There have been many tributes paid to the late Prince Rogers Nelson since his passing. His music was beautiful, outrageous, groundbreaking and sometimes downright infuriating. That’s the kind of artist he was and that’s why we loved him. Here are five of my personal favourite yet lesser known Prince songs which I feel display his wide range of abilities, his playful personality and his most importantly, his godlike talent.
‘Dinner with Delores’ – Chaos and Disorder (1996)
As contractual obligation albums go, Chaos and Disorder has to rank among the best of them. Amazingly hard to find, Prince’s 18th album came right at the tail end of his dispute with Warner Brothers. Stripped of all frills and fancies, this straight up rock effort is actually a pretty good album and with a little more care could have been one of his best.
‘She Gave Her Angels’ – Crystal Ball (1998)
Prince only ever had two children, both with his then wife Mayte Garcia. This first was a little boy named Gregory who tragically died seven days after being born as a result of a condition called Pfeiffer Syndrome. Not long after, Garcia suffered a miscarriage and the tragedy tore their marriage apart. Although Prince never spoke about his devastating loss, it’s hard not to think about it when listening to this beautiful tune.
‘Strollin’- Diamonds and Pearls (1990)
A very successful album, Diamonds and Pearls was Prince’s first album with his New Jack Swing band The New Power Generation. Coming next in the track list after the catchy pop anthem Cream and the title track, Strollin’ is a splendid slow groove and a breezy beat with lovely harmonies too.
‘Courtin’ Time’ – Emancipation (1996)
Emancipation is not a good album. It’s three hours long, does not fulfil it’s purpose of promoting complete creative freedom and most of the 36 songs just aren’t that good. This one is though. A jumpy little jive number, it shows a different side to the artist and is a good insight into what the album could have been.
‘Starfish and Coffee’ – Muppets Tonight (1997)
This is a famous song but a less acknowledged insight into his personality. The 90’s version of The Muppet Show was hit and miss but Prince’s appearance was a definite highlight. Performing a song from his classic album Sign O The Times it’s hilariously integrated into a comedy sketch in true Muppet fashion. It also shows that contrary to popular perception, His Royal Badness Prince knew how to have fun and not just in a naughty way.