|Studio album by|
|Released||October 13, 1992|
|Recorded||September 11, 1990; May 12, 1991; September 18, 1991 - March 1992; July 1992|
|Label||Paisley Park, Warner Bros.|
|Producer||Prince and the New Power Generation|
Cover without the symbol
|Singles from Love Symbol Album|
Love Symbol is the fourteenth studio album by American recording artist Prince, and the second of two that featured his backing band the New Power Generation. It was released on October 13, 1992 by Paisley Park Records and Warner Bros. Records. It was originally conceived as a "fantasy rock soap opera" with various spoken segues throughout (with its storyline becoming the basis for the direct-to-video film 3 Chains o' Gold), and contains elements of R&B, pop, soul, funk, and rock styles.
The official title of the album is an unpronounceable symbol depicted on its cover art, which was copyrighted by Prince under the title "Love Symbol #2", and adopted as his stage name from 1993 to 2001 due to his given name being trademarked by Warner Bros. Records. Hence, the album is referred to as the Love Symbol Album, or alternatively, Love Symbol, Symbol Album, or Symbol.
Its first two singles, "Sexy MF" and "My Name Is Prince", achieved modest success on the US pop chart, though both made the top ten in the United Kingdom. Conversely, the third single, "7", was not as successful in the United Kingdom, but was a top ten hit in the United States.
An early configuration of the album contained as many as eight segues as well as an intro. Together, they explained the album's storyline: An Egyptian princess (played by Mayte Garcia, in her debut on a Prince album) falls in love with a rock star (Prince) and entrusts him with a religious artifact, the Three Chains of Turin (or Three Chains o' Gold) during her escape from seven assassins, as referenced in hit single "7". However, in a last-minute attempt to add an additional song ("I Wanna Melt with U", which was originally considered to be a B-side to the "7" maxi single, and which contains several sampled sounds also present in "7"), most of the segues had to be cut for album length. The few that remained were somewhat confusing in context. The unreleased segues have been bootlegged since. Garcia would become Prince's wife in 1996.
On the released album, the segues featuring Kirstie Alley as reporter Vanessa Bartholomew are mostly kept intact. In them, she attempts to interview Prince but fails; at first, he hangs up when being told he is being recorded, but in a later segue, Prince gives nonsense answers to Vanessa's requests. A few lines in which Vanessa inquires about the Three Chains of Turin was edited out of the final version.
3 Chains o' Gold, a direct-to-video film produced and directed by Prince, was released in 1994. The film is based on the storyline and songs of the Love Symbol Album and contains some of the original segues which were planned to be on the album.
|Christgau's Consumer Guide||A-|
|Los Angeles Times|||
|The Rolling Stone Album Guide|||
|Spin Alternative Record Guide||7/10|
The Love Symbol Album was voted the 14th best record of 1992 in the Pazz & Jop, an annual poll of American critics nationwide, published by The Village Voice.Robert Christgau, the poll's creator, later wrote of the album: "Designed to prove his utter inexhaustibility in the wake of Diamonds and Pearls, by some stroke of commerce his best-selling album since Purple Rain, this absurdly designated 'rock soap opera' (is he serious? is he ever? is he ever not?) proves mainly that he's got the funk."
|1.||"My Name Is Prince" (Prince, Tony M.)||6:36|
|2.||"Sexy MF" (Prince, Tony M., Levi Seacer, Jr.)||5:25|
|3.||"Love 2 the 9's"||5:45|
|4.||"The Morning Papers"||3:57|
|8.||"? Wanna Melt with U"||3:50|
|13.||"The Flow" (Prince, Tony M.)||2:26|
|14.||"7" (Prince, Lowell Fulson, Jimmy McCracklin)||5:13|
|15.||"And God Created Woman"||3:18|
|16.||"3 Chains o' Gold"||6:03|
|18.||"The Sacrifice of Victor"||5:41|
Several editions of this album were released. Early pressings of the album featured an embossed gold love symbol on the jewel case, sometimes matte, sometimes glossy. Later editions feature it printed on the booklet or not present at all. A Special Limited Edition Gold Box CD was released with a purple love symbol engraved in the golden box. One boxed set came with a bonus "Sexy MF" CD single, another with a specially-created CD single of "My Name Is Prince" mixes.
Below is the early version of the album with all the original segues. Also, "The Sacrifice of Victor" is slightly longer on the early configuration.
Prince and The New Power Generation
|Australian Albums (ARIA)||1|
|Austrian Albums (Ö3 Austria)||1|
|Dutch Albums (Album Top 100)||6|
|German Albums (Offizielle Top 100)||5|
|New Zealand Albums (RMNZ)||4|
|Norwegian Albums (VG-lista)||10|
|Swedish Albums (Sverigetopplistan)||10|
|Swiss Albums (Schweizer Hitparade)||4|
|UK Albums (OCC)||1|
|US Billboard 200||5|
|US Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums (Billboard)||8|
|Austria (IFPI Austria)||Gold||25,000*|
|Switzerland (IFPI Switzerland)||Gold||25,000^|
|United Kingdom (BPI)||Platinum||300,000^|
*sales figures based on certification alone