Prince Puckers Up for the 35th Anniversary of Parade
Welcome to Thirstory, where we whet your appetite with pages from the Interview archive that were almost too hot to print. 35 years ago, the late, great Prince unleashed his album Parade, which featured the hit single “Kiss,” to the world. To commemorate the record’s milestone anniversary, we’re making it (purple) rain with the singer’s legendary past features.
A musical fact almost as devilish as Lil Nas X sliding to the depths of hell to perform a lap dance on Satan’s lap? Prince’s “Kiss” almost never saw the light of day. According to one of the song’s original producers, David Z, the late singer’s record label, was appalled when the single was submitted for review in 1985. As Z told SOS, “It was so different to everything else out there that the Warner Brothers executives freaked out when they first heard it. I was going to get credit as the producer, arranger, everything, but when I talked to the Warner’s A&R guy he said, ‘Oh man, Prince really screwed up. It sucks.’” While we can’t imagine anyone having the gumption to deliver a blow like “It sucks” to the artist’s face, in true Prince fashion, he persevered—not only including the song on his eighth studio album, but also making “Kiss” its lead single. That album, aptly titled Parade, was just that: a procession of 12 songs that scream and shout the genre-bending magic of the singular artist. On the 35th anniversary of the album’s release, it’s difficult to envision a Prince repertoire without the album. By 1986, when Parade was released, Prince’s previous records had sold millions of copies globally and just a year prior, he took home the trophy for Best Original Song for “Purple Rain” at the 57th Academy Awards. While the label seemed to doubt his abilities at the time, it’s also the same one that had placed a paid ad in the Interview pages to promote Prince’s 1981 album Controversy, featuring an image of the singer in a shower wearing nothing but skivvies and a crucifix at his back. Our lesson of the day? Never. Question. Prince.