Category: Certain Songs

Certain Songs #522: Prince – “Endorphinmachine”

Prince The Gold Experience Album: The Gold Experience
Year: 1995

After Sign o’ the Times, I had another Prince blackout, finally checking back in with 1995’s The Gold Experience.

Of course, I didn’t ignore Prince completely: that was impossible for any lover of music. And from 1988 – 1995, his music was only slightly less omnipresent despite — or because of– his ongoing battles with Warner Bros and antics like changing his name to an emoticon or writing “slave” on his face while performing in public.

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Certain Songs #521: Prince – “The Cross”

prince sign o the times Album: Sign o’ the Times
Year: 1987

I realize that nearly every one of the previous Prince songs I’ve written about were all huge iconic songs, so here’s a (relatively) deep cut for all y’all.

Coming out of nowhere to open side four of Sign o’ the Times, “The Cross” is probably my favorite Prince song, despite (or because!) The fact that it’s one of his most overtly religious from the get-go, as over a whisper-quiet acoustic guitar, Prince sings:

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Certain Songs #520: Prince – “I Could Never Take The Place of Your Man”

Prince I Could Never Album: Sign o’ the Times
Year: 1987

While 1999 broke him into the mainstream and Purple Rain was his biggest record, if there is a consensus “Greatest Prince Album,” it’s 1987’s Sign o’ The Times.

Not only did it feature aspects of everything that he’d done before, it added some new wrinkles to boot. It also spawned three massive singles and was also rapturously received by the critics. And nearly 30 years later, it sounds as much of a tour de force as ever.

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Certain Songs #519: Prince & The Revolution – “Kiss”

Prince kiss Album: Parade
Year: 1986

It took Michael Jackson five years to follow up Thriller. It took Bruce Springsteen three years to follow up Born In The U.S.A. It took Madonna two years to follow up Like a Virgin.

It took Prince ten months to follow up Purple Rain.

That said, after I heard the underwhelming (despite the pure pop glory of “Raspberry Beret”) Around The World in a Day, I started a pattern with Prince that I’ve kept up for three decades: I started dipping in and out of his discography.

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Certain Songs #518: Prince & The Revolution – “Purple Rain”

Prince purple rain Album: Purple Rain
Year: 1984

Literally don’t even know where to start here. How about this: this was Prince’s signature song. Sure, he had bigger singles (and in fact, cutting the “Purple Rain” down to 4:05 for its single was as stupid as when The Who cut “Won’t Get Fooled Again” down to 3:36, I mean why even bother?), but I don’t think he had a bigger song. On every level.

I mean, you could imagine going to a Prince concert and not seeing any other song, but going to a Prince concert and not seeing “Purple Rain” seems totally unimaginable.

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