The song was constructed by Prince almost entirely on the Fairlight sampling synthesizer, which provides the primary keyboard riff and sampled electronic bass sounds heard on the track. Unlike some artists, Prince did not program new sounds for this song. He simply used the stock sounds the Fairlight offered, including the famed “orchestra hit” towards the end of the composition. The single marked a shift from those pulled from the Parade and Around the World in a Day albums, with a spare, electronic-based arrangement, simple drum machine hits and minimal stacked synth patterns, as well as a bluesy, funk-rock guitar part (cut from the single edit of the song). The record was noticeably bluesier and more downcast (both melodically and lyrically) than any of Prince’s previous singles, addressing various socio-political problems including AIDS, gang violence, natural disasters, poverty, drug abuse, Iran-Contra, the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster and impending nuclear holocaust.
The single’s cover features new band member Cat Glover posing with a large heart covering her face, and on the back of the cover, posing with Prince’s guitar. Many people incorrectly thought it was Prince in drag.
The B-side was the funk-oriented “La, La, La, He, He, Hee”
Steven Wilson have a cover of this song titled Cover Version V on his Cover Version-album.
Edited by Scantily on 31 May 2010, 14:19
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