Whenever I think of Lovesexy, I do not think of the album. I always immediately think of Lovesexy, the tour. I went two nights in a row in Atlanta, Georgia at The Omni on Oct. 13 & 14 of 1988. Lovesexy became the bar that I judged every Prince tour ever since. My first Prince tour experience was 1999 in Birmingham, Alabama at the age of twelve (Thank you, Mama, for letting me go, and thanks to my Aunt Net and Uncle Carl for taking me.) I am super jealous of anyone who had the opportunity to see him during the Controversy or Dirty Mind tours, but I would have only been ten:( I always wish I had been born a decade earlier just so I could have experienced these tours. My second Prince tour was for Purple Rain in Atlanta in January of 1995 also at The Omni. The Lovesexy tour was awfully important to me most notably because it seemed as though 4 decades had passed since I had seen Prince live even though it had been only 4 years. He hadn’t toured the states for ATWIAD, Parade, nor SOTT, so I was feenin’ to see Prince live again.
What was so special about this tour? First of all, the band. Sheila E. on a full drumkit was mind-blowing to witness. I had seen her open for Prince for the Purple Rain tour with her timbales setup and glowing drum sticks, but this was totally different. Boni Boyer on keys and vox was heavenly. The addition of Cat created mad energy on stage, and Eric Leeds & Atlanta Bliss together were a match made in heaven. Then, there was the stage–in the round–which I had never experienced before in my limited concert exposure at that point, and seeing Prince being truly mobile on stage was a treat. However, what was more phenomenal than the stage setup were Prince, Sheila, and Cat’s clothes adorned with letters and color blocking. Being a budding graphic designer I realized that design was everywhere. I often say everything I learned about design I learned from Prince, and this Prince period really cemented this for me. And don’t forget about Prince’s hair at this time. I loved how he rocked his long, curly locks–one of the reasons why “Alphabet Street” is one of my most beloved Prince videos to this day.
As for the album, if I only had one day to live, and I could only listen to one Prince album, Lovesexy would NOT be the one. In fact, if I had to choose between Lovesexy, which was released in place of the Black Album originally, I’d choose the Black Album every time. Whenever I want to listen to a song from the Lovesexy period, the first thing I listen to is the 12″ of “I Wish You Heaven.” I listen to Scarlet Pussy, and then I flip it over and listen to Parts 1, 2 & 3 of “I Wish U Heaven.” If I still need more Lovesexy songs I follow up with “Alphabet Street,” “Anna Stesia,” “Positivity,” or “Dance On.” However, when I want to listen to the Black Album, I want to listen to the Black Album in its entirety from start to finish. I still get goose bumps listening to “Cindy C.”, after hearing this literally hundreds of times. “Bob George” is the song that I knew Prince always wanted to record as Prince, as previously he would cloak his humor through tunes like “Tricky” by making it into a Time production. “Superfunkycalifragisexy” is a beast of song with that guitar chicken grease. There are no words that can even being to describe how amazing “Rockhard in a Funky Place” sounds with the beautiful Susannah on background vocals. In retrospect, I do find this kind of ironic being that Lovesexy was originally released as one single 45:07 track, when I wish that the Black Album would have been since it is sequenced so perfectly.
So for me, Lovesexy is more than an album. It is the tour. It is Prince’s image. It is the album that should have come out instead of Lovesexy at the time, The Black Album.
However, the one thing that is unforgettable about Lovesexy is the album cover… NO ONE will ever forget that cover… you know the one I speak of;) It is forever emblazoned on the retinas of Prince fans everywhere.