"Sometimes It Snows In April" - A Prince Tribute Spotify Playlist
The "Sometimes It Snows In April" Prince Tribute Playlist
It's no secret, Prince hated streaming services, but now that his music is on Spotify I am trying to share deeper cuts from his albums not called "Purple Rain." From the 70's through the 00's these are all exhibits proving why Prince was such a unique and powerful talent.
If you have seen "Under the Cherry Moon," you know that the song "Sometimes it Snows in April" was a eulogy for the main character "Christopher Tracy." Certainly, the song works as a fitting eulogy to the man himself, but also works as a commentary on his ambition to help artists control the rights to their own music.
I won't lie, I am conflicted to be using Spotify to share the Prince music I love. I dunno, maybe, in some small way, it is better for me (or anyone else who authentically cares about him and his music) to try to share some of the great tracks that people might not hear otherwise?
Personally, I wish whoever controlled his estate would make sure that the money from Spotify and other streaming services were earmarked for some of Prince's many charitable interests.
If you want to know more about my personal connection with Prince, read HERE.
Okay, so now to the playlist. By the way, I purposefully used ZERO songs from Purple Rain (and only a few from 1999) on this playlist (I love Purple Rain, but I kind of feel that 90% of what people think of when they think of Prince was Purple Rain). Also, I am not including labels, because he hated labels.
He had so many great albums and songs, I hope this playlist helps people explore some of his other material.
RIP Prince Rogers Nelson, You are missed!
The Songs (Click On The Album Title 4 More Information)
1. Sometimes It Snows In April, Parade (Music from the Motion Picture Under the Cherry Moon), 1986
I used to have the poster for Under the Cherry Moon on my dorm room wall. When people would give it the gas face things could get ugly. Yes, it isn't a "great" movie, but if you love Prince, it is a classic. "If you wanted a Sam Cooke ablum...where would you go?"
2. I Wanna Be Your Lover, Prince, 1979
First Prince song I ever heard. Still sounds great today almost 40 years later.
3. Head, Dirty Mind, 1980
From Prince's unapologetic funk/sex period..the rest of his career after that was defined by the push and pull from his religious and sexual selves (played out against amazing music).
4. Girls & Boys, Parade (Music from the Motion Picture Under the Cherry Moon), 1986
Did I mention that I loved this movie and still do? Yes, I know objectively it is terrible but I would watch it right now if it were on. FYI, how great was it to see Jerome Benton last night at the Grammy's.
Originally released as a B-side and later put on the two albums, one of the best "naughty" Prince songs for sure. If you are not familiar, Spike Lee asked Prince to score his movie Girl 6 (which is why the soundtrack counts as a Prince album)
6. Gett Off, Diamonds & Pearls, 1992
Underrated album, lots of good tracks. Check it out if you haven't heard it. NPG era.
7. Alphabet Street, Lovesexy, 1988
Sure the lyrics are kind of silly...But, I remember being blown away by how unique the syncopation was when I first saw it on MTV in my friend Paul's room when I was in High School. Yes, rap was never a strength, but many great Prince songs have hip-hop sections. This is still a great song.
8. Private Joy, Controversy, 1981
Back to the "naughty Prince" era. Of course, when I first started listening to Prince it was that teenage period, so it seemed even more subversive (he was talking about stuff nobody talked about).
9. I Could Never Take the Place of Your Man, Sign 'O' The Times, 1987
Sign 'O' The Times was a really important album in the canon. If you haven't listened to it all the way through, you are missing out. It is one of the few double albums you will ever hear without a weak cut all the way through.
One small aside, Prince's Black Album leaked about this time too. It is not on Spotify but was another important album. It was later released officially but I first heard it as a bootleg.
10. Starfish and Coffee, Sign 'O' The Times, 1987
This is just an incredibly well-written song, almost Beatlesque and certainly transcendent. No other song in Prince's music sounds anything like it.
11. Little Red Corvette, 1999, 1982
My first favorite Prince song. How he made Minneapolis look like a really interesting place to live without ever making it look freezing cold still amazes me (JK).
12. Mountains, Parade (Music from the Motion Picture Under the Cherry Moon), 1986
There are a lot of songs from Parade on this list because Parade is one of the all-time best Prince albums. Even if you hate the movie, this is one of his most musically brilliant albums.
13. My Name Is Prince, [Love Symbol], 1992
Want to understand Prince, this song is as close as you can probably come. He has two sides and they are friends. Also, the fretless bass riff is just sick.
14. Jack U Off, Controversy, 1981
Naughty funk Prince was really clever and innovative. Nothing else sounds like old Prince.
15. Kiss, Parade (Music from the Motion Picture Under the Cherry Moon), 1986
Classic. Still Classic. Always Classic. Just a brilliant song.
16. How Come You Don't Call Me Anymore, Girl 6 (Motion Picture Soundtrack), 1996
Maybe my all-time favorite Prince song. I use it to explain how two people can play the same notes and sound entirely different. His piano playing on this track is unique to put it lightly. You can really feel his conflict and inner turmoil just in his playing.
17. ANOTHERLOVE, Prince 3RDEYEGIRL, PLECTRUMELECTRUM, 2014
If you never saw his performance of ANOTHELOVE on SNL look it up. The recorded version is really good, the live version on SNL was GREAT (it as the third of three songs).
18. Sexy M.F. [Love Symbol], 1992
The horns on this are just nasty. What a build. Funk and funky classic.
19. Forever In My Life, Sign 'O' The Times, 1987
Prince could be so poignant sometimes. When you wade through his stuff you can really hear his pain and sadness among the joy, preening, and celebration.
20. Pop Life, Around The World in a Day, 1985
I had to include this song because it is hard to hear it without feeling sadness about how he passed away. This was a guy who was deeply religious and opposed to drug use but who died of a drug overdose. There is a lot to learn about our reaction to addicts in his story.
I probably should have included more from this album which, I think, was his homage to Sly Stone.
21. Free, 1999, 1982
One of the most beautiful songs Prince ever wrote IMHO and particularly important with what has been going on in this country for the last few months.
Wrapping It Up
Back to the normal mixed playlists next week.