Video: America

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1985: Paisley Park Music Videos
Music Videos
(Related Artists)
1986: Kiss

America music video selected snapshots

Music Video details

First aired: Week of 11 November 1985
Producer(s): Steve Fargnoli
Director: Prince
Related home video/DVD:
First (Commercially) Released: 28 July 2017


Date Institution, Country Award
This music video has not received any awards in the USA

America is a Prince and the Revolution video released for broadcast and to promote the single. It is the fourth live recording used for a Prince video, but the first live performance video shot at a show staged especially for the project. There have been no audio-only releases of this performance.

On a day off from filming Under The Cherry Moon (27 October 1985), Prince hired the Théâtre de Verdure in Nice, France and had it announced on local radio that 2,000 free tickets would be available for the shoot. Members of The Revolution, including Eric Leeds who was a Revolution regular by now, augmented by Eddie M. from Sheila E.’s band, were flown in for the shoot. The performance shows Prince wearing black pants with white buttons down the legs and a long overcoat. On his head he wears a red bandanna. By the end of the video Prince takes this coat off and is shown to be bare-chested. Band members are dressed predominantly in black and white.

From the outset Prince is playing the blue floral airbrushed Fender Telecaster guitar. Prince leads the band through the song as he would normally do with a live performance. By the end of the song he takes over the drums from Bobby Z., playing a beat that's somewhat reminiscnent of Tamborine.

The music of the video is that of the actual live performance, rather than overdubbed with a studio recording of the song. The only graphic element of the song is a forerunner of the Prince symbol, the amalgam of the male and female symbol incorporating the peace sign, presented diagonally beneath the word, 'PEACE', and projected on screen with Prince cueing 'Peace' for the song to begin. The stage is minimally dressed with two small face images in front of the drum kit. Above the stage is a red background with an arrangement of 8 white 5-pointed stars.

Shooting Information
Shooting Sessions
Date Location Additional info
27 October 1985 Théâtre de Verdure, Nice, France Live performance
  • Prince - director
  • Steve Fargnoli - producer
  • Karen Krattinger - road manager
  • Alan Leeds - road manager
  • Roy Bennett - lighting designer
  • Susan Rogers - sound supervisor
  • Rob Colby - sound engineer
  • Brad Marsh - sound engineer
  • Steve Fortney - sound engineer
  • Daniel Brisseau - sound consultant
  • Marc Sanfilippo - sound chief
  • Max Haas - sound designer
  • Daniel Beaudenuit - sound assistant
  • Pascal Harribay - sound assistant
  • Gary Stewart - mobile unit
  • Barry Sage - mobile unit
  • Larry Olden - mobile unit
  • Damien Lanfranchi - art director
  • Alain Choux - assistant art director
  • Bernard Harvey Langton - art department assistant
  • Peter Jacovich - art department assistant
  • Marie France Bernstein - costume desinger
  • Beth Sidla - costume coordinator
  • Robin Lynch - make-up
  • Michelle Buhler - make-up
  • Earl Jones - hair
  • Thierry Zemour - hair
  • Ray Bush - editor
  • Graham Cottle - production supervisor
  • Bernard Mazauric - production supervisor
  • Thierry Verrier - unit manager
  • Antoine Sabarros - location manager
  • Jean Yves Asselin - location manager
  • Frederic Bovis - location manager
  • Caroline Mazauric - casting coordinator
  • Patricia Starke - casting assistant
  • Barbara Allen - production coordinator
  • Francine Tailor - producer's assistant
  • Patricia Reid - production secretary
  • Chantal Cohen - accounting
  • Mark Allday - floor runner
  • Gilbert Davison - security (as per A. Maqueda)
  • Michel Cheyko - assistant director
  • Marc Jeny - 2nd assistant director
  • Michael Ferry - 2nd assistant director
  • Michael Ballhaus - director photography
  • Florian Ballhaus - assistant camera 1
  • David Dunlap - operator camera 2
  • Duncan Humphrey - assistant camera 2
  • Jack Steyn - operator camera 3
  • Anette Haellmeck - assistant camera 3
  • David Slama - operator camera 4
  • Reiner Kocher - assistant camera 4
  • Rachel Griffith - script supervisor
  • Jeff Katz - stills photographer
  • Sebastian Ballhaus - video operator (b/w)
  • Clive Lonsdale - video operator (col)
  • Morris Flam - gaffer
  • Jean Marie Lopez - best boy
  • Francois Delot - electrician
  • Gerard Adoux - electrician
  • Gerard Martin - electrician
  • Heinz Sottung - key grip
  • Heinz Pusl - grip
  • Anton Bratulic - grip
  • Jean Louis Di Vietri - grip
  • Joanna Campling - publicity
  • Nathalie Varallo - secretary

Released Versions
Title Length Released Version Additional info
America 9:56 Prince streaming video platforms (2017)

Released for sale as separate track on iTunes (2017)

full length version
Broadcasts/streaming (only)
Title Length Released Version Additional info
America 4:50 promo only edit, uncredited as such

Additional Information

See Also Quotation & triva

  • Two takes of America were shot that day as well as a rendition of Paisley Park that remains unreleased.
  • This is one of the rare videos released by Prince shot outside of the United States, the others being : Girls & Boys, Mountains, U Got The Look (also in France), The Continental (Japan),Chelsea Rodgers and The NPG’s Come On (UK), Te Amo Corazón (Morroco) and Somewhere Here On Earth (Czech Republic).
  • The performance of America was the first song of a mini concert. See here for details.
  • The peace symbol incorporated in the male/female symbol shown early in the video was later adopted in the stylizing of Sign O’ The Times as Sign “☮︎” The Times.
  • An interview with Prince, surrounded by some of the audience from the video shoot as well as Emmanuelle Sallet from Under The Cherry Moon cast was also recorded on this day.
  • The shooting was announced on local radio "Radio de la Côte", and a contest was organized for locals to win invitations for the shooting.
  • Invitation for the shooting:

Paisley Park
Music Videos (Prince) Music Videos (Related Artists) 1986