Prince sold more than 150 million records worldwide. He was insanely prolific.
Trying to select a list of a mere 10 songs is hardly doing justice to his immense, genre-bending catalog.
But, this is my lineup of favorite Prince songs (finding videos turned out to be a big challenge since Prince vehemently abhorred anything he considered copyright infringement). Please share yours in the comments section.
“Pop Life” – “We all got a space to fill,” Prince reminded us on this musically sticky, lyrically thoughtful dazzler. So grateful he performed it at the Fox Theatre last week.
“Baby I’m a Star” – I’ll never say anything derogatory about “Let’s Go Crazy,” “When Doves Cry” or the title track to “Purple Rain,” but for me, this shimmering slice of melody is the standout track on that iconic soundtrack.
“Nothing Compares 2 U” – Sinead O’ Connor turned it into a monster hit in 1990, but Prince’s version is arguably even more melancholy.
“When U Were Mine” – The inimitable Cyndi Lauper included her version of the song on her 1983 debut, “She’s So Unusual.” But first, Prince unveiled it on 1980’s “Dirty Mind.” In typical Prince fashion, it combines whimsy and heartbreak in a compact funk-pop package.
“Delirious” – The squiggly synths, the bopping beat, the elastic bass line…all hallmarks of Prince’s signature sound. Too bad this one never reached the chart heights of its predecessor, “Little Red Corvette.”
“Sign O’ The Times” – Prince was known as a master showman, a guy who wrote unabashedly about sex, a genius musician. But he often wasn’t given enough credit for his intellect. Buried beneath the knocking rhythm and see-sawing bass is one heck of a social commentary.
“7” – Is a more heavenly chorus found on any other Prince song?
“Batdance” – If any other artist created this sonic mess, it would be immediately dismissed. But somehow, under Prince’s guidance, it’s a throbbing whirlwind of sound.
“I Wanna Be Your Lover” – Prince could do dirty funk like few others, but he could also churn out a well-varnished splash of aural sunshine.
“Raspberry Beret” – Perhaps the finest example of Prince’s agility with visual imagery.
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