10 Essential Prince Songs You Can Now Stream Online

first_imgToday is essentially a holiday, as much of Prince‘s catalog is now available for streaming on services like Apple Music and Spotify. Prince was famously against streaming services, but his estate has bills to pay following his untimely death in April 2016, so they cut a deal to bring his deep catalog to most of the popular mainstream music streaming services. While some of his later albums, such as 2004’s Musicology, are not available, there are now nineteen Prince albums available for streaming on Spotify, and twenty-five Prince albums available for streaming on Apple music.Let me repeat that.Let me repeat that. There are now nineteen Prince albums available for streaming on Spotify, and twenty-five Prince albums available for streaming on Apple music. Included in this release are classic albums like 1999, Sign O’ The Times, and Purple Rain, as well as fan favorites like Controversy and the soundtrack from the 1989 film Batman.  Praise the funk gods, this is truly a miracle!In honor of this momentous musical occasion, we’ve compiled some of the most essential Prince songs that you can now find on streaming platforms, and have embedded them below for your listening pleasure. You’ll find a healthy mix of hit singles, deep cuts, and songs that are NSFW (looking at you, “Erotic City”…), all of which showcase a different side of Prince’s incredible musical talent. Prince mixed in elements of pop, punk, funk, jazz, and rock, all with an experimental approach that led to one of the most unique catalogs in modern music. Prince’s music was innovative (to say the least), and his full catalog and prodigal output couldn’t possibly be whittled down to just ten songs, so make sure to check out the entire catalog when you have the time.Without further adieu, here’s our list of 10 Essential Prince Songs (that you can now stream online).“I Wanna Be Your Lover” (1979)Released in 1979, “I Wanna Be Your Lover” was Prince’s first hit single. At the age of 21, Prince was still forming his identity (and his ego), and this song sounds like a disco-era Jackson Five record. The song is meticulously arranged, with a thumping beat and harmonized falsetto vocals mixing into pop perfection. The song’s outro showed Prince’s instrumental expertise and was a great launchpad for the over-the-top funky dance party that would mark the rest of his career.“Controversy” (1981)In two short years, Prince had become a controversial figure that had captivated the world of music. With the rise of Reagan-era politics, AIDS, and the crack epidemic, this pulsating single touched on a number of issues that were currently impacting the country. The song’s harmonized, talk-singing vocals and synth-based grooves are reminiscent of Parliament-Funkadelic, who undoubtedly influenced Prince’s overall sound. Prince includes lines about race, sexuality, and belief in god (Prince recites “The Lord’s Prayer” in full during the song) in the song, and turned this political number into the ultimate dance party.“1999” (1982)Prince made the end of the world sound funky as hell with “1999”. Playing off the apocalyptic undertones of the Cold War, Prince’s sinister-yet-playful line of “…life is just a party, and parties weren’t meant to last” connected with a generation of anxious music fans that were eager to ignore the perils of the world around them. “1999” made one thing clear: if the clock is ticking on the end of the world, we’re going to dance our way out.“When Doves Cry” (1984)By 1984, Prince ruled the airwaves. Purple Rain was a total smash, and “When Doves Cry” was the biggest hit from the landmark soundtrack. Prince was his most adventurous on this track, wailing on the guitar over a drum machine and a few synth loops. For an artist so deeply rooted in funk and R&B, Prince’s decision to not include bass on this track ushered in a new era for the world of experimental pop music.“I Would Die 4 U” (1984)Similar to “When Doves Cry”, “I Would Die 4 U” is a case-study in experimental pop music. The lyrics find Prince at his most Bowie-esque, adopting an androgynous personae while declaring true love. Musically, it’s just not realized just how much he pushed music into new territories. It’s reported that neither Prince nor anyone else in the Revolution could play the bass part for this song, so they connected a synth loop to the drum machine and programmed the part digitally, paving the way for more complicated music to enter the world of pop.“Purple Rain” (1984)Perhaps the best power ballad of all-time, “Purple Rain” is a powerful song that finds Prince at the apex of his talents. The combination of R&B, pop, and classic rock elements make for an awesome mixture. Prince’s vocals are passionate, the song has strings and horns there’s a gospel choir on the song’s chorus, and there’s undeniably incredible guitar playing throughout, including on the blistering solo that Prince takes in the middle of the song. “Purple Rain” isn’t Prince’s most fun song, but it’s certainly his most powerful.“Erotic City” (1984)If you didn’t know that Prince was a freak before “Erotic City”, you knew what he was all about as soon as you heard “Erotic City”. Perhaps the peak of Prince’s sexuality, Prince blurs the lines between the words “funk” and “fuck” for a playful, yet straightforward discussion of his own libido. This song marked the first appearance of Prince’s protégé/lover Sheila E, and the back-and-forth between the two singers is electric. Prince would admit later in his career that this song was inspired by Parliament-Funkadelic.“Kiss” (1986)Following the avant-garde Purple Rain, “Kiss” was a welcome return to the funky side of Prince. The song’s iconic guitar part is instantly recognizable, as is Prince’s now-familiar falsetto. The song is one of Prince’s most playful, and it’s impossible to not dance along when it comes on. “Kiss” is one of Prince’s five number one singles.“U Got The Look” (1987)Prince uses vocal effects to hide his voice and his persona on “U Got The Look”, which also features female vocalist Sheena Easton. Easton plays the foil to Prince’s sexually confident lead. It’s another pulsating funk number with an iconic guitar part, showing Prince’s ability to take something simplistic and turn it into something special and unique. There are elements of jazz fusion towards the end of the song, as Prince once again showcased his genre-bending abilities on “U Got The Look”.“Batdance” (1989)Another one of Prince’s five number one singles, “Batdance” is the final track on the soundtrack that Prince provided for the classic Tim Burton film. The song has two distinct parts, propelled by a thumping dance beat and raging electric guitar that marks the song’s beginning and end sections; the middle is straight funk. There are tons of samples from the movie itself, with lots of lines from Michael Keaton, Jack Nicholson, and Kim Basinger included in the song. The song is all over the place, but it shows Prince at both his wackiest and his most free.last_img read more