Prince – 3121 (2006)

3121 (pronounced “thirty-one twenty-one”) is the thirty-first studio album by American recording artist Prince. It was released on March 21, 2006. 3121 was released by NPG Records and distributed, under a “1-Album Deal”, by Universal Music.
The album’s first single, “Te Amo Corazón“, was released in the United States on December 13, 2005, and debuted at number 20 on the VH1 countdown; the second single, “Black Sweat“, was released on February 2, 2006.
The title of the album was believed to be a reference to the address of Prince’s rented Los Angeles mansion. A lawsuit filed against Prince by the landlord (NBA player Carlos Boozer) indicates an entirely different address (1235 Sierra Alta Way). However, Prince has repeatedly referred to the property as “3121”; indeed, the lawsuit alleges he painted 3121 on the exterior of the property, and the album’s liner notes indicate that it was “recorded at Paisley Park Studios and 3121.”
According to another explanation the album’s title refers to a verse in the Bible (Psalm 31:21). “Blessed be Jehovah (God/Yahweh), For he has rendered wonderful loving-kindness to me in a city under stress.” Prince made a reference to this during a performance of the title track on the 2006 BET Awards; “Where’s the real party at? Shake your tambourines! BET read Psalms; that’s where it is.”
A further explanation reveals that 3121 refers to the album being Prince’s 31st release and the release date being the 21st.
Album sessions started in November 2004 with the recording of the song “3121” with Michael Bland and Sonny T.
Ostensibly inspired by the 1964 children’s novel Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Prince included a limited number of “purple tickets” with the album. Lucky winners who found tickets were flown in from Europe, Asia, Mexico and the US to attend a semi-private performance (along with a long list of celebrities) at Prince’s home in Los Angeles.
3121 reinforced Prince’s big comeback after the release of 2004’s Musicology. It became the first Prince album ever to debut at number 1.

Tracklist

1. “3121” – 4:31
2. “Lolita” – 4:06
3. “Te Amo Corazón” – 3:35
4. “Black Sweat” – 3:12
5. “Incense and Candles” – 4:04
6. “Love” – 5:45
7. “Satisfied” – 2:50
8. “Fury” – 4:02
9. “The Word” – 4:11
10. “Beautiful, Loved and Blessed” (featuring Támar) – 5:43
11. “The Dance” – 5:20
12. “Get On the Boat” – 6:18

All tracks written by Prince, except where noted.

Personnel

  • Michael Bland (on “3121”), Cora Coleman Dunham (on “Te Amo Corazón”, “Get On the Boat”) – drums
  • Sonny T (on “3121”), Joshua Dunham (on “Te Amo Corazón”, “Get On the Boat”) – bass
  • Maceo Parker, Candy Dulfer, Greg Boyer and Ray – horn section
  • Herbert Urena, Ricky Salas (on “Te Amo Corazón”), Sheila E. (on “Get On the Boat”) – percussion
  • Clare Fischer – string arrangements
  • The New Power Generation (shouts), Támar (and co-lead on “Beautiful, Loved and Blessed”) – additional and backing vocals
  • Prince – all other instruments and voices
Technical

Notes
Released: March 21, 2006
Recorded: November 2004 – 2005, Studio 3121 and Paisley Park
Genre: R&B, funk, rock, electronica
Length: 53:42

Label – NPG, Universal Records

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