The 10 Prince Songs You Need in Your Life
March 20, 2017
There are few words to describe the extent to which Prince is a legend. Even when he dropped his own name, the entire world still knew him for the ground-breaking artist he was. From a mastery of genres like funk and rock, to a visceral immersion of sex appeal into every song and performance, the man wasn’t just a legend, he changed and challenged music as we know it. Ramping up for Nu Deco Ensemble‘s newest symphonic suite in homage to Prince premiering on April 13th-15th, we’ve broken down our favorite tracks:
“Breakfast Can Wait”
We’ll start with a lesser-known and more recent track, first because it’s our Editor’s personal favorite and second because it shows a sillier, more light-hearted Prince than ever. It’s also as funk as it gets.
“Let’s Go Crazy”
“Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to get through this thing called life.” That’s one of the most epic song openings around, and of course it would be followed by a track that led him to Number One and clinched his status as a pop megastar.
Aside from the quintessential Pretty Woman scene in the bathtub with Julia Roberts and a Walkman, this song is also well-known for its sharp guitar riffs, Prince’s impeccable falsetto and trademark blending of eroticism and musicality.
“Thieves in the Temple”
The least Prince song on this list, we find the brooding musical shift of “Thieves in the Temple” so intriguing it makes you see a new side of the person behind the hip thrusting. It’s dark and dramatic but still monumental.
“When Doves Cry”
Prince’s first Number One single ever, this is one melodic and moody track at the head of the 1984 Purple Rain album. It’s modern, catchy and experimental–a perfect showcasing of this man’s influence on pop culture.
“Little Red Corvette”
Easily one of Prince’s catchiest choruses, “Little Red Corvette” is entirely built on the wordplay comparing a woman to a fast-paced car. It’s totally pop and mainstream, which makes sense being that it was his first top-ten hit.
We know you were all waiting for this one on the list, definitely Prince’s most recognizable song here. The title track to his signature album and movie, “Purple Rain” is every bit as climactic as you’d expect with a gospel-inspired chorus.
“I Wanna Be Your Lover”
This was how the then 21-year old Prince distinguished himself from a late-70s disco-infused funk mainstream. He barged onto the scene with this booming track, reading to break from the pack and show the world what he was capable of.
A politically-charged anthem surrounding the onslaught of Reagan’s term, “Controversy” uncovers a contemplative Prince, pushing social barriers with powerful and questioning lyrics, and a groovy hook for every ear.
When you really look at this jam and break it down, it seems a lot more apocalyptic than light-hearted. It’s still a perfect party song nearly 4 decades after its initial release and a call to every one to needs a reason to carpe that diem when we know it’s limited.