Please don’t hold it against me that Parade is my favorite Prince album. Sure, I know that objectively, Sign ‘O’ The Times is probably his greatest album and that Purple Rain is his most world-beating, but I love tuneful funky weirdness of Parade.
Sadly, this was a thing that I didn’t realize until after he passed and I started digging into the parts of his catalog I’d missed, and Parade, which doubled as the soundtrack to his film Under The Cherry Moon, the, erm, unsuccessful follow-up to Purple Rain was where I started.
And I was blown away. For me, Parade is the album where Prince well and truly incorporated psychedelia into his music, with nearly every single song possessing some kind of weird-ass element that’s off-putting at first, but an absolute joy by the time the song is over. In the case of “Girls & Boys,” it’s a weirdly-compressed keyboard hook that sound like a fucking duck call. Or a fuck call, I guess.
Also a fuck call, the chorus, sung by some combination of Prince, Lisa Coleman, Wendy Melvoin and Susannah Melvoin in a weird clipped cadence.
I love you baby, I love you so much
Maybe we can stay in touch
Meet me in another world, space and joy
Vous êtes très belle, mama, girls and boys
“Girls & Boys” spotlights both that chorus and fuck call keyboard for so much of the song, you might not even notice the chickenscratch guitar and saxophone that is providing the the rhythmic heft along with the usual combination of electric and acoustic guitars. All and all, “Girls & Boys” is a deeply weird song — which is probably why it wasn’t released as a single here (though it was in the U.K and made #11) but also fun, funky and sexy. What else could you possibly want?
“Girls & Boys”
“Girls & Boys” Official Music Video
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