Tuesday, August 21, 2018

"America" by Prince & the Revolution

Song#:  2503
Date:  10/19/1985
Debut:  70
Peak:  46
Weeks:  7
Genre:  R&B, Funk

Pop Bits:  Prince's album Around the World in a Day would be his second to hit #1 on the Pop chart thanks to two Top 10 hits including the #2 "Raspberry Beret." The LP was a purposely less-commercial effort than his blockbuster Purple Rain soundtrack, so the fact that it generated two hits and went double-platinum wasn't a bad result. To try and keep interest in the album going, it was decided that this third single would be issued out. The more funk-oriented track with its pointed lyrics about the state of the US at the time wasn't an airwaves winner and it stalled before it could reach the Pop Top 40. It was a minor entry on the R&B chart as well getting to #35. The song would be the last single released from the album in the US.

ReduxReview:  I'm not sure why this song was chosen for single release over the more radio-friendly "Paisley Park." My guess is that since "Paisley Park" didn't do all that great overseas (see below), it was worth a shot to issue out "America" instead. It didn't work out. This just isn't a single-worthy track. However, with the album not boasting a booty of commercial fare, this was about the only track left that could be pushed out. I think "Paisley Park" would have done a little better, but neither were hits waiting to happen.

ReduxRating:  4/10

Trivia:  Double Shot!  1) In Europe and other countries, this song was not issued as a single. Instead, the track "Paisley Park" would be released. For many countries it actually served as the LP's first single including the UK where it reached #18.  2) Prince recorded this song with his band the Revolution. When it was recorded, the song turned into a jam session that kept going on and on with various band members doing solos. They played the song for so long that the actual recording tape ran out after the 21 minute mark. Of course, the song was edited way down to an album version that was around 3:40, but the full jam version was made available on the 12" vinyl version of the single.


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