If I’ve seemed brief lately it’s because I’m on vacation and am struggling to find time to write. I gotta keep the streak up, though, and keep providing new funk for my readers. Today, as the lyrics say, is an upper echelon groove.
“The Gold Standard” sounds like a perfect fit for 1995’s The Gold Experience, but that would be incorrect. It was recorded in 2013 and included on 2014’s funky Art Official Age. “The Gold Standard” is yet another upbeat groove heavy on funk. One of Prince’s favorite late-career themes pops up again: Reminiscing about how music used to feel. He could complain about the sound of new music all he wanted as long as he kept putting out grooves like this. What comes to mind for me when I listen to a song like this is that it’s light work for Prince, but if “The Gold Standard” came up on anyone else’s album I’d probably calling people asking them, “Did you hear this?” With Prince it’s just expected. Another funky Prince song.
My other thought as I listen to this song is that Prince must’ve hated having to rely on people to play horns for him. I wonder if he ever considered learning trumpet and sax so he could just take care of that by himself, too. Prince cranked out music like this by himself on a daily basis. It had to drive him crazy to be calling his horn players 24/7 to get them in the studio to record their parts. It also had to drive his horn players crazy occasionally knowing that working for Prince meant you better be ready to show up and perform at a moment’s notice 24/7/365. Not an easy gig, but also rewarding as hell, I would assume.
“The Gold Standard” is classic Prince funk. Even in his mid-50’s he was putting out jams that most people only dream of. The title of the track is perfect because it sums up Prince perfectly. He was the gold standard.