Tag Archive for 'Prince'

Top 10 Songs Produced Or Written By Prince

One of the greatest aspects of Prince is his never ending supply of good music. Just when you get mildly done with a year, you can pick a new one. Or you can pick a new artist he worked with. But in the 80s he was prolific. Writing hundreds of songs that other artists would perform. Sadly he never had the time to record all the songs himself. Even though he usually didn’t worry about recording techniques. Most of the time he’d simply slap up some mics to get the song down as quick as possible as to not interrupt the vibe. But sometimes he’d toss them to his protégés or friends to get them released even faster. And sometimes they were songs he just didn’t want on a record or it simply wasn’t time.

Below are my favorite songs Prince either produced and/or wrote for other artists. And for the most part, Prince plays or sings on most of these. Most notably the backing track.

  1. Blue Limousine – Apollonia 6

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    Why this wasn’t a Top 10 hit is beyond me. What a hook. Sure Apollonia’s voice wasn’t her strongest asset, but this song cooks. “He likes ’em pretty, he likes them in their lingerie.” Totally a track from the Purple Rain era.

  2. The Dance Electric РAndr̩ Cymone:

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    Pretty much a Prince song with his voice taken out and André’s voice put in. You can hear Prince doing the backups. Stellar Linn Drum programming, if you didn’t notice. From 1985.

  3. G Spot – Jill Jones

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    One of Prince’s strongest voices and definitely less of a protégés. Jill actually started her career as a backup vocalist for Teena Marie.

  4. The Glamorous Life – Sheila E.

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    One can’t not love the synth horn hits giving us one of the 80s most dance-able hits. This cut was also originally intended for Apollonia 6. And did I mention the crazy ass Linn Drum programming on top of Sheila’s amazing percussion. This is one of those songs I never get sick of and wonder what a disaster this would have been with Apollonia 6.

  5. He’s So Dull – Vanity 6

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    While I do think their original name: The Hookers was a more fitting name, Vanity 6 works too. Not to mention Vanity’s original name was Vagina. What was Prince thinking?! But basically Apollonia 6 came from Vanity 6’s ashes, minus Vanity, of course. People always said Vanity had a better voice, and I guess she did, but the songs weren’t as strong, in my opinion. I really like this song’s “When You Were Mine” style. Like a few of Prince’s entourage, Vanity became a Born Again Christian.

  6. High Fashion – The Family

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    Prince on drums. It’s his trademark funk beat. Not to mention that James Brown funky guitar in the left channel. Their live band was essentially the Time after they broke up the first time with St. Paul (nice MPLS reference) and Susanna Melvoin (Wendy’s sister) on vocals.

  7. Jungle Love – The Time

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    Perhaps the reason why Prince kept writing for The Time. They knew how to get people dancing. Sho’ nuff. What’s notable is that Morris Day and Jesse Johnson actually did help write this song with Prince.

  8. Manic Monday (Extended Mix) – The Bangles

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    Besides the Bangles being a completely underrated 80s band and Susanna Hoffs being a complete babe and awesome guitarist, this song is such a gem. It was actually originally written for Apollonia 6 in 1984 and was recorded but was given to the Bangles in 1986. And rightfully so. It’s much better with Susanna Hoffs singing. This song reached #2 on the charts, ironically behind Kiss at #1.

  9. 100MPH – Mazarati

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    It’s amazing how a simple drum machine beat like this can still sound so much like Prince. Is it the Linn Drum? I wish Prince still used the Linn Drum like he used to. Prince is all over the background vocals here. I love this funk gem.

  10. Bang Bang – Brown Mark

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    Mark was the 2nd bassist for the Revolution. He also had two records out on Motown in the 80s. Of course the strongest songs were the ones Prince was part of. This is no exception. Thank you pitch shifter. This almost sounds like a Time or Camille outtake from 1988. Little else is known about this song.

Also notable:
Kiss – Mazarati

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This song was originally cut as a demo by Prince. A simple blues song. Prince on vocals and acoustic guitar. And it was only one verse and one chorus recorded on a dictaphone. Prince gave the demo to Mazarati and producer David Z. They developed the song in to a funk/dance paradise. Prince then heard it, was amazed with their arrangement and basically stole it back while virtually only adding a guitar solo and his falsetto vocals. It then became his next #1 single. You can still hear Mazarati’s background vocals on Prince’s version.

Nothing Compares 2 U – The Family

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This song was written in 1985 for The Family’s debut record. It was subsequently re-arranged and recorded by Sinéad O’Connor in 1990 and went to #1 on the charts. Prince finally released a rather soulful live version singing a duet with Rosie Gaines in 1993 on his 3-disc hits collection. Perhaps it was released out of jealousy from the attention Sinéad O’Connor received.

The Goings On

Stuff Going On:

  • I assisted David in putting up some drywall in his office.
  • Went to Ohio for the 4th of July. Watched fireworks on HDTV. Wild and exciting.
  • Finished my DOT Grants for the year.
  • Had dinner at Sputnik. Finally met Reece. She looks remarkably like Dave.
  • Vacationed at the ‘rents house for a few days. Feetnik and Gordon visited.
  • Installed Dad a wireless network. It took minutes. I amazed myself at how easy it was.
  • Went to NYC for my cousin’s wedding shower. Or rather “babysat” Lily while Emily attended.
  • Started using iPhoto.
  • Deleted a bunch of photos with out backing them up. Lost them. Used data recovery software to recover. It was quite successful. At least with the memory cards where I didn’t reformat it in the camera. Mental note noted.
  • Blew up my online photo gallery. ModRewrite is still muffed up. 🙁 Help, Anyone. Please.
  • Nan came over for a few hours so we could clean the house. Otherwise it would have taken 12 days. I calculated it.
  • Upgraded from a full to queen size bed. We’re officially old now. Buying the house, getting married and having the kid didn’t really count.
  • Went to Eric and Erika’s wedding shower. Played with Annie. She’s amazing.
  • Acquired family insurance with little to no hitch.
  • Listened to Prince’s Planet Earth. Amazed at his marketing and distro plan. And enjoyed his return to the guitar.
  • That’s all folks.

Top 10 Favorite Unreleased Prince Records

It’s quite known that Prince makes records and never releases them because of label problems or his own demons. It’s a sad but true state of affairs. Luckily there are typically leaks. And sometimes A+ quality. The leaks were more frequent in the 80s. But that’s ok as that was his most creative and adventurous era, in my humble opinion.

  1. Dream Factory (1986) – This would have been the 5th Prince record with the Revolution. That is, if you include 1999 as a “Prince and the Revolution” record. It was planned as a double LP, like 1999. This record became what would have become Crystal Ball (see below) and eventually became Sign O’ The Times after the Revolution disbanded. Some of the songs that were recorded early on for this project (but didn’t make the final cut of tracks) eventually showed up on 1990’s Graffiti Bridge. I true believe this was, and still is, Prince’s most diverse and creative record.
  2. High (2000) – Many of these tracks were eventually released via Prince’s NPG Online Club and instead put out The Rainbow Children which some people believe was a let down. Religious spew aside, I really enjoyed The Rainbow Children.
  3. Camille (1986) – This album had 8 tracks. All were sped up vocals and were sung by his alter-ego, Camille, a la U Got The Look, Erotic City & Housequake.
  4. The Rebels (1979) – This was more of a side-project, per se, than a Prince record. But none-the-less cool and new-wavy. Dez Dickerson & Andre Cymone helped Prince out as well as Gayle Chapman who sang a few tracks. A notable note is that Paula Abdul eventually covered “U” on her 1991 Spellbound record.
  5. Crystal Ball (1987) – Many tracks from Dream Factory were on this record, however this was definitely not a “Prince and the Revolution” record. And this record is not to be confused with 1998’s 3-disc Crystal Ball which is an entirely (and if you ask me, a well below par collection horribly sequenced and chosen) different record. This Crystal Ball was planned to be a 3 LP set. The label was not happy this this radical idea of so many LPs and Prince eventually huffed and puffed and put out the 2 LP Sign O’ The Times which was basically a slimmed down Crystal Ball.
  6. Madhouse: 24 (1988) – This was to be the 3rd Madhouse record. One track was released on Eric Leeds 1991 record, Time Squared. Other tracks were released via NPG Online.
  7. Rave Unto The Joy Fantastic (1988) – This album is not to be confused with 1998’s Rave Un2 The Joy Fantastic which is a completely different record. This album was eventually shelved because of Tim Burton asking Prince to be involved with the Batman Soundtrack.
  8. The Black Album (1987) – While it was officially released in 1994 due to the popularity of it’s bootleg, it would feel wrong to not include it on this list. There are so many rumors as to why this was never released in 1987. The label’s distaste with the lyrical content. The label thinking it was too funky. Prince ODing on ecstasy and having a revelation. Prince eventually scrapped the project and released Lovesexy in record time. Some say this is the yang to The Black Album’s yin.
  9. The Undertaker (1994) – This was to be released with Guitar Player Magazine, but the label disagreed with it. So it never came out. This was basically a “live in the studio” performance with Sonny T on bass on Michael Bland on drums. Most notable on this release is Prince’s Stones cover of “Honky Tonk Woman” and “Bambi” from Prince’s 1979 record.
  10. Roadhosue Garden (1998) – Prince was trying to get The Revolution back together in the late 90s. There were some songs recorded. One song was released via the NPG Music Club. I’ve never heard anymore than that. It’s assumed that other members of the Revolution were not happy with this release. Bummer.