My dad had many frequent sayings. One was, “He doesn’t know if he’s on foot or horseback.” Right now I feel like I don’t know if I’m on foot or horseback. I’m so wrecked I don’t know what day it is. I want to go to bed, but my instincts tell me to keep moving. I’m waiting for something at work to complete, and I don’t want the Prince streak to end. So, I trudge on with today’s song.
“Hardrocklover” was the second single from Prince’s penultimate album Hitnrun Phase One. At least the penultimate album during his lifetime. “Hardrocklover” dropped in July of 2015 and I remember the internet reaction being like, “Oh shit, Prince is back!” I remember thinking, “He never left, dummies,” but whatever. For a song called “Hardrocklover” the opening and the verses are deceiving. A stripped down keyboard and low rumbling bass note. As the verse progresses hand claps and percussion are added until the song erupts in to Prince screaming, “I can make this woman scream!” After the first chorus the process begins again. Nothing but Prince’s vocals and stripped down instrumentation. Then another climax during the chorus. The song is about Prince deciding that the only way to make his woman scream is with his guitar. She’s a hard rock lover. “R&B ain’t got no place.”
As I’ve said many times, Prince never lost his fastball. This song was recorded by a 57-year-old Prince with an assist from Joshua Welton. Welton was a reliable collaborator, teaming up with Prince on some of the best work of his later years. Just typing that makes me sad. If this song is an indication of what Prince was capable of in the final year of his life, it leaves me wondering what he could still be doing now if he was here with us. I’m going to go to bed now the same way I have many nights; wishing Prince was still here with us. I still miss him.
Shout out to my homie, Tews, on his birthday. I miss you, brother.