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iTunes Review

Though Prince invented the alluringly androgynous, tough, but sophisticated persona that would bring him to fame on 1980’s seminal Dirty Mind, Controversy was the album that saw Prince harnessing his classic song-writing skills and aggressively unorthodox production styles to the pointed lyrical acumen, at once bracingly political and sexually provocative, that would bring him adulation and derision in equal measures. The epic title track sets the mood with a refrain, “am I black or white, am I straight or gay,” that might serve as a neat summation of Prince’s provocative popular appeal. Though few of Controversy’s other cuts approach the jaw dropping grandiosity of the title track, the album as a whole is a tightly constructed package of slick dance floor oriented electro-funk. On the explosive "Let’s Work" Prince manages to squeeze all the innovations of post-funk outfits like Cameo and Zapp into a neat three minute package, while even the slight throwaway, “Ronnie Talk To Russia” sees Prince ambitiously experimenting with hellacious punk noise over a bubblegum pop melody. A dizzyingly eclectic masterpiece, Controversy marks a true turning point in Prince’s career.

Customer Reviews

Born To Controversy

This is a classic Prince album!!! The bass riff in Controversy never gets old!! And Do Me, Baby was the jam back in the day!!!

Nicely Done!!

I remember this when it came out in 1981. The album came with a poster of a wet Prince wearing a Speedo-like bathing suit in the shower and a crucifix hanging on the wall. I worked at a college radio station at the time and we hung the poster on the studio wall and defaced the album cover with claims of "Is this guy serious?" and lots of politically incorrect stuff. Someone finally got around to actually listening to the album. Somewhere among all of the 'grafitti' on that album cover and poster, someone wrote "This is actually good!". This is a solid effort from Prince. "Controversy" is probably the most popular song on the album and was a staple at our college parties. Listen and enjoy.

Great Album

I do not know much about reviewing an album, but just have to say that Controversy reminds me of great times in the early 80's.


Born: June 7, 1958 in Minneapolis, MN

Genre: R&B/Soul

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Few artists have created a body of work as rich and varied as Prince. During the '80s, he emerged as one of the most singular talents of the rock & roll era, capable of seamlessly tying together pop, funk, folk, and rock. Not only did he release a series of groundbreaking albums; he toured frequently, produced albums, wrote songs for many other artists, and recorded hundreds of songs that still lie unreleased in his vaults. With each album he released, Prince showed remarkable stylistic growth...
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