Considering how quickly the Lovesexy album was written and recorded, it shouldn’t be a surprise that there aren’t many extraneous B-sides and remixes to accompany the three released singles. Despite the lack of quantity, each of the 7″ and 12″ singles, with one exception, offered something you couldn’t find on the album.
Alphabet St. (This Is Not Music, This is a Trip) – Owners of the “Alphabet St.” 7″ single were not treated to anything they couldn’t find on the album. What they got was the full 5 1/2 minute album version broken up into two parts (Side A, Side B) since the super truncated 2 1/2 minute single edit was what most casual fans of the song knew. That’s nice, but this wasn’t anything special if you owned the Lovesexy album. To get the whole “Alphabet St.” experience, you needed to purchase the 12″ single. The 12″ included this nearly 8 minute remixed version of the only top 10 pop hit from the album. The essentials of the original version are still here. The funk slaps of guitar and bass, the “yeah, yeah, yeah” chorus, the drums. You are gifted more sound effects, more organs, and synths in this remix but NO lyrics. This version is an instrumental remix—an excellent way to keep the song’s vibe going for an extra 8 minutes.
Glam Slam (Remix) – Lovesexy’s second single wasn’t a pop hit, but that doesn’t devalue the definitive 12″ version of this single. 7″ owners got the radio-edit version of “Glam Slam” on the A-side and the radio-edit version of “Escape” on the B-side. The 12″ single has a fantastic Shep Pettibone remix of “Glam Slam” for those willing to shell out the extra dough. The remix doesn’t deviate from the album version, which is good if you enjoy it. If you’re looking for a completely different and unique take on the song, this isn’t the remix that does it. The additions are primarily superficial, but it increases the song’s danceability.
Escape (7″ & 12″) – The first original B-side from the era, “Escape,” takes the general lyrical themes from “Glam Slam” and adds another fun, catchy chorus – “Free yo mind from this rat race.” The song is more of a club banger than “Glam Slam,” and I mean that literally as the drums thump and pound in the intro and throughout the song. The 12″ adds more of what you enjoy about “Escape,” so it should be the go-to if you have access to it. If you don’t, the 7″ version gets the job done since it’s simply a shorter, radio-friendly version of the 12″. “Don’t get on the scale if you ain’t got the weight!”
I Wish U Heaven (Parts 1, 2, & 3) – Now, this is an exciting experiment! Part one is a remix of the album version. This song was already pretty solid, and the remix doesn’t necessarily improve, but it certainly gives it another variation to enjoy. Part two kicks in just before the three-minute mark of a 10-minute track, so you know you’re in for a treat. Prince incorporates elements of “Housequake” with more call and response aspects that focus on the spiritual angle (“Heaven! Heaven, sugar baby”). Prince raps here, and it’s dope, but then around the six-minute mark, he flips the script and begins singing in his Jamie Starr voice. Part three abandons the reflective and spiritual angles he was coming at us in parts one and two and replaced that message with some old-school braggadocio. “Take This Beat,” an unreleased vault track, gets incorporated into part three’s “chorus.” “Take this beat. I don’t mind. I got plenty others, and they’re so fine.” Yes, yes, they are.
Scarlet Pussy (7″ & 12″) – Like “Escape,” this B-side has two versions available for purchasers of the “I Wish U Heaven” single. The 7″ single version is the edit you can find on The Hits and B-Sides compilation, but if you’re looking for two more minutes of P-Funk-inspired bawdy and humorous fable about dogs and cats in heat, check out the 12″ version. Prince as Camille, Sheila E, and a cacophony of voices float in and out of fun if lyrically slight funk jam. “Pussy cat, pussy cat, wherefore art thou puppy?”
People don’t usually bring up the Lovesexy era when discussing Prince’s ’80s vault material or B-sides and remixes. However, this post hopefully serves as a reminder of the excellent options when looking for alternate versions of album tracks and B-sides. Without the benefit of an official Prince Estate re-release, you can only hear these extended mixes and 12″ B-side versions by owning physical or digital copies of the singles. Or scour the internet—your choice.