Monday Morning Roundtable: Our favorite Prince songs

prince purple

Dominick Mayer: I took the task of selecting Prince’s best song with the utmost gravity. The artist formerly known as the artist formerly known as Prince has a back catalogue that puts most other rock stars to shame, and so after a long trip in which I set out to find my spirit Prince song, involving a mountain climbing excursion and studying under some of the finest martial artists of our time (to say nothing of my dabbling in peyote), I realized that I have to go with “Let’s Go Crazy,” for both musical and sentimental reasons. The musical reason is that it’s an amazing bit of pop music, with squelching keys and Prince’s driving guitar (the man is criminally underrated in guitarist circles) belying a “Let’s party!” manifesto that hits so hard, you fail to realize that in lesser hands this would probably be a really dumb song. On a personal note, the iconic opening introduction poses an entire religious philosophy that hits scarily close to home for me, but lacks even a hint of preaching; this is a god of rock teaching you about gods of other colors. And then demanding that you dance.

Alyssa Vincent: I’d love to say that this is a difficult decision, but the song that immediately pops into my head when I think of Prince is “I Would Die 4 U.” Frankly, the Royal Wedding (is it capitalized? I can only assume so) would have been 100 times better if Will and Kate boogied down to this jam. First of all, the lyrics kick ass. The first line basically sums up the artist in question: “I’m not a woman/I’m not a man/I am something that you’ll never understand.” PEOPLE. Don’t try to understand Prince. Just dance out your confusion. Also, he was on board with shortening words way before texting jumped on that bandwagon. And finally, it’s got the grooviest and most addictive beat ever. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go listen to every other song in the world to try to get “I Would Die 4 U” out of my head.

Chris Ostendorf: Personally, it’s hard for me to pick a favorite Prince song without just telling you to listen to the whole Purple Rain album all the way through. Or the whole Batman soundtrack. Kidding. Seriously though, Prince is such an amazing artist, who spans years, genres, and personas, that I barely even know where to pull my favorite tune of his from. However, in what’s ultimately an effort to pick something different from everybody else, I’m going to choose the song “Fury,” from Prince’s 2006 album, 3121. I think we can all agree that the last decade hasn’t exactly been the strongest in this longtime member of pop royalty’s reign. However, if Prince even puts out one song like “Fury” every five years, he’ll continue to validate his place in music history. I first heard Prince perform this song on “SNL,” and the utter power and precision he performed it with made it impossible for me not to go back and not listen to it over and over again since. This is a song that totally lives up to it’s name. It’s big, brash, and brilliant. With lyrics about a woman scorned, great guitar riffs, and a synth line that absolutely stomps it’s way through the whole song, “Fury” isn’t necessarily new territory for Prince. But in his supreme creativity, he somehow manages to make the same things sound new over and over again. I once read somewhere that Prince is a lot like Woody Allen. They’re both nebbish old men, they’re both obsessed with sex, and the work they both did went through a serious dip in quality throughout the 2000s. However, if Allen is able to still make movies like Match Point and Vicky Christina Barcelona, it’s no surprise that Prince is still capable of creating songs like “Fury.”

Amy Dittmeier: This is indeed a tough decision. Prince is an epic musician. Doesn’t matter if you’re the most staunch music listener or if you’re some bro at Sigma Phi fist pumping to today’s Top 40 hits. You have heard a Prince song. To pick a favorite is like picking your favorite child. Yeah sure, there are some ugos out there (I disagree with Chris hear and say that every song on the Batman soundtrack is PURE F’ING GOLD and you should listen to it every day) but Prince’s hit outnumbers the dubs. “Kiss” is a definite favorite. As androgynous as Prince is, when he hits those falsetto notes and grunts during those guitar licks my knees go weak and my heart flutters. It’s a slinky, sexy song that’s so simple but so awesome at the same time. I’m pretty sure that they should play this song in high school health class to teach kids about the birds and the bees. That or “Gett Off.” But I think if a high school teacher played “Gett Off” in a public school he’d get fired in a second. It’s a highly inappropriate song. But it’s something I can totally see Prince William rocking at the Royal Wedding.

Wes Soltis: My favorite Prince song is “Partyman.” Are there better Prince songs? Oh, absolutely. But this particular song was on the Batman soundtrack (the 1989 version that Prince did the whole soundtrack for). If I remember correctly, this is the song that plays when the Joker goes into the museum and ruins all of the paintings and then Batman, OBVIOUSLY, shows up and foils his plans. The song is great, the video is better. Prince is dressed as a weird Joker/Two Face hybrid and the saxophone player is just the most 80s thing in the history of the world. I mean, seriously. Watch that below. You will say “what the fuck” at least twice.

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  • Foxy_rox2

    last night at the Forum he performed a song i’d never heard b4 … something like .. “u will b with me” .. can anyone help me find this song and what album .. i’ve searched … thank u