doing as much cocaine in the early 80s as everyone else was shit, without it he was putting out double and triple albums! Throw some blow into the mix and Sign O' the Times would have been like 20 discs long.
At 29 minutes, Dirty Mind is what it needs to be, but it'd be nice to have some more on there. Maybe someday Prince will reconcile with Warner Bros. (or is it AOL Records now?) and reissue his catalog with all the glorious unreleased stuff from each album. I ain't holdin' my breath, of course.
Now, please excuse me while I go spray jizz on my grandpa. Hey, wait a minute, why are you screaming at me, Prince says dirty things all the time!
Review by Grimey Rockafeller