Even though my book is about Prince’s spiritual journey, it was his music that attracted me. I was a fan before I wrote one word about him. I will always have respect for him and I truly believe he is a musical genius.
I was familiar with a lot of Prince music before I began this project, but this process has really exposed me to even more songs. I love that I am still discovering new musical gems in his discography at this stage, and I’ve been a fan for 14 years now! He is one of the most prolific artists in popular music.
With that said, I thought it’d be fun to list my favorite song from each Prince album that I’ve researched so far. This was a very difficult task; I really wanted to include “ties” between two songs in many cases. However, I asked myself which song I would take with me on a deserted island.
- For You (1978): “Soft and Wet.” It’s just so funky, and I love the layered vocals.
- Prince (1979): “I Wanna Be Your Lover.” I know it looks like a cop out because it’s the single, but it’s a classic. I really enjoy the extended instrumental section at the end (extended instrumental sections are kinda my thing).
- Dirty Mind (1980): “Head.” I’m so embarrassed, but it’s the funkiest track on the album.
- Controversy (1981): “Controversy.” I really, really wanted to say “Annie Christian,” but I just feel the funk of “Controversy” in my bones. “Love you, love baby.”
- 1999 (1982): “D.M.S.R.” Ok, this is becoming a pattern; I’m a funk head.
- Purple Rain (1984): “Computer Blue.” This is the song that made me pay attention to Prince as a rock star. I am obsessed with the B section.
- Around the World in a Day (1985): “America.” You guessed it.
- Parade (1986): “Anotherloverholenyohead.” Surprised? That was hard because the piano solo on “Under the Cherry Moon,” though very brief, gives me chills.
- Sign O’ the Times (1987): “I Could Never Take the Place of Your Man.” Ok, no one should ever have to choose a favorite from this album. How did I do it? The extended instrumental section strikes again…
- Lovesexy (1988): “Glam Slam.” Many would say that this is one of the weakest tracks, but the melody just gets to me every time. I hope I made the right choice; it’s hard to ignore the vibrant, positive explosion that is “Eye No.”
- Batman (1989): “Vicki Waiting.” I talked about this in a recent blog post. I can’t get this melody and Prince’s vocals out of my head. I had this on repeat in my car practically all month.
- Graffiti Bridge* (1990): “The Question of U.” What a bloody fight between that, “Joy in Repetition” and “Elephants & Flowers.” “The Question of U” is just so intriguing due to the dark mood, voice effects and hand claps.
*I haven’t studied this album in depth–I put it on my calendar for next week. I wanted to motivate myself.
What are your favorite songs on Prince’s first twelve albums?
Hi Erica, I stumbled upon your list searching for Prince stuff. I have to agree with your funk-based assessments on albums Dirty Mind to Around The World In A Day. However, on the Prince LP, I have to go for “Sexy Dancer”- especially the 12″ version which has an extended instrumental section… (if you're into that kind of thing).
For You: I'm Yours
Prince: I Feel For You
Dirty Mind: When You Were Mine
1999: Little Red Corvette
Purple Rain: The Beautiful Ones
Around The World in a Day: Temptation
Parade: Sometimes It Snows In April
Sign O' the Times: If I Was Your Girlfriend
Graffiti Bridge: A Tie between Joy in Repetition & Still Would Stand All Time
Hi, Niel! Thank you for reading and leaving a comment! You know, I really need to pay more attention to the “Prince” album. I will give “Sexy Dancer” another listen. Yes, I love extended instrumental sections, but I am new to vinyl, so I'm not aware of these “gems” in Prince's discography. I guess I'll head down to my local “wrecka stow.”
Hi, Andrew! Thanks for reading and leaving a comment! Nice list! I think the only surprise is “Temptation” on “Around the World in a Day.” It's a good song, but why is it your favorite on the album?