This is my 11th Daily Prince post. If you’ve been reading you know my selections have been completely random. I’m mostly doing this to entertain myself while we’re staying safe at home. My other objective here is to find people who might only know Prince’s hits and introduce them to some of the hundreds of Prince songs that they might not have heard. Today is the first one I’ve written about that I consider essential. One of his many legendary B-sides.
To put it bluntly, I fucking love this song. Much of what I know about “She’s Always in My Hair” was learned from Duane Tudahl’s brilliant book Prince and the Purple Rain Era Studio Sessions 1983 and 1984. If you ever want to attempt to understand the mind of an artistic genius at the peak of his powers please read this book. To quote Tudahl, “The A-sides of Prince’s singles were released for the record company and for airplay on the radio, but the B-sides gave him a chance to stretch out and reveal some of the extensive unreleased work that may not have fit the theme of an album.”
“She’s Always in My Hair” was entirely written and recorded by Prince in one session on December 29, 1983. The song was inspired by Jill Jones. Prince was a master of song titles that imply one thing but mean something completely different when you hear the song (See: “If I Was Your Girlfriend”). To me “She’s Always in My Hair” implies that this person is annoying. A nuisance. One listen and you realize he’s saying that whenever something goes wrong or he feels like giving up she’s always there telling him how much she cares. She’s always in his hair. She’s caring and supportive to the point of annoyance.
Prince and Jones had just been in an argument and when he presented her with a cassette copy of the song. It did not go over well. She got hung up on the line, “Maybe I’ll marry her. Maybe I won’t.” Jones recalled saying to him, “Who says that?” According to her story she proceeded to tear up the house saying, “You can’t just give me this song and think it’s going to make up for everything.” They never married and Jones is quoted in the book as saying, “I really truly believed that Prince was married to his music. There was no woman who could ever, ever rival that. Or compete. No way. You could try to fit next to it, but nah, it was his music.” Maybe she couldn’t compete with music, but she inspired an amazing song.
Prince released “She’s Always in My Hair as the B-side to “Raspberry Beret” in June of 1985. My introduction to the song came much later. This song is significant to me as it is the point where the paths of my two GOATs intersect. The only artist I hold in the same regard as Prince is D’Angelo. I first heard “She’s Always in My Hair” in 1997 when D covered it for the Scream 2 soundtrack. As far as I know it’s the only Prince song D’Angelo ever covered and recorded. I know he’s performed others but this is the only one I know of that’s recorded. It wasn’t until a few years after I heard D’s version when I started my deep dive in to Prince that I realized the song from Scream 2 was actually a Prince track. Don’t ask me to choose a favorite. I love them both equally. Surprisingly, D’Angelo’s version is harder and more heavy on electric guitar. Prince’s version relies more on drum machine and keyboard. Prince was writing “Sex Shooter” at the exact time he was writing this song and actually sampled the drums he was using for that song and slowed them down to create “She’s Always in My Hair.” Isn’t it fun how I’m full of useless knowledge about obscure Prince songs but I can’t remember what I ate for breakfast this morning?
Someday I’ll attempt to create a Buzzfeed-type definitive list with a title like “The 37 Best Prince Songs You’ve Probably Never Heard.” This song would be one of the first on the list. Do yourself a favor and check out Prince and D’Angelo’s versions and let me know what you think. I give this song 4.5 stars out of 5. How can I give a song I’ve just been gushing about only 4.5 out of 5, you ask? I’m reserving 5 stars for the absolute best of the best. I don’t just hand out 5 stars all willy nilly. I could give “She’s Always in My Hair” a 4.9, but what’s 9/10 of a star? I’ll stick to halves. It’s a near perfect 4.5.