Here’s my brilliant idea today that I’ll never keep up with (but I’ll kill myself trying): I’m going to ask Siri every day to “play something by Prince.” I’m going to write briefly about whatever song Siri chooses. Maybe I can get a few people on my Facebook feed to explore deeper in to Prince than the usual hits you hear on the radio. He had hundreds of songs. They weren’t all great, but many of them were. Let’s explore together.
I was listening to a podcast recently. It was Questlove (Drummer for The Roots, Prince Superfan, and all-around music junkie with an unparalleled knowledge of music of all kinds) interviewing Alan Leeds (former tour manager for the likes of Prince, James Brown, and D’Angelo and another person with an encyclopedic knowledge of music). They got in to a debate about ballads. Questlove admitted that he has little interest in listening to ballads. It got me thinking. I don’t like using the word “ballad” to summarize all downtempo music. The definition says, “any light, simple song, especially one of sentimental or romantic character, having two or more stanzas all sung to the same melody.” I tend to use the term “slow jam” when referring to a slow song, but I fell like “slow jam” implies do me music. I haven’t found the right term to encapsulate slow songs. Or, maybe I could just continue referring to them as slow songs.
Somewhere in the sweet spot between ballads and do me music lies “Gigolos Get Lonely Too.” This song was recorded in 1982 and released on The Time’s second album What Time is It? Morris Day performed lead vocals and played drums. Jesse Johnson played some guitar. Everything else was Prince. Aside from the scorching, chaotic funk of “777-9311,” “Gigolos” is my favorite song on this album. A cool, sexy slow song about a gigolo who’s letting his guard down. He’s tired of the money and meaningless sex and is looking for someone he can connect with.
When the Prince Estate released the Originals album in 2019 the inclusion of this track was a pleasant surprise for me. Same exact song instrumentally, but this time with Prince on lead vocals and Morris and Jesse singing backup. I ride for Morris Day, but I prefer Prince’s vocals here. His falsetto is superior. The element that makes this song for me is Prince’s work on keyboard. It’s a simple melody as he’s just playing long chords, but that sound gives this song the chill vibe that I enjoy. It feels so familiar I swear I’ve heard it sampled in other songs, but a quick search of whosampled.com on this song shows 12 songs that have used it, but nothing that’s ringing a bell for me.
To summarize, you should check out both versions of “Gigolos Get Lonely Too” and decide if you prefer Prince or Morris. You should also add it to any list of songs that you listen to if you want to unwind with a drink on a Friday night. I rate “Gigolos Get Lonely Too” 3.5 out of 5.
Strange to start with a song originally released by The Time, but I’m playing by the rules. I’ll be back tomorrow with more.