Prince (album)

Prince is the second studio album by American musician Prince. It was released on October 19, 1979 by Warner Bros. Records. The album was written, arranged, composed, produced and performed entirely by Prince. Overall, Prince was regarded as more diverse than For You (1978), and performed better critically and commercially. Reviewing in Christgau's Record Guide: Rock Albums of the Seventies (1981), Robert Christgau wrote: "This boy is going to be a big star, and he deserves it".[2]

An image of Prince without any clothing looking towards the camera.
Studio album by
ReleasedOctober 19, 1979
RecordedApril–June 1979
StudioAlpha Studios, Burbank, California. Mixed at Hollywood Sound Recorders, Hollywood, California.
LabelWarner Bros.
Prince chronology
For You
Dirty Mind
Singles from Prince
  1. "I Wanna Be Your Lover"
    Released: August 24, 1979
  2. "Why You Wanna Treat Me So Bad?"
    Released: January 23, 1980
  3. "Still Waiting"
    Released: March 25, 1980
  4. "Sexy Dancer"
    Released: April 1980 (non-US single)
  5. "Bambi"
    Released: September 27, 1980 (Belgium)

Prince peaked at 22 on the Billboard 200 and number three on the Billboard R&B Chart. The album contained three Billboard Hot Black Singles hits: "Why You Wanna Treat Me So Bad?", "Sexy Dancer" and "I Wanna Be Your Lover". "I Wanna Be Your Lover" was Prince's first hit single on the Billboard Hot 100, peaking at number eleven while also topping the Billboard Hot Black Singles. Prince was certified Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) four months after its release.[3]


The album was written, arranged, composed, produced and performed entirely by Prince. On the album credits, Prince thanks his bassist André Cymone and drummer Bobby Z. as "heaven-sent helpers".[4]

Prince recorded the album in just a few weeks after Warner Bros. asked for a follow-up to his 1978 debut, For You. Prince had used twice his initial recording advance on the album, and it had failed to generate a pop hit (although "Soft and Wet" became a No. 12 R&B hit). Displeased at his lack of success, Prince quickly recorded the follow-up.


On October 19, 2019, Prince's estate released an acoustic demo version of "I Feel For You"[5] as a single to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Prince album release.

Critical receptionEdit

Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic     [1]
Blender     [6]
Christgau's Record GuideB+[2]
Entertainment WeeklyB−[7]
The Guardian     [8]
MusicHound Rock4/5[9]
Q     [10]
Rolling Stone(favorable)[11]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide     [12]
Smash Hits5/10[13]
Tom HullB+[14]

Overall, the album was much more diverse and well-received than For You, critically and commercially, selling three million copies. It is notable for containing standard R&B ballads performed by Prince, before he would go on to establish himself with sexual romps on later albums. The album was certified platinum and contained three R&B/dance hits: "Why You Wanna Treat Me So Bad?", "Sexy Dancer" and "I Wanna Be Your Lover." "I Wanna Be Your Lover" sold over one million copies and received a gold disc, rushing to No. 11 on the Billboard Hot 100 (becoming Prince's first hit single) and topped the R&B charts. In addition, it peaked at No. 41 in the United Kingdom (his first entry in the country) and reached number 2 on the Billboard Dance/Disco Singles chart. Prince performed both "I Wanna Be Your Lover" and "Why You Wanna Treat Me So Bad?" on American Bandstand on 26 January 1980. Overall, the success of this album geared Prince towards his next album, Dirty Mind, which would be called a complete departure from his earlier sound.

Reviewing in Christgau's Record Guide: Rock Albums of the Seventies (1981), Robert Christgau wrote: "This boy is going to be a big star, and he deserves it—he's got a great line. 'I want to come inside you' is good enough, but (in a different song) the simple 'I'm physically attracted to you' sets new standards of 'naive,' winning candor. The vulnerable teen-macho falsetto idea is pretty good too. But he does leave something to be desired in the depth-of-feeling department—you know, soul."[2]

Track listingEdit

All tracks are written by Prince.

Side one
1."I Wanna Be Your Lover"5:49
2."Why You Wanna Treat Me So Bad?"3:49
3."Sexy Dancer"4:18
4."When We're Dancing Close and Slow"5:23
Side two
5."With You"4:00
7."Still Waiting"4:12
8."I Feel for You"3:24
9."It's Gonna Be Lonely"5:27



Information taken from the Prince Vault website.[15]

  • Prince – lead vocals, backing vocals, all instrumentation, producer, arranger, remixer
  • André Cymone – backing vocals on "Why You Wanna Treat Me So Bad?" (uncredited)
  • Gary Brandt – engineer
  • Mark Ettel – assistant engineer
  • Bob Mockler – remixer
  • Bernie Grundman – mastering (A&M)
  • Lynn Barron – album design (RIA Images)
  • George Chacon – album design (RIA Images)
  • Jurgen Reisch – photography (front cover)
  • Chris Callis – photography (back cover)
  • Terry Taylor – calligraphy



Region Certification Certified units/sales
United Kingdom (BPI)[22] Silver 60,000^
United States (RIAA)[23] Platinum 1,000,000^

^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.


  1. ^ a b "Prince > Review" at AllMusic. Retrieved 15 September 2011.
  2. ^ a b c Christgau, Robert (1981). "Consumer Guide '70s: P". Christgau's Record Guide: Rock Albums of the Seventies. Ticknor & Fields. ISBN 089919026X. Retrieved March 10, 2019 – via
  3. ^ "Gold & Platinum". RIAA. Retrieved December 27, 2019.
  4. ^ Prince (1979). Prince (Album credits).
  5. ^ "Prince Estate Releases Acoustic Demo of 'I Feel for You' - Rolling Stone".
  6. ^ Blender review Archived August 23, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ Browne, David (September 21, 1990). "Purple Products". Entertainment Weekly. No. 32. ISSN 1049-0434. Retrieved September 15, 2011.
  8. ^ Price, Simon (April 22, 2016). "Prince: every album rated – and ranked". The Guardian. London. Retrieved May 23, 2022.
  9. ^ Graff, Gary; Durchholz, Daniel, eds. (1999). MusicHound Rock: The Essential Album Guide (2nd ed.). Farmington Hills, MI: Visible Ink Press. p. 897. ISBN 1-57859-061-2.
  10. ^ "Prince CD Album". Retrieved September 15, 2011.
  11. ^ Holden, Stephen (April 3, 1980). "Prince: Prince". Rolling Stone. Wenner Media. ISSN 0035-791X. Archived from the original on October 2, 2007. Retrieved September 15, 2011.
  12. ^ Hoard, Christian David; Brackett, Nathan (2004). The New Rolling Stone Album Guide (4, revised ed.). Simon & Schuster. ISBN 978-0-7432-0169-8. Archived from the original on October 12, 2019. Retrieved September 8, 2017.
  13. ^ Starr, Red. "Albums". Smash Hits. No. February 7–20. p. 31.
  14. ^ Hull, Tom (n.d.). "Rock (1970s)". Retrieved July 1, 2020.
  15. ^ "Album: Prince - Prince Vault". Retrieved July 10, 2021.
  16. ^ a b "Prince Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved June 27, 2021.
  17. ^ "Prince Chart History (Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved June 27, 2021.
  18. ^ " – Prince – For You". Hung Medien. Retrieved May 17, 2016.
  19. ^ " – Prince – Prince". Hung Medien. Retrieved May 11, 2016.
  20. ^ "Top Billboard 200 Albums – Year-End 1980". Billboard. January 2, 2013. Retrieved June 27, 2021.
  21. ^ "Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums – Year-End 1980". Billboard. January 2, 2013. Retrieved June 27, 2021.
  22. ^ "British album certifications – Prince – Prince". British Phonographic Industry.Select albums in the Format field. Select Silver in the Certification field. Type Prince in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
  23. ^ "American album certifications – Prince – Prince". Recording Industry Association of America.

External linksEdit