Sunday, April 23, 2017

Get Yo Groove On (All of Them, In Fact): Prince's Songs and the Project

"Dearly beloved, we R gathered here 2day 2 get through..."

...what, exactly? What is this Purple Power Project?

As discussed before, it's an attempt to compare and contrast Prince's different eras and styles, tracking his evolution from doe-eyed charmer to fire-strumming sexual evangelist to label-baiting cypher to grown-and-still-sexy soul man. The central thrust (heh) of this effort will be the Purple Power Rankings, which are exactly what they sound like.

Various publications have done their top 50, 100, or whatever Prince tracks, but here we go all the way. These rankings will encompass ALL the unique songs (448 of them, give or take) from 36 official, widely-released Prince albums. This means:
  • The previously unreleased tracks and B-sides from The Hits are included, but other B-sides only found on their respective singles ("Rock & Roll is Alive," "Loveleft, Loveright," etc.) are not. These will likely be broached in their own separate post;
  • "Moonbeam Levels" is included thanks to its official release on 4Ever;
  • Remixes from other compilations, like Ultimate Prince, are not included; 
  • Remixes included on two different albums ("Funknroll," "Pussy Control," or "This Could B Us") are included, but "When 2 R in Love" is not included twice, since it was unchanged from The Black Album to Lovesexy;
  • NPG Music Club albums like The Slaughterhouse and The Chocolate Invasion are not included. Neither are N.E.W.S. or One Nite Alone...Live;
  • Crystal Ball and The Truth are included separately, despite the fact that the latter was not available separately in the shops. Kamasutra, however, is not included;
  • Goldnigga and Exodus are not included, since they're credited to the New Power Generation and lead vocals are mostly handled by Tony M. and Sonny T., respectively. New Power Soul, however, is included because it's a Prince album in all but name, with his picture on the front and his vocals on every track;
  • Albums by proteges like Sheila E., Jill Jones and The Time are not included, regardless of his level of creative input;
  • And finally, in case you're wondering, yes, the rankings will be revised on the fly once the Purple Rain remaster hits in June. The third disc of Vault gems like "Electric Intercourse" and "Father's Song" will be added.
We'll make the occasional diversion into other topics, to be sure, but everything will keep veering back to the Rankings (or the Big Board, as I'll sometimes refer to it). The current goal is to get out two posts per week, each about 10-15 songs deep. Tell your friends, because I need as many people as possible to keep me accountable.

So, we'll get started in a couple of days with my selections for Prince's 15 WORST songs. What are your picks?

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