Friday, July 28, 2006

Don't underestimate the little man wearing a raincoat and a speedo

Wherein yeah he's that good

Matt Welch discovers youtube and goes on a linking frenzy dredging up old music videos. He finds the Prince performance of Purple Rain that changed his life:
...before this American Music Awards bit, I thought Prince was an awful limp-wristed so-and-so. Seven minutes later, he was just about my favorite musician, and I had all kinds of confusing new ideas.

Good discussion in the comments. I haven't purchased a Prince CD in years so it's easy to forget just how influential he was. Or the fact that besides breathing new life into R&B, Prince is one of the greatest rock guitarists that has ever lived and the Revolution one of the greatest rock bands.

All of which reminds me that months ago I meant to write about how A Love Bizarre on Sheila E.'s Romance 1600 is a followup to Erotic City. Drafting that, I uncovered a Jon Bream article I'd forgotten. Bream, reviewing Parade in 1986 [google cache], wrote:
"Girls and Boys" seems like the final part of the trilogy Prince started with "Erotic City" and "A Love Bizarre," which he wrote for Sheila E. The song has all the tricks - sly funk set to spare synthesizer rhythms, a slinky saxophone and funky guitar intertwining with the drums, soulful vocals in his middle register, falsetto scat singing with female harmonies, plenty of French words ("Under the Cherry Moon" was filmed in France), and a brief rap section.

I'd forgotten the article, yet bits and pieces burrowed in deep. I've always assumed there was a third song, just couldn't remember which one; now I see this is a Bream theory. I'm pretty certain that if there is a third song to complete the triology it isn't Girls and Boys. It's a great song, it's just too much of a stretch to fit. If I'm forced to pick from Parade, I think I Wonder U makes a better choice...especially if it was about 7 minutes longer.

Here's a task, if you have nothing else to do this weekend. Is Erotic City and A Love Bizarre two-thirds of a triology? And if so, what's the missing piece?


Blogger XWL said...

I would say this is easy, but then I probably know Prince songs too well to make choosing easy.

The song that fits best in with the other two, that he recorded subsequently would have to be Joy In Repitition.

Fantastic song, one of Prince's best. Unfortunately it's tied to Graffiti Bridge. The crapitude of the film made most people miss the quality of the film's music.

(and if that song doesn't seem like the perfect fit, from the same album, Love Machine should do it, plus Love Machine was sung by Morris Day, which would make it a trilogy sung by three different folks)

Another possibility, though now I'm approaching the too obscure for most people to have even heard of, would be Taja Seville's Love Is Contagious. She was one of many Prince proteges. I'm looking forward to the release of the album of Tamar Davis, the latest in a long line of female protege.

I could even make an argument that Manic Monday by the Bangles (written by Prince when he was obsessed with Susannah Hoffs) is the third song in the trilogy.

Erotic City is the explosive ecstasy Friday night at the club, dancing, sweating, and general debauchery (side note: they played this song 3 times during my senior prom)

Love Bizarre is the continuation of the debauchery into an entire weekend devoted to 'gettin' it on'.

Finally, Manic Monday comes around and its back to real life, but with the imagery and sense memories of the dionysian weekend making Monday that much more bittersweet.

Musically, Love Machine probably fits best, thematically I like the idea of Manic Monday finishing the trilogy, but mood wise, I like Joy in Repetition, and in my opinion, Prince is all about the mood, baby.

But this whole thing is slightly silly, next we'll be talking about the Prince-ian mastubatory trilogy begun with Jack U Off, followed by, Darling Nikki, and completed with Rockhard in a Funky Place.

7/28/2006 03:18:00 PM  
Blogger bill said...

Slightly silly yes, but I figured I'd get a detailed response from you. Thanks! I'll definately investigate your suggestions. While I think it's obvious that Love Bizarre is a continuation, I'm not sure there is a third. Though making it a third person would be nice.

Darling Nikki--taken out of the context of the movie, that song is hilarious and has always been my proof that Prince has a wicked sense of humor.

currently listening to "Gett Off."

7/28/2006 03:56:00 PM  

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