Controversy (3:35)

Cover of The Hits 2

From The Hits 2 and 35 other releases

Controversy is the first track on Prince’s fourth album Controversy, and, six weeks prior to the album’s release, Controversy was released as the album’s first single. In 1982, the track was included as the b-side of the West German and Japanese versions of the Sexuality single. In 1982, it was included as the third track on the Australian 12” of 1999, the first single from Prince’s fifth album 1999. In 1993, the track was included as the first track on Prince’s second compilation album The Hits 2 (also included as the second disc of The Hits / The B-Sides), and, three months after the album’s release, Controversy was released as a single. In 2004, a 2003 live version was released as a download from the NPG Music Club’s Musicology Download Store (this same version was included on the Controversy (Live In Hawaii) single included in the Prince In Hawaii book). In 2006, the full-length studio version was included as the third track on the first disc of the compilation album Ultimate.

While specific recording dates are not known, the track was recorded in Summer 1981 at Prince’s Kiowa Trail Home Studio, Chanhassen, MN, USA (during the same session as Poppa Grooves and Tick, Tick, Bang). The album was completed at Sunset Sound, Hollywood, CA, USA, between 14 and 23 August, 1981.


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Albums featuring this track (36)

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I just can't believe
All the things people say, controversy
Am I black or white?
Am I straight or gay? Controversy

MetroLyrics Full lyrics at MetroLyrics


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  • skkukk

    Love this

    1 Feb 4:51pm Reply
  • WickedProphet

    one of my favorite tracks, ever. [2]

    27 Nov 2013 Reply
  • musicramsey

    this my stuff

    8 Aug 2013 Reply
  • discotequedude

    An excellent song!

    30 May 2013 Reply
  • stuntcat

    Was just listening to this and realized it's THIRTY TWO YEARS old :O And always great, what a genius <3

    24 May 2013 Reply
  • jinglynnbabee

    <3 everything by this musical genius. others please continue to take notes... :0)

    17 May 2013 Reply
  • musicramsey


    16 Apr 2013 Reply
  • musicramsey

    this my jam

    16 Apr 2013 Reply
  • jinglynnbabee

    <3 everything by this musical genius. others please continue to take notes... :0)

    22 Feb 2013 Reply
  • mbatey

    With 'Controversy', you get a near-perfect funk/pop song AND a near-perfect funk/disco extended workout. I for one feel that represents excellent value.

    11 Jan 2013 Reply
  • strutterf

    this song is sweet no dissin the song when i was younger me& some old school friends we used 2 say got your we were kids [2]

    31 Oct 2012 Reply
  • exeter232

    A sign you're getting old...The things prince sang about are no longer really all that controversial but you remember when they were. The song still brings it and we still take it.

    7 Sep 2012 Reply
  • Lynnbookworm

    have not heard this track in more than twenty years- still sounds killer!

    19 Jul 2012 Reply
  • lioness28213

    No coffee this morning... so Prince is bringing my mind to life today!

    6 Jul 2012 Reply
  • valplayer

    tres bon

    6 Apr 2012 Reply
  • mrbonzoorubber2

    quit putting your bullshit remixes on artist pages

    13 Oct 2011 Reply
  • spacefaceinfurs

    cool song, especially the chorus is great

    13 Aug 2011 Reply
  • ladylee1979

    wheres prince these dayz i miss the classic 80,s prince

    3 Aug 2011 Reply
  • rocker_ego777

    He's naive, but funky

    28 Jul 2011 Reply
  • pogopatterson

    At one point in the track you think Prince is going to break into a version of Blue Mink's Melting Pot, when he says he wishes there was no Black or White- an admirable sentiment. Though with Prince the twist is that he wants this just so he can copulate with every race on the planet :)

    9 Jun 2011 Reply
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