Alphabet St. (a.k.a. Alphabet Street) is the second track on Prince’s tenth album Lovesexy, and, three weeks before the album’s release, Alphabet St. was released as the album’s first single.
In 1993, the track was included as the 14th track on Prince’s first compilation album The Hits 1 (also included as the first disc of The Hits / The B-Sides).
In 2001, the track was included as the twelfth track on the compilation album The Very Best Of Prince. In 2006, the track was included as the eleventh track on the first disc of the compilation album Ultimate.
In 2002, a live version (as Alphabet Street) was included as the fifth track on the live release One Nite Alone... The Aftershow: It Ain’t Over.
In 2008, a 2007 live recording of the track was included (as Alphabet Street) as the tenth track on Prince’s fourth live album Indigo Nights.
In 2011, a live version from the 3 August 2011 show in Oslo Spektrum was available as an mp3 download on Shelby J.’s Facebook page the day after the show (the meta-data attached to the track gives an album name of "Live In Oslo", but this is likely not an indication of an actual album).
Basic tracks were recorded on 30 December 1987 at Paisley Park Studios in Chanhassen, Minnesota (the day before the 31 December 1987 show where Prince and Miles Davis performed together for the first and only time).
The line "Put your love down baby when your money get shot" was originally used in the unreleased song Bloody Mouth, recorded the previous month.
Alphabet St. is a blues-based pop/rock number distinguished by a scratchy rhythm guitar part played in a style reminiscent of Bo Diddley. The rhythm section features a simple drum machine beat, handclaps, and a popping bass line. The song includes a "yeah, yeah, yeah" chorus. The song expands from a sparse opening as layers of instrumentation build, creating a complex musical track.
Cat provides a rap introducing the "Lovesexy" theme, before the song goes into an expanded vamp with a discordant horn motif to the fore. Ingrid Chavez ends the track with a recitation of the alphabet, from A to H (without G*), followed by "I... love u".