What do you do when you’re up in the middle of the night waiting for a bunch of data to show up on a server? You write to posts in a row, motherfucker! IT life. It’s not for people who require sleep. It’s for the clinically insane. Seriously, I’m pretty sure I just posted a column that contained a Prince/Parks and Rec comparison and a shout out to Brian Fantana’s penis. If that’s not an indication that I’m having problems with my sanity, I’m not sure what is. Let’s keep it going! I’ve gotta get caught up tonight because when/if this professional nightmare ends I’m probably going to sleep for at least 24 hours straight.
Today’s track is “No More Candy 4 U” from Prince’s slept on 2009 album MPLSound. Prince released two albums on March 24, 2009. If you buy the vinyl you get both in one gatefold. Check out the picture above. Two albums in one. I’m not sure I like that, because you only get artwork from one album on the cover, but I guess it’s a good value. One was Lotusflow3r, a guitar heavy rock album. The other was MPLSound, and as you might infer from the title, it’s more of a throwback to his early sound that made him famous. MPLSound is more drum machines and keyboards. Party stuff.
“No More Candy 4 U” is all Prince. Vocals, instruments, lyrics…everything. That’s not unusual, but I like to point it out. My kids and I were having a conversation the other day and they were telling me that they like Prince, but they think Michael Jackson is better. I said, “With all due respect, you’re all fucking idiots and you don’t know shit.” OK, I didn’t say that. I said, “Michael Jackson is great if you can bring yourself to ignore the fact that he was likely a pedophile.” OK, I didn’t say that either. Here’s what I really told them: I love Michael Jackson’s music too. He was an amazing performer and dancer. However, when you’re listening to a Michael Jackson album you’re listening to him and an entire team of people who made and wrote that album with him. If you love Thriller then you need to give as much credit to Quincy Jones as you do Michael Jackson. They said, “Who’s Quincy Jones?” and I told them he was the brains behind most of the music on Off the Wall and Thriller. Also, he’s Rashida Jones’s dad. They love Rashida Jones from Parks and Rec, and I just found a way to reference my favorite show again. When you listen to Prince, that’s who you’re listening to. Prince didn’t need anyone to write him anything. He needed horn players and he took care of the rest. I know I’m exaggerating. Of course he had people that worked with him and inspired him, but Prince was the driving force and brains behind the operation. I think I got through to them. I got three bewildered faces saying, “Really? How did he do that?” I said, “Practice, y’all. You’ve gotta love what you do and you’ve gotta put in the work.” They thought that was pretty cool and I found a way to use Prince’s unmatched drive and work ethic as a lesson for my kids. I’m sure they still like Michael more than Prince, but I did at that age, too. They’ll figure it out.
Back to the song. “No More Candy 4 U” is almost cartoonishly upbeat. It’s got a rockabilly vibe to it, but Prince also found a way to sneak in the classic Linn drum sound. You should all know by now that I’m a sucker for that. The song is classic late-career 50-year-old “get off my lawn” Prince, but it’s disguised as a fun song here. He’s using the phrase “No More Candy 4 U” the same way the Soup Nazi uses “no soup for you” on Seinfeld. Prince sets his sights on “freaks in the magazines who never paid no dues” and “punks who wanna be rock star and do what they do” on this track. No more candy for them! My favorite moment of the song comes in the opening seconds when he mumbles “Nine out of ten mortals agree today; Too much fame causes spiritual decay.” I dig the message here, even if he does come off as the crabby old guy. I dig crabby old Prince. I dig every Prince.
Unfortunately, this song doesn’t completely work for me. It’s upbeat and fun, but I’m not a fan of the melody or the piano/keyboard. I’m going to call this a slightly below average Prince track.
One last thing before I go. Are you listening to the Official Prince Podcast? I’ve always enjoyed it, but the first two episodes of The Story of Sign ‘O’ the Times have been excellent. Full of interesting stories. I’ve heard today’s story from Susan Rogers on how the sound board in Prince’s new house wasn’t ready but Prince recorded “The Ballad of Dorothy Parker” anyway. If you love Prince or anything about music recording, you’ve gotta check that out. Andrea Swensson and the crew have outdone themselves. Have a happy Friday, y’all. Let’s make this weekend a good one. Stay safe!