First Hit #1: April 19, 1986
Kiss is actually sort of unexpected from Prince. Well, a top-tier dance-pop single is certainly expected from the artist, as is a song that is predominantly obsessed with sex, but it is unexpected because it’s so simple. Prince has this tendency to go on these bizarre, paranoid flights of fancy but Kiss pares it right down to two people – Prince and the woman listening to the song – and focuses primarily on what Prince likes above all. That is of course the…
…kiss. It’s a very commercially savvy play, Prince has basically made a song for all the ladies who might lack self-esteem and those that don’t believe in their looks. He specifically says you don’t have to be beautiful, and that’s already a good sign for those women who don’t think they’re beautiful. There are a lot of women out there who, for one reason or another, don’t believe they’re beautiful, and Prince making a song specifically for them is kind of sweet and it’s also a pretty good way to sell records. That he’s coupled it to a great dance track also means he can sell a lot of records, and that he’s basically made it about who he wants to get in bed with means he makes something that’s not as treacly as these self-confidence boosting tracks can sometimes get.