Undoubtedly a song that’s all over the airwaves and social media today but…. this post was in the works already and it seems fitting enough to push it through now.
Heading home yesterday evening I flipped open twitter and caught the rumours of Prince’s death before confirmation from his publicist changed it into a breaking news story. Shocking doesn’t do it justice.
It’s hard to recall the first Prince song I heard / knew. He was everywhere in music in the 80’s and into the 90’s. Nobody had such a prolific period of constant hits and a career-long streak of strong music.
I do know, though, that Purple Rain remains an ice-cold slab of perfection. There’s not a track on the album I skip. From the hit singles it generated to the breathlessness of Take Me With U, the brilliance of Darling Nikki and the pure Prince audacity-fuck censorship of its lyrics there’s just so many moments of genius on it you could lose count. No wonder it’s shifted upwards of 20 million copies.
For me though, the album, and Prince’s highlight is it’s opening track – Let’s Go Crazy.
It encapsulates everything that the album holds all contained in one four-and-a-half minte track – there’s the exultant chorus, the near-gospel backing vocals, urgent synths, and, of course, Prince’s startling guitar chops (for further evidence watch the little guy in the hat break this cover out of mundaity). This has been a go-to song for me for a long time, those times when the day has been a pile of cack, it’s time for Let’s Go Crazy. It’s impossible to not be uplifted by it, with the sermonising intro with it’s “Dearly beloved…” (boy have I seen that a lot on twitter today) and it’s rousing “and if the elevator tries to bring you down… go crazy; punch a higher floor”. Yeah… Prince is probably trying to evangelisize us with this one but, fuck me, it’s as catchy and brilliant as they come. It’s a pure rush of excitement listening to it especially when – in album format – it breaks into the start of Take Me With U and its opening drum solo.
Thanks to the Purple One’s very tight hold on his copyrights and sharing etc it’s hard to find a video to put here (or one that will stay active for longer than a fart) but let’s try: