"1999" is a song by American musician Prince, the title track from his 1982 album of the same name. The song is one of Prince's best-known, and a defining moment in his rise to superstar status.
The apocalyptic yet upbeat party anthem saw chart success in 1983 (particularly in Australia, where it peaked at #2), but it did not make it into the Top 40 in the US or the UK on the first attempt. The song originally peaked at #44 on the Billboard Hot 100 in December 1982. But following the top 10 success of "Little Red Corvette", the song was re-released and peaked at #12 in the US in July 1983, and at #25 in the UK in January 1983 (reaching #2 in the UK when re-released in 1985).
The B-side, the piano ballad "How Come U Don't Call Me Anymore?", became a fan favorite. It has been covered by many artists, including single releases by Stephanie Mills in 1983 and Alicia Keys in 2001.
Rolling Stone ranked the song #215 on their list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.
The album version of the song starts with a slowed-down voice, reassuring the listener "Don't worry, I won't hurt you. I only want you to have some fun." Prince shares lead vocals on the track with members of his band The Revolution, namely Dez Dickerson, Lisa Coleman and Jill Jones. Originally conceived to be a three-part harmony, it was later decided to separate out the voices that started each verse.
Prince created "1999" around the central riff of the 1966 song, "Monday, Monday" by The Mamas & the Papas. Prince, writing under the pseudonym "Christopher", reused the verse melody in the song "Manic Monday", recorded by The Bangles.
On New Year's Eve 1999, Prince (his stage name at that time still being an unpronounceable symbol) held a concert titled Rave Un2 the Year 2000 at his Paisley Park Studios Soundstage, and he later vowed never to play it again. However, in August 2007, as part of his Earth Tour, he reintroduced the song to his set after an absence of almost eight years.
On December 31, 1998, the song was played after the Cirque Du Soleil "O" show for the night had finished, at the Bellagio Hotel, Paradise, Nevada. Attendees found a bottle of champagne and confetti under their chairs.
On September 30, 1999, when the San Francisco Giants played their last game at Candlestick Park, the song played after the game.
On December 31, 1998, in Los Angeles almost all the music stations in the city played the song at midnight, and again on Dec. 31, 1999, for the lyrics: two-thousand zero zero party's over oops outta time