ANOTHER POST FOR OUR “THROWBACK THURSDAY” SEGMENT, VIDEO VAULT! ON SELECT THURSDAYS, WE DISCUSS OUR FAVORITE MUSIC VIDEOS THROUGH THE AGES.
For this Throwback Thursday, I thought we’d celebrate the 35th anniversary of Prince’s Around the World in a Day by revisiting the album’s hit single “Raspberry Beret.” A strangely innocent song for the otherwise scandalous and seductive musician, it came right after the implementation of parental advisory warnings, for which Prince’s song “Darling Nikki” was the cause. The lyrics feature a hat-wearing hipster and her lazy teenage love interest, with Prince’s famous Minneapolis sound providing the soundtrack to their eventual sexcapade. It’s creative and light with a definite tilt towards pop, the string instruments, finger cymbals, and harmonica blending in a unique way.
The music video, released about a month after the single in June 1985, is a true representation of the decade and of the artist himself. Fun and upbeat, it’s filled with vibrant backgrounds, dancing, and colorful costumes. Much like the song, the video was reworked and remade. In the end, Prince directed, choreographed, and eventually edited it himself, piecing together Drew Takahashi’s animations with the performance footage. The result won Best Video at the 6th Annual Minnesota Music Awards and Best Choreography in a Video at the MTV Video Music Awards.
The performance by Prince is entertaining, including the familiar faces of The Revolution. And if you watch closely, you can also catch appearances from actress Jackie Swanson and guitarist Pat Smear, who later played with Nirvana and Foo Fighters.
Fun fact: Prince’s coughing fit in the beginning was a widely debated aspect of the video by fans and media outlets. As his jokes and euphemisms were well known, many jumped on the unusual addition, wondering what it could possibly mean. It was said that the coughing added a certain funkiness to the video and Prince later admitted, “I just did it to be sick, to do something no one else would do.”
You can watch “Raspberry Beret” below, and if you still haven’t had enough Prince or are curious to learn more about his music, be sure to check out Prince’s Sign ‘O’ the Times by Michaelangelo Matos for an in-depth look at his 9th album.