During the early 80s Prince was writing so much music he had to create groups to perform them to keep his desire to put out that music satisfied. Did you follow that? I'm not changing it. There are many legendary Minneapolis bands that were created for Prince's musical happiness, but perhaps the most fun, and definitely the sluttiest are two forever-connected, campy girl groups: Vanity 6 and Apollonia 6. Since it's Humpday and all, why not feature four women that many, manychildren of the 80s humped to back in the day. The initial incarnation of the group was put together by Prince and was called The Hookers. Once Prince met Canadian B-movie actress and "model" Denise Matthews at the American Music Awards in 1982, he became enamored, renamed her Vanity and centered the girl group around her, calling it Vanity 6. The "6" was for the number of breasts in the group. Way to keep it classy, Prince. The other members of the group were "bad girl" Brenda Bennett, who had served as Prince's "wardrobe mistress"(I put that in quotes because that's how Wikipedia has it. Don't know what it means), and "innocent girl" Susan Moonsie, Prince's high school girlfriend. Vanity 6 only put out one self-titled album and had one classic hit with Nasty Girl before Vanity quit that bitch -- in the middle of pre-production for her starring role in Purple Rain -- and decided to embark on a solo career with Motown records. She went on to star in a few films, most notably 1985's The Last Dragon, and had minor success as a solo artist. She had the most success at posing for Playboy several times, but gave everything up after battling addiction to crack and became a born-again Christian. She is now an evangelist. Didn't see that coming, did ya? After her departure a nation-wide search ensued and Prince found model/actress Patricia Kotero, renamed her Apollonia, gave her the lead in the Purple Rain and put her front and center in the newly dubbed Apollonia 6 with Brenda and Susan. I guess they all still had two breasts. Vanity had already started laying down tracks for the follow up album, so her vocals were simply erased and re-recorded by Apollonia. Like Vanity 6, Apollonia 6 also only had one self-titled album and one classic hit with Sex Shooter before Apollonia decided to move on to television, most notably Falcon Crest, and a solo CD in 1988 to minor success. Both of these albums, in my humble opinion, are important parts of the early Prince/Minneapolis sound and, although both are raunchy and campy, are very different in tone and sound. Vanity 6 is more raw and seedy sounding. There is a lot more talk-singing on their album. Vanity takes the lead on 4 tracks, Susan on 2 and Brenda on 1. Apollonia 6 has a more polished, pop sound to it, much like Purple Rain. Apollonia sings lead on 3 tracks (one is a spoken-word track in Spanish), Brenda on 3 and Susan on 1. I think Brenda really shines on the Apollonia 6 album, giving by far the best vocal performances (Blue Limousine, A Million Miles and Some Kind of Lover) on either album. I think she is truly the only real "singer" of the four. Susan's songs, however, are probably the most fun, although she only talk-sings them (Drive Me Wild, Make-Up, Ooo She She Wa Wa). But of course, Vanity and Apollonia are given the real zingers on these records (Nasty Girl and Sex Shooter, respectively). That being said, all of the songs are, of course, fun and catchy as hell. They are classic Prince; dirty, sexy, funny and hooky. Below I have split them up to highlight the best clips by each band member. I don't know if anyone my age even knew who these ladies were. I was really WAY too young to be listening to them at the time (don't tell my Mom what she unwittinly bought me) and I certainly didn't understand all of the lyrics at that age, but I liked them for the same reason I like my friends and mostly why I married my husband: They are slutty and they make me happy. Enjoy Humpday with Vanity 6 and Apollonia 6. You're welcome. Oh, some of the Apollonia 6 videos come from a never-released short film that is a rough, unedited cut. Showed up on youtube a few years ago. If you would like to watch that whole film just click HERE for Part 1 and HERE for Part 2. Have fun.
Apollonia & Vanity
Susan Moonsie (skip to 1:28 on 1st video)
Brenda Bennett (skip to 4:48 on first video)