Today would’ve been the 60th birthday of Prince Rogers Nelson. While he stopped celebrating his birthday many years ago (“I don’t celebrate birthdays, so that stops me from counting days, which stops me from counting time, which allows me to still look the same as I did 10 years ago.”), people all over the world continue to celebrate the man who brought us the albums 1999, Sign O’ The Times, and the iconic soundtrack, Purple Rain.
In fact, here on Libro Musica, many of us have covered and written about The Artist, and no doubt will continue to in perpetuity. [Note: A Libro Musica Prince reading list is included at the end of this article.]
Recently, I attended a Prince Video Party and observed what people danced to. I witnessed 2 categories:
- People that know Prince for Purple Rain. People that know the songs played on the radio.
- The Fams. The Purple Army. The True Funk Soldiers. The Followers of the Purple Yoda. The crew that knows that Prince sings about eating “Cap’n Crunch with soy milk, because cows are for calves” (from the song, “Joint 2 Joint”, off Emancipation, released in 1996)
I started thinking, “If I wanted to introduce Category 1 to Category 2, what songs would I choose?” I reached out to my dear friend Tonya, who is also part of Category 2, and the following list was born.
Hopefully, this will expose you to some “new” music from Prince and you will see he was sooo much more than what mainstream music made him to be. Some of these songs are available on his CD’s and the others? Well, if you are a collector, you may be able to find them. The video links will remain available until the web sheriff takes them down, because the Prince estate likes to shut them down, without mercy.
The only way you would’ve been able to hear this when it was released was through Prince’s NPG Music Club. Originally $100/yr, members would get access to previously unreleased tracks, such as this one.
“Silver Tongue” from Xpectation (2003)
Xpectation is all instrumental and all Jazz and was released as a free download to NPG Music Club members.
“Bob George” from the Black Album (1989)
If you ever wanted to hear Prince slam himself and his “high voice,” this is the song. The Black Album was scrapped for the LoveSexy album, but there are pressed albums of this cancelled release that are going for thousands of dollars!
“SuperCute” from The Chocolate Invasion (2001)
Released to the members of NPG Music Club.
“Rebirth of the Flesh” from Camille (2001)
Most people know about the alter ego, Camille, from the Sign O’ The Times tracks “Housequake”, “You Got The Look”, and “If I Was Your Girlfriend”, but “Rebirth Of the Flesh” also features the sped up voice of Camille.
“Dear Mr. Man” from Musicology (2004)
This is one of Prince’s more political songs, discussing poverty, voting, pollution and climate change in a little over 4 minutes.
Anna Stesia from LoveSexy (1988)
Prince could be the raunchiest lyricist out there, but after scrapping The Black Album, the relatively tamer, morality driven LoveSexy was born. Note: The original LoveSexy album was released as a single 45:07 track, until Warner Bros. re-released the album and cut it into 9 tracks.
“Baltimore” from HitNRun: Phase 2 (2015)
Written after the riots over the death of Freddie Gray in Baltimore, MD, Prince performed this track at the Rally 4 Peace in 2015. This is from Prince’s last officially released album.
Cloreen Bacon Skin from Crystal Ball (1998)
One of Prince’s longest songs, this song is all Prince…with drums by Morris Day.
“The Sensual Everafter” from The Rainbow Children (2001)
This is from the album when Prince went back to using his original name, and this track is instrumental with a little spoken word.
Prince never settled into one genre. No matter what you are into, there is a Prince song for everyone. I hope that this small list starts an avalanche into all things purple.
Category 2 List Extra: “Avalanche” (2002)
“Avalanche”, another example of Prince’s political lyrical prowess.
Peace and Be Wild.
More Reading | Prince, on LibroMusica.com
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