(Photo by Leni Sinclair/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)
40 years ago today, Warner Bros. released the debut album from Prince, For You.
Only 19 years old, Prince produced, arranged, and composed all the songs, sang all the lead and background vocals, and played all the instruments. While the album wasn’t a commercial success, it included Prince’s debut single, “Soft and Wet,” which hit #12 on the Billboard Hot Soul Singles chart, and set the stage for the explosive career to follow.
Prince started recording in September 1977 at Sound 80 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where he had previously made a demo recording. Friend and producer David Rivkin (later known as David Z) provided advice and engineering assistance. Rivkin was being considered for the role of executive producer, but Warner Bros instead chose Tommy Vicari, known for his work with Carlos Santana, one of Prince's heroes. Vicari was disappointed with Studio 80 and suggested taking the project to a studio in Los Angeles that was better equipped. Prince's manager Owen Husney balked; he was worried that Prince would get distracted by the nightlife in Los Angeles. The Record Plant in Sausalito, California, was chosen as a compromise location.