Prince had a sound that made you think he came from another world. Try and think of another artist (aside from Wendy And Lisa or Vanity or one of his many proteges) that produced a sound as strange, as seductive, as thrilling as Prince and you will come up short. Even his songs that made it into the middle of the mainstream still sound thrillingly bizarre even after you have listened to them a thousand times.
I first heard Prince when When Doves Cry hit. It struck me instantly as just a perfect pop record and the Purple Rain album soon entered my collection and from there there was no going back. Prince was part of the American pop triple header – Jackson/Madonna/Prince – that produced some of the greatest eighties singles and beyond. Every seven inch was greeted with excitement and with Prince you never quite knew what he was going to give you next, except that it would be funky, would make you groove and would make you want to get on a plane to Paisley Park to see the man himself making the magic.
In terms of albums and singles, the magic of Prince is that everyone has a slightly different collection of favourites but most people with any sense would agree that he is (I have trouble using the past tense just as I did with Bowie) one of the all time greats. Darling Nikki, I Would Die 4 U, Raspberry Beret, Batdance, Partyman, Kiss, Gett Off, Alphabet Street, Let’s Go Crazy, these are the songs that come instantly to mind when I think of ‘my’ Prince. I bought Purple Rain and followed it with Lovesexy, Sign Of The Times, Batman, even a sprawling mess like the 3 disc Emancipation had some gems and you were just thankful that this immense talent was still releasing new material instead of joining the superstar One Album Every Five Years cycle. Just the fact that a star that big was releasing triple albums was amazing. I watched Purple Rain endlessly and also Under The Cherry Moon, suddenly the shy funkster was a movie star, up there on the big screen. Was there nothing he could not do? Nope. I remember when he opened a store in London – what sort of a star opened his own store, only selling his own products? Prince, that is who. Suddenly this wonderful world of purchase power shone a lovely shade of purple.
So now the man is gone, but just LOOK at what he left behind, or rather just listen to what he gave us. Some o the finest pop ever made, some of the greatest songs ever scratched onto vinyl, one of the greatest imaginations that the pop world has ever seen. We often say ‘you will never see the likes of him again’ and with Prince, you know that is the case. His name is Prince and he is funky. Forever in our minds, our collections and our hearts, a huge love heart sprayed purple and shining forever, long after his human form is gone.
*Presses PLAY on Alphabet Street*
*Sees a gold symbol shining above*
Thankyou Prince. ❤