Daily Prince 8/2/20: Man in a Uniform

I wrote this on April 25, 2020:

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 started writing about Prince every day because I was looking for something to write about while stuck at home trying to avoid COVID.  The naive optimist in me thought this would go 30 days.  50 tops.  We’d certainly be out of our houses by June, right?  I forgot one thing.  This is America!  Apparently many people have decided that they’re willing to die (and allow tens of thousands of others to die) over the right to not wear a mask.  So, now it’s August and I’m still sitting here writing about Prince for the 100th day in a row.

A few things have changed since I wrote that paragraph 100 days ago.  I don’t ask Siri to play something by Prince to choose my daily song anymore.  I recognized early in this process that using Apple Music was flawed.  For starters, the 1988 album Lovesexy is one entire track.  I’m not gonna get songs from that album if I ask Siri to play something by Prince.  Coincidentally, we’re 100 songs into this project and I still haven’t gotten a single song from Lovesexy.  There’s also stuff that I don’t have in my Apple Music catalog like the cool 3rdeyegirl.com track “Ain’t Gonna Miss U When U’re Gone” that I wrote about just a few days ago.  I created an Excel spreadsheet with hundreds of songs on it and I randomize the list every day and pick the song that comes up first.  It’s a better representation of Prince’s entire catalog.

I also quit Facebook because it’s a cesspool of misinformation, stupidity, and ignorance.  It also turns everyone in to what I refer to as internet gangsters.  It’s way too easy to act tough and say some hateful shit to someone on Facebook that you’d never say to their face.  Essentially, it’s a bunch of cowards hiding behind a keyboard.  I guess that’s kind of the internet in general, but Facebook seems to bring out the worst.  Surprisingly, quitting Facebook did little to change my hits on mookiefantana.com.  Plus, 98% of my Facebook “friends” are likely relieved that the guy who posts shit about Prince every fucking day is finally gone.  I try to use my social media and, for that matter, this website for good.  I try not to be negative or say anything there that I wouldn’t say to a person’s face.  That was getting too difficult, so I quit and I sure don’t miss it.

Also, if you follow me on Twitter and you’re thinking, “This dude is a hypocrite.  I’ve seen some of the things he tweets at Donald Trump.”  Wrong.  I’d say that shit to his face.  He’s a soulless pile of trash wrapped up in human form and I would absolutely LOVE to tell him that to his face.  He’s literally anti-Christ.  I swear, I’m positive otherwise, though!

Enough about that.  Back to patting myself on the back for writing about Prince for 100 days in a row.  If I could start over and do things differently, I can only think of one thing I’d do.  I’d get rid of the ratings.  Who the hell am I to rate the work of Prince?  I adore him.  Aside from a small handful of songs that I genuinely do not like, I’m at worst indifferent about some stuff, and like or love about 80% of his music.  That’s remarkable because he made so much music, but also because I hate a lot of music.  Turn on a pop radio station and sit with me sometime.  I don’t like criticizing Prince.  The original reason for posting ratings was really for my own use.  I’m always making Prince playlists in Apple Music and constantly thinking of things like, “If I was going to pick my 25 favorite Prince songs, what would I pick,” or, “Is there a scientific way to determine my favorite Prince album?”  “What are the 15 best Prince ballads?”  You get it.  So, I thought if I was going to make this list I’d assign scores so I can sort by score.  I wish I had just kept that to myself.  I keep thinking if Prince were alive and actually saw this, how would I respond to him if he asked me, “Who are you to say that ‘The Human Body‘ is only a .5 star song?”  I’d have no answer.  I love Prince.  I’m not trying to hate.  I started this to celebrate his music every day, not tear it down.  But, since I’m 100 posts in and I’ve been rating the entire time, I’ll keep it up.

So, where do we go from here?  100 days in a row was kind of my pie in the sky goal.  I never thought I’d be here.  My goal now is an entire year.  Think about this for a second: I’m 100 songs in and we haven’t gotten to “Little Red Corvette,” “Let’s Go Crazy,” “When Doves Cry,” “Purple Rain,” “Kiss,” just to name a few of his other signature hits.  We also haven’t gotten to many of my favorite album cuts and B-sides like “Erotic City,” “17 Days,” “Housequake,” “The Ballad of Dorothy Parker,” or “The Beautiful Ones.”  There’s so much more content out there.  I’m going to try to keep this up for a year, and if I make it that far, I’m still enjoying it, and I still haven’t gotten to the songs I want to write about, I’ll keep going.

If you’ve ever questioned if I’m truly selecting these songs randomly I can hold up today’s post as proof that I do.  The 100th day in a row should’ve had a massive hit worthy of celebration.  When I randomized the list this morning I had visions of “Purple Rain” being at the top of the list.  Instead, I got “Man in a Uniform.”  Not one of my favorite Prince songs, but an interesting choice if only because it comes from a unique and forgotten album.  The Truth was recorded in 1996 and was billed as an “acoustic” album.  That’s not entirely true because there are electronic instruments and sound effects, but the album does rely heavily on acoustic guitar.  After a few unsuccessful attempts to release the album in 1997, O(+> (he wasn’t Prince in 1997) released the album in 1998 along with his triple album Crystal Ball.  Because the album wasn’t sold separately it couldn’t chart on Billboard and Prince did no promotion of any kind for the album.  The album didn’t even have official cover art.  The picture you see now associated with the album is taken from a promotional cassette.  In other words, it came and went with no fanfare.

Unfortunately, there’s a lot of cool work on The Truth that slipped by everyone unnoticed.  Somewhere in the middle of that is the track “Man in a Uniform,” a funky, stripped down little track featuring acoustic guitar and congas.  Of course, all instruments and vocals on the track are O(+>.  I have one gigantic, glaring issue with “Man in a Uniform” and it’s the frequent use of “Reveille.”  “Reveille” is a military bugle call and you hear it throughout the song, but it’s not a bugle.  It’s a cheesy keyboard sound, and I’m not sure if that’s better or worse.  Either way it’s not good.  I’m sure it’s there to supplement the “Man in a Uniform” theme, but it annoys the crap out of me.  It kind of dominates the song.

If you take “Reveille” out of “Man in a Uniform” it becomes a cool acoustic jam that I’d listen to frequently and I’d probably give it at least 3 out of 5 stars.  But, it’s there and it’s prevalent.  So, instead I typically skip it.

Sorry for the longer than normal post today.  I wanted to celebrate the 100 days accomplishment.  Thanks for coming along on the ride with me.  Let’s do 100 more.

Rating: 2 out of 5.

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