21. the beautiful ones

“Second of two in a row from the artist known as Prince, because you just don’t do justice to what he accomplished through the 1980s with a single item. In 1984, that would’ve meant Purple Rain (album and movie), which for me finally drove home the point that the most necessary music-art-whatever-you-want-to-call-it almost never comes from where you’re expecting it. In other words, I walked into the movie theatre more curious than anything (what were the kids all so excited about?) and walked out a lifelong fan of this almost annoyingly talented (so-called) black guy – something I absolutely did not see coming. With The Beautiful Ones perhaps the most necessary track of all for its evocation of an infatuation so pure and delirious, the only word to describe it is … purple? By which I mean not the colour of grape juice but affected, bloated, fancy-pants, grandiose, inflated, pompous, pretentious, stilted, excessive, flattering, fulsome, boastful, bombastic, elevated, eloquent, lofty, ultimately regal. Because such is true love. If it ain’t worth taking to a preacher right f***ing now, it ain’t the really thing. Or so I’ve been told.” (Philip Random)

232. erotic city

Erotic City delivers as its title suggests. One of the dirtiest b-sides to ever make it onto a mega million selling single, and being the 1980s, that meant there was an extended option, almost eight minutes of groove and horniness and all night f***ing. The A-side in question was Let’s Go Crazy (all hail the Lord God in Heaven) making for the release that perhaps best encapsulates all that was transcendent, rude, euphoric, essential of the artist formerly known as the artist formerly known as Prince.

(photo: Larry Williams)

925-924. Computer Blue + Darling Nikki

“Two in a row from the album (and movie) that finally made Prince a fact, even for white guys from the Canadian suburbs – that album being Purple Rain, of course. Not that I didn’t already think the guy was pretty darned cool in a funky r+b sort of way. You couldn’t hear twenty seconds of 1999 without thinking that. But after Purple Rain, I guess I just wasn’t seeing the colour anymore (other than purple). After Purple Rain, I realized this guy was the closest the 80s would ever get to having its own Bowie, or Beatles even. I’d crossed over, drank the paisley purple koolaid, seen God (or something similar). Every song on the album deserves to be hailed, and heard. But you probably have already heard most of them on the radio or whatever. Except maybe Computer Blue and Darling Nikki (the raunchy duo that brought Side One to a dramatic conclusion). Needless to say, they .got decent folk all hot and bothered at the time.” (Philip Random)

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