is a 1986 song by Prince
and the Revolution
, from the album Parade
. "Kiss" started as a short acoustic
demo, about a minute in length, with one verse
and the chorus
. Prince gave the song to the funk
for their debut album
. Mazarati and producer David Z.
drastically reworked the song, giving it its unique raw funk and oddly effective stripped-down minimalist
sound. When Mazarati delivered the song to Prince, he was amazed at their work and decided to take back the song for himself. He replaced their lead vocal, added the guitar
break in the chorus and edited the song to its present form.
Mazarati were credited for their backing vocals, which Prince left intact. He added the song at the last minute to Parade. Despite Warner Bros. not wanting to release it as a single, "Kiss" became Prince's third number-one U.S. hit following 1984's highly successful "When Doves Cry" and "Let's Go Crazy". It was also a big hit across the Atlantic, reaching #6 on the UK Singles Chart. The song won Prince another Grammy Award for Best R&B Vocal Performance by a Duo or Group, and was nominated for Best R&B Song. The song has become a staple at Prince's concerts and is usually sung partially by the audience.
The 12" single of the song is an extension of the album track. The extended section is based on the funky guitar line and contains much fuller instrumentation than the main track, including bass, keys and horns. New lyrics are present from Prince with Jill Jones that end with a humorous dialogue between a wife and her husband watching Prince on television. The B-side of "Kiss" was the funky "♥ or $" ("Love or Money"), sung in a processed, higher-pitched vocal, which Prince would later use for his Camille material. The song relates to the theme in Under the Cherry Moon, and a bit of the song was heard in the film, as was a bit of the extended version of "Kiss". The extended "Kiss" was included on 2006's Ultimate, but "♥ or $" has oddly never been re-released.
On the United World Chart, "Kiss" spent two weeks at the top spot knocking Whitney Houston's huge hit "How Will I Know" to number two until it went back to number one.
- Art of Noise performed a cover of the song two years later, in 1988, featuring Tom Jones on vocals. The song became the band's biggest hit to that point, reaching #5 on the UK Singles Chart, higher than the original in that country. The guitar and horns break in the middle of this cover musically references the themes to Dragnet and Peter Gunn (two songs the Art of Noise covered with much commercial success) as well as their own breakthrough hit, "Close (To the Edit)". This cover was later included as part of an episode of the series Listed on Much More Music, which was on the Top 20 cover songs.
- The song was covered in bossa nova style by Italian group Nossa Alma Canta on the 2008 album I Was Made For Bossa.
- The song was released as the first single from WWIII lead singer, Mandy Lion's 2008 album.
Live cover performances, parodies, etc.
- The song was performed by Alicia Keys, Gwen Stefani, and Missy Elliot at an awards show in 2003.
- Comedian Rodney Carrington performed his rendition of "Kiss" on his live CD, Hangin' With Rodney. He then proceeded to sing a "country version" of "Kiss".
- Dannii Minogue performed her own version, with minor lyric changes, at a gay club.
Appearances in other media
A recording of Dannii Minogue's cover - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s3a7g-78A8c