Alphabet St. is a Prince video released for broadcast and to promote the single.
It is a very basic video which has Prince performing the song against a computer generated background of messages and letters floating around. The white Ford Thunderbird mentioned in the song (unlike the lyrics suggest actually a 1968 4-door Ford Thunderbird Landau Sedan), is also featured.
Of note it is the first video to show the white custom Auerswald Model C guitar. Alphabet St. is also famous for its hidden “Don’t buy The Black Album, I’m sorry” message. the video contains several other messages, amongst them “ecstasy”, “H is 4 punks”, “heaven is beautiful”, “God I love U”, and “Dance 4 the light”, most of them referring to the scrapped release of the “The Black Album”.
The decision to make a video was a spur of the moment thing, after Prince had a change of mind on 20 March 1988 about not wanting do a video for the song. It was a snowy Sunday afternoon, when Prince called Alan Leeds that he wanted to do the video. Leeds searched all day and finally found local video producer Michael Barnard prepared to come and do the shoot. Sheila E. and Cat were also commissioned initially, although Cat was later told she was not needed. The women’s legs seen in the video are those of Sheila E.. Equipment was rented from a local cable-tv company.
The video shoot commenced at 7:00 p.m. and was shot using four cameras with 2/3" tubes, shooting on 3/4" U-matic cassettes. According to Michael Barnard, Warner Bros. was not impressed with the video and dispatched Tim Clawson from Propaganda Films to come to Minneapolis to shoot additional 35mm film footage of Cat doing her rap to add to the video. Clawson and Barnard went location scouting in Minneapolis for the projected additional 35mm film shoot. But it was decided that it would not be practical to add a 35mm film section to the already shot video, and as Prince didn’t really want the addition anyway, the plan was scrapped.
Alphabet St. was included on The Hits Collection in 1993.