The Rainbow Children

The Rainbow Children is the twenty-fourth studio album by American recording artist Prince. It was released on November 20, 2001 by NPG Records and Redline Entertainment. It was also released through Prince's website earlier in the year. It is the first album released outside of the NPG Music Club to be released under the name of Prince again, as he had reverted to his previous stage name from his symbolic moniker a year earlier.

The Rainbow Children
Prince Rainbow.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedNovember 20, 2001
RecordedSeptember 5, 2000–June 19, 2001
LabelNPG, Redline Entertainment
Prince chronology
The Very Best of Prince
The Rainbow Children
One Nite Alone...
Singles from The Rainbow Children
  1. "The Work, pt. 1"
    Released: 2001
  2. "She Loves Me 4 Me"
    Released: 2001 (promo)
  3. "Last December"
    Released: 2001 (promo)
Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Review scores
AllMusic3/5 stars[2]
The A.V. Club(unfavorable)[3]
Entertainment WeeklyC+[5]
New York(favorable)[7]
New York Press(favorable)[8]
Q4/5 stars[1]
Rolling Stone2.5/5 stars[9]
Slant2/5 stars[10]

This concept album illustrates common Prince themes of spirituality and human sexuality, as well as love and racism, through the fictitious story of a social movement toward a Martin Luther King, Jr.-inspired utopian society. The album seems to allude to his recent conversion to the Jehovah's Witnesses religion, but Egyptian monotheism and New Age concepts such as the Akashic records are used as metaphors as well. Jazzier than any of his previous efforts, it was met with mixed reactions. Some fans saw the album as a musical and spiritual evolution for Prince.[citation needed]

Musically, The Rainbow Children marked a shift back towards a more "organic" sound for Prince. Unlike its predecessors, the album featured live drums, and made ample use of horns. Many songs were performed live during Prince's 2002 One Nite Alone... Tour, which became an instant success with fans and critics alike.

The Rainbow Children was released through the independent distributor Redline Entertainment, and was released with minimal promotion per Prince's wishes, as he wanted to focus more on the music and less on the sales factor of the release. It has sold 158,000 copies in US stores as of summer 2007, and an estimated 560,000 copies worldwide.[11]

The album also had a dedicated promotional website that offered the tracks "She Loves Me 4 Me" and "Mellow" as free MP3 downloads.

The album cover features Cbabi Bayoc's "The Reine Keis Quintet". Prince favored the painting of a women's band, as he was backed by an all-female ensemble.[12]

Track listingEdit

All songs written and produced by Prince.

1."Rainbow Children"10:03
2."Muse 2 the Pharaoh"4:21
3."Digital Garden"4:07
4."The Work, pt. 1"4:28
6."The Sensual Everafter"2:58
8."1+1+1 Is 3"5:17
10."Wedding Feast"0:54
11."She Loves Me 4 Me"2:49
12."Family Name"8:17
13."The Everlasting Now"8:18
14."Last December"7:58
21."Last December (Reprise)"0:38
Total length:68:49

Additional notes:

  • Tracks 15–21 are all hidden tracks and are all silent with the exception of track 21, which gradually fades in to the repetition of the word "one" being sung.


Chart (2001) Peak
French Albums (SNEP)[13] 78
Swiss Albums (Schweizer Hitparade)[14] 74
US Billboard 200[15] 109


  1. ^ a b "Critic Reviews for The Rainbow Children". Metacritic. Retrieved September 16, 2011.
  2. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Prince: The Rainbow Children > Review" at AllMusic. Retrieved 16 September 2011.
  3. ^ Phipps, Keith (November 20, 2001). "The Rainbow Children". The A.V. Club. Retrieved September 16, 2011.
  4. ^ Billboard review[dead link]
  5. ^ Weingarten, Marc (November 23, 2001). "The Rainbow Children (2001)". Archived from the original on April 21, 2009.
  6. ^ Ross, Mike (November 17, 2001). "The Rainbow Children". Jam!. Archived from the original on July 10, 2012. Retrieved September 16, 2011.
  7. ^ Brown, Ethan (December 24, 2001). "Pop Music: In Brief". New York. Archived from the original on January 27, 2002. Retrieved August 5, 2012.
  8. ^ "Prince Transcends His Own Genius on Rainbow Children". New York Press. January 22, 2002. Archived from the original on June 6, 2011. Retrieved September 16, 2011.
  9. ^ Berger, Arion (January 2, 2002). "Prince: The Rainbow Children". Rolling Stone. ISSN 0035-791X. Retrieved September 16, 2011.
  10. ^ Cinquemani, Sal (November 21, 2001). "Prince: The Rainbow Children". Slant. Retrieved September 16, 2011.
  11. ^ Christman, Ed, "Retail Track: Purple Brain", Billboard, August 4, 2007
  12. ^
  13. ^ " – Prince – The Rainbow Children". Hung Medien. Retrieved May 2, 2016.
  14. ^ " – Prince – The Rainbow Children". Hung Medien. Retrieved May 2, 2016.
  15. ^ "Prince Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved May 2, 2016.

External linksEdit