Wrldindstries302 ranks and reviews the top 100 Prince songs

wrldindstries302wrldindstries302 Road Warrior
edited March 2009 in History of Rock
I wrote this last year for another forum last year, but now with Prince's new 3-disc album coming next week, it will become obsolete. So since I put a lot of work into it, I figured I'd repost it here, roughly 20 a day leading up to the physical release of the new album. It's possible some of you may have read this already, so if you have, don't spoil it!

Anyway, Prince is one of my all-time favorite artists, and is truly one of the most talented musicians ever. I have over 1000 Prince tracks on my computer, but this list only includes songs from all of his studio albums, and some officially released b-sides;not unofficial releases or live recordings. Still, that means there were over 300 songs eligible for the list, and I found it very tough to narrow down the best of them. Even the songs towards the end of the list are excellent in my opinion. I should note that the reviews start out very short, but get longer as it goes on.

Hopefully there are more Prince fanatics on this board that would want to read this; if not, I'd highly recommend those unfamiliar with Prince to check out these songs!

Songs 100-71:

100. Live 4 Love (Diamonds & Pearls)

This is one of the few gems on an otherwise terrible album. One thing I should note is that I actually really like the rapper from the New Power Generation, Tony M. This song is driven by a cool hip hop beat, with two great guitar solos and nice verses from both Prince and Tony M.

99. Elephants & Flowers (Graffiti Bridge)

There’s not much to say about this one. This is from another one of Prince’s weak albums. It’s somewhat repetitive, but overall a good song

98. Lolita (3121)

A nice synth pop song from a great album, Lolita is somewhat of a throwback to classic Prince. I really like the beat, and also the hilariously stupid self censorship. (“A long time ago, we’d be the sh- uh-oh”)

97. Prettyman (Rave Un2 The Joy Fantastic)

Although it was only a hidden track on the album, it easily outshines most of it. With a funky beat and some pretty funny self-deprecating lyrics, it’s a fun song on an album that seemed too concerned with following the trends of the mainstream at the time.

96. Chaos & Disorder (Chaos & Disorder)

Although Chaos & Disorder is often written off as a contractual obligation album, I think it’s a good, if not entirely original, album. This is a great straight up rock song, and I think there are too few of those in Prince’s discography.

95. Race (Come)

Come is another album that’s usually viewed as a contract-fulfiller, and it does have a lot of filler, but there are some great songs on it, like this one. Nothing mind-blowing about it, just a good bass line with mostly rapped lyrics and a nice horn part.

94. 1999 (1999)

Okay, I know you were thinking this would be way higher, but when it comes down to it, this just doesn’t stand out next to the rest of 1999 (my favorite Prince album). Maybe it’s because I’ve heard it too much, but it just doesn’t grab me like the rest of the album.

93. 7 (The Love Symbol Album)

This is a great single from another one of my favorite Prince albums. A simple pop song, with a good beat and cool vocals.

92. Rave Un2 The Joy Fantastic (Rave Un2 The Joy Fantastic)

This is a good throwback to 80s Prince, mainly because it was released over 10 years after it was originally written. The vocals are somewhat grating (the original version is much better in this department), but the music is great. Classic weird Prince

91. Planet Earth (Planet Earth)

This song almost plays like a mini Purple Rain, with gentle piano opening that eventually builds up to a great guitar solo. The lyrics are pretty cheesy, but those were never his strong point.

90. Pheromone (Come, 1994)

I’m not such a fan of the intro to this song, where Prince whispers creepy come ons into (I assume it’s supposed to be sexy…) over sounds of the ocean. Not that the rest of the song doesn’t have a creepy vibe to it, as it’s about Prince spying on a kinky sexual encounter. This song has a good beat to it, but what I really like about this one is the vocals, particularly in the chorus.

89. I Feel For You (Prince, 1979)

I find the majority of Prince’s pre-80s work to be pretty boring, but this is one of the exceptions. This song has disco-y rhythm to it, and a great synth melody. I’ve always thought the frankness of the lyrics were funny (“I wouldn’t lie to you baby, I’m physically attracted to you”). The vocals are very typical of early Prince, and while the instrumentation is good, it just doesn’t reach the highs of songs shortly after this time.

88. Family Name (The Rainbow Children, 2001)

When I started really getting into Prince, I put off getting The Rainbow Children for a long time because I’d heard it was really bad. True, the spoken word parts of the album take a little getting used to, but this is a concept album (albeit one about ridiculous religious beliefs). This song is somewhat hard to describe, but I think the best description would be “prog-funk”. It starts out with a computerized voice talking about minorities over some cool instrumentation, which leads into the main part of the song, which slowly builds into a hard rock closing/guitar solo, that, if it weren’t for Prince’s scream, could pass as part of a Mars Volta song. Overall, a great song.

87. Eye Hate U (The Gold Experience, 1995)

This is a courtroom drama slow-jam, with Prince putting his former lover on trial for breaking his heart. Though the idea of a love-hate relationship is overused in music, he manages to make this one not seem too silly with some clever lyrics. This song builds up from a quiet jam to a great, but way too short guitar solo, with great vocals throughout.

86. The Ride (Crystal Ball, 1998)

This is a blues-rock song, that I think makes it pretty clear that Prince is a Hendrix fan. There isn’t much in the way of lyrics to this one; it’s mainly an excuse for Prince to showcase his amazing guitar playing skills, which I definitely have no problem with.

85. Emancipation (Emancipation, 1996)

Emancipation (a three disc, three hour album) is considered by many to be loaded with filler, but I think the main problem with this album is that there it’s simply too consistently “good” and rarely “great”. Truly, there aren’t many songs on it I would consider bad. Emancipation is the closing track to the album, and is basically Prince declaring his freedom from his record label. It’s one of the funkiest tracks on the album, with good use of horns.

84. Thieves In The Temple (Graffiti Bridge, 1990)

This is one of Prince’s few top 10 hits since the 80s, which is a shame. One thing I like about this track is the variety of sounds incorporated into it. Despite the loud drum beat, and the angry layered vocals, it sounds vaguely Middle Eastern, and there are few songs in Prince’s catalogue that sound like this one. One thing I would’ve pointed out in this song is the solo, which I always thought was a distorted guitar solo, but I recently learned that it’s actually a sampled harmonica solo.

83. Girls & Boys (Parade, 1986)

Though I think Parade is easily Prince’s worst album of the 80s, there’s no denying that it has some fantastic songs. Girls and Boys is a pretty odd song, combining saxophone with a really weird sounding synth part, some French spoken word, and what is probably one of Prince’s first raps . It would be much higher on the list if it was half as long, as it really drags near the end.

82. Dirty Mind (Dirty Mind, 1980)

I felt pretty weird purchasing this album, and I’m sure that most people that have felt the same way. It was totally worth it, though, since Dirty Mind is the first truly great Prince album. Driven by a pulsing drum beat and a great keyboard riff, this track is an excellent opener to the album, and though it’s somewhat repetitive, it never gets boring.

81. Last December (The Rainbow Children, 2001)

This song goes through several sounds, starting out as a gentle pop ballad which leads into a gospel-like section. Then, it abruptly transforms into a hard rock song with a great guitar solo, which leads into a somewhat Middle-Eastern sounding instrumental section. Finally, it builds into a choir-like finish, and it’s a great end to the album. One problem I have with this song (though it didn’t affect the ranking) is how preachy it is (The chorus is “In the name of the Father / In the name of the Son / We need to come together / Come together as one”) but overall it’s a pretty epic sounding song.

80. I Wanna Be Your Lover (Prince, 1979)

Prince sure knows how to pick great opening tracks. This Is another great discoish song and it was his first big hit. The first half of the song is an excellent pop song, and while the second half is a little too long, it is a great funky instrumental.

79. Loose! (Come, 1994)

This song is somewhat technoish, but it really rocks. It’s the most upbeat song on Come, with some really cool synth along with two good guitar solos (introduced with “guitar solo”) The vocals are mostly shouted, but there isn’t too much on it, and they are probably the worst part of the song. This is one song that probably would be a lot better as just an instrumental.

78. Musicology (Musicology, 2004)

It’s a shame that Musicology was Prince’s “comeback” album, considering every album he released in the 00s was better. One of the few saving graces on an otherwise lackluster album, this is a great funk song that recalls Prince’s classic years while not sounding like a rehash.

77. The Morning Papers (The Love Symbol Album, 1992)

The Love Symbol Album has got to be Prince’s most underrated album. I see so many copies of it every time I go to the used CD store, and they’re usually $3 or less. This is an excellent pop rock song accented by a good horn part. The song has a great melody that builds up to a beautiful guitar solo that ends the song.

76. Get Yo Groove On (Emancipation, 1996)

The main reason this song is on this list is because I really like the sound of plucked orchestra instruments, though it also features great instrumentals, and is simply put, a great dance song. It manages to not feel too long, despite being almost 7 minutes.

75. Black Sweat (3121, 2006)

This is kind of a modern day Kiss. The minimalism of it is great, with most of the song consisting only of a drum beat and Prince singing, with a cool high pitched synth added in from time to time. Though, as I said, it’s very reminiscent of Kiss, it doesn’t sound like a retread at all, nor does it sound dated.

74. The One U Wanna C (Planet Earth, 2007)

This is a great straight up pop song that probably should’ve been released as a single. I really like the riff and bass line, but it does go on for a little too long (and from the sound of the end, it probably went on for longer). It does have some pretty stupid lyrics, but it’s very catchy and fun to sing along to.

73. Face Down (Emancipation, 1996)

This song is basically Prince doing gangsta rap diss track, with a great beat similar to the style of the early 90s, though it’s a bit more musical. It’s got some pretty funny parts (like the “orchestra”, and well, the idea of Prince doing a gangsta rap diss track), and one of Prince’s best raps (though that isn’t saying much).

72. Love 2 The 9’s (The Love Symbol Album, 1992)

Another great pop song from The Love Symbol Album, this song starts out as a nice, jazzy pop song, but it morphs into a hip hop song halfway through, with Prince forgoing the falsetto of the first half for primarily rapped verses, a good beat, and some cool scratches. Both halves are good, and it manages to

71. Billy Jack ***** (The Gold Experience, 1995)

Though I really like the riff in this song, this is another song that would have benefitted from being a little shorter. Musically, it’s excellent, with nice solos from the guitar and keyboard and funky horn outro, but there’s a lot of repetition in the lyrics (the word ***** is said at least 50 times throughout the course of the song.) Despite dragging a bit, it’s still an excellent song.



  • afterstasisafterstasis Washed Up
    edited March 2009
    i have only heard four or five prince albums, so i will be using this list to help me choose what to go after next.
  • ardshipmanardshipman Unsigned
    edited March 2009
    Great start so far! Keep it coming!
  • wrldindstries302wrldindstries302 Road Warrior
    edited March 2009
    afterstasis;2148964 said:
    i have only heard four or five prince albums, so i will be using this list to help me choose what to go after next.
    I think the best 5 Prince albums are 1999, Sign O The Times, Dirty Mind, Gold Experience, and Love Symbol Album, so whichever of those you haven't heard, you should check out.

    Also I updated the list with the next 10.
  • edited March 2009
    what? no love for the Purple Rain soundtrack?
  • afterstasisafterstasis Washed Up
    edited March 2009
    wrldindstries302;2152020 said:
    I think the best 5 Prince albums are 1999, Sign O The Times, Dirty Mind, Gold Experience, and Love Symbol Album, so whichever of those you haven't heard, you should check out.

    Also I updated the list with the next 10.
    i've only heard parts of "gold experience" and "love symbol" so i'll look into those next.
  • wrldindstries302wrldindstries302 Road Warrior
    edited March 2009
    HMXThrasher;2152028 said:
    what? no love for the Purple Rain soundtrack?
    That's number six for me. It's got a lot of great songs, but I think as albums the other 5 work better.

    In order, my top 10 is:

    1. 1999
    2. Sign O The Times
    3. The Gold Experience
    4. Dirty Mind
    5. The Love Symbol Album
    6. Purple Rain
    7. The Black Album
    8. Lovesexy
    9. 3121
    10. Controversy
  • Soror_YZBLSoror_YZBL Road Warrior
    edited March 2009
    Nice list. I'd put 7 WAY up there, though. I feel it's easily one of the top 10 prince songs, and one of the few still on my frequently listened to tracks. I agree with 1999 though, it was great in 1983, but hasn't aged as well as the rest of the record.

    If you think Girls and Boys is too long on Parade, you should hear some of the bootlegs. I heard a version that was around 15-20 minutes long, just a crazy funk jam. I can only imagine how amazing it would have been in concert.
  • wrldindstries302wrldindstries302 Road Warrior
    edited March 2009
    It's okay when Girls And Boys runs long in live settings, because they do more with it, adding solos and such. On the record though, it's just repetitive.

    Songs 70-41

    70. The Ballad Of Dorothy Parker (Sign ‘O’ The Times, 1987)

    Much like most of Sign ‘O’ The Times, this is a pretty weird song. This tale of spending an evening with a waitress has no real melody or hook, and Prince’s singing varies a lot throughout the song. Another thing I should note is that Sign ‘O’ The Times is desperately in need of remastering. It sounds pretty minimal, but there’s a lot going on in the background, and I still hear new things each time I listen to it.

    69. Fury (3121, 2006)

    This is high-energy Hendrix-esque song, that has what I think has some of the best quitar playing Prince ever put on an album (the live show is on a whole other level) One thing I like about Prince’s music in general is that as good of a guitar player as he is, it’s rarely given precedence over everything else. However, it’s great to hear a song that focuses on the guitar every once in a while.

    68. Anna Stesia (Lovesexy, 1988)

    I love the build-up of this song. Starting with only simple piano chords in the beginning, it adds a basic drum beat and vocals, then a simple synth line, then some cool guitar licks. The emotional intensity of this song near the end, with gospel style repetition of “love is God, God is love, girls and boys love God above,” and some crazy guitar, is simply amazing.

    67. Why You Wanna Treat Me So Bad? (Prince, 1979)

    Since Prince’s songs are so often cut short to fit on an album (for example, the released “extended version” of I Would Die 4 U is over ten minutes, but there’s also an unreleased version that’s over a half hour), there are a lot of songs where I wonder where they go after they fade out. This is one of those songs. It has a great keyboard melody and simple but effective guitar chords that make it an excellent pop song, but the ending is a guitar solo that fades out while it’s still going on, leaving me wonder what could have been next.

    66. Irresistible ***** (1999 B-Side, 1982)

    This is an odd dance song that was the b-side to Let’s Pretend We’re Married. Much of the song is just Prince talking over a funky bass line and drum beat, with the some synth, but it has enough interesting quirks to make it a great listen all the way through.

    65. Sex ("the 80's are over and the time has come 4 monogamy and trust") (Scandalous Sex Suite EP, 1989)

    I really like the songs where Prince speeds up his vocals, be it as Camille or otherwise. This is a pretty strange song, with a great repeated synth riff and drum beat. I was really surprised by how upbeat this song is when I first heard it. It’s the b-side to the almost 20 minute version of the incredibly slow and boring “scandalous” from the Batman album, and it was quite a pleasant surprise.

    64. Starfish & Coffee (Sign ‘O’ The Times, 1987)

    This 60s style pop song is another of example of how less can be more. It doesn’t have much more than 3 repeated piano chords with a drum beat, with tambourine added in the end. It has a great vocal melody, and is just overall a fun song.

    63. Gold (The Gold Experience, 1996)

    Sometimes called the Purple Rain of the 90s, this song is definitely ambitious, but it really doesn’t share much in common with it except for being a great album closer. It certainly is a good song, but it just doesn’t reach the emotional heights of Purple Rain and it’s much more straightforward pop-rock. The lyrics are pretty cheesy, but the layered vocals are cool. Of course, it’s not fair to compare this song to Purple Rain, and it definitely is a good song worthy of being on the list.

    62. Crystal Ball (Crystal Ball, 1998)

    This is a pretty ambitious 11 minute song originally recorded in 1986 and intended to be on the 3-LP Crystal Ball album that eventually became Sign ‘O’ The Times. I understand why it got cut, as it really wouldn’t have fit well with the other tracks on SOTT, but it truly is a great song. It builds up from a simple drum beat with some creepy ambient noise. It goes through several different movements featuring some great solos, and gets an almost sinister sound near the end with a string section that creeps in. Now that I think about it, arrangement-wise, this song has a lot in common with one of my favorite Bowie songs, Station To Station.

    61. 1 + 1 + 1 Is 3 (The Rainbow Children, 2001)

    Easily the funkiest song on The Rainbow Children, this song is somewhat of a modern day Erotic City. It’s a very danceable track that has Prince mostly singing about dancing, though it is apparently supposed to be a religious criticism of the idea of the Holy Trinity. I’ve heard a theory that this is a song he wrote in the 80s about a threesome rewritten to be about religion, and it seems possible, especially considering the ridiculous self-censorship (“we don’t give a duck what you got on”).

    60. Guitar (Planet Earth, 2007)

    The title of this song was somewhat of a misnomer when it was first released on Prince’s website—it featured very little guitar, save for a somewhat interesting solo in the middle. The song was a soft pop song, with an odd effect on the vocals. Luckily, for the album version, Prince fixed most of the problems with the song, turning it into an upbeat rocker with a good guitar solo, and removing the effect on the vocals.

    59. Take Me With U (Purple Rain, 1984)

    Ahh, the first Purple Rain song to make the list. This is a great pop song with a very laid-back feel to it. The melody is excellent, as is the string arrangement. Listening to this song reminds me of a summer afternoon.

    58. Dolphin (The Gold Experience, 1995)

    This is another great pop-rock song , that’s about Prince’s battle with his record label. It’s very upbeat, with some great guitar. It’s probably not on YouTube anymore, but there was a hilarious performance of this song on The Late Show in the 90s, where at the end of the song Prince put his hand to his head as though he was shooting himself, and he fell to the ground and left the stage by having one of the band members drag him off to the side.

    57. East (N.E.W.S., 2003)

    N.E.W.S is a very underrated instrumental jazz-funk album. This song is easily the best song on it, featuring great movements, from jazzy to hard rock to funk, that have excellent instrumental solos . My only problem with this song is that it reaches its peak too early in the song, and kind of just trails off at the end.

    56. Positivity (Lovesexy, 1987)

    This is a great closer to Lovesexy, with a pulsing drum machine beat that runs for most of the song. There’s great guitar playing throughout the song, though a lot of it is buried under the other sounds. The vocals are great, with some semi-rapping and and pretty dark sound for a song about positivity.

    55. The Continental (The Love Symbol Album, 1992)

    There are two parts to this song, with the first part being much better than the second part. The first half is upbeat and funky with a hard rock guitar riff, with some scratching and horns thrown in. Prince’s vocals are great throughout the song. The second half doesn’t have guitar, replacing it with a synth. Overall it’s a great song, though it ends pretty weakly, with Carmen Electra telling Prince how she’d like to be done.

    54. Eye No (Lovesexy, 1987)

    This song opens and closes with what sounds like people at a party, and indeed, it sounds like a great party song. It has a great funky synth riff, accented with horns, which makes you want to dance. I also really like Prince’s falsetto singing in this one.

    53. D.M.S.R. (1999, 1982)

    1999 is the only album from his early years where it doesn’t feel like he made any cuts to the songs so that they’d fit on a record (it was, after all, a double LP), and it benefits from that. If this song was on any other Prince album in the 80s, it probably would have been edited down to 4 minutes. I think that this song, at 8 minutes, is just the right length. It’s really funky with a lot going on, and it’s another song that you just want to dance to.

    52. 319 (The Gold Experience, 1995)

    I really like the contrast in this song. It has a really hard sounding guitar riff with loud drums, but really soft falsetto vocals, very similar to those in Kiss. It works really well together, and almost stops the listener from feeling creepy for listening to a song about Prince taking pictures of a woman touching herself.

    51. Good Love (Crystal Ball, 1998)

    This song is from the original 1986 Crystal Ball/Dream Factory sessions, and unfortunately it didn’t make the cut for Sign ‘O’ The Times. True, it’s not as good as similar high-pitched-vocals songs that are on it, but it certainly is better than the weaker tracks like “It” and “Hot Thing”. It’s got a great melody, and I love the effect on the vocals.

    50. Delirious (1999, 1982)

    I think that this song has the perfect music for a song called “delirious”. The main synth riff in this is just so weird sounding, so stupid (and I don’t mean that in a bad way), that it just has a delirious feeling. I really don’t think the music could fit any other subject. This song is very similar in structure to an earlier song, “Jack U Off” , though it’s an improvement in nearly every way. I love the sound of the synth, and the crazy way Prince sings. The drum beat is great too.

    49. Head (Dirty Mind, 1982)

    This keyboard part, that comes in every time something dirty is said, makes the song. It does have an excellent bass line, and a pretty cool drum beat, but without that keyboard, and the great solo that closes the song it wouldn’t be the classic it is. This, along with the song that comes next on Dirty Mind, “Sister” were probably the dirtiest songs Prince released in the 80s, and I find it strange that Darling Nikki was the song that caused the huge controversy, considering it really is tame next to a lot of his other work. Which leads me to…

    48. Darling Nikki (Purple Rain, 1984)

    I’m ashamed to admit that this is the first non-huge hit single Prince song I ever listened to, since I only listened to it because of the Foo Fighters cover. I really like the loud-quiet-loud dynamics in the song. The way that the each verse explodes into synth and guitar is great. As I said, this song is notorious for leading to the use of parental advisory stickers, though it was probably the popularity of the song, and not the content, that led to it. I mean, by 1984 there were a lot of worse songs content-wise out there, and I think Darling Nikki deserves to be remembered for the great music, and not the controversy it caused.

    47. Paisley Park (Around The World In A Day, 1985)

    Around The World In A Day must have been a huge shocker when it came out. Following up Purple Rain with an album that starts with such a foreign sounding song was gutsy, for sure, but Paisley Park wasn’t that much of a departure from Purple Rain. It’s a sunny mid-tempo pop song that consists mainly of a drum beat, vocals, and excellent guitar throughout. This song suffers from poor mixing, though. Although I said earlier that I like that Prince doesn’t use guitar as a crutch for bad melodies, I think that there were a lot of times when excellent guitar playing got buried under everything else, and this is one of those times.

    46. F.U.N.K. (F.U.N.K. Single, 2007)

    This was written in a few days, basically as a fan diss track, and is one of Prince’s best songs in years. It sounds like it came straight out of the 80s, and though it’s pretty funky, it’s more of a rock song with a funk flavor. The vocals are some of the most sped up Prince has ever done, which I like, and it has several great guitar solos. I kind of see this song as Prince proving he can still do what he used to (after backlash from recent albums) but that he really doesn’t feel like it. It’s an excellent song and shows promise for his next album (although it’s likely that the next album won’t have anything like this song)

    45. 3121 (3121, 2006)

    This is another song that has an 80s vibe to it, but it also sounds modern. I really like the layered vocals in this song, with nearly every line being sung by several Princes of varying vocal distortion. The accompanying music is just so… weird, I guess, and I think it’s great that even after 30 years of making music, he can still make songs that don’t really sound like anything else in his catalogue.

    44. Strays Of The World (Crystal Ball, 1998)

    It’s a shame this one never made any actual album; it could easily have fit on one of Prince’s mid 90’s albums (well, not Come, but definitely The Gold Experience) Most of the song is in a slow tempo, with a full band sound that switches between a hard rock sound and a slow-jam sound. It has several great solos, and builds up to a rocking ending

    43. Anotherloverholenyohead (Parade, 1986)

    Another one of Parade’s (too few) highlights, this song really benefits from the piano accent. It’s got a funky bass line, with great backing vocals. As far as 80s Prince songs go, it’s pretty straightforward pop. This song is proof that Prince should use piano in his music more often.

    42. My Name Is Prince (The Love Symbol Album, 1992)

    This was my introduction to non-80s Prince. It’s kind of like a combination of the two sounds that were big at the time, grunge and gangsta rap. The influences of rap on this song are obvious—mainly the repeated bass sound, the self-congratulatory lyrics, and the semi-rapped verses (plus the Tony M rap). But it also has a very alt rock flavor to it. Most of the vocals are shouted, and it has some hard rock guitar. Overall, it’s a very cool song.

    41. Let’s Pretend We’re Married (1999, 1982)

    A very upbeat and rhythmic song, this song doesn’t overstay its welcome despite being seven and a half minutes. The repeated synth and drum beat is a great base for the song, and there are a lot of great ideas over the course of the song. Plus, try finding a more badass lyric than “I’m not saying this just to be nasty, but I sincerely want to **** the taste out of your mouth.” You can’t do it.

  • SayburrSayburr The Always Informative Rock Band Forum Guru
    edited March 2009
    Very nice! Can't wait to read the rest... got "The War" in there somewhere?
  • Soror_YZBLSoror_YZBL Road Warrior
    edited March 2009
    My band did a mostly faithful cover of "Dorothy Parker" back in the day, it blew people's minds that 1. a goth band was covering prince and 2. prince songs could be so freaking weird. I love that song.
  • wrldindstries302wrldindstries302 Road Warrior
    edited March 2009
    The list has been updated to include songs 60-41
    Sayburr;2156969 said:
    Very nice! Can't wait to read the rest... got "The War" in there somewhere?
    Unfortunately, that's one of the few songs of his I could never find.
  • SayburrSayburr The Always Informative Rock Band Forum Guru
    edited March 2009
    wrldindstries302;2161704 said:
    Unfortunately, that's one of the few songs of his I could never find.
    I had to buy it as a bootleg, but its great. 35 minutes of pure funk goodness.
  • Soror_YZBLSoror_YZBL Road Warrior
    edited March 2009
    wrldindstries302;2156248 said:
    ideas over the course of the song. Plus, try finding a more badass lyric than “I’m not saying this just to be nasty, but I sincerely want to **** the taste out of your mouth.” You can’t do it.
    Best lyric ever. :) My mom forbade me from listening to prince because of this song. Of course, she also thought "Controversy" was saying "c**** your p****". My mom isn't the brightest of stars.
  • wrldindstries302wrldindstries302 Road Warrior
    edited March 2009
    Songs 40-21

    40. The Everlasting Now (The Rainbow Children, 2001)

    This is another “prog-funk” song, with a great live sound to it (and not only because it opens with the sounds of a crowd cheering) The instrumentation in this one is top-notch all around. Most of the song is very funky and danceable, thanks to a great bass line and horn section, though there is a cool latin instrumental breakdown in t he middle with a Santana sounding guitar solo. This song also has some pretty funny parts, like a shot at people wishing for his 80s sound (“you know, this is funky but I just wish he'd play like he used to, old scragglyhead sum-a *smack*”) and a fake ending (“psyche!”). I’d like to see Prince do more of this kind of music in the future (organic sounding jazzy funk).

    39. Strange Relationship (Sign ‘O’ The Times, 1987)

    This is another song by “Camille”, and it’s also another one that makes a case for a remastering of Sign ‘O’ The Times. The credits for it list a whole bunch of instruments that can barely be heard. What can be heard, though, is great. The drum beat is almost mechanical, in that it doesn’t stop or change though the whole song, making it somewhat hypnotic. The melody and keyboard riff in this song are fantastic, and it would be really interesting to hear what else is buried in this song.

    38. Uptown (Dirty Mind, 1980)

    When I hear this song, it just makes me want to dance. It’s a great funk-rock song, and its message of a place free of hatred is effective because it just makes you feel good. Even as I type this, I’m listening to the song and bobbing my head. The guitar kind of jumps around a lot throughout the song, sometimes, being the background, sometimes following the vocals, sometimes doing its own thing. That, plus an amazingly funky bass line, make for an excellent song.

    37. Another Lonely Christmas (Purple Rain B-Side, 1982)

    I love the emotion in this song. It’s a piano rock song that tells the sad tale of a man who lost his lover on Christmas. The music in it is great, but what really makes this song are Prince’s vocals. The way he sings in it so sincere sounding, and the emotion in it builds up throughout the song, along with the rest of the music, until it ends with a simple but effective guitar solo.

    36. Soft And Wet (For You, 1978)

    This was Prince’s first single, and it is far and away the best song on his debut album. It’s mostly a funk-pop song, but there is also a great disco sounding breakdown in the middle with an excellent synth solo. It’s especially impressive considering Prince was 19 when he wrote it.

    35. Endorphinmachine (The Gold Experience, 1995)

    As much as I love P. Control, I think Endorphinmachine is the true opener to The Gold Experience. The live band feeling of it is much more in line with the rest of the album than P. Control, and it just really pumps you up. It’s probably the hardest rock song Prince has ever put on an album. It has so much energy, and just the right amount of cowbell. Most of the song is semi-rapped, but there’s also a fair amount of screaming. It’s a fun song that isn’t taken too seriously—one part I’ve always liked is near the end where all the instruments drop out, and it’s just Prince screaming like he’s being murdered, which ends with him hawking a loogie. It just seems to me like he’s kind of poking fun of bands that do the yelling thing for all their songs.

    34. Sexy M.F. (The Love Symbol Album, 1992)

    I think the primary goal of this song was to test how many times he could say “mother****er” and “shaking that ass”. Despite a silly chorus and some embarrassingly repetitive areas (the phrase “shaking that ass” is repeated in some way for a full 45 seconds), the music of this song is just too good. As I’ve said before, I really like Prince’s jazzier songs, and this song combines jazz elements with old school funk. There are great solos from several instruments and the bass line is awesome. Prince’s vocals are also pretty unique (for him); I wouldn’t really call it rapping, rather they’re mainly rhythmically spoken in a monotone voice. It all comes together to make a very catchy song.

    33. Play In The Sunshine (Sign ‘O’ The Times, 1987)

    The music on Sign ‘O’ The Times is all pretty hard to classify. It’s all just in the “Prince” genre, really. This song is kind of a classic rock & roll song, though it has a lot of interesting twists, like xylophone (I think) solos, a guitar solo that’s basically just noise, and some strange breakdowns. It certainly is properly named—it’s a fun, upbeat song that is indeed quite summery.

    32. Sexuality (Controversy, 1981)

    I find it strange that a song called Sexuality is one of the least sexual songs on this album. But this song is weird like that. Unlike many of Princes songs, which build up to a strong finish, this song starts out at its best, then kind of falls apart—and as strange as it sounds, that’s a good thing. The song basically is about the degeneration of society, so it makes sense in that respect. It starts out with an incredibly catchy synth bass line, which drops out as the song goes on, along with many of the other musical elements. It then turns into Prince talking about the problems with the USA. And it’s all a lot better than it sounds.

    31. I Would Die 4 U / Baby I’m A Star (Purple Rain, 1984)

    Yeah, I’m cheating by counting these as one song, but they just go perfectly together. The synth in I Would Die 4 U makes what could be a sappy cheese-fest into a unique melodic song. I love the seamless transition from the slower, downbeat song to Baby I’m A Star, which is almost too catchy. I feel compelled to move whenever I hear it. The synth and drum beat are so simple, but amazing. The strings that become more prominent as the song goes on are also excellent. I really like the second half, where it sounds like the song is going to end a couple times, but no, it’s just a breather before it explodes into a great keyboard solo.

    30. Now (The Gold Experience, 1995)

    This is another song where Prince’s rapping doesn’t sound totally stupid. Maybe it’s because this song doesn’t try to be a rap song, instead leaning more towards funk. It’s not really about anything, but it’s got a great bass beat and gets really noisy during the chorus, especially near the end where Prince screams like a lunatic. I really can’t explain why I like this song so much, and it wouldn’t be this high on most people’s lists, but I think it’s really catchy and I love listening to it.

    29. Partyup (Dirty Mind, 1980)

    Like much of Dirty Mind, Partyup is driven by little more than drums and a great bass line. It’s sort of an odd closer to the album in that almost every other song on it is about sex, but this song closes with an anti-war line. It’s somewhat repetitive, but it’s got enough interesting tweaks throughout to make it a great listen from start to finish. The sparse guitar and keyboard add a lot with a little, and the handclaps add to the catchiness. It’s just another song you feel compelled to dance to.

    28. I Could Never Take The Place Of Your Man (Sign ‘O’ The Times, 1987)

    Another 60’s pop influenced song, this one has an insanely catch keyboard riff and great use of handclaps. I really like the extended instrumental portion, which has a great, though very subdued guitar solo. My only problem with this song is that after the instrumental part, it sort of just fizzles out, as though Prince couldn’t think of a good way to end it. Even so, it’s a great pop song that’s definitely worthy of it’s position

    27. Shhh (The Gold Experience, 1995)

    This song starts out big, but then turns into what sounds like a Prince slow jam, albeit a good one with great vocals and a cool solo. The whole first half seems very tense, like it wants to explode, but is holding back (>_>), and finally it does about four and a half minutes in. The end part is what raises this one above the average slow jam, and makes it excellent. The harder end portion has great drumming (and solos, a rare thing for Prince) and an excellent guitar solo.

    26. Cindy C. (The Black Album, 1987)

    This song is packed with cool ideas. It changes a lot over its six minutes, though the drum beat and horn riff is kept throughout the song. There’s some great percussion solos, great vocal interplay between Prince and Sheila E, random guitar solos, background arguments and insults, organ solos, and ends with a rap. Prince singing is pretty much all over the place, too—he starts with falsetto, does some regular singing, rapping, speaking, shouting, screaming, and other strange things. And though I said earlier that Let’s Pretend We’re Married had one of the most badass lines in music, the line “I'm sure you're quite intelligent/a whiz at math and all that ****/but I'm a tad more interested in flying your kite tonight” gives it a run for its money.

    25. Partyman (Batman, 1989)

    Like the majority of the Batman album, this song has very little to do with Batman, save for and a Joker sample that serves as the introduction. I guess partyman is supposed to be the Joker, but it really doesn’t make sense. Anyway, this is easily the best track on Batman, with a very danceable beat and an interesting horn part that is repeated throughout the song. It’s really funky, and is kept interesting for it’s duration with the help of some odd samples, a piano part, and the occasional guitar fill.

    24. Sign ‘O’ The Times (Sign ‘O’ The Times, 1987)

    Another very minimal song from Sign ‘O’ The Times, this is more proof that less can sometimes be more. It doesn’t have much more than a drum beat a couple synth sounds for most of it, with the occasional bluesy guitar lick, making for a pretty somber song. Lyrically, it’s one of Prince’s best, a rare occasion of him singing about current events.

    23. Let’s Work (Controversy, 1981)

    A pretty straightforward dance song, this would’ve fit easily on Dirty Mind. It has great keyboard parts throughout, and another classic bass line. The guitar that’s buried under everything most of the time give it an added edge. The main reason this song is so high on the list is the extended dance remix, which is twice as long, but has enough additions to fill up that time easily, including more pronounced guitar and a solo, added lyrics, and better keyboard parts.

    22. When You Were Mine (Dirty Mind, 1980)

    Despite being really cheesy, or perhaps because of it, this song is ridiculously catchy. Like most of Dirty Mind, this song sounds really rough, almost like a demo, which I think it really benefits from. It’s one of the only songs on the album that has more guitar than bass, and it sounds like a combination of an early synth pop song with a 60s pop song, which is great. The silly things in this song are what make it, like the repeated background vocals, and the cheesy lyrics.

    21. Alphabet St. (Lovesexy, 1987)

    I was a big Ween fan before I was a big Prince fan, so my first exposure to this song was through the song “L.M.L.Y.P.”, which contains a portion of this song as well as "Shockadelica". Surprisingly, Ween actually made the song sound less weird. This song is pretty unique-sounding among Prince’s catalogue. The “yeah yeah yeah” chorus is really effective, and the abundance of squeals doesn’t sound silly in the context of the song. Like a lot of the songs on Lovesexy, this has some great guitar playing that is buried in the mix. It also features the first officially released rap on a Prince album. Despite being so unusual, it’s easy to see why this was released as a single, since it really is catchy.

  • SayburrSayburr The Always Informative Rock Band Forum Guru
    edited March 2009
    ....and I tought I had heard every Prince song ever, but you got me on this one. I have never heard it. "Another Lonely Christmas (Purple Rain B-Side, 1982)"
  • wrldindstries302wrldindstries302 Road Warrior
    edited March 2009
    Really? It's on the third disc of the hits collection.
  • Soror_YZBLSoror_YZBL Road Warrior
    edited March 2009
    That's what we get for feeling that the albums are enough. :) Damn rock stars and their unreleased stuff they stick on greatest hits records.

    I had it with the cassingle of purple rain, but I haven't heard it since... well when was the last time you listened to a cassingle?
  • afterstasisafterstasis Washed Up
    edited March 2009
    Soror_YZBL;2165319 said:

    I had it with the cassingle of purple rain, but I haven't heard it since... well when was the last time you listened to a cassingle?
    i still keep all my old smashing pumpkins cassingles in my car. they had such incredible b-sides!
  • edited March 2009
    Excellent analysis of number 38 - in fact I maintain that if you don't start moving at least a little bit when this track comes on then you are in fact a soulless monster...
  • Onslaught_feiOnslaught_fei Headliner
    edited March 2009
    Harmonix hinted at Prince coming in today's Giantbomb.com podcast.
  • AxlVanHagarAxlVanHagar Road Warrior
    edited March 2009
    Onslaught_fei;2166090 said:
    Harmonix hinted at Prince coming in today's Giantbomb.com podcast.
    That would be awesome. I love Prince's stuff. Great list and analysis OP. This is a great thread. Nice to see someof the B-sides like the previously mentioned Another Lonely Christmas. I've always loved that along with She's Always In My Hair. I remember having the 45's of those singles.
  • wrldindstries302wrldindstries302 Road Warrior
    edited March 2009
    I added songs 30-21 to the list.
    Soror_YZBL;2165319 said:
    That's what we get for feeling that the albums are enough. :) Damn rock stars and their unreleased stuff they stick on greatest hits records.

    I had it with the cassingle of purple rain, but I haven't heard it since... well when was the last time you listened to a cassingle?
    They really made his greatests hits CDs worthwhile, imo. The first one "The Hits/The B-Sides" has 4 unreleased tracks and 20 previously record-only b-sides, and the most recent one "Ultimate Prince" has a second disc of extended versions of hits.
  • JordashebasicsJordashebasics Rising Star
    edited March 2009
    I always felt like Alphabet Street could have been a much better song if it was edited a little. Somehow, it feels like it drags.... I'd be happy with the released version if it were a remix of some sort, but it needed to be a little tighter to be.... right.
  • wrldindstries302wrldindstries302 Road Warrior
    edited March 2009
    Songs 20-11:

    20. All The Critics Love U In New York (1999, 1982)

    Songs about critics usually bother me, because they usually amount to little more than whining. Maybe this one doesn’t bother me because of how tongue in cheek it sounds—the song is loaded with guitar noodling, and in the middle of a particularly strange sounding one Prince says “Yes, we're certain of it, he’s definitely masturbating”. It’s got a great beat with a very electronic sound accented with a lot of cool guitar solos. The lyrics aren’t anything interesting, but the song sure is.

    19. Controversy (Controversy, 1981)

    A song about controversy on an album called controversy aimed at causing controversy shouldn’t be good. But here it is, a classic Prince funk song. The beat is great, and the keyboard really adds a lot to a somewhat repetitive song. It has a lot of cool ideas, and though I could do without the reciting of the Lord’s Prayer in the middle, the lyrics aren’t nearly as stupid as they could be, addressing people’s problems with Prince. Overall, a great track.

    18. Days Of Wild (Crystal Ball, 1998)

    This is Prince’s most successful gangsta rap style song, with great rapping, and pretty good lyrics, which address some of the problems with the genre. The live version on Crystal Ball is vastly superior to the unreleased studio version, which sounded really flat, and had a beat that sounds too much like a “copycat” beat than something original. The released version has much more energy, and a great full band sound. It also has great performance and solos from most of the band. My only complaint with this recording is that you can hardly hear the crowd’s chants.

    17. Private Joy (Controversy, 1981)

    I’ve always found this song to be incredibly underrated. It’s Prince’s best (and catchiest) early song, with a great bass line and synth riff. I really like the use of the drum machine here, which provides a fast beat that makes me have to tap my feet. I also like the vocal delivery near the middle of the song. It’s pretty much pop perfection, that closes with a cool guitar solo.

    16. P. Control (The Gold Experience, 1995)

    As I said earlier, I don’t think this songs makes a good opener to The Gold Experience, but that doesn’t mean it’s not an excellent song on its own. I have trouble deciding if I like the original version or the remix from Crystal Ball better, so I just put the original version. It’s a pretty odd rap-style song that’s about female empowerment, despite what the name might make you think. Prince’s rapping in this song isn’t his best, but the song as a whole is his best rap song. It’s obnoxious in just the right way, especially the wailing in the chorus.

    15. Raspberry Beret (Around The World In A Day, 1985)

    Another spectacular summery pop song, this one has an excellent… well everything really. The lyrics are some of Prince’s best, and they actually tell a story, which isn’t a very common thing for him. The chorus is one of the most memorable choruses of all time, and the string section is great. Vocally, it isn’t Prince’s strongest performance, but the melody is superb, and it all comes together to make a perfect pop song.

    14. U Got The Look (Sign ‘O’ The Times, 1987)

    As I’ve said, I really like the Camille voice (even though this one wasn’t actually a “Camille” song). This is a great duet between Prince and Sheena Easton, with some excellent drumming from Sheila E. It’s another pretty weird sounding song but it’s totally catchy. It’s not hard to see why this one was a hit. I really like the mix of the very electronic sounding synth beat with the very crunchy guitar. The squealing guitar solo is awesome because it fits into this song perfectly, but I can’t really see it sounding good in any other context.

    13. Le Grind (The Black Album, 1987)

    Wow… I guess this is a testament to all the sounds Prince packs into his music—I was just listening to it for the sake of writing this, and I never noticed that there was a deep, quiet spoken word intro to this song. Anyway, this is a pure funk song, with a great bass line. It really makes you want to do what it tells you—party. The horn section is great, and I love the piano in it, though it’s much too quiet.

    12. 3 Chains O’ Gold (The Love Symbol Album, 1992)

    This song is basically Prince rewriting Bohemian Rhapsody, which I have no complaints about. I’m sure this one wouldn’t be too high on most people’s lists, but for some reason, I can’t get enough of it. It was supposed to be the dramatic climax to some sort of rock opera that eventually became The Love Symbol Album, so lyrically, it really doesn’t make sense, but it’s really epic sound, with great movements, from a soulful ballad portion to an opera sounding part to an evil-sounding rock part, closing with a great guitar solo and a huge ending that would’ve made a great album closer.

    11. Purple Rain (Purple Rain, 1984)

    First off, no, I did not mix up the numbers 1 and 11. As great of a song as this is, I think it’s also ever so slightly overrated. Now, I could spend this whole time talking about why I feel it shouldn’t be higher; instead, I’ll talk about what makes this song amazing. It certainly is one of Prince’s most emotional songs, and it has excellent instrumentation throughout, with what I think is one of the best “emotional” guitar solos of all time. He certainly makes his guitar cry in this one. It’s one of his best vocal performances, and one of the best rock ballads of all time. The way the song builds up makes it truly epic sounding. However, I don’t like how the song ends with the Asian sounding string coda. I’ve always thought it was boring and softened the effect of the song. Overall, I feel it certainly deserves praise, but it’s not his best song.

  • afterstasisafterstasis Washed Up
    edited March 2009
    my favorite prince song has now been named! no, not "purple rain", but "raspberry beret"...
  • JordashebasicsJordashebasics Rising Star
    edited March 2009
    .... Still waiting to see Pop Life.
  • wrldindstries302wrldindstries302 Road Warrior
    edited March 2009
    Jordashebasics;2171641 said:
    .... Still waiting to see Pop Life.
    It's not on the list. I could never really get into that one...

    Songs 10-2:

    10. If I Was Your Girlfriend (Sign ‘O’ The Times, 1987)

    This song is beautiful. The music is so simple, with only a drum beat and some synth for much of it, but the emotional level it reaches is stunning. The vocals seem to divide people—there are people that feel the high pitched vocal detracts from the emotion of the song. I am not one of those people. I think it adds to the intensity of the song. It boggles my mind to think about what it must’ve taken to sing this song really slow and still get such a great sounding performance.

    9. She’s Always In My Hair (Around The World In A Day B-Side, 1985)

    It’s ridiculous how good some of Prince’s b-sides are. Again, the vocals in this one are great, and the way the song builds to the screamed portion at the end is excellent. I really like whatever effect is in the background, and the simple synth that repeats throughout the song really complements it well. The guitar solo isn’t technically impressive, but it goes really well with the song, and that’s what’s important. The extended version of this song is necessary, I think, because the way it ends with the screaming and the really fast kick drum is great

    8. When Doves Cry (Purple Rain, 1984)

    It’s really no surprise that this is here. I really don’t know what to say about it though that hasn’t already been said. Before I was a Prince fan I loved this song, and It’s not hard to see why this is one of Prince’s biggest hits. It’s got a pretty unique arrangement (especially for its time) in that there’s no bass line at all. Both guitar solos are among his best, and the drum beat is one of his most memorable. It’s truly a classic.

    7. Housequake (Sign ‘O’ The Times, 1987)

    There’s true genius in how stupid this song is. The stomping beat, the synth bass, Prince’s vocals—it’s all pretty dumb sounding, and it should make a terrible song. But it doesn’t. It all comes together to make the perfect party jam. It’s the kind of song that these so-called rappers wish they could make. The lyrics and vocals walk the thin line between obnoxious and awesome (well, really, the whole song does), and it fits so perfectly in this song. I really like the way it builds up from just the drum beat, then adds guitar, layers of synth, and some excellent saxophone.

    6. Kiss (Parade, 1986)

    There’s really not much to say about this one… everybody knows it, everybody knows it’s amazing. This has the best falsetto performance ever, and it’s such a fun song to sing along to. Again Prince shows that you don’t need complex arrangements to make a great track—there is little more than a drum beat and some funky acoustic guitar for much of it, with some xylophone (I think) added near the end to keep it interesting. This is actually a song where I think the extended version detracts from it. It’s not that the song is too long, it’s just that the extended version turns the second half into a full band composition that really takes away from the minimalism of the main song.

    5. Little Red Corvette (1999, 1982)

    It’s hard to write about some of these songs, because they’re so well known to everybody that everything is sort of redundant. This was Prince’s first huge mainstream hit, and it is certainly well-earned. I like this song’s use of guitar. For being considered a pop-rock song, it doesn’t have much of it, only featuring it in the chorus—well, except for the solo, which is one of the best guitar solos in a Prince song, despite not even being played by him. It’s got a great melody, and an excellent vocal performance. What more can I say, really? You know it, you love it.

    4. Computer Blue (Purple Rain, 1984)

    The very first time I listened to Purple Rain (the album) I wasn’t very impressed with it. This was one of the tracks that stood out to me as being great, and it was one of the tracks that made me check out other Prince stuff. Anyway, I’ve always thought this was an amazing song. The synth and vocal based first half makes a good intro to the song, but my favorite part of the track is the middle part when the synth swells and there’s the evil-sounding guitar solo. Now, I know it really isn’t fair on a list where I’m counting only studio releases, but this song made it this high on the list because of the amazing unreleased 12 minute version. My only problem with the album version was always that it sounding like only a segment of a song, and, well, that’s because it is. The long version has great extended solos (the guitar solo is definitely one of his best), and some of the best lyrics he’s ever written. Simply put, it’s a masterpiece, and it’s definitely worth searching for.

    3. Erotic City (Purple Rain B-Side 1984)

    Come on, you knew this one was coming. This song starts off with what is quite possibly the most recognizable single guitar note of all time. And not only does it have one of the most memorable intros, the keyboard riff is also instantly recognizable. It’s so simple, and so catchy. The beat in it is just insane… I mean, just try listening to this song and not moving something. Prince’s vocals are great also, with him singing as several different people with varying levels of voice manipulation. The lyrics… well, they’re not the best, but they’re certainly fun to sing along to. I’m amazed that they managed to get this song played on the radio in 84. To me, it’s pretty clear that he uses the word **** over and over again. But really, how can you pass on this jam? The people who would normally care about that stuff were probably too busy dancing.

    2. Let’s Go Crazy (Purple Rain, 1984)

    Sorry Beat It, this is hands down the best dance rock song of all time. It makes a great opener to Purple Rain, with its memorable intro and its awesome riff. It’s a great combination of hard rock and catchy synth. Undoubtedly the best part of this song is Prince’s guitar playing. It starts out with a simple riff, as “just one of the components of the song”, by which I mean that it’s sort of buried under everything else. But then it starts building up to the first guitar solo (an excellent one at that) and after that it’s much more prominent, building up again to the excellent second guitar solo, possibly the best in Prince’s catalogue. I love the way all the music stops and it’s just Prince’s guitar, wailing like there’s no tomorrow. Then everything else slowly comes back in for a huge ending.
    Of course, if the guitar part was the only thing great about this song, it wouldn’t be this high on the list. The drums (I think it’s a drum machine; I could be wrong though) is great too. The main drum beat is simple, but keeps the tempo quite well, but what I really like about it is the way the drums kind of “click” every few measures. The synth part adds a lot to the main riff and makes it excellent. And the lyrics… well again, lyrics were never Prince’s strong point, but these are pretty good, even though they are kind of silly (with phrases like “de-elevator” and “Let's look for the purple banana till they put us in the truck”) but it’s a great song to sing along to, and the intro vocals are pretty cool. It’s simply an amazing song that’s great for a party.
  • Rockbandfan23467Rockbandfan23467 Headliner
    edited March 2009
    Don't leave us now! Tell us Number One!
  • zeldazeppelinzeldazeppelin Rising Star
    edited March 2009
    As a prince fan I approve of this thread and your lists
  • wrldindstries302wrldindstries302 Road Warrior
    edited March 2009
    And the number one song is:

    1.Lady Cab Driver (1999, 1982)

    This was, from the very first time I heard it, my favorite track on my favorite Prince album. It’s a relatively minimalist funk track over 8 minutes long, and everything about it works. It starts out with just a drum beat, with some traffic sounds, then Prince hails a taxi and the bass line comes in. And damn, what a bass line. It’s one of my favorites of all time and certainly my favorite from a Prince song. It’s just so damn funky. The synth in it is also fantastic. What I like about it is how unpredictable it is. It comes in at unexpected times, it does strange things, it comes in when you don’t expect it. There’s sort of a main synth riff but it’s messed with so often throughout the song that it’s not repetitive. The song also features two great synth solos.

    Another great thing about this song is the drums. I could be wrong but I’m pretty sure this is the only song on 1999 with live drumming (and if it’s not live drumming… I’m impressed by Prince’s programming). They keep a steady beat through the song, but much like with the synth there’s a lot of variation with mini drum solos throughout. The drums add a lot to the song, and along with the synth noodling they give the song a much more live improvisational feel that the rest of 1999.

    Of course, there’s one thing that I think could keep this song from being a favorite for many people, and that is the sex-scene-bridge, where Prince talks about things that bother him over the moans of the lady cab driver that he is apparently doing. Personally, I think it’s a pretty unique thing that does a good job keeping the song from being boring, although I can see how it would be an awkward thing to listen to with some people. It’s one of those rare moments where Prince gives insight into his personal self (“This is for why I wasn't born like my brother, handsome and tall”)

    Finally, the guitar... It serves mainly as a rhythm keeper, with a pretty cool funk riff for most of the song. That is, until the end of the bridge, where it comes in momentarily with some really crunchy chords, which leads to a synth solo. Then, the synths swell, and in comes my absolute favorite moment on a Prince record, the guitar solo. It comes in at the perfect time. The song sounds like it’s winding down, then in comes a heavy metal guitar solo. It’s a great, though short, and it truly makes the song, in my opinion. So anyway, I love all the parts to this song, and I think that they work together perfectly. There’s nothing I would change about it. I realize that this probably isn’t the most popular choice, but there is no Prince song that I would rather listen to.
Sign In or Register to comment.