Emancipation (album)

Emancipation (album)

Infobox Album | Name = Emancipation
Type = Album
Artist = Prince

Released = November 19, 1996
Recorded = 1994–1996
Genre = Pop, Rock, Funk
Length = 180:00
Label = NPG
Producer = Prince
Reviews = *Allmusic Rating|3.5|5 [http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=10:40rsa9ygu23d~T1 link]
*Robert Christgau (A-) [http://www.robertchristgau.com/get_artist.php?name=prince link] | Last album = "Chaos and Disorder"
This album = "Emancipation"
Next album = "Crystal Ball"

"Emancipation" is a 1996 triple-CD album by Prince (then known by his symbolic alias, see album art). The title refers to Prince's freedom from his contract with Warner Bros. Records, with whom he had a contentious relationship. The album was Prince's third to be released that year (along with "Chaos and Disorder" and "Girl 6"), making 1996 one of the most prolific years for material released by Prince.


"Emancipation" is somewhat of a concept album, celebrating his release from Warner Bros. as well as his marriage to Mayte Garcia, who became his wife on Valentine's Day earlier that year. With his newfound creative freedom, Prince experimented more openly with varying genres, including house, adult contemporary and blues. Prince also freely commented on his fame and dealings with Warner Bros. ("White Mansion"; "Slave"; "Face Down") while also returning slightly to the "computer" theme he explored a decade earlier ("Emale"; "My Computer".)

Expecting a child, Prince wrote several songs and ballads for Mayte, most of which appear on the second disc of the album. Unfortunately, the child, born after the album's release, suffered with Pfeiffer syndrome type 2, a rare skull disease, and died shortly after birth. Prince and Mayte divorced in 1999. A recording of the child's heartbeat is featured as part of the percussion of "Sex in the Summer".

"Emancipation" marked the first album in Prince's career to include cover versions of songs written by other songwriters; Prince stated that he wanted to cover songs in the past, but was advised against it by Warner Bros. Four such covers appeared on the album: "Betcha by Golly Wow!" (previously a hit for The Stylistics), "I Can't Make You Love Me" (previously a hit for Bonnie Raitt), "La-La (Means I Love You)" (previously a hit for The Delfonics), and "One of Us" (previously a hit for Joan Osborne). Notably, Prince changed the chorus of "One of Us" from "What if God was one of us / Just a slob like one of us" to "...Just a slave like one of us". [http://www.princelyrics.co.uk/viewarticle.asp?article=37] [http://princetext.tripod.com/r_emancipation.html]

The album is notable for its format: it consists of three discs, each containing 12 songs with nearly an hour of music per disc. Prince insinuated to the press at the time that the number of songs, discs and length of the album had a connection with the Egyptian pyramids. There was also an alleged connection with the symbolic moniker, with Prince explaining that this was the "album he was born to make". The lengthy liner notes are filled with quotes and hidden messages, along with images illustrating the songs and overall album concepts.


In the U.S., the album debuted at #11. Though not a major seller, it did sell over 500,000 copies, and being three discs, it was qualified to being certified double platinum (the RIAA certifies based on amount shipped rather than sold). The resulting Jam of the Year Tour was a major success (though ironically very few songs from "Emancipation" were included in the concerts), resulting in a significant comeback for Prince, after the commercial and critical disappointment of "Chaos and Disorder" from earlier that year.In all, "Emancipation" is the fourth best-selling triple album in the United States.

Track listing

Disc I

# "Jam of the Year" – 6:09
# "Right Back Here In My Arms" – 4:43
# "Somebody's Somebody" – 4:43
# "Get Yo Groove On" – 6:31
# "Courtin' Time" – 2:46
# "Betcha by Golly Wow!" – 3:31
# "We Gets Up" – 4:18
# "White Mansion" – 4:47
# "Damned if I Do" – 5:21
# "I Can't Make U Love Me" – 6:37
# "Mr. Happy – 4:46
# "In This Bed I Scream" – 5:40

Disc II

# "Sex In the Summer" – 5:57
# "One Kiss at a Time" – 4:41
# "Soul Sanctuary" – 4:41
# "Emale" – 3:38
# "Curious Child" – 2:57
# "Dreamin' About U" – 3:52
# "Joint 2 Joint" – 7:52
# "The Holy River" – 6:55
# "Let's Have a Baby" – 4:07
# "Saviour" – 5:48
# "The Plan" – 1:47
# "Friend, Lover, Sister, Mother/Wife" – 7:37

Disc III

# "Slave" – 4:51
# "New World" – 3:43
# "The Human Body" – 5:42
# "Face Down" – 3:17
# "La, La, La Means I Love U" – 3:59
# "Style" – 6:40
# "Sleep Around" – 7:42
# "Da, Da, Da" – 5:15
# "My Computer" – 4:37
# "One of Us" – 5:19
# "The Love We Make" – 4:39
# "Emancipation" – 4:12

ingles and Hot 100 positions

* "Betcha by Golly Wow!" (#31 U.S. Airplay, #10 US R&B Airplay, #11 UK, #20 Australia)
# "Betcha by Golly Wow!"
# "Right Back Here In My Arms"

* "The Holy River" (UK CD 1) (#58 US Airplay, #19 UK)
# "The Holy River (Radio Edit)"
# "Somebody's Somebody (Edit)"
# "Somebody's Somebody (Live Studio Mix)"
# "Somebody's Somebody (Ultrafantasy Edit)"

* "Somebody's Somebody" (Promo CD) (#15 US R&B Airplay, #19 UK)
# "Somebody's Somebody (Radio Edit)
# "Somebody's Somebody (Album Version)

External links

"Emancipation" [http://www.dtt-lyrics.com/albums/emancd1.html lyrics]

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