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From Dirty Mind to Diamonds and Pearls: Remember Prince’s Classic Albums

After Prince’s passing on April 21, 2016, SPIN writers revisited their favorite Prince albums. Read their essays on Dirty MindControversyPurple RainParadeSign o’ the Times, and Diamonds and Pearls below.


Dirty Mind (1980)

“Prince’s third was absolutely his boldest record, caught just before he became truly self-conscious of his power, which was unmistakably there just a year later on the headlines-festooned Controversy.” Read the full piece here.


Controversy (1981)

“The mind-f**k of the title track aside, Controversy remains Prince’s queerest album: “Am I straight or gay,” fine, but are you rock or funk?” Read the full piece here.


Purple Rain (1984)


“The color purple became a feeling, a shared experience in 1984. Despite the three decades of platitudes and the creative ambition that warrants them, it’s worth noting that very rarely does Purple Rain feel overwrought with any sense of forced gravitas.” Read the full piece here.


Parade (1986)


“In relating Parade’s mystifying and thoroughly incomplete story, Prince actually told us more about himself than on any previous album.” Read the full piece here.


Sign o’ the Times (1987)


“Prince never f**ked with the patriarchy, instead helping me realize I wield power solely because I am a woman. Vanity and Apollonia were his creations, yes, but they were strong and sexual and fun.” Read the full piece here.


Diamonds and Pearls (1991)


“It’s a fascinating document of an artist “keeping up with the times” while pushing his own individual creativity forward — independent of what was considered fashionable.” Read the full piece here.

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