By: Katrina Nattress
Prince Rogers Nelson a.k.a. Prince a.k.a. The Artist Formerly Known As Prince a.k.a. Prince once again celebrates his 54th birthday today, and what better way to honor his greatness than to listen to his music all day long?
His Royal Badness has produced ten platinum albums and thirty “Top 40” singles
in his career, so there is a lot to choose from in his hefty catalog, but after much
consideration, its been narrowed down to Prince's top five songs. Make sure to watch
the videos now since The Purple One has a tendency to block all of his music/videos
from the web at a ninja-like pace.
5. “If I Was Your Girlfriend” Sign O' The Times (1987): This sultry track was released as the second single off Prince's lauded 1987 release, Sign O' The Times. Though “If I Was Your Girlfriend” did not do so well on the pop charts due to confusion about the song's premise, it is a solid funk track. The sax breakdown at the end of the song is genius. And for those who may still not quite get the idea behind the song, Prince was singing to his then-girlfriend, Susannah Melvoin, about how he wished to have a closer relationship with her, like she had with her girlfriends.
4.”Raspberry Beret,” Around The World In A Day (1985): “Sweet,” is not usually a word used to describe Prince's songs, but it is fitting for the charming 1985 single, “Raspberry Beret.” Adopting a Beatles-esque pop format, the track is simple and oddly sincere. Instead of groovy bass riffs and saxophone solos, this song features strumming acoustic guitars and violin. Though different from the sexy, funky tunes that we all know and love, it's refreshing to see Prince revel the process of falling in love.
3. “Kiss” Parade (1986): Holding back the urge to dance when listening to this song is basically impossible. “Kiss,” which Prince originally recorded as a short, 90-second-long acoustic demo, was intentionally meant for a group called Mazarati that was signed to his Paisley Park Records label. After giving the demo to his engineer, David “Z” Rivkind, who reworked the song into the funk masterpiece that it is today, Prince quickly retracted his offer and took the song back for his 1986 release, Parade. What a good call that was!
2. “Purple Rain” Purple Rain (1984): Though Prince is the master of gyrating funk jams, he can also write an impressive ballad. Case in point: “Purple Rain,” the title track to both the 1984 album and eponymous film's soundtrack. Prince's R&B influences shine in this epic slow jam as he bellows the lyrics with every ounce of his soul. It's rare for an eight-minute long song to hold a listener's attention throughout, but between the swelling build-up, wailing guitar solo, and crescendo of a finale, this is the definition of a masterpiece.
1. “When Doves Cry” Purple Rain, 1984: It's no surprise that 1984's Purple Rain's “When Doves Cry” was Billboard magazine's top-selling single of the year. Mysterious and moving, the track's minimalistic genius propelled not only the album's success, but the film's as well. I give that credit to the epic synth solo at the end of the nearly six-minute-long full-length album cut.