Let’s Work

From Prince Vault
Jump to: navigation, search
Let’s Pretend We’re Married   < < < Non-Prince Songs All Prince Songs Unreleased Songs > > >   Letter 4 Miles
Let’s Work

from the album Controversy
Letswork single.jpg
single art for Let’s Work
Song details
Performer: Prince
First Released: 14 October 1981 - Controversy album
Album(s): Controversy

1999 Super Deluxe Edition

Writer(s): Prince
Producer(s): Prince
Live Appearances
First and last live appearance:
Performed regularly on tour:
Performed occasionally in shows:

Let’s Work is the sixth track on Prince’s fourth album Controversy, and, three months after the album’s release, Let’s Work was released as the album’s second single.

The track was initially recorded (as Let’s Rock) between 10-21 July 1979 at Mountain Ears Sound Studio in Boulder, Colorado, during sessions for The Rebels album. Let’s Rock was named after a dance called "The Rock" Prince had seen in clubs during the summer of 1979 (The dance itself influenced or was influenced by Edwin Starr’s single "It’s Called The Rock" from his album "Happy Radio" released that year). Prince wanted to release it as a single immediately after recording but Warner Bros. declined. It was considered as the opening track for the Prince album before being shelved a few years. While Prince liked the track, he felt it needed to be renamed when released in 1981 to avoid it seeming dated. Let’s Work was re-recorded during sessions for the album in Spring and Summer 1981, at Prince’s Kiowa Trail Home Studio in Chanhassen, Minnesota and Hollywood Sound Recorders in Los Angeles, California.

The song was completed at Sunset Sound in Hollywood, California, between 14 and 23 August 1981. Prince and Morris Day worked on the Dance Remix of the track on 8 December 1981, two months after the track’s initial release, also at Sunset Sound.

It was revealed in November 2003 on the NPG Music Club website that Morris Day plays drums on the extended portion of the Dance Remix, and that Prince and Morris Day switched drumming duties live as the tape was running. The Dance Remix contains sampled clips from Private Joy, Annie Christian and Controversy, the first time a Prince song sampled another of his songs (something he has done often ever since).

Various loops from the song were included in the NPG Music Club’s short-lived Musicology Control Room Mixer, opened on 3 June 2003, which appeared to be alternate recordings, but it is unclear when these were made. Since these are short loops lasting no more than a few seconds, they are not listed below.

On 21 June 2013, an instrumental rehearsal of Let’s Work featuring Prince (bass), Donna Grantis (guitar) and Hannah Ford (drums) was streamed live on 3rdEyeGirl LiveStream TV for 1:35 minutes.

Recording Information
Recording Sessions
Date Studio Additional info
10 - 21 July 1979 Mountain Ears Sound Studio
Boulder, Colorado
Tracking of Let’s Rock
Spring-Summer 1981 Kiowa Trail Home Studio,
Chanhassen, MN, USA
Hollywood Sound Recorders,
Los Angeles, CA, USA (unverified)
Re-recording as Let’s Work
14 - 23 August 1981 Sunset Sound,
Hollywood, CA, USA
Overdubs, mixing
8 December 1981 Sunset Sound,
Hollywood, CA, USA
Additional recording creating Dance Remix
Recording Personnel

Album version

  • Prince - all vocals and instruments

Dance Remix

  • Prince - all vocals and instruments
  • Morris Day - drums on extended portion only (uncredited)

Let’s Rock (Unreleased)

Released Versions
Title Length Released Version Additional info
Let’s Work 3:52 Controversy Studio
Let’s Work (Edit) 2:56 Let’s Work single
Let’s Work (Edit) 2:56 Let’s Work promo Edit (as above), mono version
Let’s Work (Edit) 2:59 4Ever different mix edit, no fade out
Let’s Work (Dance Remix) 8:02 Let’s Work single


Extended version a.k.a. Let’s Work (Xtended); drums on extended portion by Morris Day
Let’s Work 5:27 1999 Super Deluxe Edition Live 1 December 1982 (a.m.): Masonic Temple Auditorium, Detroit, MI, USA
Video Versions
Title Length Released Version Additional info
Let’s Work 5:27 1999 Super Deluxe Edition DVD Live 29 December 1982: The Summit, Houston, TX, USA
Broadcasts/streaming (only)
Title Length Released Version Additional info
Let’s Work 2:52 Delayed performance TV broadcast Live 8 June 1998, Vibe, CBS Television City, Los Angeles, California
Let’s Work 2:10 Prince! Behind The Symbol TV broadcast Live 24 March 2011, Time Warner Cable Arena, Charlotte, NC, USA
Let’s Work Instrumental 1:35 3rdEyeTV Show # 2 live video stream Rehearsal Recorded 21 June 2013, Paisley Park, Chanhassen, Minnesota
Let’s Work Instrumental 4:10 3rdEyeTV Show # 3 live video stream Rehearsal Recorded 21 June 2013, Paisley Park, Chanhassen, Minnesota
Sampled, Referred to, Quoted in...
Title Length Released Version Additional info
Partyman (The Purple Party Mix) 6:02 Partyman single Remix Remix by Femi Jiya and Prince; Includes sampled clips of Sexy Dancer, I Wanna Be Your Lover, Head, Partyup, Let’s Work, 1999, Raspberry Beret, Erotic City, Kiss, U Got The Look, Housequake, Alphabet St., The Future and a chant from Batdance
Partyman (The Purple Party Mix) 5:58 The Scandalous Sex Suite EP Remix edit As above, missing The Joker’s opening dialogue
Purple Medley 11:03 Purple Medley single Studio medley See Purple Medley for more details
Unreleased Versions
Title Version Additional Info
Let’s Rock Studio Original version
Additional Information

See also Trivia

Let’s Pretend We’re Married   < < < All Songs Unreleased Songs > > >   Letter 4 Miles