I hadn’t exactly written off Spike Lee as a relevant filmmaker, but it has been 12 years since Inside Man, the last “joint” of his I truly enjoyed. And that film was atypical for Lee, a pretty straight-forward heist film. You have to go back to 2002’s 25th Hour for something really meaty and thought-provoking.
In fairness, I missed 2015’s Chi-Raq, which divided critics but was generally regarded as a return to form for the filmmaker.
Prince’s ‘7’ is one of the most popular tracks in my ’31 Numbered Songs’ series. Released in 1992 as the third single from Prince’s Love Symbol album, the track reached #7 on Billboard’s Hot 100.
Filled with Prince’s trademark religious imagery, ‘7’ is presumably about the seven deadly sins. The song’s video features then 18-year-old Mayte, a dancer who married Prince four years later and divorced him four years after that. They had a child, who died less than a week after his birth.
The Random iTunes Fairy must still be in a tribute mood after this week’s Tom Petty retrospective. Here’s Prince with his classic ‘Purple Rain.’
I was surprised this song hasn’t shown up on the blog before now. In fact, only two songs from the Purple Rain soundtrack (‘Computer Blue’ and ‘The Beautiful Ones’) have been given the Song of the Day treatment, and both of those were on Random Weekends as well.
This might be the most incongruous matchup of Montauk Madness’ second round — the gentle acoustic folk rock of Simon & Garfunkel against the hyper-sexual experimental funk of Prince.
Simon & Garfunkel made it here by eliminating Rufus Wainwright rather easily, with 80% of the vote. Prince had an even simpler path, picking up 91% against Squeeze. I imagine they’ll both have a harder time in this round, though I don’t have a ready prediction as to who will win. Continue reading
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.”