This year should be an epic one for all of the ‘Funk Soldiers’, ‘NPG’ers’, and ‘Purple Disciples’ in the world. The Purple One (Prince) has announced that he plans to release 3 cds worth of new material this year. Setting up a new website to promote and preview these works and the resultant tour, Prince has his fans in a frenzy once again.
Despite dropping 2 albums worth of mediocre material (well, by Prince standards anyways), this rock legend stills seems as if artistically he can do no wrong. Still, it is interesting how a number of ‘old school Purple Reign’ fans have totally isolated themselves from his work since the late 80’s.
So, I’ve tried to compile a quick playlist of songs to re-introduce those fans to some of his work that should be checked out before the new music drops.
Here goes the Playlist:
1. "17 Days" - The Hits (Disc 3) - This is a song that Prince did in the 80s with The Revolution that just has a timeless rock sound to it. The guitar and bass guitar riffs are layered on top of each other in a funky way, yet the song itself holds a semi-new wave rock feel as Lisa adds synth keys all about the track. Here Prince sings normally without the high falsetto (did I say that right) that so many people do not like. The lyrics are a bluesy and melancholy which make this one of my all time favs.
2. "Purple Music" - (BOOTLEG SONG...hard to find) This is one of Prince's early early songs that shows his exploration in funk. On this song he plays a funky guitar and keys as well as the percussion all himself for a ten minute funk session that I simply love.
Lyrics are simplistic but he simply says that he doesn't do drugs because music gets him high enough. Search for this song!
3. "The Question Of U" - Graffiti Bridge - This song has one of the most memorable blues guitar solos that Prince has ever done. He plays this song often in concerts because the song itself is melancholy and fairly deep. It has a soft sex appeal to it but is no where near vulgar. It is Prince doing storytelling in the most classic of ways and the song is addictive to me. Definitely a fav. During concerts he usually melds the guitar solo in this song with "The One" which is actually later on in this playlist.
4. "The Ride" - Crystal Ball - This is a live recording of a blues song that shows his guitar ability so very well. Sexy, confident, and loud, this song shows a bit of his diversity. Though the recording was done in '95, it is said that Prince penned the song much earlier and it was usually performed without the guitar solo. Thankfully, this version has the solo because it is definitely great.
5. "She Spoke To Me[Extended Version]"- The Vault:Old Friends For Sale This is an extended jazzy version of a sound that was featured on the Girl 6 Soundtrack. I did a review of this album on my blog so check it out because that album has a lot of great songs that flex Prince’s jazzy blues side. Clocking in at just over 8 minutes long, Prince blazes a jazzy guitar solo and allows the bassist, sax, and drummer to add in their own solos as well before restoring order and gently ending the song.
6. "North", "East", "West"- N.E.W.S. - This amazing instrumental album (which was also Grammy nominated) features Rhonda Smith, Eric Leeds, John Blackman, and Renato Neto as the rest of the band. While "North" is a strickly smooth jazz cut that was frequently played during the Musicology tour before the concert began, "East" and "West" are a meld of jazz, funk, and blues that leave each of the songs somewhat segmented based on which genre the songs focus on. Still, the songs as a whole manage to transition very well despite segmented feeling in each. These are all great additions to the Prince catalogue.