Prince - 1999 - 1982

Introduction to Prince's "1999" (1982)

Prince's "1999" is a seminal track released in 1982, showcasing the artist's unique blend of funk, rock, and new wave. This song not only marked a pivotal moment in Prince's career but also in the evolution of popular music. Let's delve into the background, themes, and impact of "1999".

Background of the Song

  1. Prince Rogers Nelson, known simply as Prince, was a multi-talented musician known for his eclectic work.
  2. The song "1999" was released as a title track for the album of the same name.
  3. It was written during the Cold War era, reflecting the anxieties of a potential nuclear apocalypse.

Musical Composition and Style

  1. "1999" is known for its blend of funk, rock, and new wave.
  2. The song features synthesizers, drum machines, and distinctive vocal harmonies.
  3. Prince's use of the Linn LM-1 drum machine was particularly innovative at the time.

Themes and Lyrics

  1. The lyrics of "1999" express a desire to party and enjoy life in the face of potential doom.
  2. It reflects the tensions of its time, particularly the fear of nuclear war.
  3. The song's chorus, "Party like it's 1999," became a popular phrase, symbolizing a carefree, live-for-the-moment attitude.

Impact and Legacy

  1. "1999" was a critical and commercial success, helping to solidify Prince's status as a music icon.
  2. The song has been covered and sampled by numerous artists, indicating its lasting influence.
  3. Its themes of celebration in the face of uncertainty remain relevant, resonating with audiences across generations.

Interactive Tasks

Quiz: Questions on the song

What year was "1999" released? (1982) (!1983) (!1980) (!1985)

Which genre does "1999" primarily belong to? (Funk) (!Rock) (!Jazz) (!Blues)

What instrument was prominently used in "1999"? (Linn LM-1 drum machine) (!Electric guitar) (!Saxophone) (!Piano)

What was a major theme of "1999"? (Celebration in the face of doom) (!Romantic love) (!Political protest) (!Personal freedom)

How did "1999" impact Prince's career? (It solidified his status as a music icon) (!It was his first ever release) (!It marked the end of his career) (!It was a commercial failure)

Quiz: Questions on the Performer

What is Prince's full birth name? (Prince Rogers Nelson) (!Prince Michael Jackson) (!Prince Raymond Jones) (!Prince David Bowie)

In which city was Prince born? (Minneapolis, Minnesota) (!New York City, New York) (!Los Angeles, California) (!Chicago, Illinois)

Which instrument was Prince NOT known for playing? (Trumpet) (!Guitar) (!Piano) (!Drums)

What was unique about Prince's approach to his albums? (He often played all the instruments) (!He only used live recordings) (!He never used synthesizers) (!He recorded exclusively in one take)

Which of the following genres did Prince NOT typically incorporate into his music? (Country) (!Funk) (!Rock) (!New wave)

Quiz: Questions on the lyrics

What is the opening line of "1999"? ("Don't worry, I won't hurt you") (!"I was dreaming when I wrote this") (!"Tonight we're going to party") (!"The sky was all purple")

Which phrase became iconic from the song "1999"? ("Party like it's 1999") (!"Dance the night away") (!"Live like there's no tomorrow") (!"Sing until the morning")

What does the song "1999" primarily talk about? (Enjoying life in the face of doom) (!Falling in love) (!Political change) (!Personal struggles)

In "1999," Prince sings about which impending event? (A potential nuclear apocalypse) (!An alien invasion) (!The turn of the millennium) (!A massive party)

Which of the following is NOT a theme of "1999"? (Social justice) (!Celebration) (!Uncertainty) (!Enjoyment)


Prince's Full Name Prince Rogers Nelson
Year of Release 1982
Key Instrument Linn LM-1 drum machine
Main Genre Funk
Iconic Phrase "Party like it's 1999"

Open Tasks


  1. Explore Music Genres: Listen to different funk, rock, and new wave tracks. Compare them to "1999" and note the similarities and differences.
  2. Create a Playlist: Compile a playlist of songs that share themes with "1999".
  3. Research the Era: Investigate the cultural and political climate of the early 1980s, focusing on how it may have influenced the song's themes.


  1. Write a Review: Write a review of "1999", discussing its musical style, themes, and cultural impact.
  2. Analyze the Lyrics: Perform a detailed analysis of the lyrics of "1999", exploring its themes and Prince's message.
  3. Music and Technology: Research the Linn LM-1 drum machine and its influence on music production in the 1980s.


  1. Create a Cover Version: Record your own cover of "1999", experimenting with different instruments or styles.
  2. Examine Prince's Influence: Write an essay on how Prince's work, particularly "1999", has influenced modern artists.
  3. Design Album Art: Design a new album cover for "1999" that captures the essence of the song and its era.

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Oral Exam

  1. Discuss Prince's Musical Style: How does "1999" exemplify Prince's fusion of different musical genres?
  2. Impact of the Cold War on Music: Discuss how the Cold War era influenced the themes in "1999" and other contemporary songs.
  3. The Evolution of Music Production: Analyze how the use of technology in songs like "1999" impacted the evolution of music production.
  4. Lyrics and Societal Context: How do the lyrics of "1999" reflect the societal fears and aspirations of its time?
  5. Prince's Legacy: Discuss the long-term impact of Prince's work on the music industry and popular culture.

OERs on the Topic


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