Thursday the world lost one of its most unique, talented, and iconic voices with the unexpected passing of Prince. This was such a shocking loss that MTV actually broke character and played a marathon of Prince music videos.
I first discovered Prince in the 4th grade. I remember coming back from summer vacation and still being full-tilt into Michael Jackson and break dancing (this was 1984 after all and I was all of 9 years old) only to learn that both were passe and the big thing was now Prince. Shortly thereafter I got a copy of Purple Rain on tape and though a large portion of it was way over my head, I still loved it. Over the years I followed Prince’s career off and on, periodically picking up albums like 1999 and Sign o’ the Times but mostly I knew his work through his singles and videos on MTV. Prince was one of those artists that I always admired and appreciated even if I wasn’t really a fan per se. His untimely death came as a shock. He wasn’t old and always appeared to be young and in good health (he had that Dick Clark, never aging vibe going for him) so to hear that he was gone was a bit mind blowing (and not in a good way). Lots of things have been said about Prince, his music, and his legacy since the news broke but I found Bob Mould’s words especially thoughtful and poignant.
Prince was an artist through and through – always pushing himself to new levels, often creating controversy through his actions and words, and ultimately creating a lifetime of wonderful memories for the world with his incredible volumes of published (and unheard) works.
Make no mistake: Prince was the brightest star in these Northern skies. My deepest condolences to his family, friends, and fellow musicians. Prince’s music will give consolation and comfort to the collective grief. Godspeed.
Since Thursday I’ve listened to a lot of Prince’s music. I’d forgotten how incredibly good these songs are and it makes me sad that it took his death to remind me of that fact. Below are my five favorite sings by Prince (in no particular order) also with five honorable mentions. Rest well Prince. You will be missed.
1. “Let’s Go Crazy” (from Purple Rain)
2. “Delirious” (from 1999)
3. “U Got the Look” (from Sign o’ the Times)
4. “1999” (from 1999)
5. “I Would Die 4 U” (from Purple Rain)
Honorable Mentions —
“Cream” (from Diamonds and Pearls)
“Purple Rain” (from Purple Rain)
“Raspberry Beret” (from Around the World in a Day)
“Kiss” (from Parade)
“Batdance” (from Batman)