Album of the Week: Prince, '1999'


'1999' Super Deluxe Edition.
'1999' Super Deluxe Edition. (Warner Records)
Andrea Swensson - Album of the Week: Prince, '1999'
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Your Album of the Week is the Super Deluxe reissue of Prince's 1999. In addition to remastering Prince's original double album, 1999, the new Super Deluxe reissue of his iconic, breakthrough album includes 35 tracks from Prince's vault, making it the biggest posthumous release of his work to date.

This box set highlights such a pivotal moment for Prince, who experienced his first taste of crossover fame with 1999. To get there, he churned through reams of material for his own album - and in the process, discovered several new voices that he knew he needed to get out.

My favorite tracks are the ones that capture unguarded moments in the studio - like when Prince can barely contain his laughter while running through the monologue on International Lover for the first time... Or when he sat down alone at the piano to pour his whole entire heart out on a stunning, 7-minute long version of his B-side "How Come You Don't Call Me Anymore?"

In lieu of a traditional Album of the Week review, this week we're bringing you a 4-part audio documentary series about the album.

You're going to hear stories from the people who were working alongside Prince in this wildly prolific era, when Prince was writing songs at a feverish pace for his own album, his funk side project the Time, and his new all-woman trio Vanity 6. And you'll get your first taste of this incredible material from the vault, which includes live recordings, emotional alternate takes in the studio, and long-lost songs -- like "Purple Music," which Prince recorded back in 1982 and had just started playing live on his final Piano & a Microphone Tour in 2016.

Find the first three episodes below, and hear the final episode on -air at 9 p.m. on Tuesday December 9:

Episode 1: My Mind Says Prepare to Fight

Episode 2: Rearrange

Episode 3: The Idolmaker

Episode 4: Tune in to The Current Tuesday December 9 at 9 p.m. CT to hear the final episode.

Prince: The Story of 1999 is a four-part audio documentary series brought to you by The Current in collaboration with the Prince Estate, Paisley Park, and Warner Records. The series is also available as a podcast on multiple platforms.

Related Stories

  • Giveaway: Prince - '1999' Deluxe Edition Enter for your chance to win the Deluxe, remastered 4 LP edition of '1999' on vinyl or CD.
  • Prince: The Story of 1999 bonus feature: Dez Dickerson: 'Put an explosion over it' Prince's first guitarist, Dez Dickerson, talks with The Current's Andrea Swensson, taking us back to the early days, into the recording studio, and from the smallest clubs to the biggest stages. 'From the very beginning,' Dickerson says, 'Prince had a clear idea of what he wanted, how he wanted it, how he wanted us to coalesce as a band, what he wanted to say, and what message that would send.'
  • Prince's '1999' era: A timeline What we might consider Prince's '1999' era stretched from fall 1981 to the end of 1983. In association with The Story of 1999 audio documentary, here's a chronological guide.
  • Five movies that influenced Prince's '1999' Prince was a lifelong movie buff, watching his favorites over and over again. Five films in particular helped shape his vision for the '1999' album, tour, and aesthetic.
  • Prince: The Story of 1999 bonus feature: The sound of Prince and Peggy McCreary Author Duane Tudahl has said, 'The sound of '1999' is the sound of Prince and Peggy McCreary.' An audio engineer at Sunset Sound in Los Angeles, McCreary worked extensively with Prince not only on '1999,' but also on 'Purple Rain' and 'Parade,' plus some of Prince's other projects with the Time and Vanity 6. Andrea Swensson connected with McCreary for a fascinating conversation.
  • Prince: The Story of 1999 bonus feature: an interview with Robert Hilburn In gathering information for episode 1 of 'Prince: The Story of 1999,' The Current's Andrea Swensson spoke to former Los Angeles Times music critic Robert Hilburn, who interviewed Prince in 1982, the year '1999' was released.

2 Photos

  • prince 1999
    Prince in the infamous purple trenchcoat. (Allen Beaulieu / Courtesy Warner Records)
  • prince 1999
    Prince and The Revolution promoting the album '1999' (Allen Beaulieu / Courtesy Warner Records)

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