The band Mazarati, which was formed by Prince's bass player Brown Mark and signed to his Paisley Park record label, asked Prince for a song for their debut album, so he took a break from his Parade sessions and dashed off a minute-long bluesy acoustic demo for them on a mini tape recorder. Mazarati and producer David Z re-worked the song, giving it an irresistible funk groove. When he heard it, Prince was smart enough to take the song right back. He replaced their lead vocal, added the guitar break in the chorus and included it as a last-minute addition to his Parade album.
Brown Mark was persuaded by Prince to let him record the song in return for a writer's credit resulting in a big payday for him. He recalled to Uncut: "I thought that sounded like a good deal. I spread the bad news to Maserati, who were pretty angry. In the end, I didn't even get paid for it. He totally stiffed me. I quit the band shortly after that. He treated me so bad, but I don't care. He gave me a ton of opportunities, so I look at the good things."
Listen to the backing vocals on this song - they feature Mazarati's keyboard player Marvin Gunn ("Marr Starr") and guitarist Tony Christian (born Bruce DeShazer), who sang as The Wild Pair on Paula Abdul's hit "Opposites Attract
On the week "Kiss" hit #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, the #2 hit was also a song written by Prince, the Bangles' "Manic Monday
"Kiss" reached #1 in Australia as well.
Tom Jones had a hit single (#5 in UK, #31 in the US) when covering this song with Art Of Noise in 1988. Tom Jones' son, who was also his manager, advised him to cover this Prince track to make him more contemporary.
Jones sang it on the Jonathan Ross Last Resort TV show. After seeing the performance, the Art Of Noise asked him to sing on their own version.
This song isn't the only connection between Prince and Tom Jones - they share a birthday: June 7th.
Prince won the 1986 Grammy Award for Best Rhythm & Blues Vocal Performance for this song.
Prince threw in a very '80s reference in the line, "You don't have to watch Dynasty to have an attitude." Dynasty was a popular American TV show that ran from 1981-1989, and featured characters with big egos living lavish lifestyles. The show had a lot of aggressive female characters, which might be why Prince used it in the song.
This song appears in the 2006 animated film Happy Feet, where it is sung by the penguin Norma Jean, voiced by Nicole Kidman. At first, Prince refused to allow the song to be used in the film, but he changed his mind after seeing some of the footage. In Prince's version, he sings what sounds like, "I think I wanna dance." In the Tom Jones version with Art of Noise, he sings, "I think we better dance now." The line "I think we better dance now" becomes a key point in the movie Happy Feet, as the whole song is laced throughout points in the movie.
Maroon 5 included the song on the Deluxe edition of their Overexposed album, but Prince took umbrage to the group's cover, saying that their version added nothing new to his original recording. "I do pay performance royalties on others' songs I perform live, but I'm not recording these songs and putting them up for sale," he told Billboard magazine. "Why do we need to hear another cover of a song someone else did? Art is about building a new foundation, not just laying something on top of what's already there."
Matthew Morrison and Gwyneth Paltrow performed a cover of this song on the Glee episode "Sexy."
Julia Roberts sang part of this song while relaxing in the bathtub in Pretty Woman.
Fashion photographer Rebecca Blake was in the middle of a shoot with Sheila E in Los Angeles when Prince spotted her from his limo. A few weeks later, he enlisted Blake to direct the video for "Kiss." Prince shows off his dance moves in the clip alongside veiled dancer Monique Manning. Blake recalled in an interview with the Golden Age of Music Video
blog: "What was fascinating was how once the stage was put together, how brilliantly he move around in the space of the set for the film. Like, I would set-up a shot and then he would kind of interpret it in terms of how he moved physically. And that was very interesting."
Blake went on to direct videos for Prince's "Diamonds and Pearls" and "Cream