so, for my first post i’m tackling the big one. prince.
well, prince himself is rather small but his catalogue of work is…a monstrosity. with another artist, a prolific output could amount to countless filler, mediocre demos and alternate (ie. crap) versions of their better known work. but with prince, not so much.
some of prince‘s b-sides, leftover album tracks and unreleased gems are as popular amongst fans as his hits. and just when you think there can’t be any more, he unleashes yet more lost jams – seriously, from 1976 to 1990 this man must have only have been let out of the studio to perform.
I’m going through a serious prince moment right now. 2007 has seen a return to his patented minneapolis funk style amongst the r&b community in particular. p diddy and fergie’s press play reject ‘all night long’, ashanti‘s ‘my number babe’ and unklejam‘s ‘love ya’ to name just three.
one of the disconcerting things about growing up listening to prince was that at an early age, you suspected that you were already taller than him. his songs had cute, girly titles like ‘pink cashmere’, ‘peach and ‘kiss’ that failed to alert your parents to the rudeness that lied beneath. and like most little girls he loved purple and was unashamedly crazy. he loved to dress up and act like a diva – we identified.
during the ‘symbol’ era, many thought he had taken self-obsession a step too far – he thought he was unique, and therefore untouchable. the critics disagreed but guess who ended up being right?
one of great things about prince is that he was happy to share the limelight. to give up some of his best songwriting to other artists such as chaka khan (i feel for you), the bangles (manic monday), and sinead o’connor (nothing compares 2 u), was an inspired move that ensured his longevity. back in the day, when you literally bought the album and hoped for new b sides, his output was consistent rather than overwhelming and you never had the opportunity to get tired of him (beyonce, take note). whilst his latest protege or composition, liberally sprinkled with his signature style, wowed the public, he was backstage plotting his next move.
he remains to this day the daddy of the protege business, using his purple magic to launch the albeit short-lived careers of taja sevelle, vanity 6, jill jones and sheila e amongst others, and the various bands he performed with over the duration of his career – the time, the family, the revolution and the new power generation.
this is my current hard to find prince top 10 – it changes daily. i have more prince on my mp3 player than any other artist – about 150 tracks. ok, so these days you can download anything but these are non-album tracks, at least.
you can find more rare prince here, some tracks he wrote for other artists and some varying attempts to replicate his style.
top 10 hard-to-find prince mp3s… download here
originally written for vanity 6 sequel project appollonia, prince eventually released this as the b side to ‘when doves cry’ in 1984. amazing bassline, almost as good as the a side.
classic prince circa purple rain. no idea why it didn’t make the cut – maybe warner bros. couldn’t handle the concept of a song with ‘ass’ in the title? well, it was 1983.
again, prince tells it like it is and this gem doesn’t make the cut for the ‘batdance‘ soundtrack released in 1989. just before color me badd moved the boundaries of acceptability…
tell me how u wanna b done
remix of ‘the continental’ from the ‘symbol’ album. but much better.
1987’s controversial ‘black album’ was pulled due to concern over the overt eroticism of the lyrics…uh…had they been listening to the other lyrics up until this point? prince apparently had a huge crush on cindy crawford, despite her towering over him by a good nine inches.
ok, so prince is obsessed with sex. but this b side to ‘let’s go crazy’ is a fan favourite and still tears up the dancefloor.
love or $
hard to find track featured in the film ‘under the cherry moon’ that failed to make the cut for the accompanying soundtrack, ‘parade’. only ever officially released as the b side to ‘kiss’.
an album track from the 1985 ‘dream factory’ project that got shelved when prince was forced to streamline the content to create 1987’s ‘sign of the times’ album.
18 and over
1991 diamonds and pearls-era reject that picks up where ‘gett off’ and ‘cream’ left off…
underneath the cream
a track from 2004’s ‘chocolate invasion’ album which was only available via the npg music club.
expect more prince in future posts…