Over the years, Prince’s epic and famous power ballad became an anthem that would effortlessly rouse the audience at his jam packed concerts. Fittingly enough, just a week before his death.
Purple Rain was the final song that the 57-year-old star performed at his last show at Fox Theatre in Atlanta. Back in the summer of 1984, this hit song had topped the charts and become the title track in the film of the same name that was released a month later.
2. When You Were Mine
This is undoubtedly once of Prince’s songs that truly shows why he is a musical legend. His third studio album Dirty Mind contained a lot of smutty songs, but When You Were Mine ended up becoming a genuine pop standard. Singers like Ani DiFranco, Cyndi Lauper and Tegan & Sara went on to cover this song. While the lyrics are lovelorn, this song covertly alludes to not only a love triangle but a threesome.
3. I Could Never Take the Place of Your Man
Unlike Purple Rain, this is an upbeat pop song, the final one from his 1987 double album Sign o’ the Times. Before the song was edited, the main guitar solo was preceded by a few seconds of bluesy coda. The unique thing about this song is that it combines live drumming and two drum machine patterns. The fact that this song starts in the folk rock genre and then moves into a psychedelic Latin jam is a testament to Prince’s sheer musical talent.
4. Erotic City
Arguably one of Prince’s more controversial songs not just because of the sexual references that it makes but also because the lyrics contain the word “fuck.” However, considering that radio stations frequently played this song, it has been claimed that the word might actually be “funk.” Ultimately, the song is about sex but along with maintaining the necessary dirtiness of the procreative act, he presents it as a purifying exchange of intimacy.
It is a well-known fact that Prince wrote lyrics for other musicians, but it is not easy to imagine someone else singing his songs, considering how extraordinary and multifaceted his persona was. Kiss, which had instantly become a global hit 1986 because of his falsetto vocals and his restless rhythm guitar playing, is one exception. After all, the song is supposed to be a hilarious yet sweet sex comedy featuring a shirtless Prince dancing in the music video.
6. Sometimes it Snows in April
Anyone who has watched Under The Cherry Moon likely remember shedding some tears when Prince’s character Christopher Tracy dies with this song playing in the background. Today, it seems like the message of the song kind of foreshadowed the abrupt and unfortunate passing of the musician himself. Prince’s 1986 eighth studio album often gets overlooked, but this song alone makes it worth buying and it sounds as if he may have recorded it from the heavens above.
Not only is it arguable, Raspberry Beret is now being regarded as one of the finest pop songs to have ever been recorded. While this song is impressive enough for its backup vocals, chord progression, melody and strings, but the fact that Price sheds his demi-sex god persona is what sets it apart. As shocking as it was this first this song was released, he is actually singing about his lousy job and old man Johnson’s farm.
8. When Doves Cry
The doves really must be crying now that Prince has departed, but this song of his is truly memorable and unforgettable. In fact, it is his most everlasting hit. This landmark, first single from 1984’s Purple Rain album unsurprisingly ended up at the top spot in the United States and was ranked in the Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Songs of All Time at No. 52. This groovy song is heavily loaded with crescendoing guitar riffs.
Apart from having a fair share controversial moments throughout his life, Prince even named one of his 80’s songs “Controversy” from the 1981 album of the same name. This song and the album itself were released in the Reagan era and unlike the songs that preceded it, Prince does something that he had never done before, i.e. question his own identity, sexuality and more. This song is filled with both filth and funk.
10. She’s Always in My Hair
Sure, Pink placed this song on the B-side of his 1985 song Paisley Park, but it is also one of his best songs and an essential one to listen for anyone unfamiliar with the legend. This song is a genuine example of Prince’s contribution to psychedelic rock with its epigrammatic guitar riff and staccato keyboard portion. With this song, Prince also set the standard for the futuristic rock genre that heavily focuses on rhythm.