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The Gold Experience is the seventeenth studio album by American recording artist Prince (his name at the time being an unpronounceable symbol). It was produced entirely by Prince and released on September 26, 1995 on NPG Records and Warner Bros. Records. The album charted at number 6 on the Billboard 200 and number 2 on the Top R&B Albums.[2] The singles "The Most Beautiful Girl in the World", "I Hate U", and "Gold" charted on the Billboard Hot 100 at numbers 3, 12, and 88 respectively.[2]


Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic4/5 stars11px11px11px11px[3]
Blender4/5 stars11px11px11px11px[4]
Chicago Tribune3/4 stars11px11px11px[5]
Entertainment WeeklyA−[6]
The Guardian4/5 stars11px11px11px11px[7]
Los Angeles Times4/4 stars11px11px11px[8]
Q3/5 stars11px11px11px11px[10]
Rolling Stone4/5 stars11px11px11px11px[11]
The Village VoiceA[12]

The Gold Experience sold 500,000 copies in the United States and peaked at number six on the Billboard 200, failing to meet the record label's commercial expectations. According to biographer Jason Draper, it may have undersold because Prince was losing touch with younger listeners and also because his contractual dispute with Warner Bros. Records overshadowed the album's promotion, which he had done well before it was released.[13]

Nonetheless, The Gold Experience was a success with critics.[13] Melody Maker called it Prince's best record in years,[14] while Vibe said it was his best since Sign o' the Times in 1987.[15] In The Village Voice, Robert Christgau wrote that it showcased not only the unbridled artistry displayed on his other records but also "a renewal. It's as sex-obsessed as ever, only with more juice—'Shhh' and '319' especially pack the kind of porno jolt sexy music rarely gets near and hard music never does."[12] He believed its best songs, specifically "Endorphinmachine" and "P Control", "funk and rock as outrageously and originally as anything he's ever recorded".[16] Jon Pareles was less enthusiastic in The New York Times, finding most of the songs to be minor successes and calling it "a proficient album, not a startling one; most of its songs are variations and retreads of previous Prince efforts."[17]

The Gold Experience was voted the 30th best album of 1995 in the Pazz & Jop, an annual poll of American critics published by The Village Voice.[18] Christgau, the poll's supervisor, ranked it 10th best in his own year-end list.[19] In a retrospective review, Keith Harris from Blender cited The Gold Experience as the best album Prince recorded in the 1990s, "a mix of newly stripped-down funk and delicate balladry that reasserts his dynamic range".[4]

Several people speculated that the song "Billy Jack Bitch" was written about a Minneapolis Star Tribune gossip columnist known as "CJ".[20][21][22] Prince denied the song was about the columnist when CJ herself interviewed him.[23]

Track listing

All songs written by Prince, except where indicated.

  1. "P Control"[24] (originally titled "Pussy Control")[25] – 5:59
  2. "NPG Operator" - 0:10
  3. "Endorphinmachine" – 4:07
  4. "Shhh" – 7:18
  5. "We March" (Prince, Nona Gaye) – 4:49
  6. "NPG Operator" - 0:16
  7. "The Most Beautiful Girl in the World" – 4:25
  8. "Dolphin" – 4:59
  9. "NPG Operator" - 0:18
  10. "Now" – 4:30
  11. "NPG Operator" - 0:31
  12. "319" – 3:05
  13. "NPG Operator" - 0:10
  14. "Shy" – 5:04
  15. "Billy Jack Bitch" (Prince, Michael B. Nelson) – 5:32
  16. "I Hate U" – 5:54
  17. "NPG Operator" - 0:44
  18. "Gold" – 7:23

Special edition vinyl bonus tracks:

  1. "I Hate U" (Extended Remix) – 6:17
  2. "I Hate U" (LP Version) – 6:08
  3. "I Hate U" (Quiet Night Mix) – 3:56
  4. "I Hate U" (Single Version With Guitar Solo) – 4:25
  5. "I Hate U" (Edit - No Guitar Ending) – 3:48


  • Prince – lead vocals and various instruments
  • Tommy Barbarella, Mr. Hayes – keyboards (3, 4, 8, 12, 15, 16, 18)
  • Sonny T. – bass (3, 4, 8, 12, 15, 16, 18), backing vocals (5)
  • Michael Bland aka "Michael B." – drums (3, 4, 8, 12, 15, 16, 18)
  • Ricky Peterson – additional keyboards (5, 7, 12, 16, 18)
  • Kirk Johnson – drum programming (5)
  • James Behringer – additional guitar (7)
  • Brian Gallagher – tenor saxophone (10, 12, 15)
  • Kathy Jensen – baritone saxophone (10, 12, 15)
  • Dave Jensen, Steve Strand – trumpet (10, 12, 15)
  • Michael B. Nelson – trombone (10, 12, 15), horn arrangement (15)
  • Nona Gaye – co-lead vocals (5)
  • Lenny Kravitz – backing vocals (15)
  • Mayte – spoken vocals (1, 5)
  • Rain Ivana (as NPG Operator) – voice (2, 6, 9, 11, 13, 15-18)

Produced by Prince, except: 7, 12, 16, 18, co-produced by Ricky Peterson, and 5, co-produced with Ricky Peterson and Kirk Johnson.


Another track, "Shhh", charted from The Gold Experience in July 1994; it was not the album version, but rather a live version performed on The Beautiful Experience TV special, which aired in 1994. It received some R&B airplay, causing it to chart and peak at #62 on the US Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Airplay chart.


Chart (1995) Peak


Region Certification Certified units/sales
United Kingdom (BPI)[26] Gold 100,000^
United States (RIAA)[27] Gold 500,000^

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone


  1. Sullivan, Jim (October 5, 1995). "The Artist Formerly Known as Prince The Gold Experience". The Boston Globe. Calendar section, p. 17. Retrieved July 19, 2013. he releases the long- delayed 'The Gold Experience' and zooms back up to the A-level of funk-rock. Template:Subscription required
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Gold Experience - Prince : Awards". Allmusic. Retrieved June 6, 2013.
  3. Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Prince: Gold Experience > Review" at AllMusic. Retrieved Template:Date.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Harris, Keith (June–July 2001). "Every Original CD Reviewed - Prince". Blender. Alpha Media Group (1).
  5. Kot, Greg (September 29, 1995). "Sonic Gold". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved August 30, 2015.
  6. Flaherty, Mike (Template:Date). "The Gold Experience". Entertainment Weekly. Time (#294). ISSN 1049-0434. Retrieved Template:Date. Check date values in: |accessdate= and |date= (help)
  7. Price, Simon (April 22, 2016). "Prince: every album rated – and ranked". The Guardian. London. Retrieved April 25, 2016.
  8. Coker, Cheo H. (Template:Date). "With 'Gold,' Prince Regains His Midas Touch". Los Angeles Times. Tribune Company. ISSN 0458-3035. OCLC 3638237. Retrieved Template:Date. Check date values in: |accessdate= and |date= (help)
  9. "Prince - The Gold Experience". NME. IPC Media: 49. Template:Date. ISSN 0028-6362. Retrieved Template:Date. Symbol's most consistently enjoyable, Template:Sicrounded album for at least five years. Check date values in: |accessdate= and |date= (help)
  10. "Prince - The Gold Experience". Q. Bauer Media Group: 116. October 1995. Retrieved Template:Date. …the New Power Generation's finest hour. Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  11. Cooper, Carol (Template:Date). "Prince: The Gold Experience". Rolling Stone. Wenner Media. ISSN 0035-791X. Retrieved Template:Date. Check date values in: |accessdate= and |date= (help)
  12. 12.0 12.1 Christgau, Robert (November 14, 1995). "Consumer Guide". The Village Voice. New York. Retrieved June 6, 2013.
  13. 13.0 13.1 Draper, Jason (2011). "The Exodus Has Begun". Prince: Chaos, Disorder, and Revolution. Backbeat Books. ISBN 1458429415. Retrieved August 30, 2015.
  14. Melody Maker. London: 38. October 14, 1995.CS1 maint: untitled periodical (link)
  15. "Prince - The Gold Experience". Vibe. InterMedia Partners: 131–132. October 1995. ISSN 1070-4701. Retrieved Template:Date. …a Prince experience par excellence. Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  16. Christgau, Robert (October 1995). "Oct. 1995: Randy Newman, Prince". Playboy. Retrieved June 6, 2013.
  17. Pareles, Jon (Template:Date). "Still Moaning, Still Shimmying". New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. OCLC 1645522. Retrieved Template:Date. Check date values in: |accessdate= and |date= (help)
  18. "Pazz & Jop 1995". The Village Voice. 1996. Retrieved August 30, 2015.
  19. Christgau, Robert (1996). "Pazz & Jop 1995: Dean's List". The Village Voice. Retrieved August 30, 2015.
  20. Grove, Lloyd (Template:Date). "The Reliable Source ‒ Live Transcript". Retrieved Template:Date. Check date values in: |accessdate= and |date= (help)
  21. Webster, Nick (Template:Date). "From Sex God to Doorstep Bible Basher". The Mirror. Check date values in: |date= (help)
  22. Template:FixTemplate:Cbignore
  23. "About the Artist". Retrieved Template:Date. Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  24. Template:Cite we
  25. "The Artist (Formerly Known As Prince) - Pussy Control / 319 (CD) at Discogs". Discogs. Retrieved June 1, 2017.
  26. [[[:Template:Certification Cite/URL]] "[[:Template:Certification Cite/Title]]"] Check |url= value (help). British Phonographic Industry. URL–wikilink conflict (help) Select albums in the Format field. Select Gold in the Certification field. Type The Gold Experience in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
  27. [[[:Template:Certification Cite/URL]] "[[:Template:Certification Cite/Title]]"] Check |url= value (help). Recording Industry Association of America. URL–wikilink conflict (help) If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH. 

External links

  • Template:Discogs master

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