So, Prince has officially blessed us with a new single (“Clouds”) and news of not one, but two albums on the way (Art Official Age and PLECTRUMELECTRUM, both dropping Sept. 30). In celebration of this much welcomed announcement, VIBE has put together a list of His Royal Badness’ 101 greatest songs.
Going through this painstaking process was nearly as impossible as walking on the waters of Minnesota’s Lake Minnetonka in the summer. After all, we’re talking about a prolific music icon who has released nearly 30 studio albums during his groundbreaking three-decade-plus career. To make our lives easier we excluded all bootlegs. That means no storied underground fan favorites such as “Purple Music,” “Wonderful Ass,” and “All My Dreams.” Besides, Prince’s now mythical musical vault is rumored to contain hundreds of unreleased works. We like our sleep.
Also, no protege songs or outside productions (The Time, Sheila E, and Bangles, we are looking at you!). Nope… this is pure Prince from every manic scream and hybrid funk-rock chord to every synth-fueled, decadent explosion. To find out where such classics as “Soft And Wet,” “Kiss,” and “When Doves Cry” ranked as well as B-Sides (“Erotic City” anyone?) and some pretty deep album cuts, dive headfirst into the purple abyss…if you dare. —Keith Murphy (@murphdogg29)