David Bowie made his Round One appearance and, at least by my vote, bested his first Montauk Madness opponent. Now it’s time for another musical legend who died in 2016 to try his luck, as Prince faces off against the British New Wave band Squeeze.
This is a more difficult decision than it might seem. While I acknowledge Prince’s unique genius and his contribution to rock and R&B music, I don’t own many of his albums. But neither do I own many Squeeze albums.
Most of the retrospectives that followed Prince’s death earlier this year singled out 1980’s Dirty Mind as his first great album and one of his very best, peiod.
This sexually explicit funk-pop classic was Prince’s third album, and the first on which he played pretty much every instrument. The five-star AllMusic review trumpets its influence on the decade to come, saying “its fusion of synthesizers, rock rhythms, and funk set the style for much of the urban soul and funk of the early ’80s.”
The fourth track from Prince’s classic Purple Rain soundtrack, ‘Computer Blue,’ underwent major changes between concept and final execution. The song originally ran about 14 minutes and ended with “three full minutes of screeching feedback,” according to Wikipedia. I’d say saner minds prevailed.
Apparently the song was trimmed after ‘Take Me With U’ was added to the album lineup, though I’m not sure what one thing has to do with the other.
I’m not sure how I’ve posted seven and a half years worth of Songs of the Day and managed to never feature a track from Prince’s 1987 masterpiece Sign O’ the Times. Today’s Random iTunes Selection remedies that oversight.
I admire Prince’s talent but I’m a casual fan, if that. I own only a few of his albums and rarely listen to them. But Sign O’ the Times is a straight-up classic, with every track across its two discs scoring in its own unique way.
Las week I counted down my personal favorite albums of 1982, a list that contained some great titles but made no claim to truly represent that year’s musical output.
I turned 10 that year, after all, and I haven’t spent the next 32 seeking out every album I missed during my childhood.
For the next two weeks, I’ll highlight tracks from some of the 1982 albums that might have made my list had I been more familiar with them.
OK, Seal was one thing, but I find it hard to believe that this is my first time featuring Prince on the blog. But that does indeed seem to be the case.
I’m not a big Prince fan, to be sure, but I respect the man’s talent and have enjoyed his music enough to dedicate a Song of the Day to him. Just didn’t happen. Once again, my thanks go out to Mr. Random iTunes Man.