Graffiti Bridge (album)

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Graffiti Bridge
Prince's studio album


20th August 1990


Fall 1989 - February 1990

Label (s) Warner Bros. Records / Paisley Park Records

Format (s)

Compact disc , double album , MC

Genre (s)

Funk , pop , R&B , rock

Title (number)




occupation All songs were produced, arranged, composed and performed by Prince. The following people added to the recordings:
  • Atlanta Bliss - Trumpet in We Can Funk
  • Belita Woods, Garry Shider, Joseph Fiddler, Mike Harris, Pat Lewis, Sandra Dance, Steve Boyd, Tracey Lewis, William Payne - backing vocals in We Can Funk
  • Elisa Fiorillo - Ko-Singing in Love Machine
  • Eric Leeds - saxophone in We Can Funk
  • Jana Anderson - backing vocals in Shake!
  • Jerome Benton - backing vocals in Love Machine
  • Jerome Benton, Michael Koppelman, Robin Power, Tom Garneau - “Crowd Noise” in The Latest Fashion
  • Joseph “Amp” Fiddler - additional keyboard play in We Can Funk
  • Levi Seacer Jr., Tom Garneau - Choir mix in Still Would Stand All Time
  • Morris Day - drums in New Power Generation , vocals in Love Machine , backing vocals in Love Machine
  • Sheila E. - Backing vocals and drums in Graffiti Bridge
  • The Steeles - backing vocals in Melody Cool , chorus in Still Would Stand All Time
  • Arne Frager, Dave Friedlander, Femi Jiya, Levi Seacer Jr., Michael Koppelman, Susan Rogers, Tom Garneau - sound engineers
  • Prince, David Z., Keith Cohen, Michael Koppelman, Susan Rogers - mixdown
  • Mark Plati - Sound Engineer and Programming - in Round and Round
  • Coke Johnson - Sound Recording Assistant in Joy in Repetition
  • Larry Ferguson - Overdubs in We Can Funk
  • Howie Weinberg, Michael Koppelman - Mastering



Studio (s)

Electric Lady Studios ( New York City )
Mad Hatters Studio ( Los Angeles )
Paisley Park Studio ( Chanhassen )
Sunset Sound Recorders (Los Angeles)
United Sound Systems ( Detroit )

Graffiti Bridge Diamonds and Pearls
Single releases
17th July 1990 Thieves in the Temple
August 10, 1990 Melody cool
September 25, 1990 Round and Round
October 22, 1990 New power generation
Late 1990 Can't Stop This Feeling I Got
January 8, 1991 Shake!

Graffiti Bridge ( English for Graffiti Bridge is) the twelfth studio album by the US musician Prince . It was released on August 20, 1990 on the Warner Bros. Records / Paisley Park Records label and serves as the soundtrack for the film of the same name. Mavis Staples , Tevin Campbell and The Time will sing five of the seventeen songs on the album . Also act Candy Dulfer , Clare Fischer , George Clinton , Junior Vasquez , Rosie Gaines and Sheila E. as a guest musician on the album.

The music belongs to the genres R&B , dance , funk and pop music . The lyrics are mostly about God and sometimes have a spiritual touch. Music critics rated Graffiti Bridge mostly positive, the album achieved gold status in the USA and in some European countries. A tour for the album completed Prince not.


On the Graffiti Bridge album , Prince works with a number of guest singers, such as Robin Power and TC Ellis. Power's real name is Robin Herin and is an American singer who became famous for the US show Soul Train . TC Ellis, whose real name is David Ellis, was born in Minneapolis , Minnesota and is the brother of US singer Sue Ann Carwell, with whom Prince worked in the late 1970s. "TC" are the initials for " Twin Cities ".

Prince only wrote the four songs New Power Generation , New Power Generation (Pt. II) , Round and Round and Thieves in the Temple specifically for the album Graffiti Bridge . He had recorded the remaining 13 songs in previous years and revised them for Graffiti Bridge at the end of 1989 . Prince had already recorded the song Tick, Tick, Bang in 1981, the most recent recording Thieves in the Temple followed in February 1990; thus the album contains songs that originate from a period of ten years. For the first time, Prince worked with sound engineer Michael Koppelman, who had been a Prince fan since the album Purple Rain (1984) and worked on Prince albums from 1990 to 1994.

Tick, Tick, Bang Prince recorded in his then home studio, Kiowa Trail Home Studio, in Chanhassen , Minnesota, in the summer of 1981 , where he lived from April 1981 to January 1985. At the end of 1989 he revised the song in his Paisley Park studio and also wrote a new song text . Prince originally recorded the song Can't Stop This Feeling I Got in the summer of 1982, also at Kiowa Trail Home Studio, and he reworked this song for Graffiti Bridge at Paisley Park Studio in late 1989 . Prince composed the song We Can Funk on December 31, 1983 under the title We Can Fuck and recorded it at Sunset Sound Studio in Los Angeles , California. During the 1980s, he reworked the song several times and the version with George Clinton released on Graffiti Bridge was finally completed by Prince on January 12, 1990 at Paisley Park Studio. He added additional instrumental playing and sent the version to Clinton so that he could insert his vocal parts. Prince and Clinton never worked on the song together. Saxophonist Eric Leeds and trumpeter Atlanta Bliss added overdubs after Clinton sent the song back to Prince. We Can Funk also works with Wendy Melvoin , her brother Jonathan Melvoin , Lisa Coleman and her brother David Coleman, but Prince does not mention them in the liner notes .

Prince recorded the song The Question of U in July 1985 at the Washington Avenue Warehouse Studio in Minneapolis. Although he revised the song in 1987, the version released on Graffiti Bridge is the one from 1985. Joy in Repetition he recorded on July 17, 1986 at Sunset Sound Studio; it was one of seven songs that Prince originally recorded for the planned triple album Crystal Ball , but deleted from the tracklist. Melody Cool recorded Prince in the Paisley Park Studio in July 1987 and originally sang the song himself. In the original version, he describes the lyrics from the perspective of the third person. For example, he sings, "They call her Melody Cool" (Eng: "They call her Melody Cool"). At the end of 1989 Mavis Staples took over the lead vocals and describes the lyrics from a first-person perspective. Prince also recorded the theme song Graffiti Bridge in July 1987 at Paisley Park Studio. In late 1989 he reworked the song, and in early 1990 Clare Fischer added string overdubs at Mad Hatters Studio in Los Angeles .

Prince recorded the two songs Still Would Stand All Time and Elephants & Flowers on October 6, 1988 at Paisley Park Studio when he was on a three-day break from the Lovesexy Tour between concerts in Toronto (Canada) and Hampton (Virginia) . In the original version of Still Would Stand All Time , Prince also did the backing vocals , but in late 1989 / early 1990 the Steeles took over . Prince originally placed the song on the album Batman (1989), but eventually replaced it there with Scandalous . Still Would Stand All Time Prince played on aftershows during the Lovesexy Tour (1988), where he performed the song in falsetto and not, as on the album version, in normal voices. Prince sang the lyrics of Elephants & Flowers again in the fall of 1989 because he had a laryngitis during the recording in October 1988 . He also rewrote the lyrics in 1989.

The songs Release It , Love Machine , Shake! and The Latest Fashion recorded The Time at Prince's Paisley Park Studio between June and early September 1989. The songs were originally intended for The Time's fourth studio album Corporate World , which was due to be released on November 14, 1989 by Warner Bros. Records. But the label prevented the publication for reasons unknown to the public. Instead, The Time released the album Pandemonium at Warner in July 1990 . Candy Dulfer added saxophone overdubs to the song Love Machine in the summer of 1989. Prince recorded the song The Latest Fashion in early April 1987 in his then home studio Galpin Blvd Home Studio in Chanhassen and offered it to Dale Bozzio (* 1955), member of the band Missing Persons, in 1988 . But Bozzio declined the song and Prince reworked it for Corporate World . In late 1989, Prince drastically reworked it in his Paisley Park studio and borrowed the melody of the song My Summertime Thang , a piece The Time released on the album Pandemonium (1990). He wrote Release It and Love Machine with electric bassist Levi Seacer Jr. and Morris Day, front singer of The Time. Shake! wrote Prince with Morris Day.

Prince recorded New Power Generation , New Power Generation (Pt. II) and Round and Round in late 1989 at Paisley Park Studio. The song New Power Generation is based on the piece Bold Generation , which Prince composed in January 1982 and was posthumously placed on the album 1999 Deluxe (2019). He took over the drumming in Bold Generation from Morris Day in New Power Generation . In the spring of 1990, Junior Vasquez recorded a remix version of Round and Round , which Prince liked so much that he eventually released it on Graffiti Bridge . It was the first time in his career that Prince had someone else rework an entire album song.

The last song for Graffiti Bridge , Prince recorded Thieves in the Temple on February 11, 1990 at Paisley Park Studio , just before he began filming Graffiti Bridge . According to sound engineer Tom Garneau, the song was recorded "in a 30-hour marathon". Michael Koppelman worked for the first 15 hours, then Garneau recorded. Despite the non-stop work, "it was strangely pleasant to be part of this process," said Garneau. According to Koppelman, Prince shot a music video for Thieves in the Temple that night immediately after finishing the song .

With the album Graffiti Bridge Prince closed a musical chapter in his career; after the album was released, he formed a new backing band called The New Power Generation , which existed until his death in April 2016. Instead of writing and recording almost all songs single-handedly, as he usually did with his albums in the 1970s and 1980s, he involved his band members in the songwriting from 1991 onwards . In addition, the genres of rap and hip-hop increasingly influenced his music in the 1990s .

Design of the cover

The record cover was designed by Steve Parke (* 1963). Similar to the cover of the album Sign "☮" the Times (1987), only half of Prince's face can be seen on the right of the front cover of Graffiti Bridge . In addition, the head of Ingrid Chavez, who plays the leading female role in the film Graffiti Bridge, is shown in the top left . On the back there are photos of The Time front singer Morris Day and Jill Jones ', the track list is printed in yellow.

Parke said of the cover design, among other things: “For my skills at the time, the Graffiti Bridge album cover was really a showpiece. […] It was a bitches brew- style salute to the 1970s [published by Miles Davis in 1970 ], but much more poppy and commercial and not that dark. ”When Parke was finishing the album cover, he sat in with Levi Seacer Jr. Connection, guitarist in Prince's band at the time. Seacer suggested sending the cover to Prince and waiting for his opinion. Prince called Parke and said he wanted the cover for the Graffiti Bridge album . Parke was surprised: “I thought that the cover might serve as inspiration for further suggestions. But I never expected it to be the final album cover. ”He added a photo of Ingrid Chavez on the front and one of Morris Day on the back. Parke also took a picture of his wife, replaced the head with that of Jill Jones and also placed it on the back of the album cover.

The LP edition contains two portrait photos of Prince on the inner sleeve of the first LP on the front and back . On the inside of the second LP, the "Graffiti Bridge" is shown on the front, as seen in the film Graffiti Bridge . On the back of the inner sleeve, the songs and liner notes are printed and small photos of The Time , Tevin Campbell , Ingrid Chavez and George Clinton can be seen. The eight-page booklet of the CD edition also contains eight additional photos from the film Graffiti Bridge .


Candy Dulfer, 2010

Most of the songs on the album are influenced by the music genre Electro Funk , combined with synthesizers and drum computers . In addition, the four songs The Question of U , Elephants & Flowers , Joy in Repetition and Tick, Tick, Bang Prince's guitar play are in the foreground.

Can't Stop This Feeling I Got : The song comes from the music genres of rock music and pop music with rockabilly influences. The dominant instruments are electric guitar , electric bass and drums with a discreet synthesizer playing in the background. The piece has at times similarities to the Prince songs When You Were Mine (1980) and I Could Never Take the Place of Your Man (1987). The original version of Can't Stop This Feeling I Got from 1982 was posthumously placed on the album 1999 Deluxe (2019).

New Power Generation : The song comes from the genres of rock music and pop music with influences from funk and dance . The piece is based on a rhythmically played keyboard phrase and synthesizer bass line . Originally the song was called Bold Generation , which can also be heard on 1999 Deluxe .

Release It : The song is performed by The Time and is from the genres of funk and dance-pop . The drumming is a sample from the song Squib Cakes (1974) by the band Tower of Power , which Prince converted into a loop . Tower of Power does not mention Prince in the liner notes . Release It is arranged sparingly and Candy Dulfer added saxophone riffs on the coda .

The Question of U : The song comes from the genres of rock music and pop music with blues influences. The piece has no refrain and in the first section it has a melody as its theme , which Prince sings and then plays on the electric guitar. In the second section, the song focuses on harpsichord and flute playing with a classical touch . In addition, the bass drum increasingly comes to the fore and handclaps performed by Prince accompany the song.

Elephants & Flowers : The piece comes from the funk genre and has a hectic rhythm that comes from Prince's rough guitar , among other things. This sometimes makes the song reminiscent of a rock song.

Round and Round : Tevin Campbell takes over the main vocals . The song is the only one on the album that was mixed by Junior Vasquez . Round and Round is from the funk genre with influences from New Jack Swing . The arrangements are kept simple, a synthesizer bassline with high-pitched snare drums can be heard in the background . The song sounds monotonous because it is based on just one chord .

George Clinton, 2007

We Can Funk : Prince sings this funk song with George Clinton . The piece has a French horn and synthesizer hookline similar to that of Prince's song If I Was Your Girlfriend (1987). The instrumental part of We Can Funk consists of a mixture of live drums and Oberheim synthesizer lines from the original version from 1983, which can be found on the album Purple Rain Deluxe (2017). Prince also added a synthesizer bassline and brass instruments .

Joy in Repetition : The song is a slow piece from the genre of rock music, which is supported by synthesizer chords, which at times create a threatening mood. Joy in Repetition is based on three repeating chords, and Prince also added keyboard playing, rhythm guitar and percussion . The sparsely arranged piece ends with a restless guitar solo by Prince.

Love Machine : Similar to the song Release It , the piece belongs to the genre dance-pop and funk. The rhythm is based on the electronic pattern of a drum computer , supported by a rhythm guitar.

Tick, Tick, Bang : The drumming is sampled from the song Little Miss Lover (1967), which can be found on the album Axis: Bold as Love by Jimi Hendrix . The sample comes from a compact cassette in poor sound quality, because Prince couldn't find a better sound quality version on CD due to lack of time. Jimi Hendrix is ​​not mentioned by name in the liner notes. Tick, Tick, Bang has a similar structure to Elephants & Flowers , but consists of more live drums and handclaps. Prince also added keyboard motifs and guitar phrases.

Shake! : The song is performed by The Time and belongs to the genre dance-pop and funk. Shake! is a choppy dance number that is sometimes reminiscent of the songs Wooly Bully (1965) by Sam the Sham & the Pharaohs and 96 Tears (1966) by Question Mark & ​​the Mysterians .

Morris Day, 1996

Thieves in the Temple : The song comes from the genres of rock music and pop music. Written in minor , it sometimes has a dramatic mood, to which a dominantly used drum computer and reverberation effects contribute. Prince sings in a voice that looks full of anger, some of which was recorded on a multitrack recorder . The harmonica solo comes from the song I Can't Stand It (1967) by The Chambers Brothers , which Prince does not mention in the liner notes.

The Latest Fashion : The song is sung by Morris Day, lead singer of The Time, and Prince in a duet . The Latest Fashion comes from the funk genre and has a pounding beat that offers little variety in terms of rhythm and harmony . The melody took Prince from the song My Summertime Thang , the The Time on the album Pandemonium (1990) published.

Melody Cool : The song is sung by Mavis Staples and comes from the genres of rock and pop music, with a hint of blues. It is carried by a low-pitched synthesizer bassline . Prince added vocal samples and saxophone- like synthesizer figures . The snare drums have an unusual sound, similar to that of woodwind instruments .

Still Would Stand All Time : The song is a ballad that is sometimes reminiscent of an anthem , similar to The Ladder from the 1985 album Around the World in a Day . It begins with a gentle intro ; the singing performed by Prince is accompanied by restrained piano playing and creates a sad atmosphere. The finale consists of a powerful gospel choir , with Prince supported by the band The Steeles . Due to the common reverberation effect, the piece can sometimes appear overloaded.

Graffiti Bridge : The title song comes from the field of pop music and is sometimes reminiscent of a piece from a musical . Sheila E. plays the drums.

New Power Generation (Pt. II) : Basically the song consists of the repetition of New Power Generation , with additional vocals from Mavis Staples, Tevin Campbell and Robin Power. There is also a rap passage called True Confessions by T. C. Ellis, who also called his only studio album True Confessions (1991). It also includes samples of the until now unreleased Prince songs My Tree , sung by Mavis Staples, and Oobey Doop , sung by Elisa Fiorillo.

Lyrics and singing

The lyrics on the Graffiti Bridge album have a spiritual touch at times ; a leitmotif is Prince's search for and longing for love from God . He consistently uses the word "love" as a metaphor for "God". The song Elephants & Flowers is the only one on the entire album on which he explicitly mentions the word "God". Prince seems to argue on the album that love from God is the only source of human love; people are only able to love because God lives in them. The content of the lyrics is sometimes reminiscent of those on the album Lovesexy from 1988.

In addition to his characteristic falsetto singing , Prince also uses lower voices on the Graffiti Bridge album . He can also be heard in chanting . Moreover, are sporadic Rap -Passagen T. C. Ellis on the album to hear.

The first song Can't Stop This Feeling I Got begins with the intro spoken by Prince “Dear Father. Things haven't turned out quite the way I wanted them to. Sometimes I feel like I'm going to explode, ”followed by the sound of a bomb exploding. Then the music starts and Prince starts singing. Prince describes the “feeling” in the song title Can't Stop This Feeling I Got as “everlasting light”, although the lyrics are mostly concerned with negative effects; Prince cannot sleep at night and the doctor tells him there is nothing he can do about this condition. The original lyrics are from 1982 and were written by him as a love song, but he changed some words of the song to better fit the overall picture of the spiritual theme of Graffiti Bridge .

In the song New Power Generation , Prince reveals what concerns him most in life at the moment: "making love and making music". With the line of text "The only thing that stands in your way is yourself. Your outdated music and your old ideas" he alludes to music critics who accused him of dwindling creativity in real life. The term "New Power Generation" runs through Prince's musical career; he first mentioned him in the intro to the song Eye No on the album Lovesexy (1988). It was also The New Power Generation , the name of his backing band from 1991 to 2015. In addition, means to be founded by him in 1993 music label NPG Records , the "NPG" initials for "New Power Generation" are.

In the lyrics of The Question of U , Prince only asks himself questions. For example, he wrestles with the question of whether he should compromise his music in order to be more commercially successful. For him, however, this would be synonymous with “selling [his] soul”.

In the lyrics of Elephants & Flowers , Prince celebrates God; "The one who created everything: elephants and flowers". Prince also describes the effect and influence when God is unconditionally loved by people: confusion, tears, enemies, fear, sorrow and pain would go away.

The Round and Round lyrics, written by Prince and sung by Tevin Campbell , deal with the search for salvation , but "what we are looking for has not yet been found." The core message of the song is “acting instead of talking”, as can be heard in the chorus “nothing comes from talkers, except noises”.

In the song Joy in Repetition , Prince chronologically describes how a man visits a music club and leaves it with a woman. Swearing pimps cavort in front of the music club . "Poets and part-time singers" are present in the club. When the man joins the club, a live band has been playing a song called Soul Psychodelicide for four months , which is a year long. In real life, Prince Soul wrote Psychodelicide in July 1986 - released on Sign o 'the Times Deluxe album in 2020 - and reworked it with George Clinton in 1989 . The singer of the live band just repeats the two words "love me", which makes the man ecstatic. He pulls the woman off the stage and they run through the back door together into an alley. “What's your name,” he asks. But the woman again only replies "love me" and the story remains unsolved.

Kim Basinger, 1990

In the song Thieves in the Temple, Prince longs for God to intervene; "God, when you are there, save me from all this cold despair". Prince hopes God will give him the strength to endure. In addition, the actress Kim Basinger inspired him to write the lyrics; the two had an affair between 1989 and 1990 and the line of text “You and I could have been a work of art” seems to directly refer to the separation from Basinger.

Melody Cool's lyrics preach peace, harmony and unity. In one line of text, for example , Mavis Staples sings “If we pull together, everything will be Melody Cool”. Prince wrote the lyrics.

Still Would Stand All Time conveys Prince's belief that only salvation can save people from “dishonesty, anger, fear, jealousy and greed”. When people become one with God, time will cease to exist. The lyrics have a spiritual touch.

The Graffiti Bridge in the eponymous theme song describes Prince as "bridge of many colors." He is alluding to a rainbow as a symbol for a bridge between the present and the next world. Although Prince puts the lyrics emphasis on finding divine love, he is also concerned with love in the interpersonal area; for example he sings about the "love of a boy, the love of a girl, the love that comes from a warm heart in a cold world".

In the lyrics of the four songs Release It , Love Machine , Shake! and The Latest Fashion , all performed by The Time , lead singer Morris Day takes on the role of being dishonest, greedy, sex-obsessed and hedonistic . The songs contrast with Prince's more spiritual and more serious themes on Graffiti Bridge .

Release It lyrics are sung exclusively by The Time. Love Machine is performed by Elisa Fiorillo and Morris Day, with Fiorillo singing her part and Day speaking his part. Day takes on the role of "Love Machine" described in the title name, in which he offers a woman sexual satisfaction. The role implies that he is emotionally uninvolved and wants to have sex without love. Fiorillo had taken her husband's surname Dease (1966-2019) in real life and was a member of The New Power Generation from 2009 to 2014 . In the lyrics of Shake! The Time celebrates just partying and dancing. With “you got to shake something”, the song contains a line of text from U Gotta Shake Something , a song by Prince that he had written in 1985 and has not been released to this day.

The lyrics of The Latest Fashion deal with a musical competition between The Kid, played by Prince in the film, and Morris Day, who is the best singer in town. The Kid boasts that “nobody is as funky as me” and emphasizes that he is “still the king” and that Day with The Time is his “playground”. The Latest Fashion describes, among other things, a dance called "Murph Drag", which "only people who have money" can do. "Murph" is a slang expression for a heavy roll of money. The dance is named after the song Murph Drag from The Time's unreleased album Corporate World (1989). The Latest Fashion ends with a chant from Prince.

The two songs We Can Funk and Tick, Tick, Bang are explicitly about sexual issues; We Can Funk portrays the sexual attraction between a woman and a man who have just met. The man wants to go with her somewhere where they can have sex with each other. The title name Tick, Tick, Bang is used by Prince as a metaphor for a male orgasm . The lyrics are about a lustful man who is horny for a woman who gives him "great fun" and is considered a "sex bomb".

Title list and publications

No. song author length
01 Can't Stop This Feeling I Got Prince 4:24
02 New power generation Prince 3:39
03 Release It (lead vocals: The Time ) Prince, Levi Seacer Jr., Morris Day 3:54
04th The Question of U Prince 3:59
05 Elephants & Flowers Prince 3:54
06th Round and Round (lead vocals: Tevin Campbell ) Prince 3:55
07th We Can Funk (duet with George Clinton ) Prince 5:28
08th Joy in repetition Prince 4:53
09 Love Machine (lead vocals: Elisa Fiorillo and Morris Day) Prince, Levi Seacer Jr., Morris Day 3:34
010 Tick, tick, bang Prince 3:31
011 Shake! (Main vocals: The Time) Prince, Morris Day 4:01
012th Thieves in the Temple Prince 3:20
013th The Latest Fashion (duet with Morris Day) Prince, Morris Day 4:02
014th Melody Cool (lead vocals: Mavis Staples ) Prince 3:39
015th Still Would Stand All Time Prince 5:23
016 Graffiti Bridge ( Featuring : Mavis Staples and Tevin Campbell) Prince 3:51
017th New Power Generation (Pt. II) (Featuring: Mavis Staples, Tevin Campbell, TC Ellis, Robin Power) Prince 2:57

Graffiti Bridge was released in the UK on August 20, 1990, and the US a day later. The album is available on compact disc , as a double album and on compact cassette . At the time of Graffiti Bridge's release , Prince was still on his nude tour , which lasted until September 10, 1990. He had also not finished shooting the music film of the same name ; the film finally hit US theaters on November 1, 1990 and became a loss-making business. In addition, the film received some very negative reviews.

Single releases

Mavis Staples, 2007

Six singles were released from the album: Thieves in the Temple was released on July 17, 1990 and is identical to the album version. The B-side is the continuation of the single version at 1:41 minutes. Music critic Jon Bream from Prince's hometown of Minneapolis showed up about choosing the first single bit excited and said it was the "most unremarkable first single from a Prince album since Uptown by Dirty Mind from 1980."

The second single, Melody Cool , sung by Mavis Staples , was released on August 10, 1990 in the Netherlands. In the USA the single was only released on December 4, 1990. The single version is shortened to 3:16 minutes, the song Time Waits for No One from 1989, which is also sung by Staples and by, serves as the B-side Prince was written. Melody Cool was not released worldwide.

Round and Round , sung by Tevin Campbell , was released on September 25, 1990. As the B-side, the song can be heard in the soul dub version, which is 5:02 minutes long. The single was only released in England and the USA. The fourth single, New Power Generation, was released on October 22, 1990 in England, and one day later in the USA. The B-side is New Power Generation (Pt. II) and both versions are identical to the album version.

In late 1990, Can't Stop This Feeling I Got was released as the fifth single. The single was only released in the Philippines and is identical to the album version. The album version is also available on the B-side. The exact release date of the single cannot be proven with sources.

On January 8, 1991, Shake! , sung by The Time , released as the sixth single from Graffiti Bridge . The song The Latest Fashion serves as the B-side and both songs are identical to the respective album version. The single was only released in the USA.

Music videos

Prince during his nude tour in 1990

Prince produced four music videos based on Graffiti Bridge songs . The music video for Thieves in the Temple exists in the maxi version and is over eight minutes long, although often only the single version, which is shortened to the first four minutes, can be seen. The first four minutes consist mainly of film scenes from Graffiti Bridge as well as additional Prince dance scenes. In the second half of the music video, Prince sits in front of a screen that shows the film Graffiti Bridge and the lyrics to Thieves in the Temple . Prince dances with Robin Power and with a woman who is not known by name and who wears a motorcycle helmet. At the end of the video you can read a text on the screen with the title “Love - A thief's definition”. The video was directed by Craig Rice (* 1948), with whom Prince worked from 1983 to 1992.

There are three different music videos for the song New Power Generation ; all three videos contain slightly different footage from the film Graffiti Bridge , two versions can be heard in the album version and one in the Funky Weapon Remix . Backing singer Rosie Gaines is New Power Generation 's first star in a Prince music video.

The Round and Round music video is taken directly from the film Graffiti Bridge and shows Tevin Campbell singing and dancing to the song. Among the audience are Prince and Mavis Staples , who plays Campbell's mother in the film.

The Question of U was recorded as a live version of a Prince concert during the Nude Tour on August 31, 1990 in Tokyo, Japan in the Tokyo Dome . Prince first sits at the piano and sings the song. Then he gets up, stands on the piano and plays the guitar. Then he dances to the song. The music video is taken directly from the film special Live in Tokyo at the time, which was shown on Japanese television in 1990.

Cover versions

Occasionally musicians recorded cover versions of songs from the Graffiti Bridge album , for example the following:

  • Thieves in the Temple : Keff McCulloch (1991), The Classic Metropolitan Orchestra (1993), Herbie Hancock (1996), Christy Baron (2000), The Whaling City Sound Superband (2001), Renée Geyer (2003), Ulver featuring Siri Stranger (2007), Peter Götzmann's Jazz Hop Rhythm (2009)
  • The Question of U : The Classic Metropolitan Orchestra (1993), Bob Belden featuring Holly Cole (1994), Seela & Darwin (1998), The Margarets (2008), Pete Levin (2008)
  • Joy in Repetition : Dayna Kurtz (2004), Jacob Young (2008), Solvguttene featuring Hilde Marie Kjersem & Peder Kjellsby (2008), Keziah Jones (2017)
  • Melody Cool : The Classic Metropolitan Orchestra (1993)
  • New Power Generation : Dinosau (2008)



Some music critics rated the album Graffiti Bridge very positively, others were of the opinion that Prince had not set new standards in his music. Although Prince's sales were in decline, he was still viewed as a musical innovator and trendsetter . In the late 1980s he influenced musicians like Bobby Brown , George Michael , Lenny Kravitz , Paula Abdul , Red Hot Chili Peppers and Terence Trent D'Arby .

Paul Evans from the US music magazine Rolling Stone praised Graffiti Bridge and gave it almost the top grade with four and a half stars out of five. He described the album as a "tour de force, which Prince confirms once again as an extraordinary Pop- Picasso - an experimentalist who is so well received by the masses that his experiments really leave an impression". In addition, it is the work of a musician who "maintains his originality again" and does this "with the ease of a conqueror". Prince managed to "keep the listener consistently surprised and fascinated". Evans compared his guitar playing to that of Steve Cropper and Jimi Hendrix .

Greg Sandow from the US magazine Entertainment Weekly was also enthusiastic about Graffiti Bridge and gave it the top grade A + . He said the double album "seems to be a masterpiece". From the first song it was clear that Prince had created “something impressive and essential at the same time”. The stylistic range of the album Graffiti Bridge encompasses more than "most musicians in their entire life" have to offer. Alluding to the album's guest singers, Sandow wrote that Prince "can create a world so overwhelming that a song sung by someone else can still be his own."

Rick Mason of the US newspaper St. Paul Pioneer Press gave the highest number of four stars and wrote, "With the assurance of a master, Prince has once again established his reputation as one of the greatest pioneers of pop music with his new album Graffiti Bridge ". The album is an “artistic triumph” and “Funk-Rock-Groove” dives “deep into black musical roots”. Prince's production finesse combines "as always dynamic funk rock with dense, multi-structured arrangements". According to Mason, "Prince's genius and amazingly wide-ranging talent" is responsible for keeping the album together.

David Hiltbrand of the US news magazine Time said that "many songs" were "excellent" and "on the whole, Graffiti Bridge is a groovy feast of 17 songs, peppered with exotic dishes."

Gary Graff of the US daily Detroit Free Press was impressed by Graffiti Bridge and said that there were "17 equally excellent songs" on the album. Graffitti Bridge also “celebrates” Prince's work as a producer and songwriter for others, ”wrote Graff. In conclusion, he drew that the album was "a creative and commercially accessible masterpiece for Prince" that should be "a reference point for pop in the 1990s."

British entertainment magazine Q's Lloyd Bradley gave it four stars out of five and said it was “practically impossible to pick a song that didn't deserve to be on the album. How long has it been since something like this could honestly be said about a Prince album? "

Jon Pareles of The New York Times was more reluctant to praise, particularly criticizing Prince's lyrics: he was “not a deep thinker” and “when he doesn't sing about sex, his messages tend to be benevolent and mundane.” Pareles drew also a comparison to Prince's album Purple Rain from 1984. He came to the realization that Prince was "far less conventional than 1984" and that Graffiti Bridge "seizes the possibilities that did not exist for him with Purple Rain ." Prince is "meanwhile probably the most sought-after collaborator in the pop scene."

Stephen Thomas Erlewine from Allmusic gave three and a half stars out of five and wrote that despite the “cinema disaster”, “ Graffiti Bridge is not a bad album. In fact, it's often very good. ”In his opinion, the best songs on the album are Can't Stop This Feeling I Got , Release It , The Question of U , Elephants & Flowers , Round and Round , We Can Funk , Tick ​​Tick Bang and Thieves in the Temple .

The American rock critic Robert Christgau awarded the album a B + , with A + being the best possible award. Among other things, he wrote that Prince would "definitely cheat". Christgau complained that "half the album" was not from Prince and was sometimes "just weak". In his opinion, Graffiti Bridge is half a "great The Time album".

The music critics David Wilson and John Alroy gave two and a half stars out of five and were of the opinion that although there was "a bunch of really good music" on the album, it would seem "incoherent". "About half" of the album songs would be performed by guest musicians, with only Tevin Campbell convincing with the song Round and Round ; the other guest contributions are "without a climax". The songs Prince sung Elephants & Flowers , Joy in Repetition , Tick ​​Tick Bang and Still Would Stand All Time described Wilson and Alroy as "terrific" - the songs The Question of U and Graffiti Bridge, however, as "unbearable".

Music critic Nelson George made fun of Prince. In 1990, he wrote in the US weekly newspaper The Village Voice that it was “amusing to hear Prince sing and Morris Day drumming on a song called New Power Generation . New? The boys are both over 30! "

Music journalist Josef Woodard from the jazz magazine Down Beat was disappointed with Graffiti Bridge . Alluding to the opener Can't Stop This Feeling I Got , in which an exploding bomb can be heard, he wrote: "The problem is, this Prince album won't ignite". Graffiti Bridge “does not excite” and is not a “revelation”, which “we expect from him because of his past albums”. This year's Prince project sounds like "a sparkling something from last year that is slightly out of date and outdated".

Prince himself was disappointed that his lyrics and the messages they contained did not get the attention that his music did. Overall, he was satisfied with the Graffiti Bridge album and told the US music magazine Rolling Stone that the songs " Thieves in the Temple and Tick, Tick, Bang sound like nothing I've ever done before."

After Prince's death in April 2016, the music journalists Albert Koch and Thomas Weiland from the German music magazine Musikexpress reviewed the album Batman and gave it four out of six stars. Among other things, they wrote: "The dance jams are consistently successful and the song quality leaves nothing to be desired , especially with Melody Cool or Round And Round ".

Charts and awards

ChartsChart placements Top ranking Weeks
Germany (GfK) Germany (GfK) 4th (14 weeks) 14th
Austria (Ö3) Austria (Ö3) 8th (9 weeks) 9
Switzerland (IFPI) Switzerland (IFPI) 2 (9 weeks) 9
United Kingdom (OCC) United Kingdom (OCC) 1 (1) (8 weeks) 8th
United States (Billboard) United States (Billboard) 6th (24 weeks) 24

Graffiti Bridge has sold approximately two million copies worldwide, including about 750,000 in the United States. The sales figures were roughly similar to those of the album Lovesexy from 1988. (Status: 2004) Graffiti Bridge has been awarded gold status several times internationally:

  • UK: August 21, 1990: 1 × gold for 100,000 copies sold
  • CA: October 31, 1990: 1 × gold for 50,000 copies sold
  • US: November 1, 1990: 1 × gold for 500,000 copies sold
  • CH: 1990: 1 × gold for 25,000 copies sold
  • FR: 1990: 1 × gold for 100,000 copies sold
year Title
Top ranking, total weeks, awardChart placementsChart placements
(Year, title, album , rankings, weeks, awards, notes)
1990 Thieves in the Temple DE21 (12 weeks)
- CH12 (8 weeks)
UK7 (6 weeks)

(13 weeks)US
• US: October 2, 1990: Gold (500,000+)
Melody Cool (lead vocals: Mavis Staples ) - ATnvAT CHnvCH UKnvUK -
• Only decoupled in Germany, the Netherlands and the USA
Round and Round (lead vocals: Tevin Campbell ) DEnvDE ATnvAT CHnvCH - US12th

(29 weeks)US
• Only decoupled in UK, USA and New Zealand
• US: May 24, 1991: Gold (500,000+)
New power generation - - - UK26 (4 weeks)
US64 (5 weeks)
Can't Stop This Feeling I Got DEnvDE ATnvAT CHnvCH UKnvUK USnvUS
• Only decoupled in the Philippines
1991 Shake! (Main vocals: The Time ) DEnvDE ATnvAT CHnvCH UKnvUK -
• Only decoupled in the USA
  • Melody Cool was ranked 41st in the Netherlands and Round and Round in New Zealand 14th as the highest position


  • Alex Hahn: Obsessed - Prince's turbulent life . Hannibal Verlag, Höfen 2016, ISBN 978-3-85445-610-0 .
  • Arthur Lizie: Prince FAQ: All That's Left to Know About the Purple Reign. Backbeat Books, Guilford (Connecticut) 2020, ISBN 978-1-61713-670-2 .
  • Jake Brown: Prince in the Studio (1975-1995). Colossus Books, Phoenix 2010, ISBN 978-0-9790976-6-9 .
  • Jason Draper: Prince - Life & Times (Revised & Updated Edition). Chartwell Books, New York 2016, ISBN 978-0-7858-3497-7 .
  • Jon Ewing: Prince - CD Books : Carlton Books, Rastatt 1994, ISBN 3-8118-3986-1 .
  • Jürgen Seibold : Prince. Verlagsunion Erich Pabel-Arthur Moewig, Rastatt 1991, ISBN 3-8118-3078-3 .
  • Liz Jones: Slave to the Rhythm - The Artist Formerly Known As Prince. Warner Books, Little Brown and Company 1997, ISBN 0-7515-2393-3 .
  • Matt Thorne: Prince. Faber and Faber, London 2012, ISBN 978-0-571-27349-2 .
  • Ronin Ro: Prince - Inside the Music and the Masks. St. Martin's Press, New York 2011, ISBN 978-0-312-38300-8 .
  • Uptown: The Vault - The Definitive Guide to the Musical World of Prince. Nilsen Publishing, Linköping 2004, ISBN 91-631-5482-X .

Web links

Individual evidence

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  2. Uptown (2004), p. 109.
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