Darling Nikki

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Darlene Marie   < < < Non-Prince Songs All Prince Songs Unreleased Songs > > >   Data Bank
Darling Nikki

from the album Purple Rain
Song details
Performer: Prince and the Revolution
First Released: 25 June 1984 - Purple Rain album
Album(s): Purple Rain
Writer(s): Prince (credited to Prince and the Revolution)
Producer(s): Prince (credited to Prince and the Revolution)
Live Appearances
First and last live appearance:
Performed regularly on tour:
Performed occasionally in shows:
  • 1984, 1998, 2000, 2007, 2011 (clip only during sampler set), 2012 (clip only during sampler set), 2013 (clip only during sampler set), 2015 (clip only during sampler set)

Darling Nikki is the fifth track on Prince's sixth album Purple Rain, the first album to be credited to Prince and the Revolution. The song also features in the movie Purple Rain.

Darling Nikki was discussed a lot in the media in 1984-85. Tipper Gore (author and wife of Al Gore), having overheard her eleven-year-old daughter, Karenna, listening to the track, was inspired to found the Parents Music Resource Center. The Center advocated the mandatory use of a warning label ("Parental Advisory: Explicit Lyrics") on the covers of records judged to contain language or lyrical content unsuitable for minors.

The recording industry voluntarily complied with the Center's request in response to the Senate hearings (Sugar Walls was also listed on The Parents Music Resource Center's "Filthy Fifteen" which led to the introduction of parental advisory stickers). See here for more details.

While specific recording dates are not known, basic tracking took place in late July 1983 at Prince's Kiowa Trail Home Studio in Chanhassen, Minnesota, USA. The song ends with a "back-masked" vocal coda to close out the first side of the album (on vinyl and cassette).

It was included as the fourth track on the 7 November 1983 and 23 March 1984 configurations of Purple Rain, but became the fifth track on the final 14 April 1984 configuration after the addition of Take Me With U.

Recording Information
Recording Sessions
Date Studio Additional info
Mid-late July 1983 Kiowa Trail Home Studio,
Chanhassen, MN, USA
Basic tracking
Late July 1983 Kiowa Trail Home Studio,
Chanhassen, MN, USA
Vocal overdubs
18 September 1983-19 September 1983 Sunset Sound,
Hollywood, CA, USA
Adding coda, mixing
21 March 1984-22 March 1984 Sunset Sound,
Hollywood, CA, USA
Recording Personnel
  • Prince - all vocals and instruments

Released Versions
Title Length Released Version Additional info
Darling Nikki 4:13 Purple Rain

Strange Tales From The Rain promo

Darling Nikki 4:13 Purple Rain Deluxe
Remastered 2015
Video Versions
Title Length Released Version Additional info
Darling Nikki 4:00 Prince And The Revolution: Live VHS/laserdisc

Purple Rain Deluxe – Live at the Carrier Dome (DVD)

Live 30 March 1985, Carrier Dome, Syracuse, NY, USA

Unreleased Versions
Title Version Additional Info
Darling Nikki Studio original full-length version with additional instrumental break, but no back masked ending
Additional Information

See also Trivia

  • Notes from Prince's Dreams notebook that was on display in the 'My Name Is Prince' exhibit in the O2 in London reveal that Prince considered naming Vanity's character in the film Nicarthra Ann, Nikki for short.

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