I view Prince’s career arc a lot like a good TV show that takes a season or two to get going. Prince’s debut album, For You, is cool and you can hear the potential, but it’s not an album I come back to repeatedly. It’s kind of like Season 1 of Parks & Recreation. If I want to re-watch that show sometimes I skip Season 1. If I want to listen to old Prince stuff, I’ll often start with Prince or Dirty Mind.
Sometimes I wonder if Prince viewed his self-titled second album as something of a reboot or fresh start. This is purely anecdotal, but it seems to me most self-titled albums are debuts. They’re a way of saying, “I named this album after myself because this is a statement on who I am. I’m introducing myself to the masses.” I always found it odd that Prince’s second album is the self-titled one. Almost like a do over. Prince’s falsetto is so soft on For You he sounds shy and meek in some spots. With his self-titled second album he lets you know right out of the gate that he’s not playing this time. The falsetto is still present but there’s a confidence in his voice and the music that isn’t always present on his debut album.
“Sexy Dancer” is a prime example. The third track from the Prince album is also the third single, but he only released it in the UK and Japan. “Sexy Dancer” is great late-70’s disco/pop/funk. The bass line is funky as hell. As with everything at that time, Prince wrote and performed everything himself, so what you’re hearing is all him. What you should not do with this track is focus on the lyrics. Prince is one of the great songwriters who ever lived, but you wouldn’t know it looking at this song. Here’s the moral of the song: There’s a sexy dancer and he wants her body. End of story.
“Sexy Dancer” would be a fun Prince deep cut to play at a club or party to see if people would dance to it, but it’s not a track I come back to very often. I’ll put it right in the middle and give it 2.5 out of 5 stars.