The Dopamine Rush

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The Dopamine Rush

Times Squared
from the album Times Squared
The Dopamine Rush
promo single art for The Dopamine Rush
Song details
Performer: Madhouse; Eric Leeds
First Released: 19 February 1991 - Times Squared album
Album(s): Times Squared
Writer(s): Prince
Producer(s): Prince
Live Appearances
First and last live appearance:
  • This track is not believed to have been performed live by Prince
Performed regularly on tour:
  • none
Performed occasionally in shows:
  • none

The Dopamine Rush (a.k.a. 23) is the eighth track on Eric Leeds’ first album Times Squared (on the CD release, seventh track on other formats). Around the time of the album’s release, The Dopamine Rush was available as the album’s first promotional release in the USA (with no commercial release).

The track is made up of portions of 21-24 (The Dopamine Rush Suite), an instrumental track recorded during sessions for Madhouse’s third album 24. The suite is made up of four pieces (21 (The Dopamine Rush), 22 (Amsterdam), 23 (Spanish Eros) and 24 (Orgasm)), but was intended as one continuous track. The original suite contains spoken parts in French by actress Mathilda May (on 21 (The Dopamine Rush)), in Dutch by model Anna Garcia (on 22 (Amsterdam)) and in Swedish and English, likely by engineer Heidi Hanschu (on 24 (Orgasm)). The last piece also includes various moans by Vanity lifted from the unreleased Vanity 6’ song Vibrator (also previously sampled on Seven and later on the similarly-titled Orgasm). The salsa-flavoured 23 (Spanish Eros) samples Apollonia speaking in Spanish lifted from Apollonia 6’s In A Spanish Villa. Only Mathilda May’s vocals were kept for the released version.

Basic tracking took place in late July 1988 at Townhouse Studios, London, England, while on the Lovesexy Tour. Prince worked on the track further between 23 and 25 August 1988 at Medley Studios in Copenhagen, Denmark, before Prince asked engineer Chuck Zwicky to extend the track by repeating the underlying drum pattern over four separate pieces. On 10 and 11 December 1988, Prince added further instrumentation and vocal samples, with Eric Leeds adding saxophone and flute on 11 December 1988 at Paisley Park Studios in Chanhassen, Minnesota. The track was included as the fifth and final track on the album 24, before the album was abandoned. In August 1989, Prince asked Eric Leeds to compile tracks from the vault for a third Madhouse album. A track was compiled by Eric Leeds using portions of 21 (The Dopamine Rush) and 24 (Orgasm), and, in keeping with previous Madhouse releases, tracks were given tentative numerical titles of 17 to 26 (the album would be titled 26) - this track was given the title of 23 as the seventh track on the album at the time. When Prince suggested the album should be released as a solo album by Eric Leeds, Leeds came up with titles for each track, in Spring 1990; this track became known as The Dopamine Rush and the album became known as Times Squared.

Recording Information
Recording Sessions
Date Studio Additional info
Late July 1988 Townhouse Studios,
London, England
23, 24 and 25 August 1988 Medley Studios,
Copenhagen, Denmark
Additional recording
10 December 1988 Paisley Park Studios,
Chanhassen, MN, USA
Additional recording and voice samples
11 December 1988 Paisley Park Studios,
Chanhassen, MN, USA
Additional recording and voice samples, saxophone and flute overdubs by Eric Leeds
August - September 1989 Paisley Park Studios,
Chanhassen, MN, USA
Editing and overdubs
Recording Personnel

The Dopamine Rush

21-24 (The Dopamine Rush Suite)

Released Versions
Title Length Released Version Additional info
The Dopamine Rush 7:36 Times Squared Studio
The Dopamine Rush (Edit) 4:05 The Dopamine Rush promo Edit

Sampled, Referred to, Quoted in...
Title Length Released Version Additional info
Uncle Sam 3:51 I’m Ready Studio Samples saxophone hook from The Dopamine Rush
Uncle Sam Studio Original unreleased 1992 version with Prince vocals; samples saxophone hook from The Dopamine Rush
Dance With The Devil Studio Samples Gregorian chant from 21-24 (The Dopamine Rush Suite)
Unreleased Versions
Title Version Additional Info
21-24 (The Dopamine Rush Suite) Studio Prince vocal version
21-24 (The Dopamine Rush Suite) Studio Full-length Madhouse suite
Additional Information

See also Trivia

  • This song uses the LinnDrum (a.k.a. LM-2), the successor of the Linn LM-1 usually utilized by Prince.
  • The intro melody appears to have a striking similarity with the intro of ‘Se E Tarde Me Pardoa (Forgive Me If I'm Late)’ by Quincy Jones, from his 1962 ‘Big Band Bossa Nova’ album. It is unknown if this is an intentional homage or a coincidence.

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