Unsung Presents: Music & The Movement

Remembering the songs of the movement

Five Prince Songs You WON’T Hear on His Birthday

by James Hill

June 7, 2016

It’s been a hard six weeks since we lost Prince but on June 7, as we celebrate his 58th birthday (C’mon Obama, no national holiday?) it will be non-stop Prince on the radio. And while we all love “Purple Rain,” can’t we find some of his other stuff to celebrate? Well, we did. So as we rock our lace veils and five-inch heels in celebration, we thought it was time to pump five Prince songs you WON’T hear today but SHOULD.

(Don’t forget Prince showed up on Unsung here and here).

1. “Anotherloverholenyohead”

Why It’s Dope: Widely held as one of Prince’s most underrated joints, this song was a dud on the charts and we’re not really sure why. It’s classic Prince, backed by the legendary Revolution, with a smoky, serpentine groove that propels a story we all can identify with — the pleas of a man trying to win back the woman he loves. Of course, we’d advise against using slut-shaming to do it, but Prince was a complicated cat.

Where You’ll Find It: The second to the last track on 1986’s “Parade.”

 


2. “The Ballad of Dorothy Parker”

Why It’s Dope: It’s Prince at his most poetic and least rhyme-y. Instead, he sort of freeforms a tale of seducing a waitress (“Dishwater blonde, tall and fine/She got a lot of tips) that feels like a jazzier riff on “Raspeberry Beret” without all the sunshine and tambourines. And while the song feels sexy, it’s not clear if Prince seals the deal or not — “My pants where wet/they came off/But she didn’t see the movie/Cuz she hadn’t read the book first.” Huh? Who cares, it’s one of the smoothest things he’s ever made.

Where You’ll Find It: Fourth track on 1987’s “Sign O’ the Times.”


3. “Let’s Pretend We’re Married”

Why It’s Dope: Warning: Do NOT play this at your wedding! Why? Leave it to Prince to turn a song which is kinda-sort of a marriage proposal into a filthy, digital groove. Need proof: “Excuse me but I need a mouth like yours/to help forget the girl who just walked out my door.” And honestly, it gets worse/better in the full album version.

Where You’ll Find It: Fourth track on 1982’s “1999.”


4. “When 2 R in Love”

Why It’s Dope: While we love it, we’re tired of “Do Me Baby” as the default Prince slow jam, especially with this sexy-as-sh** joint out there. Though recorded in 1988, it sounds more like a Purple Rain-era jam with it’s synth pop and drag drums and voice modulations. With lyrics like “come bathe with me/let me touch your body till your river’s in motion” the song DEMANDS to be listened to while laying silk sheets covered in rose petals.

Where You’ll Find It: Track seven on 1988’s “Lovesexy.”


5. “America”

Why It’s Dope: This is pure Prince funk on par with “Baby I’m a Star” and the fact that it’s rarely played is criminal. Maybe it’s the song’s political bent “Little sister making minimum wage/

Living in a 1-room jungle-monkey cage” but if you can listen to this without wearing out your shoes we suspect your soul may be dead.

Where You’ll Find It: Track 6 on 1985’s “Around the World in Day.”


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