Face Down With Prince

Ever a man of secrets and intrigue, Prince (1958-2016) wasn’t one to go on and on about his musical inspirations. What’s an example of a Prince Rogers Nelson song where we do have some background story?



In an interview on The Current radio, Prince’s New Power Generation music director and keyboardist, Morris Hayes, discussed how the song below – ‘Face Down’ – came to be.

By the time that his 19th album – ‘Emancipation’ – came out in late 1996, Prince tried not to let critical barbs get to him. But, Hayes happened to walk into Prince’s office one day when the musical multi-hyphenate was getting more and more enraged by the words he was reading.

Concerned, Hayes decided to let loose on critics. “I just went on a cussing tirade. I won’t do it here, but I just went on a cussing tirade and said, “They can kiss my butt – matter of fact they can lay us all in caskets face-down and kiss our butts on the way out.”

Prince, Hayes continues, fell back on his desk laughing.

“He’s just dying,” Hayes continues. “Two days later, we had a thing you could call and hit the intercom, and I hear, “Morris come to my office,” and I go up to his office.”

“He’s got this song done, mixed, mastered, everything is done in two days, and it’s all the cussing I did the day in his studio, like all the stuff I said was on that record, and he just called it Face Down… I come in two days later, he’s playing it for me in his office like check this out. And I’m sitting there with my mouth open like you could drive a truck through it.”

⏰ Consider yourself warned: there will be swearing…



Header Photo: Prince. Hat with Chains. Herb Ritts. Museum of Fine Arts


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Elizabeth Newton

Elizabeth Newton