Another living nightmare during the day means another late night with Prince. Let’s see what I can write while suffering from crippling sleep deprivation tonight! We’re going way back with this one. All the way to Prince’s 1978 debut album, For You.
“My Love is Forever” was recorded in 1976. That means Prince was already doing the “produced, arranged, composed, and performed by Prince” thing while I was an infant. For the sake of accuracy, this song (originally called “Love is Forever”) actually had a co-writer named Chris Moon. However, Prince re-wrote it and recorded a different version himself. He and Moon agreed that Prince would get full credit for “My Love is Forever” and another song they co-wrote called “Make it Through the Storm” would go to Moon.
In my mind “My Love is Forever” and “Just as Long as We’re Together” are the two finalists for Prince’s Most 70’s Song. “My Love is Forever” is just dripping with that syrupy vibe. Whenever I hear it I picture Ron Burgundy and Veronica Corningstone dancing to it. This song should’ve been playing at the Channel 4 News Team’s pool party when Fantana revealed that he nicknamed his penis “The Octagon.” Prince does flash some serious guitar chops at the end of this song. Again, keep in mind when you listen to this that he’s doing everything and he’s a teenager. Messed up.
Prince’s songwriting isn’t going to win him any awards on “My Love is Forever” but I’m still surprised by the maturity of the lyrics. He might be a teenager, but he’s not some boy bander starting every phrase with “girl.” Much like the very next track on the album, “Baby,” he’s tackling some heavy emotional stuff singing about how she’s the only thing that keeps him going and how he’ll love her forever. Actually, now that see the words on paper, it’s exactly what a boy band would sing. Still, Prince has a mature delivery that doesn’t make the song feel like a lovestruck teenage boy singing to his high school crush.
For You is such a fascinating album. It’s not one of my favorite Prince albums. In fact, it’s not even in the top 20. I know I’ve made this comparison before, but it reminds me of the first season of my favorite TV show, Parks and Recreation. They’re both brief and inferior to later work, but the groundwork is clearly there. There’s enough to make you want to come back for season two.
“My Love is Forever” should be in a time capsule. It’s not really made to be enjoyed in 2020. It should live in 1978. I can’t hear about it without thinking of ugly bell bottoms and tacky upholstery. I don’t ever seek it out, but I respect the effort regardless. The kid shows promise. I’m giving it a below average score, but an A for effort.