I'm fairly savvy, music-wise. So when my boss brought in a vinyl copy of Prince's self-titled 1979 sophomore album, I was familiar with the cover, a weird, Glamour Shots-esque photo of a shirtless Prince staring wistfully out at you, as if he were peering into your very soul and making sweet love to it. You know, this one:
It's a little unsettling, but what about Prince isn't? It's part of the experience. It's like not liking the Pope cuz he's Catholic. I mean, sure, Prince is more than a little creepy in a "sexually ambiguous dude in a pirate shirt, slouch boots and a Speedo," type of way, but dang! he makes some fine music. Seriously, "1999"? "Little Red Corvette"? "Raspberry Beret"? "Kiss"? And don't even get me started on "Purple Rain." That song is freaking brilliant.
Anyway, so as mind-blowing hilarious/amazing as the cover is, the real treat comes when you flip it over. You're greeted by this gem:
Yes, that is Prince, naked, riding a white pegasus in a field somewhere, probably somewhere in Middle Earth or Narnia or something. THAT JUST HAPPENED! I mean, can you imagine coordinating that shoot? To be all, "Um, Prince, the oversized purple blazer, neck bandanna and turquoise jodhpurs just aren't working. Can we try one with you, I dunno, naked riding the horse? Just to see what it looks like?" And didn't that hurt his, you know, "stuff" to be riding, I dunno, bareback like that (pun intended)?
But the crazy part of this is just how not crazy it ends up being. It's just so ... Prince-ish, isn't it? After the initial shock, you're just sitting there going "Yeah, okay. That makes sense." It perfectly fits in with the Prince brand: mildly ridiculous, but so assured that somehow, improbably, it works. Maybe a little too well.
So yeah, Prince riding naked on a pegasus = pretty rad. You heard it here first.