|Vanity 6 is the first and only album by Vanity 6, a group put together and effectively run by Prince, and was released on 11 August 1982.
The album was produced by Prince under the pseudonym The Starr* Company, and production credit was shared (erroneously) with Vanity 6. Seven of the eight songs were written or co-written by Prince, but credit was given to the bandmembers.
He’s So Dull was written and produced by Dez Dickerson.
A follow-up to the album was planned to coincide with the Purple Rain movie, but when Vanity decided she did not want to participate in the movie, Prince instead replaced her with Apollonia and changed the group’s name to Apollonia 6; the tracks planned for the follow-up were subsequently included on the album Apollonia 6.
Sessions and compiling
Some of the tracks were originally recorded in 1981 and intended for the group The Hookers, the name of the group before Vanity joined. Wet Dream, Make-Up and Drive Me Wild were recorded in Summer 1981, but the album by The Hookers was left unfinished in Autumn 1981, when Prince embarked on the Controversy Tour (see details of the album in the trivia section below).
The Hookers evolved into Vanity 6 when Vanity (born Denise Matthews) and Brenda Bennett joined the group, replacing Jamie Shoop and Loreen Moonsie.
Nasty Girl, Bite The Beat and He’s So Dull were recorded in late March 1982 for the newly revised group. If A Girl Answers (Don’t Hang Up) and 3 x 2 = 6 were the final tracks recorded for the album, in March or April 1982. Vanity and Brenda Bennett’s vocals for Wet Dream, Make-Up and Drive Me Wild were also recorded at some point in Spring 1982.
The album produced four singles, Nasty Girl, Bite The Beat, He’s So Dull, and Drive Me Wild, and Vanity 6 supported the album by touring as one of Prince’s opening acts on the 1999 Tour (with the musical backing played by The Time).
Perhaps due to the album’s explicit lyrics, the album only reached number 45 on the US Billboard Pop Chart, but reached number 6 on the US Billboard Black Chart (recently renamed from the Billboard Soul Chart).