THE TOP 10 PRINCE SONGS . . . aka 10 REASONS I DIG PRINCE COVERS

Posted: October 19, 2007 by dillion in Indie, Indie Pop, Indie rock, MP3, Music

Everybody’s talking about Radiohead these days. Radiohead Radiohead Radiohead. But there was an artist who went online first–who refused to be a SLAVE to the major labels, took his act on the net, and even gave away his CD at shows. Yeah, that was the artist known as Prince who was formerly known as the Artist who was formerly known as The Artist Formerly Known As Prince who was formerly known as Prince who was formerly known as Prince Rogers Nelson, who also calls himself The Purple One.

A.K.A. Slave Shave.

Here’s my picks for the top 10 Prince songs. With covers!

P.S.-I’m sure you will disagree with one or more of my picks. Don’t be nasty, just drop a comment!

10. Nothing Compares 2 U. It’s a great tune, and it’s been covered by dozens of folks, but nobody made it their own like Sinead O’Connor. Of course, I’m not posting her studio version here. Buy it. But this one, you might not be aware of . . .

Nothing Compares 2U – Stereophonics (link courtesy of Retro Music Snob).

9. Darling Nikki. I love this song more for what it represents than for the actual tune–Prince has certainly made better songs musically, but this one broke a few barriers and it’s funny as hell.

Chickenhead Nikki-Cam’Ron and Prince (Tapemasters Inc.)

Darling Nikki-Foo Fighters

8. Partyman. The classic Batman soundtrack, one of the greatest soundtracks in history, spawned this phenomenal dance track.

Partyman (Dance 12″)-Prince.

7. Raspberry Beret.

Raspberry Beret-Hindu Love Gods (Warren Zevon and the R.E.M. band!)

6. I Could Never Take the Place of Your Man

I Could Never Take the Place of Your Man-Goo Goo Dolls

I Could Never Take the Place of Your Man-My Morning Jacket

5. Seven. Lots of you probably haven’t even heard of this song, but it’s brilliant. Off his Glyph album.

4. When U Were Mine. Cyndi Lauper also did a hot version of this tune.

When U Were Mine-Tegan & Sara

3. Sign O’ The Times. Lots of folks may find this song corny, but it was one of the first Prince songs that I put on repeat over and over right after I heard it. Another fantastic song from that double album was the highly underrated and brilliant Starfish and Coffee.

Crazy Times-Prince vs. Gnarls Barkley

Thug-A-Cated 4 Life (starfish and coffee)-Papoose

2. Purple Rain. G’head, tell me why I’m wrong. Then listen to that blazing solo. Then try to tell me again.

Live version.

1. When Doves Cry. Simply the greatest divorce song ever.

When Doves Cry-The Be Good Tanyas

When Doves Cry-Ani DiFranco

When Thugs Cry-Joe Budden

When Doves Cry-Damien Rice

When Doves Cry-Barenaked Ladies

Let Me Know-Cam’Ron and Prince (Tapemasters Inc.)

Comments
  1. Jeff says:

    A band named “Leroy Justice” has a great honkey tonk version of “Purle Rain” It should be on your list

  2. Mr. E.,

    Long Time No Nothing & so forth.

    Nice to comment on such a well-deserved blog, tho’.

    Prince, as you may or may not know, is one stable of our lives over here in Drunk Country & we have had the pleasure of his company since Dirty Mind/Controversy (back-tracking furiously all the way to For You after an 11th birthday hamper of imported 12″ picture discs + associated goodies). We were a Prince bore back in the day when no one else either heard of him/cared about him or dismissed him as a ‘fag’ for the Purple rain era clothing decisions. Most hadn’t even seen the original Dirty Mind / Controversy / 1999 pretty much half undressed high-heeled stutting videos at that stage – that would have made them implode with homophobic zealotness.

    Prince is also the binding gel that makes The Waiting Room’s Ms Hope Eternal + ½DC’s relationship. It is how they came together (no pun) & understood things.

    Yes, Prince. There are some sensible choices above, m’good man. But we have to take exception to the inclusion of “Partyman” – we simply cringed at the Batdance/man album & the cheap-sounding cut&pastness of the whole ensemble. “Graffiti Bridge” almost done us in, too. A lazy showcase of a lazy talent, at that stage, affording more time to the ‘cult’ of ratehr than the skills of both he & Mossir Day et al. Still, you can’t be too hard on a man who produced 10 stellar LPs in a row prior to those two piles-o-pwp. &, yes, we do rate “For You” & “Prince” as stellar records: miles ahead of the game when they were released &, despite the floundering impact of the debut, became firm underground disco soundtracks.

    “7” is a firm favourite from his wilderness years – the Love Symbol – or whatver the hell people want to call it – album was in fact a solid work, despite an over-egged NPG sound. The obvious faves “Sexy MF”, “My Name Is Prince” (& indeed he was so very fucking funky & proving it large stylee), & “The Morning Papers” being the stand outs. We’d say “Diamonds & Pearls”, its predecessor, fairs a little more favourably due to the thumpers “Cream”, “Gett Off”, the title track & “Money Don;t Matter Tonight”. Still, though, we’d say, not a patch on the likes of “Around The World In a Day” (which took experimentalism to a grand level – “Condition of the Heart” being a huge favourite this end of the waterpipe) – just look at the B-Sides from this period for proof of relaxed genius at play with whimsy: “Girl”, “Hello”, etc. Sweet, pert stuff. Have you ever heard the demos of “ATWiaD”? Amazing stuff – the texture, the intertwined melodies & complicated structures are all there, almost from day 1. A definite recommendation if you’ve never happened across them. Glorious stuff indeed.

    But our absolute praise is for “Parade”. Shite, shite movie. Stunning soundtrack. We don’t have to say much about it, but Jesus up a pole. What an album. The 12″ of Mountains, for us, is the defining 12″ of the whole genre.

    Anyway. Ramble ramble. What we were meant to be saying was these fine cover versions might also be worth checking out should you ever happen across them:

    “Pop Life” by Dead or Alive
    “Sign ‘O’ The Times” by Heaven 17
    “When You Were Mine” by Casiotone For The Painfully Alone
    “When You Were Mine” by Crooked Fingers
    “Darling Nikki” by Rebecca Romijn
    “When Doves Cry” by David Kitt
    “I Could Never take The Place of Your Man” by Eels

    We think that’s enough for now.

    ½DC

  3. oddbodkins says:

    Brilliant choice for a covers post, i must agree.

    While we’re on the topic, there have been numerous Prince tribute cover albums which certainly deserve mention.

    “That Skinny Motherfucker With the High Voice?” by Dump, aka James McNew, Yo La Tengo’s bassist.

    “Do Me Baby: Austin Does Pince” by various Austin musicians; the covers of “Paisley Park” and the country-feel “Darlin’ Nikki” are particularly good

    “Electro Goth Tribute to Prince” which contains the aforementioned Rebecca Romijn Stamos cover

    Other covers of note:

    “When You Were Mine” i have no idea where it comes from, but i found a version by Ani Difranco w/ Maceo Parker on-line that kicks some major buttocks.

    “Sign O’ The Times” by Chaka Khan on her latest. And let’s not forget that “I Feel For You” was itself a cover, though His Royal Badness didn’t have a video w/ Turbo and Ozone from Breakin’

    Finally, i’d like to take exception w/ 1/2 DC’s assertation that “Under the Cherry Moon” was complete dreck. Sure, it won the Razzie that year and many, if not all, people wrongly think it’s crap. However, my best friend and i literally watched it five nights a week for over a year in high school and i have determined that i will marry, no questions asked, the first woman who can correctly answer the question, “If you wanted to buy a Sam Cooke abum (sic), where would you go?”

  4. ekko says:

    Send your covers to me, and I’ll do another post!

  5. Michael says:

    Not sure if you have heard the cover of “If I was your girlfriend” by the Eels. Truly awesome! Check it out. I agree that “When Doves Cry” by the Feel Good Tanya’s is a great cover, but my favorite will always be “Kiss” by Red-Headed Stepchild, whic is out of print.
    Cheers

  6. Arvind kumar says:

    Year1985 Say 1995 the great singer in world. Prince

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