A Six-Pack of Prince

From a Newsweek profile on Prince in 2004 (during a pre-show soundcheck): “The 5-foot-2 singer adjusts the long poet sleeves of his with blouse, strokes his goatee, fidgets with his diamond-encrusted pendant and taps his platform heel on the concrete of this sports arena in Reno, Nevada. He leans over to [the writer} and whispers,”I’ll give you 20 bucks if you yell ‘Freebird.’ C’mon,” he says. “25 if you shout ‘Skynyrd, dude!'”

That quote has nothing really to do with this post. I was reading a tribute to the Purple One in a magazine, found that quote and thought it was funny and revealing.

I mentioned in my Favorite Guitarists post that Prince was one of those. Prior to that, I don’t think I had written about him much since my post on his untimely death back in 2016. (Not three months after David Bowie’s passing. Not a good year.)

But it wasn’t just Prince’s guitar playing that I dug although that was an important component of it. I mentioned in my post back then that I had been turned on to Prince’s music by a guy I was working with, a black guy who was listening to this stuff while I was digging the Police.

We were driving around somewhere and he put on a tape (remember tape?) of Prince’s Controversy album, his fourth. Now I grew up in Philly listening to a lot of doo-wop, a lot of soul, a lot of R&B. But funk, not so much. And I wasn’t (and am not) much of “dance music” kind of guy.

But I tell you what. There was (and is) something catchy and infectious about the title song. Wikipedia says, “The song addresses speculation about Prince at the time such as his sexuality, gender, religion, and racial background, and how he could not understand the curiosity surrounding him.”

Plus how could you not be interested in an album whose next two songs were “Sexuality,” and “Do Me, Baby.”  Here’s “Controversy.” (Forget finding Prince studio stuff on YouTube:)

Spotify link

In 1984, Prince released an album and movie called Purple Rain, which kicked his fame into the stratosphere. Perhaps sacrilegiously, while I like the title song, I am really not that big a fan of it.

But I really, really dug the song “Let’s Go Crazy” and I still have it on my iPod to listen to on the rare occasions when I get off my ass and go to the gym. There is some great guitar playing in here and Prince ends the tune with a straight-up blues lick way up on the 14th fret. (I learned it.)

Dearly beloved, we have gathered here today
To get through this thing called life
Electric word life it means forever and that’s a mighty long time
But I’m here to tell you there’s something else (Go crazy)

Spotify link

We saw Prince way back in 1997. To this day, one of the best shows I’ve ever seen. Prince was not only great at everything but he was quite the showman. The thing I remember most as I noted previously is he asked that parents take kids (why where they even there?) out of the room so he could sing “Sexy M.F.” (I’m not being coy. That’s the name of the song, okay motherfuckers?)

Spotify link 

In my great guitarists’ post, I specifically mentioned “Why You Wanna Treat Me So Bad.” I think I was somewhat giddy about this tune as, while researching this post, I had re-discovered it. Not only a great song but a phenomenal solo and the only other Prince one I’ve learned.

This is from his second 1979 album simply called Prince.

Spotify link

In 1986, his Purpleness released a not-quite-as-celebrated-as-Purple Rain movie called Under the Cherry Moon. The accompanying soundtrack (for whatever reason) was called Parade. And from that album is a song that NME ranked the song number 4 in their list of The 150 Greatest Singles of All Time. Here is “Kiss,” a song that Tom Jones did a pretty good cover of.

Spotify link

At the beginning of this post, I mentioned being turned onto this stuff by my co-worker Andre. He also played me the song “Head.” And yes, it’s about oral sex and this is because, well, Prince had a dirty mind. I know this because that is the name of the album it came from. Enjoy!

Spotify link

I know you’ve likely all heard this, but as a bonus here is Prince and a bunch of other dudes you’ll recognize playing “While My Guitar Gently Weeps.” Prince crushes his solo and pretty much everybody else on stage.

Sources Wikipedia:; Newsweek, Rolling Stone

16 thoughts on “A Six-Pack of Prince

  1. Prince is a very interesting case. Except for a few songs, I can’t say I really dig his music. Still, I surely as heck believe he was a genius of an artist and a hell of a guitarist.

    That crazy solo on “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” is one of the best I’ve heard! It’s also fun watching the reactions of the other musicians on stage while Prince is “exploding.” They knew they were witnessing something truly special.

    I also recall back in Germany when I was in my early 20s, a dear friend and Prince fan played me some of his music. I can’t remember the albums, but I do recall the enormous versatility of these tunes.

    Now that I’m writing all of this, I feel I should probably revisit Prince. I haven’t listened to him in a long time. Who knows, it may turn out I love more of his music than I currently think I do.

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    1. Sounds like maybe, yeah. Give these tunes a listen. I guarantee you someone else would have come up with 6 others. If you dig these, give the ‘Purple Rain’ album a listen or check out a Spotify list.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Great selection, sir. Let’s Go Crazy is an absolute sodding belter. There’s so many stories about the little purple chap – swear boxes in the studio and playing basketball in heels – but I love the story behind his HOF appearance from the lack of rehearsal to the fact that nobody ever saw that guitar come down.

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    1. It wasn’t a big stretch for me to get into his stuff considering what I grew up with. Then when I heard his guitar playing that was a big plus. I dunno – I’m a pretty big fan. For me he was the whole package. Can’t say if the solo is weeping but it’s tasty. And yeh, that’s Harrison’s kid, Dhani.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Here’s a funny thing: I could watch live footage of Prince for hours, but I’d struggle to sit through an album. I only started paying attention to him about 5 years or so ago cause a pal surprised me by telling me he is / was one of his favourites of ever during a conversation about how underwhelming I found Purple Rain. He threw a few albums at me that he thought would set me on my way and, while I liked what I heard, I never really got to listening to a whole lot more than that. Helluva a talent, though… I don’t know what it is about the albums.

    When he passed, I remember that footage of While My Guitar Gently Weeps doing the rounds on social media and that’s when I first saw it. Absolutely magical every time. More so cause Prince is having a fucking ball. I love that.

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    1. I listened to a few albums before doing this post. I can’t say that any particular album blows my mind so as I think about it, yeah, for me maybe he’s a singles guy. Which, you know, is fine. If I sat down and really thought about it I could probably put together a nice Spotify playlist. But what I tend to do is take songs from the posts I’ve done and make up a big playlist or two of different artists. So I’ll probably have a couple of Prince songs on there. And ‘live’, yeah, fantastic show.

      BTW, if you haven’t already, give a listen to ‘Why You Wanna Treat Me So Bad’ from the post. I love the song but his solo at the end is probably my favorite of his.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I could watch the HOF performance over and over and over – just freaking incredible – and you’re right beyond the solo itself his whole attitude – I also love his leaning back off the stage like he’s gonna fall. After he died I read a great story about the whole thing – it said during rehearsals some other guy (can’t remember his name but not anyone famous) kept stepping up during the solos and doing them – Prince would just smile and step back. On the night of the performance the producers told the guy don’t you dare do that – so I think no one on the stage had a clue what was going to happen. I watched it today and it was a bit poignant to watch knowing both Prince and Petty are gone.

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  5. Yes so many great singles. An alternative list would be When You were Mine from Dirty Mind, Red Corvette from 1999, I would Die 4 U from Purple Rain Raspberry Beret from Around the World, I could never take the place off Sign O the Times (love that song), and Cream from Diamond and Pearls

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