Musicheads Essentials: Prince & The New Power Generation 'Love Symbol'

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Prince Love symbol album cover
'The Love Symbol' album was released on October 13, 1992 (Courtesy Paisley Park Records/Warner Brothers)

On October 13, 1992, Prince debuted a follow-up to 1991's Diamonds and Pearls. On its cover? An unpronounceable symbol that he would later take as his name. That symbol is now referred to as "The Love Symbol" and thus, the 1992 album is colloquially known as "the Love Symbol Album." It was a turning point in Prince's music career and his personal life.

The second album backed by The New Power Generation marked a lineup change and an attempt at a new sonic approach. Vocalist Rosie Gaines left the group, and keyboardist and musical director Morris Hayes stepped in.

The album was conceived as a fantasy rock soap opera. Though Prince ditched the concept before its release, the album was used to accompany his 1994 film, 3 Chains o' Gold. The song with the same title, along with his U.S. hit "7," were used to help narrate the story of an Egyptian Princess who calls upon Prince for protection from seven assassins.

Leaving the concept aside, The Love Symbol Album contains some of Prince's most ambitious work. It fuses the sounds of funk, R&B, synth-pop and prominently features Tony M.'s raps and hip-hop to make it one of the most musically diverse albums of his career.

The album also marked a turning point in Prince's personal life. The album captures the debut performance of Mayte Garcia who, in 1996, would become his first wife.

The album's symbol would become iconic as Prince adopted it as his new identity for the remainder of the 20th Century. Ever the prankster, Prince reminds us not to ever forget he will always be Prince.

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