Playlist #13 : LCD Soundsystem
February 13, 2014

Playlist #14: Prince

UnknownWhat hasn’t been already been said? It felt like losing Michael Jackson all over again. I have a deep sense of DJ gratitude for all he’s done (and will continue to do) for me on the dance floor, and it’s coupled with genuine wonder at his musical genius and longevity. His first album was released in 1978 (a year before I was born) and his last album was recorded in 2015. He stayed relevant and funky up to the end performing his last show a week before he passed. I was lucky enough to see him live during a run of shows he did in Los Angeles several years back. Janelle Monae opened and Stevie Wonder joined as a special guest. Prince did so many encores they turned on the lights and started cleaning the aisles – but the people kept on dancing.

PLAYLIST

  1. Kiss – That quick-strum guitar intro rests somewhere in our subconscious specifically reserved for igniting dancing. The production is minimalist and pure. Kiss is one of my favorite tracks of all time to “slap” mix and it really should be played all the way through. Prince’s guitar solos aren’t superfluous, but actually lift the track and add funk. “Act your age, not your shoe size.” Yep.
  2. Musicology – Motown, funk and pop combine on this groovy title track from Prince’s 2004 album. A perfect party-builder that will have you tapping your feet and nodding along. I like to play this one during cocktails or on the build-up to dancing.
  3. Purple Rain – Specifically, the live version performed in 2007 at The Super Bowl. In the rain. With my favorite team of any sport (The Bears) playing. And losing. Didn’t care – Prince saved the day. He got the whole stadium to sing with him during the “Wooo Hooo Hooo Hooo” part. Niagra falls, Frankie Angel. It was the best Super Bowl halftime show ever and he didn’t need Beyonce and Bruno Mars to bail him out.
  4. Uptown – I gotta thank my buddy Adam for this recommendation. And Chromeo, Scissor Sisters, and the Nu Disco genre in general need to thank Prince for the template he laid out on this track.
  5. 7 – A weird one, I admit, but I distinctly remember hearing this song in high school and having the chorus stuck in my head and singing it in the shower for the better part of a month. It’s also one of my favorite Prince songs that isn’t trying to be dance-y. Plus, I just like the idea of smiting those who “stand in the way of love.” Who can’t get behind that?
  6. Gett Off – Like David Bowie, Prince was androgynously, unapologetically sexy and this track from Diamonds and Pearls, performed with The New Power Generation, speaks to this unteachable quality. He does a little James Brown shout out and somehow makes it seamless.
  7. When Doves Cry – After Kiss, this is the Prince track that has the most success on the dance floor. The lead single from Purple Rain, following Prince’s death, the song re-charted on the Billboard Hot 100 at number eight, its first appearance in the top 10 since the week ending September 1, 1984. Admittedly, I stole that from Wiki, but I think it’s a cool tidbit.
  8. Sexy M.F. – The title says it all. This is Prince at his most James Brown. And though I hate to use the word “rap,” this is another track where Prince reminds you that he has flow in addition to an inimitable singing voice.
  9. U Got the Look – Prince was an artists’ artist. Meaning, he inspired the same talent he also supported and subsequently collaborated with. In this instance, Sheila E’s drums and vocals create the dichotomy of the “boy vs. girl dream we all dream of in the world series of love.”
  10. Let’s Go Crazy – As a DJ, this is what it’s all about. Rocking out and dancing for the sake of rocking out and dancing. The song says it all and is especially poignant following his death : “dearly beloved, we are gathered together to get through this thing called life.” Thank you, Prince.