92: Sexuality

Controversy (1981)
Following a headliner is always tricky. When an album puts its best foot forward on track 1 should the following track step off and allow a less lofty peak to build? Or is it better to grab that momentum and ride the coattails in a glow of reflected glory? Sexuality chooses the latter and starts with the jolt of a licked battery. This energy can only last so long though and two-thirds of the way in there’s nothing left in the tank. The synths have nowhere to go and the lyrics become a live reading of a teen activist’s button badges. Like most attempted revolutions it peters out with a whimper but for two and a half minutes Sexuality is a battle cry for a sexually-liberated future. Uptown with less clothes. Two decades later Prince would change the lyrics and rename the track Spirituality In live performances. He also appropriated the chorus chant for his religious song Rainbow Children. As his spiritual views became more orthodox I imagine he felt he had to airbrush out his youthful depiction of the Second Coming as an orgy. Luckily it wasn’t possible to alter his back catalogue too otherwise he’d have to change the album title to No Longer Controversial.