So, by some weird twist, I was listening to some Cyndi Lauper before I started on Dirty Mind. I must have had it somewhere in the deepest recesses of my brain that ‘When You Were Mine’ was a Prince cover because the moment it began it felt like a ridiculous piece of deja vu. It’s also probably the least sexual of the album… something that I was half-expecting when beginning my first listen, but I am not sure if anything could really have prepared me for ‘Head’.
Going from the other three Prince albums I have listened to over the course of the last few years (and the episode of How Did This Get Made about Under the Cherry Moon), I thought I would know how sexual he could be on a project. Nope, very much not. Then again, I guess the album art with him looking down for anything should have been a real clue. Listening to this and just how much joy he is finding in carnal pleasures just feels so at odds with the Prince I grew up with who had very much gone down the Jehovah’s Witness line.
At a scant 30 minutes in length, Dirty Mind completely sidesteps the issue I had with Sign O The Times in that I am able to enjoy a number of replays of this and really get to know the songs. Like I am in no way saying that Sign O The Times had a filler problem as it certainly didn’t, but in the time I play that album once I could have been nearing the end of my third play of Dirty Mind – probably around the time I am having to gear up for another listen of his incest song… which I really could have done without.
Incest aside (a phrase I hope I never have to use again), Dirty Mind is a great album that celebrates sexuality that is somehow the most straightforward of his albums that I have listened to whilst he still hops between genres. Like I will probably not listen to ‘Sister’ on a further listen because of the topic, but the rest is a brilliant mix of funk, soul, pop and most of the other genres he will have had to play with in 1980.