“Private Joy” (Controversy, 1981)
The first track to feature Prince’s Linn drum machine-propelled signature sound, the groundbreaking “Private Joy” still ranks as one of Mr. Nelson’s most mysterious numbers. When he proclaims, “If anybody asks you, you belong to Prince!” it’s hard to figure out if he’s singing about a pretty young thing or his, um, manhood. Whatever the case, this is serious Prince business.
“D.M.S.R.” (1999, 1982)
Maybe Prince was apprehensive with the prospect of having to edit down this mammoth 8-minutes-and-17-second synth-funk explosion. Whatever the reason, Prince’s no bullshit mantra (dance, music, sex, romance!!!) should have been given its proper spotlight. And while “D.M.S.R.” has long been regarded as a notable fan favorite, this monstrous, bass-slapping behemoth deserves a place next to more universally hailed Prince classics such as “1999,” “When Doves Cry” and “Kiss.”