Album Review:Prince-The Hits 2(1993)

This is the only Prince compilation album I have, and may arguably the best. In 1993 Prince had released 14 albums in 15 years, and he had enough hits for 3 full compilation albums The Hits 1 and 2, and The Hits B Sides(all released in 1993). After the early 90’s Prince would never see the popularity that he had previously, so the material here is a good place to focus on. If you are looking for some good compilation albums I suggest to get the above albums, or Ultimate Prince from 2006. However if you just want to find 1 cd with the best bang for your buck, I suggest this album, Prince The Hits 2.

Controversy – Wicked funk song off the album of the same title. Subtle but great guitar work, solid drumming, cool keyboards and synth work round out this song. It was great that artists were still releasing funk after the 70’s. The song had a fitting title as Prince stirred the pot by including parts of the Lords prayer in the song. Also at the time there were questions about his race and sexual orientation. ” Am I black or white? Am I straight or gay? Controversy.” Prince was always one to cause an uproar.

Dirty Mind – The keyboard work has kind of a Fool’s Overture meets My Life, then Prince starts to sing and you know it’s definitely not Roger Hodgson or Billy Joel. This song, as part of his third album was moving away from the R & B into more dance/funk/party territory. It also was the beginning of a sexual theme that would be a large focus on many Prince songs.

I Wanna Be Your Lover – If I didn’t know this was Prince, I could easily mistake it for a Jackson 5 song. It had that late 70’s disco-pop thing going on, and was a hit back in the day.

Head – Another post-disco funky new wave number with lyrics that would have fit in with a Richard Pryor performance.

Do Me, Baby – An almost 8 minute long ballad. The best part of the song for me is the string plucking on the bass. Just give it a listen, and it will stand out like an awesome thumb. The high pitch moaning and screams are pretty cool too.

Delirious – The band most have watched the movie 9 to 5 before writing this song because there are elements from the theme song. This song also has elements of Let’s Go Crazy in there too.

Little Red Corvette – I have a thing for cars, so this was my first introduction to Prince. I was a full on metalhead back then, and in no way could I tell anyone that I liked Prince. Over the years I still enjoy metal, and I still enjoy Prince. I learned you sometimes can have it all.

I Would Die For You – The lyrics really emphasize that a person in love will do anything for the one they love. My least favourite song on this compilation, but still pretty good.

Raspberry Beret – One of his most recognizable and catchy songs. It would easily be in my top 10 Prince songs. Of note for me are the background singers, and their musical pedigree. Wendy & Susannah Melvoin(daughters of jazz pianist Mike Melvoin, and sisters to Smashing Pumpkins touring keyboardist Jonathon Melvoin), and Lisa Coleman(daughter of Gary L Coleman, who was a famed studio musician and part of the Wrecking Crew). Prince does a great job and the musicianship is top notch.I suggest you put some weight on your feet if you don’t want your toes to start tapping.

If I Was Your Girlfriend – I had featured a post of “bad” spots in music. This song was not featured there, but there is a bad spot in which some words are distorted, however Prince liked how it sounded, so it was left as is. The song is about how Prince would like to have a close relationship to his girlfriend, the way her female friend does. The music has a bit of a sad tone to it, since it was a real life extension of the relationship he was in at the time.

Kiss – Prince originally gave the song to the band Mazarati to be included on their debut album. They re-worked the song extensively and when Prince heard it, he took it back, added vocals and guitar and released it himself. The song went to #1, and is included on the Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Songs of All Time list. The best part of the song for me is the funky, chunky guitar work, and the scream near the end.

Peach – A previously unreleased song. It has a harder edge than any Prince song before. His voice has a deeper tone, and the guitar has a bluesy rock flavour I can really get into. It kind of has a INXS meets David Wilcox tone that I enjoy. Also the solos are wicked. I would challenge any rock fans that say they do not like Prince to listen to this song before they say that.

U Got The Look – A duet with Sheena Easton, recorded in 1987. This song was a huge worldwide hit, and helped both singers solo efforts. I love the contrast between a drum machine and Sheila E’s amazing percussion, and the distorted, screechy guitar. As well, the vocals are crisp and beautiful at one point, sped up, computerized and helium affected at others. A really great song.

Sexy M.F. – The song has elements of the rap by Freedom Williams in Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now)-C & C Music Factory. Then the funk kicks in. To have a song be current(for the time) with a dance rap, a 70’s funk style and with controversial lyrics is awesome. Then add in horns, a sax solo, a wicked keyboard that could have been from Muscle Shoals, and a plinky guitar solo. This song goes over the top.

Gett Off – Elements of rap, hip hop and some Jethro Tull flutes. “Lay your pretty body against a parkin’ meter. Strip your dress down like I was strippin’ a Peter…….Paul’s Almond Joy. Lemme show u baby I’m a talented boy.” and “Tonight your a star, and I’m the Big Dipper.”

Cream – His last single to reach number 1. The funky, subtle wah pedal infused guitar are the star of this song for me. Any song from the 1990’s that has keyboards and guitar that sound like they belong in the 70’s is ok in my books.

Pope – Another previously unreleased song. An audio clip of the late Bernie Mac begins this song off. Today it reminds me of how much I miss both of them. The scratch effects and the booming bass fit right in with many of the top rap songs of 1992, and still sound good today. Co-lead vocals are handled by Mayte Garcia, who would later become his wife, and after their divorce have a relationship with Tommy Lee of Motley Crue.

Purple Rain – An amazing song. After listening to it for the umpteenth time today, I picked out the orchestral string section, and the piano. I had always focused in the amazing guitar work, so I guess I missed it before. It is quite possibly the best mixture of orchestral, pop, rock, gospel and wicked guitar ever. After recording the song, Prince phoned Jonathon Cain as he felt it was too similar to the journey song Faithfully. Cain assured him it only had the same four chords.

1999/2000

 

 

 

 

 

 

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4 thoughts on “Album Review:Prince-The Hits 2(1993)

    • That is the power of Prince. He was one that was on my bucket list to see. In fact, a buddy and I almost did a road trip to see him in New York.

      Another one of those “next time” artists that go before I get to see them. That is why I try and see as many as I can now.

      Like

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