|1999 is the fifth full-length studio album by Prince. It was released worldwide in October 1982 (twelve months after his previous album, Controversy). Albeit the name The Revolution appears in mirror-writing on the sleeve, it was never officially attributed to Prince and the Revolution.)
In March 1983 the album received a re-release as a 7-track single LP in all territories but the US, omitting D.M.S.R., Automatic, All The Critics Love U In New York and International Lover. At the same the a cassette issue of the album was issued with nine tracks, adding D.M.S.R. and the none-album track How Come U Don’t Call Me Anymore. Both were issued in a picture-sleeve with a photo of Prince rather than the hand drawn '1999' graphic.
The initial CD-release of the album had 10 tracks, omitting D.M.S.R., as the time limit on CDs was 74 minutes when they were first introduced. When CD capacities increased, however, the track was re-added to the tracklist with later re-issues.
Sessions and compiling
Album sessions took place from early 1982 to August 1982, at Prince’s Kiowa Trail Home Studio, Chanhassen, MN, USA and later at Sunset Sound in Hollywood, California. International Lover is believed to be the first track recorded for the album, in mid-January 1982. Recording dates for All The Critics Love U In New York are not known, but it was recorded in early 1982.
Let’s Pretend We’re Married was recorded in late March 1982. D.M.S.R. followed in mid-April 1982. Free and Something In The Water (Does Not Compute) were recorded in late April 1982, while Automatic and Delirious were recorded in early May 1982 and Little Red Corvette on 20 May 1982. Lady Cab Driver followed in early July 1982, while 1999 was recorded on 7 August 1982.
1999 is thought to not have been included on an early configuration of the album (which was likely given another name at the time), but Prince’s management suggested he add an over-arching thematic song to the album, and he wrote the song in response. No other details of the early configuration are known.
The album was largely a solo recording project by Prince, although various band members appear in small roles, especially on 1999 and D.M.S.R. (see credits below for details).
The album produced five commercially-released singles, 1999 (which preceded the album), Little Red Corvette, Delirious, Automatic (available in Australia only) and Let’s Pretend We’re Married. Additionally, D.M.S.R. was available as a promotional single following the release of Little Red Corvette.
Prince toured extensively in the USA to support the album on the 1999 Tour, which largely focused on the album (the tour featured The Time and Vanity 6 as opening acts, and also acted as promotion for their albums).
The album reached number 9 on the US Billboard Top LP’s & Tapes chart and number 4 on the Billboard Black LPs chart.
1999 has been certified 4x platinum by the RIAA, indicating 4 million copies shipped in the USA.