Prolific, daring, bold, and inventive, rock star Prince, formerly known as the Artist Formerly Known as Prince, has elevated the art of rock and R&B ever since he emerged on the scene back in the late seventies. While even those who aren’t fans know of his hits (“Let’s Go Crazy,” “Purple Rain,” “Raspberry Beret”), Prince has a back catalogue of B-sides and rarities that are just as great if not better than his well known songs. So here is my list of Prince’s Top Ten great B-sides and lesser known tunes.
10. “Get Off” – taken off his 1991 “Diamonds and Pearls” release, “Get Off” is a sexy, rump-shaker that’ll have you up on the dance floor. Prince took the whole “New-Jack” sound that was popular in the day and ratcheted up the beats with an orgiastic frenzy. One of his best!
9. “Sexy M.F.” – Released a year after “Get Off,” “Sexy M.F.” follows the same terrain of the sexy “bump and grind,” but, like most of Prince’s songs, takes a different detour in covering this material. Unlike “Get Off,” “Sexy M.F.” has a stead, funky beat with a killer horn section that would do James Brown proud. This one will have you nodding your head and humming along to its nasty chorus!
8. “How Come You Don’t Call Me Anymore” – An early release in Prince’s career, this one showed just what a musical genius Prince would turn out to be. Pounding out gospel rhythms on the piano and singing in falsetto, Prince takes a song about heartbreak and loneliness to a whole, new spiritual level.
7. “International Lover” – Released on his “1999” album, this song is in a word: sexy! Prince at his hottest.
6. “Erotic City” – Before he found religion, Prince could always be counted on to write songs that were dirty, nasty, and downright sexy! Another funky song that takes synthesized music beyond the cold, mechanized sound of much of 1980s R&B!
5. “She’s Always In My Hair” – A B-side (remember those) that was released during “Purple Rain,” this one avoids the usual cliches of your average love song and shows what a great songwriter Prince is. Another one of his great, but little-known songs.
4. “Another Lonely Christmas” – Also released as a B-side in 1984, “Another Lonely Christmas” shows Prince at his most melodramtic. But unlike most singers today, Prince pushes himself musically to the emotional edge and leaves himself and you breathless. Like “How Come You Don’t Call Me Anymore,” this song proves Prince’s versatility as a musician. One of those rare Christmas songs that you can listen to over and over throughout the year.
3. “La, La, La, He, He, Hee” – A trifle of a song, but it’s greatness comes in its playfulness (he uses a synthesized sound of a barking dog as part of its rhythm track). Written as a dare by one of his bandmates to write a song that included the song’s title in its lyrics, Prince’s sense of humor comes through. A really fun and catchy tune.
2. “Do Me, Baby” – Back in the day, this was THE song. Released on his “Controversy” album, Prince outdoes himself with this sexy, slow jam. Prince sings in a soft falsetto with such whispery intimacy that he’ll have you thinking he’s singing especially to you. Great, sexy song!
1. “Adore” – From his “Sign of the Times” album, “Adore” is the ultimate love song. Is it any wonder he ends the double album with this song. Prince takes love to a spiritual, mature level. Just a great, all-around song. Prince at his best.