There’s some exciting Prince news on the horizon, brought to us from NPR. First, he has re-signed with Warner Bros. Records after 18 years and is now the proud owner of the master recordings of his beloved ‘80s material (said ownership being the heart of his ‘90s split with the label in the first place). Second, we’re getting an expanded edition of Purple Rain which is marking its (yikes!) 30th anniversary this year - awesome!
To celebrate, let’s take a look at five of our favorite lesser-known Prince tracks - a paltry number, we realize, compared to the impressive and massive body of work His Royal Purpleness has amassed over the past (nearly) four decades.
5. "I Love U, but I Don't Trust U Anymore" (featuring Ani Difranco) (from the album Rave Un2 the Joy Fantastic)
Track 13 on Rave Un2 the Joy Fantastic, “I Love U, but I Don’t Trust U Anymore,” is a sad representation of cheating from the jilted lover’s perspective. We’re curious, though - if that wasn’t her dress that she was wearing, does that mean it was the dress of her lady lover? Or that another man bought her that dress? What do you guys think?
4. “Had U” (from the album Chaos and Disorder)
“Had U” is the final track on the album Chaos and Disorder, and its beauty lies in its simplicity. Prince is able to give us a clear picture of the progression of a relationship simply by using two-word verses throughout the course of the song. What might otherwise seem like a writing exercise Prince turns into art.
3. “Forever in My Life” (from the album Sign o’ the Times)
“Forever in My Life” is the ninth track on Side 2 of Sign ‘o the Times. Sometimes we get sexy tunes from Prince, and sometimes we get sad ones. Some of his songs would make a beautiful wedding tune, and “Forever in My Life” would be one of these, a tender song about a man’s decision to settle down after a long time sowing his oats because he finally found that lady for whom it is worth it to end the chase.
2. “Under the Cherry Moon” (from the album Parade)
The fourth track on Parade, “Under the Cherry Moon,” is a romantic song that seems like it would be perfectly suited as a performance art piece. Can’t you just picture ballet dancers dressed in black leotards, flitting about a white landscape under the presence of a cherry moon? “Under the Cherry Moon” is a wonderful representation of Prince’s skill in making life spring from his art with his keen ability to express so explicitly the visual elements of his music.
1. “Joy in Repetition” (from the soundtrack to the film Graffiti Bridge)
“Joy in Repetition,” the eighth track on the Graffiti Bridge soundtrack, is sexy, smoky, and beautiful. Here, the reverse happens of what all fans hope for when they go to a concert (that the hot lead singer will pull them up on stage). You feel like you’re right there in the club watching the singer and the man who’s drawn to her as he pulls her into his life.