Remembering Prince

Last Thursday, as news broke of the untimely death of Prince, we were all reminded of his enormous contributions, both as a cultural icon and as one of contemporary pop music’s most innovative songwriters. His work drew upon a wide variety of styles, including “funk, rock, rhythm and blues, soul, psychedelia, and pop.” In songs such as When Doves Cryfrom the 1984 album Purple Rain, he turned the traditional structure of the pop song on its head. In addition to the vocals, he played all of the instruments on the track.

Prince created a host of songs that we associate with other artists. For example, he wrote The Bangles’ 1986 hit, Manic MondayCompare the verse of Manic Monday to Prince’s euphoric 1999released in 1982, and you’ll notice a striking similarity.

Pop Life, from the 1985 album Around the World in a Day, is another song that set Prince apart. Listen to the distinctive bass line and harmonic structure and the swirling layers of electronic sound. One of my favorite moments is the cascading vocal line around 2:20.

  • Prince’s complete discography: iTunes

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3 Responses to Remembering Prince

  1. Dexter D. July 6, 2016 at 7:01 am #

    I’ve alway been a huge fan of Prince since I was a teenager in the 80’s. His musical influences can be heard throughout his extensive catalogue if you’re a careful listener. One of his most under appreciated albums is the soundtrack to, “Under the Cherry Moon” entitled,”Parade”. My favorite track on the album is a short 1:40 interlude called, “I Wonder You”. To me its a tribute to Stravinsky’s ,”Le sacre du printemps”. If you listen carefully you can pick up echoes of it’s 4th section,”Spring Rounds”. For those of you who know both works i’d love to know if you hear it as well.

    • Timothy Judd July 6, 2016 at 7:33 am #

      Another really interesting Prince track! Here it is:

  2. Dexter D. July 6, 2016 at 7:37 am #

    Thanks for posting this. The interlude starts at 2:20.

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