I can’t think of too many bad Prince songs. That said, this week of posts hasn’t produced anything close to his greatest hits. I know when I started this project I said that I wanted to introduce readers to something beyond his long list of hits. Well, we’ve gone miles beyond the hits this week. Obscure B-sides and vault stuff. “Hot Thing” steers us back toward the kind of song I had in mind when I started this project. An album cut from one of his classics.
This is our third time visiting Prince’s 1987 classic Sign O’ the Times, the album many consider to be his best. Unlike our first two trips, which included a Christian rock song and an unabashed love song, “Hot Thing” is more like what casual listeners might expect out of Prince. All instruments – except saxophone – and vocals are Prince. Lyrics about…you guessed it. A “hot thing.” Prince is just running game on a hot thing who’s “barely 21.” Not a lot of depth in the lyrics and it gets a bit repetitive at nearly six minutes long, but still a cool track. Highlights for me are Prince’s vocals, especially the harmonies which sound almost robotic at times. Actually, to me it’s a rare track that gets stronger in the final minutes. The song explodes into a screaming frenzy in the middle along with some dope sax work by Eric Leeds. What follows is some cool bass work by Prince in the final minutes.
To be honest, my favorite thing about “Hot Thing” is that it’s sampled in Talib Kweli’s 2007 single with the same title. Shout out to Talib. One of the GOATs. I give Prince’s “Hot Thing” 3.0 out of 5 and am hoping for the Excel spreadsheet to produce something to bust us out of our mini-slump.