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Around The World In A Day, Warner Bros. Records (1985) Around The World In A Day © 1985, Warner Bros. Records
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Singles Review (4.5 / 5) Prince Biography Prince Albums

Around The World In A Day

Warner Bros. Records

Prince had grown so tired touring Purple Rain, even during that tour he started on his next album, resolved to create one in polar opposite musical style to its predecessor. In result, the reception of Around The World In A Day divided critics.

You know how easy it would have been to open Around The World In A Day with a guitar solo that’s on the end of Let’s Go Crazy? That would have shut everybody up who said the album wasn’t half as powerful.

In May 1984 Prince found larger premises both to record and conduct tour rehearsals, as well as establish a recording studio, at an industrial unit at 9025 Flying Cloud Drive, Eden Prairie, Minneapolis. From June and through to Christmas Eve 1984, he set to work here to lay down Around The World In A Day, even mixing some of the album in a mobile recording studio on days off during the Purple Rain promotional tour. Despite Around The World In A Day being the second album co-credited to Prince and the Revolution, the full band only perform on three tracks: America, Pop Life and The Ladder – Prince largely recording the album alone. Around The World In A Day was released on 22 April 1985, barely two weeks after the final date of the tour.

Around The World In A Day was the first album to be released under Prince’s newly created label Paisley Park Records – albeit a subsidiary of Warner Brothers, it was funded out of the proceeds of the success with the Purple Rain movie, soundtrack album and supporting tour. Prince and the Revolution was previously working on another album, Roadhouse Garden, but with its material sounding to similar to Purple Rain Prince abandoned the project and took a very different tack for the band’s second album, opting for a psychedelic slant. Because of this, Prince was much criticised, both for abandoning his black roots and the fans and critics alike who hoped for a continuation to the previous album’s rock and gusto.

Around The World In A Day | Prince & the Revolution
Photography by Paul Natkin

In contrast to the rawness of Purple Rain, Around The World In A Day follows spiritual and political themes, and is therefore considered less accessible than Prince’s previous albums. It also adopts a reflective tone, with Pop Life, The Ladder and Condition Of The Heart. Although reception was polarised, coming off the back of Purple Rain, it sold 2 million copies in the USA, and on 2 July 1985 certified double Platinum by the RIAA. It topped Billboard’s Top 40 albums chart and remained in that list for six months, largely due to the inclusion of Raspberry Beret which peaked at number 2 in the singles chart. The album’s other notable tracks are America and Pop Life but it has since become a fan favourite. Due to the extent of the Purple Rain tour, 4 November 1984 to 7 April 1985, Prince decided not to schedule a new tour for Around The World In A Day

While the writing of the title track and The Ladder are credited to Prince’s father John Lewis Nelson, Prince did write both songs, as did all others on the album, but gave his father writing credit in order to provide him a financial income.

Cover story

Around The World In A Day (full artwork) | Prince
Around The World In A Day full artwork (by Doug Henders)

Tired of having pictures of himself on the covers of his albums, Prince wrote a list detailing 16 elements that were to be incorporated into the artwork of Around The World In A Day, arguably producing Prince’s most eclectic album sleeve. The requirements included various references to its lyrics: an image of silent movie era actress Clara Bow; a juggling clown; a ladder rising out of a pool of water and leading to a cloud; a blue sky full of clouds; a black baby waving an American flag; doves; an exotic woman wearing a raspberry beret; olive skinned people wearing robes; a Russian fighter jet; a lace-wearing woman with red hair eating an ice cream; an old black man crying; a young white woman crying; a field of violets; a young smiling girl sat on a see-saw; and representations of the band the Revolution. Other unlisted elements were also included in the finished design, such as a puppy (believed to be Prince’s dog at that time) and a woman playing a violin. Graphic artist Jim Warren came up with an initial concept but Prince settled on Doug Henders – a jobbing artist employed also as a carpenter on the Purple Rain Tour who also designed the eyes artwork for the Purple Rain album. Warren’s logo was however used, a boy holding a balloon bearing the title of the album, which was overprinted on the final artwork.

The Revolution

Vocals/Guitar
Prince
Drums
Bobby Z.
Guitar
Wendy Melvoin
Keyboards
Matt "Dr." Fink
Lisa Coleman
Bass Guitar
Brownmark
Vocals
Susannah Melvoin
Percussion
Shelia E.
Saxophone
Eric Leeds

Data

Production
Prince & the Revolution
Label
Paisley Park Records
Distribution
Warner Bros. Records
Cover/Design
Doug Henders and Jim Warren
Released
36 years, 0 months ago on 22 April 1985
Running Time
42:35
US Chart Peak
1
UK Chart Peak
5
Prince Album
#7
Orig. Formats

Tracklist

  1. Around The World In A Day (3:45) 2
  2. Paisley Park (4:41) 1
  3. Condition Of The Heart (6:46)
  4. Raspberry Beret (3:31) 1
  5. Tambourine (2:46)
  6. America (3:40) 1
  7. Pop Life (3:42) 1
  8. The Ladder [feat. Taja Sevelle] (5:26) 3
  9. Temptation (8:21)

1 Released as singles.
2 Co-written with John L. Nelson and David Coleman.
3 Co-written with John L. Nelson (Prince gave writing credit to his father despite having no involvement in the song's creation, this was to give his father financial support).

Singles from Around The World In A Day

Raspberry Beret single from Around The World In A Day, Paisley Park Records (1985)

Raspberry Beret

Paisley Park Records

Released
15 May 1985
US Chart Peak
2
UK Chart Peak
7
Format
  1. Raspberry Beret (3:31)
  2. She's Always In My Hair (3:27)
Raspberry Beret [Maxi Single] single from Around The World In A Day, Paisley Park Records (1985)

Raspberry Beret [Maxi Single]

Paisley Park Records

Released
19 June 1985
US Chart Peak
2
UK Chart Peak
7
Format
  1. Raspberry Beret [New Mix] (6:34)
  2. Hello [Extended Remix] (6:23)
Paisley Park single from Around The World In A Day, Paisley Park Records (1985)

Paisley Park

Paisley Park Records

Released
24 May 1985
US Chart Peak
No Release
UK Chart Peak
18
Format
  1. Paisley Park (4:41)
  2. She's Always In My Hair (3:27)
Paisley Park [Maxi Single] single from Around The World In A Day, Paisley Park Records (1985)

Paisley Park [Maxi Single]

Paisley Park Records

Released
24 May 1985
US Chart Peak
No Release
UK Chart Peak
18
Format
  1. Paisley Park (4:41)
  2. She's Always In My Hair (3:27)
  3. Paisley Park [Remix] (6:53)
Pop Life single from Around The World In A Day, Paisley Park Records (1985)

Pop Life

Paisley Park Records

Released
10 July 1985
US Chart Peak
7
UK Chart Peak
60
Format
  1. Pop Life (3:42)
  2. Hello [feat. Jill Jones] (3:23)
Pop Life [Maxi Single] single from Around The World In A Day, Paisley Park Records (1985)

Pop Life [Maxi Single]

Paisley Park Records

Released
31 July 1985
US Chart Peak
5
UK Chart Peak
60
Format
  1. Pop Life [Fresh Dance Mix] (6:16)
  2. Hello [Fresh Dance Mix] (6:38)
America single from Around The World In A Day, Paisley Park Records (1985)

America

Paisley Park Records

Released
2 October 1985
US Chart Peak
46
UK Chart Peak
No Release
Format
  1. America (3:40)
  2. Girl (3:51)
America [Maxi Single] single from Around The World In A Day, Paisley Park Records (1985)

America [Maxi Single]

Paisley Park Records

Released
2 October 1985
US Chart Peak
46
UK Chart Peak
No Release
Format
  1. America (21:46)
  2. Girl [Extended Version] (7:35)

Around The World In A Day – review

What better way to upset the world (and record execs) by following up one of the biggest-selling albums in history with one sounding the polar opposite. Imagine the scenario, it’s 1984 and I’ve listened to one of the greatest rock albums of all time, once 1985 turns I put on its follow-up and the first sound I hear is a trippy whistle. At the time of release, Around The World In A Day stirred very mixed feelings, which is to be expected for the follow up to what is undoubtedly the most recognised album in popular culture. Looking back with today’s eyes, and ears, we have the full catalogue and context where to rank Around The World In A Day in Prince’s catalogue. Anyone who follows Prince knows his typical trait to change direction like the wind and was something fans learned to come to terms with. Indeed the predictability of Prince’s unpredictably became one of the main reasons they followed him, since his musical diversity could steer to any direction he saw fit. At times his experimentation could be more miss than hit (Exhibit A: 2003’s Xpectation) but give credit where it’s due, since the aftermath of creating the most lauded album for a generation, Prince changed formula and went psychedelic with Around The World In A Day. From the title track, though disjointed for the first few listens, the album grows and becomes a mainstay and ever more cohesive over time. Around The World In A Day is essentially a vanity project on which Prince created in protest to himself, and sings about his newly created record label with the motoring Paisley Park to then slow it all down with the sweeping Condition Of The Heart. Around The World In A Day is a much overlooked album owing to the fact it is noteworthy for just one song, but one of his most famous tracks nevertheless, Raspberry Beret – a song about a dreamy store clerk taking his nameless date to a field of horses (cheap date). It stands out because it returns the listener to familiar territory. Yet that is not the album’s best track, this honour goes to Condition Of The Heart and only slightly behind is the worthy The Ladder (co-written with his dad). The album has bite too, with the hard-edged America and Temptation plus the rolling Pop Life (complete with sampling recalling the boos from his time as support act for The Rolling Stones). A job seriously well done, Around The World In A Day is a veritable follow up to Purple Rain, yet it comes with warning: the steps you take are no easy road, but the reward is great for those who want to go. It may not be as well recognised at its predecessor but it’s far more creative. Once it takes root, you know how foolish it is to write this off as any less as good.

Around The World In A Day

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