Over the next few days, in preparation for the deluxe version of “Purple Rain,” musician Brandon Schott, a self-proposed Prince fanatic, and I, another Prince fanatic, will delve into Prince’s mythical vault, which contains hundreds, possibly even thousands of songs, unreleased to the general public. Some of these unreleased gems have made it out of the vault, and many are on par with anything Prince ever released.
Today and tomorrow, we’ll take these unreleased songs, B-sides and outtakes and create our own fantasy albums- albums that Prince could have released had he wanted to. (He was known for creating albums and then shelving them to go work on something else.) Wednesday and Thursday, we’ll write about our favorite unreleased songs from the vault – songs you’ve probably never heard of. And then, coming soon, we’ll review the deluxe edition of “Purple Rain” – as soon as we get our grimy hands on it and give it a listen.
‘Dreams’ – Peter’s Prince Fantasy Album
“Dreams” could have been created in between “1999” and “Purple Rain.” It’s a naughty album, with songs such as “Irresistible Bitch,” “Erotic City,” “Wonderful Ass” and “Electric Intercourse.” This was Prince at his creative peak; we could have easily had another album of jewels to treasure with all of the B-sides and unreleased material. (“Dreams” was the original name for the movie “Purple Rain.”)
- “Irresistible Bitch” – With the familiar start-and-stop beginning Prince was known for, “Irresistible Bitch” features him doing a bit of rapping before rapping was even cool. It’s pure funk and addicting as hell.
- “Extra Loveable” – “Extra Loveable” is extra enjoyable, with Prince’s Linn LM-1 drum machine (which used heavily during this time), wonderful harmonies and a synthesizer-driven accompaniment, until a guitar solo takes over toward the end.
- “Erotic City” – Freakish and alien-sounding, “Erotic City” is perhaps one of Prince’s most overtly sexual songs. There’s no doubt what he’s talking about in this song. Prince usually sings in a high voice, but his low range is featured on this song, as well as a sped-up voice track.
- “Moonbeam Levels” – One of the most straightforward pop songs he has ever written. “Moonbeam Levels” seems destined for Top 40; why he never released it is a mystery. And I have no idea what moonbeam levels are.
- “Possessed” – This song goes on a bit too long, but it has a great hook and superb guitar riff at the beginning.
- “Wonderful Ass” – Not one of my favorites, I’ll admit, but it’s a slow-funk song in the mold of “D.M.S.R.” It also features some of the cheesy synthesizers we heard in early Prince albums, and, for that matter, on “Delirious” from “1999.”
- “Electric Intercourse” – Soon to be released on the deluxe edition of “Purple Rain,” “Electric Intercourse” brings to mind “The Beautiful Ones,” which may be why it wasn’t included on “Purple Rain.” It’s a slow grind, very pretty at times, and the newly remastered studio version features his vocals at an octave higher than the bootleg concert version that we fans are familiar with (I can’t wait for the deluxe edition!).
- “All Day, All Night” – “All Day, All Night” is paranoid, haunting and almost out of control; it’s a song that oozes passion, frenzy and lust. It was written for Jill Jones’ album, but a version sung by Prince has circulated among bootleg fans for years.
- “17 Days” – The B-side of “When Doves Cry,” “17 Days” was the first song credited to Prince and the Revolution. It begins with an apocalyptic-sounding electric guitar before it settles into a comfortable groove that never gets old.
- “Another Lonely Christmas” – This was the B-side of “I Would Die 4 U.” It’s a better version of “Electric Intercourse,” with a bit of “Purple Rain” mixed in for good measure.
- “How Come U Don’t Call Me Anymore” – Possibly Prince’s greatest piano ballad. This song was for some reason relegated to the B-side to “1999”; it’s a slow jazz tune that features Prince, singing in his upper register, at his best.
You can find some of these songs on Spotify, which I’ve included below. Others may take a while to find. Happy hunting!
Coming Tuesday: Brandon’s fantasy album