Flashback: Prince Showers for Controversy

Published September 21, 2012

While leafing through the August 1981 issue of Interview, a valid Friday morning activity if ever there was, we came across this rather suggestive advertisement featuring Prince in his skivvies. What, we wondered, was Prince trying to sell us: Showers? A waterproof crucifix? High-cut mankinis? Moustaches? Grindr’s pre-app and smartphone predecessor? Upon closer inspection, it seems that Prince was selling us himself:

“Prince decided he’d better act fast. MINNEAPOLIS was no place for a photogenic child genius with one name and more music than modesty. He got his tapes to LA and WARNER BROS. signed him. By 17, he’d produced, arranged, and recorded his first hit album. Now old enough to drink in some states, he’s famed for tunes like “I Wanna Be Your Lover,” “Head,” “Dirty Minds” and assorted kinky outrage. Catch Prince and his bikini on his new album, Controversy.”

You’ll be happy to know that Controversy did indeed break the Billboard 200, peaking at the respectable 21st spot.