Here’s a longer read I did on “Alphabet St.” for diffuser.fm a couple months back: http://diffuser.fm/prince-alphabet-street/
I’m all about Playful Prince. I’m also all about songs that hit it and quit it. Not to say the significantly longer album version of “Alphabet St.” isn’t dope (it absolutely is), but there’s something very cool about the economy of the single version. Then there’s Prince’s tasty guitar playing and the teasing vocal. There’s a Sly & The Family Stone “Hot Fun In The Summertime” vibe, only with a LOT more sex. Because that’s what Prince does.
I’ve read a ton of Prince bios over the years, and I think it’s kinda cute that the “Alphabet St.” video is kinda homespun. Apparently it was an especially snowy Minneapolis day, and Prince suddenly got the urge to shoot a video. So he found a local video production company that was willing to come out and shoot at Paisley Park, had some graphics superimposed over his song and dance (including a few strategically spelled out words/sentences, most notably “don’t buy ‘The Black Album’ I’m sorry”, and voila.
I hope this whole thing didn’t cost him more than a couple grand, because even by 1988 standards, this video is barely public access level. It’s still cool, though.
And shout out to Prince for rocking the polka dotted shirt a whole year before Kwame came out.
Now, jerk your body like a horny pony would!