May 1985: Prince Releases "Paisley Park"

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Three years before Prince turned fantasy into non-fiction with the opening of his mystical Paisley Park Studios, "Paisley Park" was the title of a fanciful song Prince had recorded for his seventh record Around The World In A Day.

Its lyrics painted the following image: "There is a park that is known/ For the face it attracts/ Colorful people whose hair/ On one side is swept back/ The smile on their faces/ It speaks of profound inner peace." 

"Paisley Park is in your heart," Prince sang, as he fed the myth that would materialize into one of music's most majestic recording studios, a ten-million-dollar business headquarters and personal sanctuary for Prince in Chanhassen, Minnesota, by 1987.

Before the place - where Prince tested his creative ideas, performed spontaneous concerts and threw parties - was the utopian song, and before the 1985 song were some unofficial nicknames. "Paisley Park" was already the name of an unreleased instrumental as well as the name Prince used to refer to his rehearsal space (Minnesota's Flying Cloud Drive Warehouse) in 1984. 

Apart from the actual Paisley Park, the song bore an inherent sadness to it, whether derived from Novi Novog playing minor notes on the violin or the tune's melancholy verses. The official music video for the song depicted a happier mantra, featuring a reel of smiling, dancing children. Perhaps the true beauty of Paisley Park lies in its ability to adapt itself to both the fact and fiction of Prince's imagination. 

The funky, synth-pop song emerged as the second track on Prince's Around The World In A Day, the second album by Prince and the Revolution. The song was released in May 1985 as the album's first single in the UK, Europe and Australia, while "Raspberry Beret" was unveiled instead in North America and Japan. "Paisley Park" would hit Top 40 in all its European markets. 

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 With the arrival of her self-titled debut album on Valentine's Day in 1985, 21-year-old Whitney Houston emerged into the spotlight with a ten-track ticket to stardom.

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The music legend brought out the lighter side of the Prince of Darkness.
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The multi-part series will feature unseen footage and a contextual lens on the music.
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