Every Single Video Prince Ever Made

Prince was an astoundingly prolific artist, releasing nearly 40 albums under his own name(s), and thousands of songs for himself and others. His concerts were legendary, spellbinding from arenas to intimate clubs, flooring audiences around the world.

But videos? Prince was a lot more ambivalent about videos. He made dozens of them, some great, some... well, some were barely more than home videos he threw together with his friends or bandmates around Paisley Park.

It's in his videos, though that we see Prince's relationship with his music as a commercial artist. A few times, Prince really told a story or expanded on the narrative of a song using a video. In his performance-oriented videos, he was often mesmerizing, capturing much of what made Prince the best live pop musician of his era.

And importantly, it is in his videos that we see Prince exploring the edges of his identity and public persona. There are hints and clues of what Prince wanted to do next at almost every phase of his career. Frustratingly, though most of Prince's videos, including some of his very best, remained obscure, getting almost no airplay back when there were music video channels, or being distributed through one-off VHS video collections, CD-ROMs or uneven and short-lived video streams on Prince's websites. As a result, it's been almost impossible to evaluate Prince's videos as a whole body of work.

Until now. With the Prince estate's release of his entire video collection, in high resolution, some easily accessible for the first time ever, we get a different glimpse at Prince. While Prince's recorded albums seldom featured his absurd humor, his videos often gave free reign to Prince's sillier side. While many of his songs were solo productions where Prince (as his album credits so often proclaimed) produced, arranged, composed and performed the entire song, in his videos, he would often cast his bandmates, friends and proteges in roles where they would mime his work and represent facets of Prince himself. We even get to see Prince directing (or ghost-directing) a number of works, as he grew in ability and confidence as a director over the course of his career.

Now, the truth is, most of Prince's videos just aren't that great. Especially when considered in comparison to the sheer mind-boggling breadth of Prince's genius, or the groundbreaking video innovation of his pop contemporaries like Michael Jackson, Janet Jackson and Madonna, the fact that Prince has fewer truly extraordinary music videos is a stark contrast. But as with all things Prince, when he was doing his best, there was absolutely nobody better.

Here, then, is a look at all of Prince's music videos, in chronological order. Most of these writeups began as an ongoing Twitter thread that I've been updating as the estate released new videos (Questlove said it was worthy of his NYU class!) but here I've updated and expanded all the information on each video.

Enjoy!


1979

I Wanna Be Your Lover

Prince's first incontrovertible hit, from his second, self-titled album, featured an incredible look that nobody else could pull off. The open-necked blouse, with Prince still young enough to be openly aping Mick Jagger's prancing, also served to let a lot of new fans know that the new act they'd fallen for was, in fact, an individual man β€” not a group.

Why You Wanna Treat Me So Bad

The first time Prince ever appeared in a video fronting a band, Why You Wanna Treat Me So Bad is also the only appearance of early band member Gayle Chapman. The single dropped just as Prince was about to embark on his stint opening for Rick James on his 1980 tour, the biggest stage he'd yet commanded.

1980

Uptown

Dirty Mind

1981

Controversy

Sexuality

1982

1999

Little Red Corvette

Automatic

1983

Let's Pretend We're Married

1984

When Doves Cry

(You can check out the short edit, too, but why would you want to?!)

Let's Go Crazy

Purple Rain

Amazingly, this one is not online!

I Would Die 4 U

Baby I'm A Star

1985

Take Me With U

4 The Tears In Your Eyes

Raspberry Beret

Paisley Park

America

1986

Kiss

Mountains

Girls & Boys

Anotherloverholenyohead

1987

Sign O' The Times

U Got The Look

I Could Never Take The Place Of Your Man

1988

Alphabet St.

Glam Slam

I Wish U Heaven

1989

Batdance

Partyman

(There's a short version of the Partyman video, too.)

Scandalous

1990

Thieves In The Temple

(The much more common short version of the video is available, of course.)

New Power Generation

The Question Of U

1991

Gett Off

Gett Off (Houstyle)

Violet The Organ Grinder

Gangster Glam

Cream

(This is one of those videos that has a short edit, omitting all the introductory drama.)

Diamonds And Pearls

1992

Money Don't Matter 2 Night (Spike Lee version)

Money Don't Matter 2 Night (performance version)

Insatiable

Willing And Able

Call The Law

Live 4 Love

Sexy M.F.

My Name Is Prince

Love 2 The 9's

The Morning Papers

The Max

Blue Light

Sweet Baby

Damn U

7

1993

Peach

Hmm! I wonder why this one isn't online yet.

Pink Cashmere

Nothing Compares 2 U

Though there is a video of the live version of the song released in 1993, the estate hasn't yet released the footage.

1994

Interactive

The Most Beautiful Girl In The World

Endorphinmachine

Love Sign

Dolphin

1995

Purple Medley

Eye Hate U

Gold

Rock 'N Roll Is Alive! (And It Lives In Minneapolis)

1996

Dinner With Delores

The Same December

I Like It There

Betcha By Golly Wow!

1997

Somebody's Somebody

The Holy River

Face Down

1999

The Greatest Romance Ever Sold

2000

One Song

Hot With U (Nasty Girl Remix)

2001

U Make My Sun Shine

When Eye Lay My Hands On U

The Daisy Chain

2004

Musicology

Call My Name

Cinnamon Girl

2006

Te Amo Corazon

Black Sweat

Fury

2007

The Song Of The Heart

Guitar

(There's a totally different version that's a Verizon ad, too.)

Chelsea Rodgers

2008

Somewhere Here On Earth

The One U Wanna C

2009

Crimson and Clover

Chocolate Box

2012

Rock And Roll Love Affair

2013

Screwdriver

Breakfast Can Wait

2014

Marz

2018

Nothing Compares 2 U

Mary Don't You Weep

Anil Dash

Anil Dash

Building @Glitch 🎏 β€” the friendly community creating the best stuff on the web β€’ humane + ethical tech advocate β€’ I πŸ’œ funk, civics, mangos, justice & people β€’ he/him

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