Record Label: Rhino Records/Warner
Records don't come more influential or stunning than 1999. Originally released in 1982, 1999 signified Prince's fifth full-length album and first to feature The Revolution as his backing band. The breakthrough set gave him his Top Ten album and paved the way for what would be an unrivaled pop run for the next decade, culminating in an international stardom and literally revolutionary creativity. Moreover, the synth- and drum-machine-dominant arrangements on 1999, as well as its surfeit of dance grooves, rock anthems, and insanely catchy hooks wrote the script for nearly every artist that followed, as well as what transpired in the house, electronic, and techno fields.
Rolling Stone nailed the record's appeal when the magazine named it #163 on its list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time: The second half of 1999 is just exceptional sex-obsessed dance music; the first half is the best fusion of rock and funk achieved to that date, and it lays out the blueprint for Prince's next decade. Except for a few background hand claps and vocals, Prince plays most every instrument himself and creates a relentless, irresistible musical sequence of apocalypse ("1999") and raunchy sex that he proposes as the only possible response — "Little Red Corvette," "Let's Pretend We're Married," "Delirious" and, well, just about every other song on the album. --Rolling Stone, "The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time," November 2003
If any more evidence was needed of the double album's greatness, just take a look at the track listing. Yet, in addition to the hits, Prince also provides worthwhile sonic experimentation and ventures into areas he'd previously bypassed. It's no wonder that no artist of his generation--and arguably, no musician from any generation--has covered so much ground. Such breadth is what helps make 1999 so distinctive.
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International tourists and touring artists alike flocked to Fat Beats for rare vinyl, kindred spirits, and exclusive in-store performances from Jay Z, Eminem, Gang Starr, Outkast, Slum Village, Mos Def, and more. One thing was clear: the Fat Beats phenomenon could no longer be contained in a single basement shop.
In the late nineties, Abajian proceeded to open new stores in Amsterdam, Tokyo, Los Angeles, and Atlanta. He further expanded the company’s profile to include global distribution and record label branches. Distribution has since proven to be the company’s strongest and most enduring enterprise. Today Fat Beats Distribution stands poised as one of the country’s pre-eminent distributors of vinyl & specialty item records: a proud survivor in an industry now famous for its mortality rate. Despite market fluctuations, technology innovations, and stylistic revolutions, Fat Beats has remained steadfast in its commitment to the timeless vinyl format and to the loyal community who keeps it spinning.
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