Prince hid 50 complete music videos in his secret Vault!
As one of the 80s and 90s most celebrated artists, with a fan hysteria only comparable to Michael Jackson, Prince was a multi-instrumentalist, singer-songwriter, and producer like no other.
Known as a perfectionist that refused to release anything he wasn’t happy with, it was discovered after his tragic death that in his famous vault, he had numerous never released tunes, 50 of them with finished music videos!
Some of this work was released posthumously on the albums Piano and a Microphone in 2018, and Originals in 2019.
Prince’s first album came out in 1978, entitled For You, but it didn’t have much success. On the follow-up in 1979, simply entitled Prince, we got his first #1 in I Wanna Be Your Lover, a tune still played by DJs and even bands. It also contained my favorite Prince composition, I Feel For You.
I Feel For You was never released as a single by Prince, it was however by Chaka Khan in 1984, just after her signature song, Ain’t Nobody.
Prince would continue the pattern of releasing an album a year with Dirty Mind (‘80) Controversy (‘81) and then 1999 (‘82). It was the ‘82 release that did best with the title track and Little Red Corvette. Selling over 4 million copies in the U.S. alone, this was easily his most successful release so far, although not even close to what was about to arrive.
Prince’s sixth studio album came with a film as well. Entitled Purple Rain it sold 25 million copies worldwide! Tunes include the title track, Let’s Go Crazy, and the awesome When Doves Cry. He received both a Grammy (album) and an Oscar (movie) for Purple Rain.
The follow-up, released the next year (‘85) had another Prince classic in Raspberry Beret. In 1986 we get Parade and the single Kiss. Alongside Purple Rain, Kiss is Prince’s most recognized tune. It’s also a standard on the cover band repertoire, even more so than Purple Rain, perhaps thanks to its faster tempo and simple chord structure.
In 1987, he release Sign ‘O’ The Times and had by now disbanded his previous band. Most critics prefer this album to Purple Rain, calling it his best work. Sales were nowhere near Purple Rain, although the lead single is still played by DJs and is certainly one of his classics.
1988, and another Prince album hits the shelves. This one was entitled Lovesexy, it contained another big single, Alphabet St. As an album it did well in the charts although sales were modest compared to his standards.
As the 80s came to end, Prince next released two soundtrack albums, the first for the film Batman, no big tunes were to be found here. The second, Grafiti Bridge wasn’t a huge success but it did better than the film which nobody remembers.
One single came from Grafiti Bridge in Thieves In The Temple, recorded with his new band, suitably named: New Power Generation.
Followed up by Diamonds and Pearls (‘91), Prince managed several hits from this release in Cream, Gett Off, Money Don’t Matter 2 Night, and of course, the epic title track. Sales were good and as an album, it did reach #1 in the U.S.
Next up, Love Symbol is released in ‘92 and this is the first time we see his “symbol” gracing the cover. Three tunes came from this album in 7, My Name Is Prince, and the best one, Sexy MF, which was penned in a similar vein to his previous, sexually explicit hits Cream and Gett Off.
Prince’s next two albums, Come and The Black Album was not of the same high quality as we’d gotten used to. This was also the time he started calling himself the Symbol and was in a legal battle with his record label.
In 1995, he’s seemingly got back to his usual self and released The Gold Experience. Here we get two tunes, The Most Beautiful Girl in the World, and Gold.
Next, we get another soundtrack (Girl 6) and an album called Chaos and Disorder. Still, in a legal battle with his label, Prince (or is it still the symbol at this point?) refused to promote it.
All this must have led to some kind of creative explosion as his next release, now on a new label is a triple album entitled Emancipation. Unfortunately, it came with no tunes.
The same goes for all subsequent albums, it was as if he had now become the artist formerly known to release hits.
Not that it mattered much, he’d gathered a pretty insane back catalog by now, and two of his biggest tunes I haven’t even mentioned as they were made famous by Sinead O’Connor (Nothing Compares To You, 1990) and The Bangles (Manic Monday, 1986).
Prince | Related pages
| A7 | A7 | A7 | A7 |
You don’t have to be beautiful to turn me on.
| A7 | A7 | A7 | A7 |
I just need your body, baby, from dusk ’til dawn.
I Feel For You
| F# | Bmaj7 | Emaj7 | F# |
Baby, baby, when I look at you, I get a warm feeling inside.
| F# | Bmaj7 | Emaj7 | F# |
There’s something about the things you do, that keeps me satisfied.