Happy Anniversary: Prince and the Revolution, AROUND THE WORLD IN A DAY
34 years ago today, Prince and the Revolution released an LP which was unexpectedly awash in psychedelia yet still managed to win over the hearts of listeners enough to result in a chart-topping album.
Produced – as ever – by Prince himself, AROUND THE WORLD IN A DAY was actually begun before PURPLE RAIN, believe it or not, but its psychedelic sound and unique instrumentation and production choices definitely stand apart from PURPLE RAIN, that’s for sure. Critics made mention of the fact that the LP’s lyrics are rather oblique, but when talking to Rolling Stone at the time, Prince all but shrugged at the suggestion.
“I’ve heard some people say I’m not talking about anything on this record,” he told Rolling Stone. “And what a lot of other people get wrong about the record is that I’m not trying to be this great visionary wizard. Paisley Park is in everybody’s heart. It’s not just something that I have the keys to. I was trying to say something about looking inside oneself to find perfection. Perfection is in everyone. Nobody’s perfect, but they can be. We may never reach that, but it’s better to strive than not.”
There were certainly at least two songs that came close to reaching pop perfection in the eyes – and ears – of many: “Raspberry Beret” and “Pop Life,” both of which made their way into the top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100, with the former song continuing to secure regular radio airplay into the ‘90s, thanks to a raucous cover by Hindu Love Gods, a.k.a. Peter Buck, Mike Mills, Bill Berry, and Warren Zevon.
As noted, AROUND THE WORLD IN A DAY climbed all the way to the #1 spot in the US, but it also hit #5 in the UK and went top-10 in a number of other nations as well, so it was a hit around the world, too.