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For You, Warner Bros. Records (1978) For You © 1978, Warner Bros. Records
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For You

Warner Bros. Records

All of this and more is for you.

Prince was aged just 18 at time of the release of For You his debut album, thus making him the youngest all-in-one producer, composer and performer in the history of major music labels. Like many of his later albums Prince not only wrote, provided all vocals, but played all 27 instruments on this album. Albeit Patrice Rushen, who Prince fancied at that time, plays the keyboards on Baby. Rushen is famous for her 1982 hit single Forget Me Nots.

For You contains mostly re-recorded songs from earlier demos dating from 1976/7 and was the shortlist from the 20 tracks Prince had written to put on it. The album was recorded at Record Plant studios in Sausalito, northern California, between October and December 1977. It proved a tough period for Prince, spending three months in the studio which had been booked for one, it ran way over budget in result. Prince battled continuously with Tommy Vicari an experienced engineer Warner Brothers has sent to help executive produce the album. The outcome was a complex album, using every aspect of the studio, including laying an astonishing 46 vocal tracks into the opening song. The whole process left Prince exhausted and parted company with his manager Owen Husney soon after.

Selling 150,000 copies in the US, For You peaked on Billboard at number 163 (and 21 in the Black Album charts) and although this improved with his three subsequent albums, Prince did not find true chart success until his fifth album 1999. This was partly because Warner Brothers felt Prince and his band not polished enough to promote the debut album. His first tour, therefore, began with his second album, self-titled Prince as if to start over again.

Prince | For You
Photography by Robert Whitman

Cover story

Even from his debut album and aged just 19, Prince was calling the shots on how his image was going to be presented to the world. He arranged the photo shoot for his debut album’s cover with photographer Joe Giannettii himself. The photo session took place in California and Prince’s directions were clear, he would not smile and the photo must be as dark as possible and for his afro to blend into the background. His face is lit only by candlelight, and using a long exposure Giannettii produced a cover photo with striking results.

Performers

All Instruments
Prince
Keyboards
Patrice Rushen Baby

Data

Production
Prince and Tommy Vicari (uncredited)
Label
Warner Bros. Records
Distribution
Warner Bros. Records
Cover/Design
Joe Giannettii
Released
43 years, 0 months ago on 7 April 1978
Running Time
33:26
US Chart Peak
163
UK Chart Peak
Not charted
Prince Album
#1
Orig. Formats

Tracklist

  1. For You (1:06)
  2. In Love (3:38)
  3. Soft And Wet (3:01) 1 & 2
  4. Crazy You (2:17)
  5. Just As Long As We're Together (6:24) 1
  6. Baby (3:09)
  7. My Love Is Forever (4:09) 2
  8. So Blue (4:26)
  9. I'm Yours (5:01)

1 Released as singles.
2 Co-written with Chris Moon.

Singles from For You

Soft And Wet single from For You, Warner Bros Records (1978)

Soft And Wet

Warner Bros Records

Released
7 June 1978
US Chart Peak
92
UK Chart Peak
No Release
Format
  1. Soft And Wet (3:01)
  2. So Blue (4:26)
Just As Long As We're Together single from For You, Warner Bros. Records (1978)

Just As Long As We're Together

Warner Bros. Records

Released
21 November 1978
US Chart Peak
91
UK Chart Peak
No Release
Format
  1. Just As Long As We're Together [Edit] (3:25)
  2. In Love (3:38)

For You – review

Pop royalty is born and For You is an album that provides our young Prince a palace built on a solid foundation. For You also sets the familiar credit: produced, arranged, performed and composed by Prince – at the tender age of 19 at the time of its release. Still, all later sexual fascinations, frustrations and conquests are kept under wraps as Prince puts on his best behavior for this his first solo outing. For You – named after the title of the opening song – begins in a soft acapella then slides into to the funky but low key In Love. The gentile ballads continue, all sung in falsetto, safely picking up pace with Soft And Wet. The intent of For You is to serve and an introducer to Prince’s broad creative talent in song writing, musicianship, studio craft and vocals. This is not better demonstrated with I’m Yours which you not only get a perfect guitar track and a perfect drum track, but you then get vocals of matching quality. The standard of musicianship for a young artist given free range in the studio gives portent to the fantastic hits that was to come and produce some of the most memorable albums of the 1980s. The highlights are Soft And Wet and the indulgent Just As Long As We’re Together and for the latter, few jams has passed six minutes this confidently. You need to remember Prince was a teenager when he recorded these and this is his portfolio album. It seems all was ordained from this album that Prince was simply destined to become the artist with something – for you.

For You

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