"1999" is Prince's fifth album. It has an electronic and dance-oriented sound. The Linn LM-1 drum machine appears on most of the songs along with Oberheim and Arp synthesizers. It also is the first album to feature Prince's Boss effects pedals.
Prince plays most of the instruments on the album, with Dez Dickerson playing the guitar solo on Little Red Corvette. Dr Fink has given some details about the keyboards used on the album.
Prince toured the album from November 1982 to April 1983. Details of the equipment used by Prince and his band come from photographs and videos from this time and from interviews given by Dr Fink.
In the studio
1999 was recorded between January and July 1982 at Sunset Sound and Prince's Kiowa Trail home studio. Prince played a Hohner Madcat on the album. The album is notable for featuring Boss guitar effects pedals for the first time. Pedals that may have appeared on the album include the Boss SD-1 Super Overdrive, Boss DM-2 Delay, Boss BF-2 Flanger, Boss VB-2 Vibrato and Boss OC-2 Octave. Prince borrowed Jesse Johnson's Vox V846 wah for the song 1999. The album also features some distorted guitar tones that most likely came from a Mesa/Boogie Mark II amplifier.
Dez Dickerson also appears on the album as the first featured guitarist on a Prince record. It is likely that he used his live rig, listed in the section below. Prince probably played a Fender Jazz bass on the album.
Synthesizers dominate the sound of 1999. According to Dr Fink, Prince mostly used Oberheim OB-X, OB-SX and OB-Xa synthesizers and an Arp Omni-2. The song 1999 features an Oberheim OB-Xa stacked with an Omni-2. The piano parts are played on a Yamaha CP-80. It has been reported that a Sequential Circuits Pro One was used for synth bass parts.
The Linn LM-1 was used for most of the drum sounds on the album. Prince developed his signature drum sound by detuning the Linn drum samples and running them through his Boss effects pedals.