When I was young I loved me some Prince! Partially because it was just good funky pop music, and partially because his lyrics were dirty enough that I thought I was getting away with something.
Prince was the first artist that I ever realized was extremely talented on my own. I remember looking at the liner notes of “1999” and discovering that he had written and produced all of the songs, and that almost without exception played all of the instruments and even sung some of his own backup. This discovery had a profound effect on me as a kid.
So for my list today – instead of 5 Prince songs – I chose 5 that I refer to as “Non-Prince Prince Songs” – or songs that have Prince’s fingerprints all over them. Some he wrote. Some he wrote and produced. And some are just darn near 100% Prince.
Manic Monday – the Bangles: The rumor is that Prince originally wrote it as a duet with Apollonia, but offered it to Susanna Hoffs as a token of his “interest” in her. They accepted the song – and rejected the proposal. True or not, it is a cool story… and a great song!
Jungle Love – Morris Day & the Time: More than just writing and producing their music – the group itself was created, promoted, and closely dictated by Prince. But I love their fun & funky take on Prince’s signature sound.
Nothing Compares 2 U – Sinéad O’Connor: Prince originally wrote it for his funk band The Family – it even appeared on their only album – but it was crazy O’Connor’s version that catapulted it to the top of the charts.
Stand Back – Stevie Nicks: Prince really didn’t write or produce it, though he is occasionally credited as the co-writer. The story goes that Stevie originally wrote it to the tune of Little Red Corvette on her honeymoon. Later on she called him up to tell him about the inspiration, so he immediately came to the studio, recorded the synthesizer track in about 20 minutes, and disappeared.
Round and Round – Tevin Campbell: It was Prince’s golden touch that launched a fourteen year old Tevin to his first solo hit by featuring it in the movie Graffiti Bridge. Terrible movie – good soundtrack.