“The reason my voice is so clear is there’s no smack in my brain” is the opening line of Prince’s magnificent Lovesexy album, and if that doesn’t get your attention I don’t know what will. Perhaps I’ll use that as my introduction during Zoom meetings?
Alphabet St was the first single, released in April 1988, setting the scene for the pure pop luminescence of the Lovesexy album to come.
For some reason, this song and video remind me of dolly mixtures candy; I want to listen to it while eating a bag of these sweet treats.
Here’s prince crawling on the floor, looking for all the dolly mixtures he dropped.
The iconic album cover shows a nude Prince against a backdrop of purple and white flowers, in full bloom. The image is so striking that you can almost smell the floral scent, even though the sleeve itself was not scented.
I hope Prince had bathed before the photoshoot; it would ruin the image somewhat to think that he stank of BO or hadn’t showered for a few days…
The Lovesexy album cover has been mocked, of course. When I bought it, my dad squinted at the album cover through his glasses and asked me: “Is that a man or a woman?”
Prince famously ditched 1987’s The Black Album and instead constructed Lovesexy, apparently in response to spiritual awakening. Indeed, The Quietus even says:
“Lovesexy is Prince’s gospel album. “Love is God, God is Love, girls and boys love God above,” he chants on ‘Anna Stesia'”
There were only three singles released: Alphabet St, I Wish U Heaven and Glam Slam.
By far, my favourite single from the album is I Wish U Heaven.
There’s something so pure about it, so hypnotically positive in its delivery and message that makes it utterly irresistible and almost a spiritual experience. Oh, the video is wonderful, too.
“I Wish U Heaven” is the undisputed champion of the Lovesexy set. With a sense of innocence and lament held within, the song is rich in beauty and tone. With swirling harmonies and captivating melody it belies its brief 2:50 running time. As one of Prince’s finest songs, it inspires you to have grace in being able to wish nothing but the best for someone, even if that means them not being with you. Beautiful.
Check out the extended mix of I Wish U Heaven below to appreciate the song in its full glory. Hallelujah, Praise Be, etc, etc.
For me, another album highlight is When 2 R In Love, which incidentally, was the only track that made the leap from the abandoned The Black Album to Lovesexy.
The only irritating thing about Lovesexy is the way it was released as one long, continuous track, which means, of course, that in this era of streaming and making playlists, you can’t choose to listen to the individual tracks. Prince wanted us to hear it as a whole album, not as a collection of songs to shuffle around.
Thankfully I have a copy on CD, on which the tracks are sequenced individually, allowing me to skip and shuffle and repeat songs as I like. Sorry, Prince, but that’s just how I roll.
Stream Lovesexy below: