Sunday, January 18, 2015

Prince - Uptown

"Uptown" is the answer to a great trivia question -- it was the first single released off Prince's classic Dirty Mind album.  The song was named after the bohemian uptown neighborhood of Prince's hometown (Minneapolis) and touches on themes of tolerance and bigotry, which would be recurring concepts for Prince.

Long time readers will recall that we have previously posted videos of "Dirty Mind" and "Controversy" on ERV, as these videos may also be less well-known to our readers.  Due to the fact that Prince was not an overnight success, his early material did not get the exposure that it deserved, in our humble opinion.  As an example, "Uptown" certainly qualifies as a rare video and I don't recall ever seeing it on MTV back in the day.

The "Uptown" video appears to have been shot at the same time as "Dirty Mind," using the same set and audience.  This was a common occurrence in the days before MTV, when videos were used as promotional tools.  From a sound perspective, "Uptown" is more of a straight up dance number, in contrast to the electric funk of "Dirty Mind."  Again, this is typical Prince, as his ability to write songs in different musical styles really differentiates him from most other artists.

Released in September, 1980, "Uptown" was not a huge hit, but did chart, reaching #101 on the singles charts.  This was also sadly typical of Prince in this period, as he only had one top 40 single (1979's "I Wanna Be Your Lover") prior to the 1999 album.  Of course, that LP changed everything, and catapulted Prince into superstardom for the remainder of the decade (and beyond).

Ladies and gentlemen, for your audio and video pleasure ... His Purpleness.

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