Prince, Yet Not Prince: 12 Songs Written By The Purple One That You Can Still Stream On Spotify
It’s been nearly 40 years since the Purple Renaissance first began, with Prince, as its principal architect and spiritual guru. The majesty, mystery and polyamorous madness that we first saw on Dirty Mind and Controversy, remain as thrilling as ever, even as we hit the halfway mark of the 21st century’s second decade, with Prince’s output remaining just as prolific. But if the ‘80s and ‘90s found the Purple Wonder ruling the world via the airwaves, the digital revolution of young millennium (and Prince’s resistance to it) has made him an ever more reclusive guru. Navigating the tides of the new digital distribution landscape in search of Prince songs and videos has become increasingly like chasing the dragon, a scavenger hunt perhaps best embodied by the release of 20ten through a grip of European newspapers (for free) avoiding the digital terrain altogether.
But 20ten also marked a shift, I’d say, towards a Prince that was beginning to understand the intricacies of this new landscape, and the realization that even with all of its avenues to distribute, that the artist once again known as Prince would be the only one to dictate which of those paths to take. Classic P.
In 2015, Prince stripped his entire catalogue from Spotify (and other services) more thoroughly than the online presence of a cop on trial is scrubbed from the interweb. But then dropped the true-to-form single “Stare” on the streaming service. And within a week of that, committed his forthcoming (35th !) studio album to TIDAL as an exclusive to Jay Z's high-fidelity streaming service. Watching these purple zig-zags, we the fans are left, once again, pondering precisely what the man is up to in his fortress of purpitude.
So for all of you Spotify loyalists, we’ve done some aggregating to help you enjoy the many marvels that Prince wrote, but did not release under one of his infinite monikers, rounding up cuts from The Time, Sheila E, Sheena Easton, The Bangles, Chaka Khan and even a very young, quite fledgling Mr. Rogers Nelson for you to rock with while P sorts himself out in the digital age. There’s obviously no telling how long the Spotify embargo will last, but one thing is certain, that Prince will continue do whatever he damn well pleases, and is entitled to that as an era-defining, game-changing songwriter and performer, still wrecking stages as he approaches his sixties, barely looking a day over 33 1/3rd. Like all true disciples, we'll take it where we can get it. Stream our hand-curated Prince (Not Prince) playlist via Spotify below: