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April 21, 2016

Prince Dies at 57 At His Paisley Park Studios Due to Flu Complications



Prince has not been putting out anything I much liked for 20 years, but during the Revolution period, from 1999 to Purple Rain to Around the World in a Day (huge let-down but it had a few good songs) to Parde: Music from Under the Cherry Moon (underrated and interesting) to Sign O' The Times -- man, there was just not a more important rock/pop artist alive. People might say Michael Jackson, sure, but he was for kids, and he was more solidly pop; Prince was always firmly in the rock camp, mixing hard-rock guitar with Sly and the Family Stone whiteblack pop.

I remember a funny observation someone made about Take Me With U.

The lyrics go: I don't care if we spend the night at your mansion/
I don't care if we spend the night on the town/
All I want is to spend the night together/
All I want is to spend the night in your arms

Someone observed: "Sure, I don't care if you drop mad bills on me squiring around town, or even if we just kick back and chill in your mansion. Doesn't matter to me. I just want to be with you, okay? Mansion or the finest restaurants in the city -- doesn't matter at all to me. I'm easy."

There are so many great Prince songs -- at least 40, maybe 80 -- and yet I can't link any of them really because Prince was a real legal eagle about keeping his stuff off-line.

Here are a few I found:


The video version of Rasberry Beret, which has a great intro that I don't think was ever released on anything you can actually own;

Erotic City, which promises "we can funk until the dawn," and obviously if you're hearing another word mixed in there that's your own dirty mind causing controversy;

and of course the video version/long version of U Got the Look.

(The French-owned YouTube clone Daily Motion is one of the few places Prince's lawyers haven't managed to get all his videos taken down; just most.)

You can download that long version of U Got the Look off Amazon, by the way. Wish they would sell the Rasberry Beret long version.

Prince Solos on While My Guitar Gently Weeps. A jam, I guess a tribute to George Harrison, featuring Tom Petty, Jeff Lynne, George Harrison's son (who looks exactly like him -- no question about paterinity here) and Prince taking the end solo. Pretty good.

Thanks to Ignoramus and Oregon Muse.

One Thing I Remember Prince Saying... when he was asked what people didn't know about him that he wanted people to know about him, was that he was a pretty funny guy.

A lot of Prince's lyrics are so absurd you think, "What the hell is wrong with this guy?" It's not just that they're dirty; they're juvenilely, stupidly dirty.

I spent a lot of time trying to figure out of Prince was a genius or had brain damage.

But I think Prince's observation about him actually being funnier than people realized explains this. His occasionally dumb lyrics or ponderousness was a joke. He was goofing around.

There's this long outro to a song, "Temptation" off Around the World in a Day, where there's this ridiculous debate between Prince's ghost, God, and the Devil about sex. It ends, stupidly, with Prince saying, "Now I understand. Love is more important than sex." And then there's music suggesting he's going to heaven.

That's so, so dumb I can't even.

But I like to think now that that was Prince thinking, "Let me do something so dumb it's funny." (Actually I'm listening to it now, and it's so silly and over-the-top I'm laughing.)

He Was Also Crazy. Kevin Smith's crazy meeting with the crazy person Prince. Thanks to artisinal 'ette.

Update: A 12" remix of Rasberry Beret containing a version of the video intro (not the exact intro, as the remix starts with the Rasberry Beret theme, then goes into the finger-cymbal/clap intro) is available on Amazon. Thanks to x for letting me know that.

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posted by Ace at 01:29 PM

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