Staff Recs: Prince Songs

Tragically, Prince passed away at the age of 57 on April 2, 2016 leaving the whole world saddened.

Rest in peace to a legend.

Purple Rain

It’s one of his most popular songs ever, but it would be a lie to say it’s not my favorite. This epic power ballad is the last song on his magnum opus “Purple Rain,” the soundtrack to the 1984 film of the same name. It’s an anthemic, orchestral epic with a fiery guitar solo at the climax. The official studio version on the record is amazing, but Prince’s iconic Super Bowl performance during a rainstorm is a reminder of the raw power and passion that made him such a talented live performer. — Zach Martin, Arts Editor



Prince’s velvet voice, which often matched his purple velvet ensemble, was at its peak when his song “Kiss” was released back in 1986. Women loved him, men envied him and all the while he strut around in gaudy outfits and heels, just doing his thing. He was a man that embodied gender fluidity, dressing the way he wanted despite assigned gender stereotypes. His eccentric style and personality seeped into his music, giving it that unique Prince sound. This song especially is one of his more funky, psychedelic songs with some groovy guitar riffs. He hits notes in this song that most women could never reach, but despite this, he was the only man in the world that could wear women’s clothing and still seduce almost any woman on the planet. Rest in peace, sweet Prince. — Dejarelle Gaines, Copy Chief

Darling Nikki

“Darling Nikki” isn’t the quintessential Prince song, but it’s the one that most blew me away upon first hearing. It contains the most visually illustrative and seductive song verse on masturbation you’ll ever hear, and that guitar solo practically drips with sex. I nearly cringe every time I hear Prince shriek, “Come back Nikki, come back!” I’m not sure whether to be turned on or slightly unsettled by such a carnal, almost violent representation of sex, but it just makes me return to the song for more. — Ethan Sapienza, Film Editor

When Doves Cry

This song is a masterpiece of subversive pop. It opens with a beautiful prog-rock noise-infused guitar riff, tribal drum beat and weird growling, only to be smothered by a rinky-dink synth that brings the melody back to earth. But the drum beat never goes away, the weird guitar is peppered all throughout and Prince’s lyrics about heartbreak and frustration stand in stark contrast to the Stepford Wives cheer of the synth. There is a menace beneath the skin here, an animal frustration with the principles of radio playability, that Prince would then carry into his much, much weirder stuff. — Richard Shu, Opinion Editor

Let’s Go Crazy

This song, man. Of course, it’s one of his most popular, but it’s just too good to pass up. It seems to represent everything that Prince was: more than a little eccentric, absolutely timeless and just really, really good. As his opening words reverberate around inside your head — “Dearly beloved…” — it’s just hard not to get chills. And really, it’s as close to a perfect song as you can get. It has one hell of a catchy hook, incredible mass appeal and a wailing guitar solo at the end, one that I mimic on an air guitar every time it comes on. Show me a person who doesn’t instantly get happy when they hear this song and I’ll show you a person who doesn’t know what happiness is. This song is the epitome of cool — like Prince himself, who completely redefined what “cool” even meant. So punch a higher floor, Prince. Go crazy. — Alex Bazeley, Editor-in-Chief

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