Around the World in a Day is an album by Prince and The Revolution, released on 22 April 1985 on Warner Bros. The album was released without any publicity, simply turning up in record stores to the surprise of fans. Prince decided to go in the opposite direction of Purple Rain and instead of giving fans what they expected, he challenged them to new sounds.
Overall, the album was not as radio-friendly as 1999 or Purple Rain, but it still had two U.S. top 10 hits, went triple platinum and was an important step in Prince’s musical evolution, incorporating new instruments and musical styles. The more international direction would also endear Prince to his European audiences, adding to his audience of American fans.
Coming from the guitar-led success of 1999 and Purple Rain, the Round The World In A Day album was met with mixed success. On hindsight the playground anthems and production make sense when looking at the path Prince was taking, especially when the next album Parade and the following Sign O’ The Times confirmed his majesty of pop/funk/rock, always with a foot firmly in love/sex/religion. The songs Around The World In A Day and Paisley Park start the album wih chime bells and light guitars before Condition Of The Heart brings the listener an indication of where this deceptive album may be going. Raspberry Beret zips in with the classic slice of pop that it is, a sing-a-long classic of a relationship that you can smell, hear and taste through Princes’ superb control of lyric and tune. The second half of the album takes on the moral and religious side of his thinking at the time and tracks such as America, Pop Life and especially The Ladder discuss topics such as the King who didn’t deserve to be and knew not where he came from - introspection or a political and social comment? Finally the album ends with Temptation, whose starting lyrics of “Sex-Temptation-Lust” echo a familiar tale of Prince songs old and new, whilst the pantomine ending of “love is more important the sex” being accepted as the rule after a discussion with God ends in suitable form with “I have to go now, I don’t know when I’ll return…”
In all this is a fantastic album which, as a young pup with the world and the girls in his lap, sees Prince Rogers Nelson tackle issues which where clearly prevelant and which in combination with the previous and subsequent couple of albums make for a fantastic collection of a man and artist at his prime. Thoroughly recommended.
After all, everybody’s looking for the ladder.
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