On this day in 1984: Prince was enjoying his second of five weeks at #1 with ‘When Doves Cry.’
“When Doves Cry” was Prince’s first Billboard Hot 100 #1 single, staying there for five weeks, and was also a worldwide hit. According to Billboard, it was the top-selling single of 1984. It is certified 3x platinum by the Recording Industry of America (RIAA).It was the last single released by a solo artist to receive a Platinum certification before the certification requirements were lowered in 1989. “When Doves Cry” was ranked number one on the Billboard Year-End Hot 100 singles of 1984.
The music video, directed by Prince, premiered on MTV in June of 1984. It opens with white doves emerging from double doors to reveal Prince in a bathtub, then shows him performing the song in various scenes. The video sparked controversy among network executives, who thought that its sexual nature was too explicit for television. “When Doves Cry” was ranked #52 on Rolling Stone’s list of the 500 Greatest Songs Of All Time and is included in The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s 500 Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll.
Prince wrote and composed “When Doves Cry” after all the other tracks were complete on Purple Rain. In addition to providing vocals, he played all instruments on the track. There is no bass line, which is very unusual for an ’80s dance song; Prince said that there originally was a bass line but, after a conversation with singer Jill Jones, he decided that the song was too conventional with it included.
Here are the Top 10 songs from the Billboard Hot 100 from this day back in 1984:
1 1 WHEN DOVES CRY –•– Prince (Warner Brothers)-7 (2 Weeks at #1) (1)
2 2 DANCING IN THE DARK –•– Bruce Springsteen (Columbia)-8 (2)
3 3 JUMP (For My Love) –•– The Pointer Sisters (Planet)-12 (3)
4 6 EYES WITHOUT A FACE –•– Billy Idol (Chrysalis)-11 (4)
5 5 THE REFLEX –•– Duran Duran (Capitol)-13 (1)
6 4 SELF CONTROL –•– Laura Branigan (Atlantic)-14 (4)
7 8 ALMOST PARADISE –•– Mike Reno & Ann Wilson (Columbia)-10 (7)
8 19 GHOSTBUSTERS –•– Ray Parker, Jr. (Arista)-5 (8)
9 9 THE HEART OF ROCK ‘N ROLL –Huey Lewis & The News (Chrysalis)13 (6)
10 10 LEGS –•– ZZ Top (Warner Brothers)-9 (10)