“They say the first time ain’t the greatest
But I tell ya, if I had the chance to do it all again
I wouldn’t change a stroke
‘Cos baby I’m the most
With a girl as fine as she was then”
Taken from the album Around The World In A Day
Also released on The Hits 2, The Hits/The B-Sides, The Very Best Of Prince and Ultimate Prince
US #2, AUS #13, UK #25
When I first discovered ‘Raspberry Beret’ I was totally working at a five-and-dime (or something like it). I thought that was pretty cool. And just like Prince in this song, I was a complete slacker. However, I never had a rampant sexual experience with a girl who wore a red hat and walked in through the out door, out door, out door.
‘Raspberry Beret’ is Prince being dirty without being obviously dirty, in order to get a hit single. That gives the song a youthful innocence and sense of exploring new things, running away from adults and just doing what you want for the first time in your life. The song isn’t about hats or even sex, it’s about growing up and wishing you could stay in that rose-tinted nostalgic haze, that period between being a child and having adult responsibilities.
Prince manages to wrap this all up in one of his catchiest melodies, making ‘Raspberry Beret’ one of his most obviously commercial singles and not coincidentally one of his all-time biggest hits. Routinely considered the best song on Around The World In A Day and probably the only one on there that could stand up to previous album Purple Rain, the song has a wonderful legacy as one of Prince’s brightest, most carefree moments.