Album: Parade (1986)
Charted: 6 1
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  • 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."

Comments: 8

  • Not A Native English Speaker from Switzerland"You don't have to be rich
    To be my girl
    You don't have to be cool
    To rule my world"
    COOL or CRUEL?
    I always thought it was "cruel". Wouldn't it make more sense?
  • Melinda from AustraliaThis song is unique in a lot of ways. I loved it the minute I heard it/saw it on TV in 1986. In fact I drove my house share guy nuts playing it over and over.
    The only few early mistakes Prince made in his early career. Was havin girls on stage in lingerie. It was shocking.
    It was way too confronting. And sexploiting women that way in music video was not ‘politically correct’ by 1986. It jus wasn’t cool anymore.
    And so a lot of people didn’t get it. It was ‘what is he thinkin?’ His music was excellent. But half naked chicks and his weird take on fashion tested our devotion.
    That sorta porno, Duran Duran’s - Girls On Film song and it’s perverse music video, was made in 1981. (Yeah, I know you 80’s guys loved it)
    But by the mid 80’s we’d moved on.
    In fact I cannot believe Prince got away with his sexualised on - stage performances he seemed to love. Seriously, it was so passé.
    But his excellence in music always ensured people really looked forward to his new albums. And forgave the smutty look.
    The words to Kiss define a decade. ‘Ain’t no particular sign I’m more compatible with’ lyric genius. And his cool screaming at one point in the song. Is even more an example of what he could get away with. Cause he was Prince.
  • Marc from -, MdFirst-ever interview with the girl in this video, including what she's doing now and never-published pics:
  • Joe from Miami Beach, FlAlthough it was reworked by Mazarati and David Z. the song came back to Prince....just the way it had to my complete review at
  • Erik from Minneapolis, MnWrong. This song was written by Mazarati. Thats it point blank. Prince took it cause it was too good. He didn't write it, he stole it. This is fact. I know cause I hang w/ Mazarati all the time. Most members still live in Mpls and play together.Their sound guy,Dave is one of my best friends.This is a Mazarati song and it was not given to Prince but taken by him.Sometimes you need to talk to the ones who were there to get the facts.Especially when it comes to Prince facts.BTW,I gotta lot more facts that I'll be posting soon.I record at Matt Finks' studio w/ him so I have access to people who know and were there.
  • Jim from Amsterdam, NetherlandsA story I've heard tells that George Michael and a friend of his were out in a nightclub one night. Kiss was played; it was a nr 1 hit at that time. This friend went on and on about how brilliant he thought this song was: no more than a simple blues, but the hand of the Master, Prince, made it unique and of a brilliance nobody could ever match. He said that he didn't think George M could write a nr 1 hit with only three chords (the basic 1-4-5 blues). George replied he thought he could. They made a bet that George would be on nr 1 with a similar tune within a year and the next day George Michael wrote "Faith". We all know who won that bet, I guess.
  • Tony from Chicago, IlI am in love with this song!!!! absolutely addictive! Incredible guitar! perfect sexy vocals from PRINCE!!
  • Ma_cherie from Little Rock, ArIn 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.
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