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St. Vincent’s DeJamz: Prince appreciation playlist

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(Graphic by Max Kleiner / The DePaulia)

(Graphic by Max Kleiner / The DePaulia)

While it’s hard to believe that it has been just over a year since Prince died, it’ll never be easy to forget the everlasting and influential music that he left behind.  Whether you were a big fan of his work or not, there’s no denying his status as icon – earned for both the wide variety of styles in his music and the barriers he broke as an artist. 

From the blended funk and rock and roll sound to his uniquely but mesmerizing dancing, and of course his unpronounceable symbol of love, Prince has influenced the hearts and minds of millions with his music.  For DeJamz this week, we take a look back at what made Prince Rogers Nelson just “Prince.”

1. “Sign o’ the Times” — Prince

The lead single of Prince’s 1987 album of the same name, “Sign o’ the Times” is definitely one of the artist’s more stranger singles, as the song was originally intended for two separate Prince albums that later got shelved.  While Prince’s tracks have always had a variety of and sometimes elusive sounds, this single is quite simplistic in its nature, as the artist simply plays blues guitar over a Fairlight synthesizer.

2. “The Most Beautiful Girl in the World” — Prince

After changing his name to a symbol (also known as the Love Symbol), Prince was forced to drop from Warner Bros. due to creative differences thus signing with indie label Bellmark. Originally written for his future wife, Mayte Jannell Garcia, Prince reportedly spent over $2 million of his own money in order to release this single that went on to become a worldwide hit and helped establish Prince’s ability to succeed commercially under his new name.

3. “I Would Die 4 U” — Prince

Prince and The Revolution’s fourth single from their 1984 album “Purple Rain,” “I Would Die 4 U” has been praised for both its fast-tempo dance sound and also for throwing away gender roles as Prince exclaims “I am not a human, I am a dove.”  Following Prince’s death, the song rose quickly to the top of Billboard Hot 100 at number 39.

4. “When Doves Cry” — Prince

The biggest hit from the “Purple Rain” soundtrack and Prince’s first American No. 1  single, “When Doves Cry” helped define the experimental rock and pop sound of the artist.  Prince’s creative control stretched outside his music as he also directed the music video for the song.

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St. Vincent’s DeJamz: Prince appreciation playlist