Dirty Mind is the third album by American recording artist Prince. It was released on October 8, 1980, by Warner Bros. Records as the follow-up to his self-titled second album, Prince, (1979). It was produced, arranged, and composed mainly by Prince in his home studio in Minneapolis, Minnesota.[4] It has been ranked by several publications as one of the greatest albums of the 1980s and of all time.[6]

Dirty Mind
Studio album by
ReleasedOctober 8, 1980
RecordedMay–June 1980
LabelWarner Bros.
BSK 3478
Prince chronology
Dirty Mind
Singles from Dirty Mind
  1. "Uptown"
    Released: September 10, 1980
  2. "Dirty Mind"
    Released: November 26, 1980
  3. "Do It All Night"
    Released: March 6, 1981

Though Dirty Mind only peaked at number 45 on the Billboard 200,[7] it earned widespread acclaim from music critics and continues to.[8] The first single, "Uptown" reached number five on both the Billboard Hot Soul Singles and the Billboard National Disco Action Top 30 charts. On June 6, 1984, the album was certified Gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).[9]


Dirty Mind was mainly recorded in Prince's home studio throughout 1980, and several of the songs were cut in one night, giving them a sparse, demo-like quality. The title track was released as a single and described as "robotic funk" by AllMusic's Stephen Thomas Erlewine,[4] while "When You Were Mine", notably covered by Cyndi Lauper on her album She's So Unusual, is "pure new wave pop".[4] "Do It All Night" and "Head", a sexually explicit song about a chance meeting with a bride-to-be and seducing her with oral sex,[10] contain "sultry funk";[4] "Gotta Broken Heart Again", the only ballad on the record, features "soulful crooning";[4] and the rock-influenced "Sister" describes incest between the song's protagonist and his older sibling ("Incest is everything it's said to be"). "Uptown" and "Partyup" are "relentless dance jams", according to Erlewine;[4] the former became a top-five hit on the Billboard Dance and R&B charts in late 1980, and the latter was performed on Saturday Night Live on February 21, 1981.

Critical receptionEdit

Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic     [11]
Blender     [2]
Chicago Sun-Times    [12]
Christgau's Record GuideA[13]
Entertainment WeeklyA[14]
The Guardian     [15]
Rolling Stone     [17]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide     [18]
Spin Alternative Record Guide10/10[19]

The album received critical acclaim. According to Ken Tucker from Rolling Stone, "Prince's first two collections established him as a doe-eyed romantic. Nothing could have prepared us for the liberating lewdness of Dirty Mind. Dirty Mind jolts with the unsettling tension that arises from rubbing complex erotic wordplay against clean, simple melodies. Across this ELECTRIC surface glides Prince's graceful quaver, tossing off lyrics with an exhilarating breathlessness. He takes the sweet romanticism of Smokey Robinson and combines it with the powerful vulgate poetry of Richard Pryor. The result is cool music dealing with hot emotions. At its best, Dirty Mind is positively filthy."[17]

Stephen Thomas Erlewine from AllMusic describes the album as "stunning, audacious amalgam of funk, new wave, R&B, and pop, fueled by grinningly salacious sex and the desire to shock" and that it "set the style for much of the urban soul and funk of the early '80s".[11]

According to The New Rolling Stone Album Guide (2004), "Dirty Mind remains one of the most radical 180-degree turns in pop history."[18] Robert Hilburn of the Los Angeles Times described the music from the album as "confident and highly danceable blend of post-disco funk and tasty, hard-line rock".[1] Prince's songwriting contains prominently sexual lyrics.[20] Keith Harris of Blender characterizes its songs as "confessions of a sex junkie" with "new-wave funk".[2]

Pitchfork ranked Dirty Mind number 87 on its list of the Top 100 Albums of the 1980s.[21] Slant Magazine listed the album at number 53 on its "Best Albums of the 1980s" list.[22]

In 2003, the album was ranked number 204 on Rolling Stone's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time,[6] and 206 in a 2012 revised list.[23] The same magazine ranked it at number 18 on its list of the "100 Greatest Albums of the 1980s".


The first single, "Uptown" reached No. 101 on the Billboard Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles but peaked within the top five of the R&B Singles chart and the Dance chart. The title track was released as the second single and was modestly successful on the R&B chart. The songs "Uptown", "Dirty Mind", and "Head" were released together, reaching the dance chart's top five.

"Head" was featured in the movie Waiting to Exhale.

Track listingEdit

All tracks are written by Prince, except where noted.

Side one
1."Dirty Mind"Prince, Doctor Fink4:14
2."When You Were Mine" 3:47
3."Do It All Night" 3:42
4."Gotta Broken Heart Again" 2:16
Side two
5."Uptown" 5:32
6."Head" 4:44
7."Sister" 1:31
8."Partyup"Prince, Morris Day4:24


  • Prince - all vocals and instruments, except as noted below
  • Lisa Coleman - backing vocals on "Head"
  • Doctor Fink - synthesizer on "Dirty Mind" and "Head"



Region Certification Certified units/sales
United States (RIAA)[29] Gold 500,000^

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone


  1. ^ a b Nilsen, Per (2004). Dance Music Sex Romance: Prince: The First Decade. SAF Publishing Ltd, 2004, p. 87. ISBN 978-0-946719-64-8
  2. ^ a b c Harris, Keith (June–July 2001). "Prince — Every Original CD Reviewed: Dirty Mind". Blender. New York (1). Archived from the original on August 20, 2004. Retrieved April 8, 2017.
  3. ^ Drimmer, Josh (November 30, 2004). "Prince - Around The World In A Day". Stylus6. Retrieved September 14, 2011.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g AllMusic
  5. ^ Hoskyns, Barney. "'I exited Prince's Mayfair suite feeling like a mouse savaged by a particularly fiendish cat'". The Guardian. Retrieved April 30, 2016. ...Dirty Mind. An album of what can only be described as lo-fi new-wave punk-funk... black-rock mashup. It could have been a novelty act, a punk-funk one-off...
  6. ^ a b Staff. RS500: 204) Dirty Mind. Rolling Stone. Retrieved on 2010-01-01.
  7. ^ Columnist. "Tops in Pops". Los Angeles Times: G2. November 3, 1980.
  8. ^ Holden, Stephen. Prince, A Renegade. The New York Times. Retrieved on 2010-01-01.
  9. ^ Gold & Platinum: Searchable Database Archived June 26, 2007, at the Wayback Machine. Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved on 2010-01-01.
  10. ^ https://genius.com/Prince-head-lyrics
  11. ^ a b Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Dirty Mind – Prince". AllMusic. Retrieved January 1, 2010.
  12. ^ Keller, Martin (April 4, 1993). "A Prince Discography". Chicago Sun-Times. Archived from the original on April 8, 2017. Retrieved April 8, 2017.
  13. ^ Christgau, Robert (1990). "Prince: Dirty Mind". Christgau's Record Guide: The '80s. Pantheon Books. ISBN 0-679-73015-X. Retrieved January 1, 2010.
  14. ^ Browne, David (September 21, 1990). "Purple Products". Entertainment Weekly. New York (32). Retrieved January 1, 2010.
  15. ^ Price, Simon (April 22, 2016). "Prince: every album rated – and ranked". The Guardian. London. Retrieved April 25, 2016.
  16. ^ Walters, Barry (April 29, 2016). "Prince: Dirty Mind". Pitchfork. Retrieved May 1, 2016.
  17. ^ a b Tucker, Ken (February 19, 1981). "Prince: Dirty Mind". Rolling Stone. New York. Retrieved January 1, 2010.
  18. ^ a b Matos, Michaelangelo (2004). "Prince". In Brackett, Nathan; Hoard, Christian (eds.). The New Rolling Stone Album Guide (4th ed.). New York: Simon & Schuster. pp. 654–57. ISBN 0-7432-0169-8.
  19. ^ Weisbard, Eric; Marks, Craig, eds. (1995). "Prince". Spin Alternative Record Guide. New York: Vintage Books. ISBN 0-679-75574-8.
  20. ^ Columnist. "Prince's Song Lyrics are X-Rated". Los Angeles Times: December 1980. Note: Original article reprinted in The Tuscaloosa News.
  21. ^ Staff. Top 100 Albums of the 1980s. Pitchfork Media. Retrieved on 2010-01-01.
  22. ^ Slantmagazine.com Archived March 14, 2012, at the Wayback Machine
  23. ^ "500 Greatest Albums of All Time Rolling Stone's definitive list of the 500 greatest albums of all time". Rolling Stone. 2012. Retrieved September 16, 2019.
  24. ^ a b Billboard Albums: Dirty Mind. AllMusic. Retrieved on 2010-01-01.
  25. ^ "Lescharts.com – Prince – Dirty Mind". Hung Medien. Retrieved May 17, 2016.
  26. ^ "Swisscharts.com – Prince – Dirty Mind". Hung Medien. Retrieved May 4, 2016.
  27. ^ "Official Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved April 30, 2016.
  28. ^ "{{{artist}}} Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved May 3, 2016.
  29. ^ "American album certifications – Prince – Dirty Mind". Recording Industry Association of America. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH. 


External linksEdit