Yet Another Prince Playlist

I know you’ve all spent the past nine months seeing one Prince tribute after another.  One Prince greatest hits mix after another.  The official Prince Greatest Hits, 40 track, double CD was released – 4Ever – and it’s a cool mix.  Here’s the problem: Even 40 tracks doesn’t begin to cover Prince’s greatness.  Most people I know might say, “Purple Rain is amazing.  I love When Doves Cry.  1999 was the jam.”  Etcetera.  A few more would even go a little deeper and say, “You know what was underrated: I Could Never Take the Place Of Your Man,” or, “Man, I loved Delirious and nobody ever plays that track anymore.”

Now I want to take you a step further.  Here’s my personal list of my favorite Prince album cuts.  This takes you where 4Ever doesn’t.  You’ve heard all of those.  If you’re not a Prince head, this is the next step in to purpledom.  One rule on this list: all of these tracks are on Prince albums.  These aren’t b-sides.  Forget about Irresistible Bitch or She’s Always in My Hair.  There aren’t any leaks from the vault..with one slight exception at the end.  Every one of these tracks can be found on a Prince album.  I tried to grab from every era, although the late-90’s to early-2000’s period is not represented here.  Everything else is.  I’ll do this chronologically.  Let’s start at the beginning.

I’m Yours – For You (1978)

I don’t think this song is particularly great.  It kind of reminds me of some early progressive rock.  It sounds like it could be a track by Rush or something.  However, when you’re listening to it,  you have to keep in mind that this song was produced, arranged, composed, and completely performed  – every instrument and vocals – by a teenager.  If you’re not impressed by it early on, just skip ahead to about the 3:15 for the first true face melting guitar solo of young Prince’s career.  I thought it was interesting that this was the final track on his first album.  A small glimpse of his immense talent as he closed the album.

Partyup – Dirty Mind (1980)

Long before DMX’s track Party Up had you losing your minds up in here (up in here) Prince had his own anthem of the same name.  I couldn’t find a clip of this track online, so you’ll have to look this one up yourself.  Even from the grave Prince is hard to track down.  I have to admit, I had heard this track many times and hadn’t paid a lot of attention to it.  Then this past April SNL had their Prince tribute episode and they aired his performance of this song on the show in 1980.  It was electric.  Prince was rocking an open gray trench coat with black thigh-high leggings and bright scarves.  I was only four years old so I wasn’t familiar just yet, but I have to imagine that blew people’s minds in 1980.  A brother in tights singing some funk in a soft Smokey Robinson falsetto.  Once again, you could see at a very early age that this guy was about to explode.  The premise of the song was a familiar one for Prince: rebellion in the form of partying instead of fighting someone else’s war.  As Prince finished the track with the cry of “you’re gonna have to fight your own damn war, cuz we don’t wanna fight no more” he slammed his microphone in to the ground and the whole band stormed off the stage.  A brilliant introduction to mainstream America with a funky party track.

Let’s Work – Controversy (1981)

First off, check out this live performance from almost exactly 35 years ago.  Incredible.  Prince has a lot of songs with lyrics that leave a lot for the listener to interpret.  Not this one.  You’re not going to find any websites with Prince heads discussing what he meant when he wrote Let’s Work.  It’s a funky ass track that would’ve fit in nicely on any of The Time’s albums.  He sees a woman.  He wants the woman.  He spends the next four minutes telling her what he’d like to do to her.  It’s fantastic.  If I was a DJ this would be the signature track I’d play at every gig.  Let’s Work would come on and people would be like, “Oh shit, DJ Mookie Fantana is in the house tonight.”  Then they’d rush the dance floor because this song is infectious as hell.

Let’s Pretend We’re Married – 1999 (1982)

First off, a homework assignment for you: Ignore the 7″ version I linked in this list and go find the actual 7:22 version from the album.  One of the many things I love about Prince: He’s not afraid to drag out a track for seven or eight minutes.  If you’re loving the track, why should it stop?  Give me the long version every single time…with the exception of Kiss.  The second half of that song is a disaster.  Usually with Prince it’s not until the 4th minute or so that shit starts getting weird and amazing anyway.

While Let’s Work could’ve gotten away with a PG rating, Let’s Pretend We’re Married leaves that track in the dust and jumps to NC-17 immediately.  This song starts with the brilliant line “Excuse me but I need a mouth like yours to help me forget the girl that just walked out my door” and you can imagine where it goes from there.

Fun side story: My parents bought this album for my brother.  He couldn’t have been more than 10 years old.  I was only about 6 or 7 and was not aware of much of any of it other than I knew Little Red Corvette was awesome even though I had no idea what it was about.  I would love to get a time machine to find out who was more horrified by this track, Andy or my dad.  I’m pretty sure Andy just liked 1999 and Little Red Corvette so they bought him the record.  Imagine their surprise when the same guy that was innocently going on about sports cars and partying like it’s 1999 was singing about fucking the taste out of someone’s mouth only 10 minutes later.  Oops!

One last note on this track: If you go out of your way to listen to this on his 1999 album, just keep it going and play DMSR next.  That track could just as easily have made this list, but I didn’t want to fill it with every track on 1999 despite the fact that they all deserve it.  Just listen to the whole 1999 album.  Amazing work.

Note: I’m skipping the Purple Rain album because every track is a classic.  How can you pick an album cut on an album where every song belongs in the Hall of Fame?  If you’re reading this and thinking, “How could he skip Purple Rain?” now you know my reason.

Tambourine – Around the World in a Day (1985)

Man, it’s hard to find Prince’s stuff on youtube.  Unlike some of the other tracks on this list, Tambourine comes in at a brief 2:48.  I have mixed feelings about this album as a whole but I love the beat and the bass on this track.  Despite the fact that the album says Prince & The Revolution, every instrument and vocal on this track is performed by Prince.  In fact, according to the book “Let’s Go Crazy” that chronicled the Purple Rain-era, Prince recorded this entire album while they were on the Purple Rain tour and The Revolution had no idea that he did it.  They were quoted as saying that they were pissed off and disappointed that while they were all partying after shows on the tour, Prince was quietly going to the studio to record more music and he recorded an entire album without his band.  He was already sick of playing the Purple Rain stuff and had moved on.

Anyway, if you read the lyrics to this track, tambourine sounds like it can be a term for male or female genitalia, depending on the situation.  He makes reference to both what it’s like inside a woman’s tambourine and being alone playing with his own tambourine in the same verse.  Prince was nasty as hell, and I mean that in a good way.

Anotherloverholenyohead – Parade (Music from the Motion Picture Under the Cherry Moon) (1986),anotherloverholenyohead,surfq.html?fb_locale=el_GR

I watched Under the Cherry Moon recently.  It wasn’t good.  It was bad.  Not bad good.  Just bad.  Chelsee watched it with me.  Every 90 seconds she turned around and shot me a look that said, “You’re fucking kidding with this movie, right?”  She went to bed.  I stuck with it.  It has its moments.  For the most part it’s unwatchable, though.  How could he hit such a home run with Purple Rain, then follow up with this two years later?  He tried to fly too close to the sun.  A black and white movie filmed in south France.  A hustler/gigolo trying to woo a multi-millionaire socialite.  A puzzling, sexually ambiguous sidekick played by Jerome Benton.  A lot of over-the-top acting and painfully awkward kissing.  Prince misfired…by a lot.

What made Purple Rain amazing despite the shortcomings in the script and acting was that the music was from another world.  It was a 90 minute music video for a once-in-a-generation album.  The music from Under the Cherry Moon is not that.  However, even a B effort from Prince is better than most people’s A.  Everyone knows Kiss is incredible.  Sometimes it Snows in April is one of Prince’s best tracks, and it’s moved me every time I’ve heard it since Prince died last April.  After those two tracks, the highlight is Anotherloverholenyohead.  It’s played in the movie, even though, like most of the music from this soundtrack, it doesn’t seem to fit in to the story at all.  It’s still a great track.  Prince loves a woman.  Gives her everything.  She still leaves him.  He thinks he’s the one for her and she needs another lover like she needs a hole in her head.  No mystery here.  Straight to the point.  U know there ain’t no other like Prince.

The Ballad of Dorothy Parker – Sign ‘O’ the Times (1987)

I’m so happy this one was available on youtube.  I hope it still is when people are reading this.  This isn’t just my favorite Prince deep cut (if you call it a deep cut).  This might be my favorite Prince track, period.  Everything about this track is so amazing and strange and…Prince.  I don’t even know where to start.  The drums, which have so many layers you can hear 20 different things happening at the same time.  The bass slapping.  The strange keyboard that sounds like it’s on the verge of slipping out of tune throughout the track.  The signature Prince linn drum programming lying quietly in the background the entire time.  Maybe Prince’s finest story telling.  “I needed someone with a quicker with than mine…Dorothy was fast.”  “I said, ‘Cool, but I’m leaving my pants on cuz I’m kind of going with someone.'”  It’s sung in a combination of cracking falsetto and straight up shit talking.  Prince at his best, therefore songwriting and music at its best.  This is The Ballad of Dorothy Parker.

Much like 1999, I could’ve chosen at least half a dozen songs to represent Sign ‘O’ the Times on this list.  Dorothy Parker is just so much better than the rest of them it was easy. However, just take the time to listen to this entire album as well.  Housequake, Forever in My Life, The Cross, It’s Gonna Be a Beautiful Night…there are so many gems on this album you’ll fall in love with it immediately.

Positivity – Lovesexy (1988)

In 1988 Prince was supposed to release The Black Album.  Instead, two weeks before it release he insisted it be destroyed, and chose to give Lovesexy to the world.  Arguably his weakest album of the 1980’s, whatever that means.  It’s like the New England Patriots season with Matt Cassel when they went 11-5 and missed the playoffs.  Still a great season, but not up to their usual elite status.  Lovesexy is known, among other things, for Prince’s insistence that this music be enjoyed the way an album is supposed to be enjoyed.  There are no tracks.  If you purchase this CD or download it from iTunes you only get one track.  You can’t skip around.  You either press play and listen from start to finish, or you manually fast forward and rewind to the different tracks.  It’s like buying an iPhone 7 and not getting a headphone jack.  You know Apple is right, you just wish they hadn’t forced it on us.

The people who stick around for the entire Lovesexy album get a nice treat at about the 37:55 mark as I Wish You Heaven comes to a close.  A funky 7+ minute album closer called Positivity.  Like so much of Prince’s work, Positivity is a slow burn.  It starts out sounding good, but the people who stick around will end up nodding their heads to the beat in approval, starting with the first “Naa na na na naaa naaaaa soooo slowwwwwww.”  I urge everyone who dismissed this album to give it another listen, and be sure to stick around for this track at the end, because it’s the highlight.

Electric Chair – Batman (1989)

Prince’s music rarely sounds dated to me.  If any of it does, it’s some of his NPG-era, early-90’s stuff.  That starts with the Batman soundtrack.  In 1989 Batdance was the shit.  Everyone had that track on repeat, and the best part – by far – is the funky Vicki Vale part in the middle.  That stuff still holds up today.  In the middle of all of the “Ooh yeah, I wanna bust that body” and Nicholson talking about dancing with the devil in the pale moonlight, Prince drops the line, “If a man is considered guilty for what goes on in his mind then give me the electric chair for all my future crimes.”  It’s the best part of the song.  Well, if you bothered to listen to any of the rest of that soundtrack, you probably noticed that line is also the hook from the second track, Electric Chair.  Electric Chair is more legendary Prince shit talking combined with more face melting Prince guitar solo.  I can’t think of many things I like better.  The combination of those two things makes this the best track on this album and another great hidden Prince gem.

Elephants & Flowers – Graffiti Bridge (1990)

That same night I watched Under the Cherry Moon I went ahead and jumped right in to Graffiti Bridge.  Graffiti Bridge is Prince’s critically reviled “sequel” to Purple Rain.  This probably won’t make sense, but Graffiti Bridge was somehow worse and better than Cherry Moon at the same time.  First off, I don’t care if Morris Day, Jerome, The Time, and “The Kid” were involved, this movie IS NOT a sequel to Purple Rain.  If I don’t see Apollonia, the purple motorcycle, Minnesota, or First Avenue, it’s not really a sequel.  I will accept it if you say that it takes place six years later in a parallel, crappier universe, but it is not a sequel.  The plot (I use that term loosely) of the movie is that a club owner died – I didn’t really follow who it was…the club owner from Purple Rain with the big glasses? – and somehow Morris Day and The Kid each inherited half of his club, Glam Slam.  For unexplained reasons, Prince lives in a dungeon underneath the stage where he writes his music and occasionally listens helplessly while people vandalize the club.  He and Morris meet a woman who looks like a poor man’s version of Halle Berry from Boomerang.  She apparently lives under a graffiti-covered stone bridge in what looks like an enchanted meadow where she writes poetry.  It wasn’t until an hour in to this mess that I realized the movie was named for the graffiti covered bridge…”Oh, it’s graffiti bridge.  I get it!  I think…”

So, Morris has a club that’s packed every night even though they play shitty music.  George Clinton also has a club for some reason, and it’s also packed even though he’s shirtless and playing shitty music.  Tevin Campbell also lives on that block, and he comes out to the street to perform on occasion.  Then there’s Glam Slam.  Prince puts on these amazing, elaborate performances there and only eight people show up to watch.  One of those performances is Elephants & Flowers.  Prince is in a strange black & white checkerboard ensemble that looks like a cross between a cape and one of those flying-squirrel outfits.  His face is covered in multi-colored paint.  It probably sounds awful, but it’s really amazing.  It’s a great song, and all I could do watching this incredible performance was think, “Prince is in a club busting his ass playing this really cool song and all the stupid people in this town are across the street at Morris’s cheesy club listening to shitty music.  They don’t just ignore Prince’s club, they seem to despise him and mock him at every opportunity.  What the hell is wrong with the people in this town?  This isn’t the Minneapolis I know and love.”  Anyway, Elephants & Flowers.  Great song.

Joy in Repetition – Graffiti Bridge (1990)

Before I start on this song, let’s get one thing straight: My inclusion of two songs from Graffiti Bridge is in no way an endorsement of this movie or an indication that I like that album more than the others represented here.  I just love both of these tracks, and not once have I heard anyone say a word about either of them.  I felt strongly that both songs were worthy of this list, even if the rest of this album doesn’t even come close…except Thieves in the Temple.  Another great song.

So, back to Graffiti Bridge.  In the middle of this movie while Prince and Morris are both trying to court poor man’s Halle Berry, Prince takes her back behind Glam Slam and shows her his own graffiti covered sanctuary.  This is not a bridge, but simply the alley behind the club.  As he’s talking about his art or something and she is whispering for some reason – I’m quite sure she whispers every one of her lines in the movie…right up until she gets mowed over by a car (spoiler alert) – this hypnotic track starts playing.  This song leads to some epic awkward kissing between The Kid and Fake Halle that makes the stuff from Under the Cherry Moon seem perfectly normal.

Let’s get one thing straight right now: aside from possibly D’Angelo, nobody could rock a slow jam/ballad like Prince.  While you’re thinking about classics like Purple Rain, Adore, and Diamonds and Pearls, I submit Joy in Repetition for your consideration.  This isn’t lovesick Prince begging for a second chance.  This is smooth ass Prince getting his mack on.  This song feels like a more chill version of Dorothy Parker, which is probably why I love it so much.  For part of the song he almost has a flow like he’s rapping.  His vocals are layered with crazy falsetto at times, and an occasional deep booming voice as well.  I like to imagine he just made up the words to this song on the spot because it’s so loose in some spots, it feels like a freestyle.  I have to find this album on vinyl just so I can shut off the lights, drop the needle on this track, shut my eyes, and take it in.  This is some cool shit.

Call My Name – Musicology (2004)

Here’s the skip forward past the NPG era.  Most of the Prince music I love from that era is the obvious stuff, so I’m going to move in to what I consider the last – and most underrated – era of Prince’s career.  Musicology felt like Prince’s re-introduction to the world after spending some dark years on the Internet.  In hindsight, Prince was a trailblazing genius.  Selling mp3’s of his music on his own website while everyone else was putting out CD’s.  He was 10 years ahead of his time.  Unfortunately, it made him look like a hermit and a freak.  He was putting out mixtapes online 15 years before it became a thing.  Then Musicology came out and Prince was back.  It was my favorite Prince work since The Love Symbol album.  As I mentioned earlier, nobody did slow jams like Prince.  In the middle of the Musicology album, Prince snuck in a beast of a love song that I would put up against any he ever recorded.  Call My Name is a more tame, mature Prince.  He’s not trying to fuck the taste out of anyone’s mouth on this track.  He’s in love and if he doesn’t “see you real soon, baby girl, he might go insane.”  Even in his mid-40’s at this point his falsetto was still pristine and he could make a sexy jam without all the cringe-worthy innuendo that helped make him so brilliant and unforgettable in the 80’s.  This is the Prince love song for the adult contemporary chart, and that’s a good thing.

Black Sweat – 3121 (2006)

I’m so happy this video was available online.  This is Prince’s best post-2000 work.  Someday I’m going to dedicate another entire post to 3121, Prince’s most slept-on album.  I love that album from start to finish, but the masterpiece is Black Sweat.  At this point Prince is nearing 50 years old.  You’d never know it.  The song is a nastier version of Kiss.  A hard beat with Prince’s smooth falsetto floating over the top of it.  The lyrics are clever and often laugh out loud funny.  In this video he’s peak Prince.  He’s almost 50 but he doesn’t look 30.  He has a woman less than half his age dancing all over him while he stands, occasionally seeming disinterested.  Every side-eye Prince meme and gif you see on the Internet came from this video.  The whole thing is brilliant.  How this album and track slipped past people in 2006 is beyond me.  Again, the best music he made in the last 25 years of his life.  Look it up, people.  3121.  Also, would a vinyl reissue of this album be too much to ask?

Dreamer – Lotusflow3r (2009)

I have Googled this song at least half a dozen times over the years to make sure this isn’t a Hendrix cover.  I can say with confidence that it’s not, but you’d never know it.  Every time I hear it I swear it’s at least a copy of a Hendrix song, but sadly I’m not well versed enough in all things Jim to know which one it is.  I’d like to think that somewhere in the afterlife Jimi and Prince are hanging out and Jimi is saying, “That song was the shit.”  Prince’s simultaneous 2009 release of Lotusflow3r and MPLSound were a solid bounce-back from 2007’s lackluster Planet Earth, but still didn’t quite capture the greatness of 3121.  However, as with every post-1990 Prince album, he managed to sneak a couple great tracks on each album.  Dreamer is the best of his two 2009 releases.  This is not a ballad or a linn drum/keyboard infused funk jam like most of the stuff on this list.  This is arena power rock at its finest.  It’s a 5:30 display of Prince’s guitar mastery.  It’s also some of Prince’s most interesting social commentary.  Check out the opening lyrics:

Eye was born & raised on the same plantation
In the United States of the red, white and blue
Eye never knew that eye was different
Til Dr. King was on the balcony
Lying in a bloody pool

He manages to throw a chemtrail reference in late in the song as well.  If you start diving in to the lyrics it’s a fascinating song.  However, if you’re just in the mood to rock, you can drop the needle and headbang for five minutes as well.  This track is proof that Prince could still blow the roof off at 50.

Breakfast Can Wait – Art Official Age (2014)

In early-2013 a single showed up on iTunes looking like this:


What the hell is this?  Is it Prince?  Did Dave Chappelle make some kind of joke song?  Watch the Tonight Show clip below and let Dave tell the story:

To sum up: in 2004 Dave Chappelle aired a sketch on the legendary Chappelle’s Show that told the story of an encounter that Charlie Murphy had with Prince in the mid-1980’s.  In the sketch, Chappelle played Prince.  Prince’s crew – in all of their 1980’s androgynous glory – beat Murphy’s crew in a post-party pickup basketball game.  When it was over, Prince made and served pancakes for everyone.  Nearly ten years later Prince makes a sexy track about wanting to get it in with his girl before work called Breakfast Can Wait.  He decides to put Dave Chappelle dressed as Prince with a plate of pancakes on the cover for the single.  I have no idea what made Prince release this single by itself.  It didn’t show up on an album until over a year later when he released Art Official Age.

As funny as the Chappelle thing is, I have one small problem with it: The joke on the cover of the single takes away from the fact that this is a great track.  More of Prince at his shit talking best.  Only he could deliver a verse like this with a straight face and make it sound cool instead of corny or desperate:

Hotcakes smothered in honey
(Wait a minute)
I’m gon’ have to pass
Fresh cup of coffee, no, no
I’d rather have you in my glass
Only thing’s that gonna sweeten my tongue
Only thing that’s gonna last now
Is another bite of you babe
Breakfast can wait

Another interesting side story: Prince gave all creative control of the video for this song to an 18-year-old high school girl.  He had an eye for talent because she knocked it out of the park.  It seems slightly creepy and wrong that a girl in high school created and starred in the video for a song about morning sex, but it’s not like Prince ever shied away from being risqué.  Prince doesn’t actually appear in the video, but the girl does, and for parts of it she’s dressed as Prince.  It’s actually jarring the first time you see it because she has facial hair drawn on and everything.  Since he spent much of his career leaving people guessing about his sexuality, I would imagine Prince enjoyed the hell out of that video.

Art Official Age was a great album and Prince was now well in to his 50’s.  Most of it was a return to his funk/R&B roots.  I’m still not sure why people seemed to ignore late-career Prince.  It seemed like he’d release an album and his devoted fanbase would flock to it, but everyone else would treat it like it didn’t exist.  While most of the so-called R&B stars on the radio continued to release mediocre music, Prince was twice their age and still doing it better than they were.  Maybe he set the bar so high early in his career, anything less than that became unacceptable.  Maybe he pissed off so many people with his label issues, name changing, NPG Music Club antics of the 90’s and early 2000’s that he couldn’t bring people back.  Either way, they missed out on a great one in 2014, and Breakfast Can Wait was one of the highlights.  Game: blouses.

June – HITnRUN Phase One (2015)

Sonically, Prince is on some Enya shit with this track.  No guitar solos here.  No funk.  Just bass drum, finger snaps, and some space age shit.  I’m not smart enough to decipher the lyrics to this one, and I don’t even want to float a theory. If anyone has any insight, I’d love to hear it.  What I know is that it sounds cool, and when I’m hanging out on a quiet night like tonight in my den with the turntable on, I like to grab this record and let this track play.

I didn’t realize it until I got this deep in to the post, but for some reason I like a lot of the last tracks on Prince albums.  June, Positivity, Partyup, I’m Yours are all on this list.  Purple Rain is an obvious one.  Sometimes it Snows in April.  Adore.  I don’t think he was trying do anything experimental or different with the last tracks on his albums, but maybe I’ve just been missing something all along.  I guess when you’re a genius and you had something like 39 albums, chances are you’re going to find some great last tracks.

Xtralovable – HITnRUN Phase Two (2015)

This is a controversial choice for a couple reasons.  First let me tell the story: I remember exactly where I was the first time I heard this track.  I don’t know why.  Sometimes music can just trigger memories.  I was heading east on Lombardi Avenue right in front of Lambeau Field.  It’s a place I’ve had the privilege of driving by at least 1,000 times in my life since I’ve spent 38 of my 40 years living in or very near Green Bay.  For some reason I remember running some errands not much more than a year ago while I was giving HITnRUN Phase Two my first listen.  I didn’t know it would be the last time I would enjoy the first listen to a Prince album…at least while he was still alive.  Like a lot of his music for the last 20 years I was enjoying it, but it wasn’t blowing my mind the way 1999 did.  He was in his late-50’s for God’s sake.  As I was nodding my head through the first few tracks, the one that jumped out at me was track 6, Xtralovable.  Definitely funky, but very polished.  A lot of horns.  Felt like a tame version of something that he would’ve crushed 30 years ago.  A cool, catchy song, though.

I know I said every song on this list is on a Prince album, and technically this one is, but the here’s where we get in to Prince’s vault.  A few months after my initial Xtralovable listen, Prince was gone and his music that had been so fiercely protected was now out there all over the Internet for everyone to check out.  As much as I wanted to respect his privacy and have some integrity, I couldn’t help myself.  Suddenly you could go to YouTube and search for Prince and there was an endless stream of stuff that wouldn’t have lasted 24 hours there before his death.  One of the first things I found was the clip I have linked above.  The “best version” of the same song.  An unreleased version of Xtralovable from Prince’s prime, 1982, and it’s 7.5 minutes long.  Everything I hoped it would be.  The version that finally made it to an album 33 years later was really the tame version.  My instinct was right.  The 1982 version is Prince at his vulgar, genre-mixing best.  A lot of electric guitar, but it’s definitely a funky pop song that would’ve fit right in on the 1999 album right after Delirious.  He’s pretty much begging a girl to take a shower or a bath with him, which is weird, but once again, it’s Prince.

The other controversial part of this song choice is toward the end of the unreleased version of the song when he starts talking about how badly he wants the girl.  About 6 minutes he he sings the line “I’m on the verge of rape.”  Five seconds later he says, “I’m sorry.  I’m gonna have to rape you.”  Yikes.  Prince has said some shit in his music before to make me cringe, but this one is hard to look look the other way on.  1982 was definitely a different time, but I don’t care what era it is.  That shit isn’t cool.  I can see why this song never really saw the light of day.  It’s too bad, because for six minutes, it’s enjoyable as hell.  Then it takes a hard left turn.  Even the music turns really creepy like he knows he’s gone to a dark place.  Once he stops talking about raping people, it gets funky again and everyone is happy.  Damn, that’s a serious black eye to an otherwise cool track.

Here’s my message to whoever won the auction for Prince’s vault: Give this song the mastering it deserves.  Re-release it as a lost hit from the vault, and just fade it out at about the 5:30 mark.  Please make all of that regrettable shit go away.

That’s my list.  I’m almost 5,500 words in.  Here’s the thing with Prince: Give me a few more hours and I could come up with three more lists like this and anything on those lists could’ve just as easily been on this one.  There’s so much good music out there.  He let out an album damn near every year for almost four decades.  If the rumors are true about the vault, they could still be releasing Prince music every year until long after I’m dead if they choose to.  What’s your favorite Prince song?  What’s the Prince song that you love that you think nobody else listens to?  What did I miss?  What should I have left off?  I’m curious to get reactions to this from Prince fans.

I’m not done writing about the man, but I need to take a break.  This post took me five different sittings and a lot of hours.  Someday I’ll do my review of 3121.  I also want to do a rundown of my favorite post-2000 Prince stuff.  As I said above, I don’t think he gets enough credit for his later work, and I’d like to get some thoughts out there on that.  For now, sample some of these tracks and let me know what you think.


  1. Also, as I recall, the needle never even hit that copy of 1999 (which, by the way, was purchased at Prange Way the same day as school supplies — 1999 and Trapper Keepers was a pretty good haul). The reason it never hit: I opened up the record and saw, on the inner sleeve, a picture of Prince lying on a massage table with his naked ass up in the air. I knew I was in trouble. I immediately reported it to Mom and never saw the record again.


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