Monday, April 25, 2016

A Benevolent Prince

The general consensus in our little corner of the blogosphere seems to be we all like Prince well enough but not in a fanatical way. The word "genius" has been bandied about quite a bit too, but most lost track of his music... some a few years ago and others a few decades. To make this a good story, I would separate myself from the pack and go on and on about how I have all 39 of his studio albums and a shelf of rarities to boot. Unfortunately, I'm like most of you. On vinyl I have the double-LP '1999', 'Purple Rain' and two 12" singles from the same era. The last thing I bought by him was the three-disc 'Hits' collection. Seems like only yesterday, but that was 23 years ago! In other words, I'm no authority on Prince. All I can say is I pulled out everything I had by him this weekend, listened to it all, and came away wishing I had done a better job keeping up with his work. I have a feeling I'm not alone in this sentiment.

Here are a few 12" versions of songs Prince had a hand in... one way or another. Sheila E. and Prince wrote and produced the duet "A Love Bizarre" in 1985. It wasn't quite as big as "The Glamorous Life", but it still managed to peak at No. 11 on the Billboard Hot 100. Chaka Khan's cover of "I Feel For You" needs very little introduction. Melle Mel rapping her name over and over has been burned into our brains forever. This would be her biggest hit in a legendary 30-year career and one of the most memorable songs of 1984. Prince gave "Manic Monday" to the Bangles, and the ladies certainly made it sound like one of their own. A lovely piece of pop that went top 5 all around the world in 1986. Many are giving thanks to Prince right now, and I'm betting the following artists are at the head of the line.

Sheila E. - "A Love Bizarre" (Parts I and II)
Chaka Khan - "I Feel For You" (12")
The Bangles - "Manic Monday" (Extended)


kevinpat said...

I love Prince. I have much of his music on vinyl, CD and in my laptop. He breathed music. His guitar playing is breathless. His songs are classic or just funky pieces of creation that enter your soul and make you dance. In the long run he will be remembered like we know Duke Ellington. His name was Prince. And he was funky. His name was Prince. The one and only.

The Swede said...

My Prince years ran from the very beginning of the 1980's until the mid-1990's, 'The Gold Experience' being the last album I purchased, though I don't actually own that one anymore. The last one I still have is the 'Symbol' album from 1992. 6Music did their usual sterling job in these sad situations, playing Prince related music all over the weekend and digging up a lot of excellent later period stuff along the way, including a lot that I didn't know. He really was the total package, a true artist, taken way too soon.

Brian said...

Hey, Kevinpat, there's the fanatic I was trying to find!

Swede, When I was in the car on Saturday I did a quick scan on FM and heard many remembrances of Prince from the stations that made sense. Not a contest, and I could be wrong, of course, but I feel like the mourning of Prince seems bigger than that of Bowie at least here in America. At any rate, an absolutely horrible year.

kevinpat said...

Hmmm. I wouldn't call myself a "Prince fanatic". I think I'm more of a music fanatic and when I hear something as remarkable as the catalogue he produced and the progression he made & ultimately inspired I want to keep listening. Which I did, and he continued to amaze me & make me happy. And I do believe he left an impression that in future years his music will be even more beloved.

But that's just me........