Raspberry Beret (3:33)

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“Raspberry Beret” is the first US (and second UK) single from Prince and The Revolution’s 1985 album, Around the World in a Day, released on 15 May 1985. The sound was completely different from any previous Prince track, incorporating Middle-Eastern finger-cymbals, stringed instruments, and even a harmonica on the extended version. The song was also more in the pop vein than ever before, though the 12-inch single and video of the song feature a funky intro. Although the song was originally recorded in 1982, Prince drastically reworked it with The Revolution to give it more of an international sound. The string section was: Novi Novog on violin, Suzi Katayama and David Coleman on cello. Wendy and Lisa provided backing vocals, and the rest of the song was performed by Prince. The song tells of a teenage romance and first sexual experience with a girl who wears the titular hat. The video for the song - Prince’s first since his short-lived “ban” on music videos - was also significant, displaying Prince’s new short haircut, and The Revolution vaguely resembling Gypsies or hippies. The song quickly became a fan favorite, and a staple in nearly every Prince tour. The extended version was included on Ultimate in 2006. While this song reached #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the US, it only reached #25 on the UK Singles Chart.

The US B-side, “She’s Always In My Hair”, is a rock and roll number, with guitar and organs and emotional lyrics screamed toward the end. Years later, the song would finally be performed live, much to the delight of long-time fans. Ironically this song is also said to be about Susan Moonsie but a glimpse of Prince’s feelings towards the end of their relationship.

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