Rank 1-15 Sex Shooter Jungle Love Manic Monday Noon Rendezvous Make-Up 100 MPH You're My Love Holly Rock Baby, You're a Trip The Glamorous Life Gigolos Get Lonely Too Love... Thy Will Be Done Dear Michaelangelo Wouldn't You Love to Love Me? Nothing Compares 2 U
I want to bring this album series to a proper conclusion so we are not ending it with a posthumous afterthought! However, before hit the final four-album stretch, I thought it would be fun to rank Originals - a 15-track compilation of hits (and deep cuts) that Prince placed with other artists but are presented here in their original form. You have a WHOLE MONTH to be harassed by me. Enjoy!
This was so hard to rank. If I had ranked these by the finalized songs by the artists who ended up with them, it would be TOTALLY different. But some of these don't work as well with Prince, some of them work better and some just completely change context and meaning with him singing them.
Prince will forever be remembered as a commanding live performer, chart-topping recording artist, and music business revolutionary. Yet for all the time he spent in the spotlight over his four-decade-long career, Prince also worked tirelessly behind the scenes to nurture talent and pen songs for the rising artists he respected.
In June 2019, The Prince Estate, in partnership with Warner Records and TIDAL, released Originals, a 15-track album featuring 14 previously unreleased recordings that illuminate the vital, behind-the-scenes role Prince played in other artists' careers. The tracks were selected collaboratively by Troy Carter (on behalf of The Prince Estate) and Jay-Z.
By the mid-1980s, Prince was dominating the charts even as a writer/producer with songs he’d composed and recorded for others. In addition to releasing nine of his most commercially successful full-length albums, he also wrote and recorded endless reels of material for proteges The Time, Vanity 6, Sheila E., Apollonia 6, Jill Jones, the Family, and Mazarati. Occasionally, Prince’s original demo recordings would be used as master takes on their albums, with only minor alterations to the instrumentation and a replacement of the vocal tracks. Other times, artists would rely on his demos to guide them through their own recording process, with Prince’s initial take informing their final version of his song. The aggregate effect was a complete saturation and transformation of the pop music landscape, with Prince both leading and subverting mainstream culture.
Several of the iconic songs found on Originals were considerable hits for the artists who recorded them. Sheila E.’s “The Glamorous Life” reached #1 on the dance charts in 1984, while the enormous success of “Manic Monday” propelled the single and its accompanying album, The Bangles’ Different Light, to the #2 spot on the pop charts. The Time’s Ice Cream Castle, featuring the Top 20 single “Jungle Love,” spent a whopping 57 weeks on the Billboard 200. And in 1991, Martika enjoyed international success with “Love… Thy Will Be Done,” a top 10 hit in France, Australia, the UK, and the USA.
Originals pulls back the curtain to reveal the origins of these familiar songs, in addition to deeper album cuts such as Vanity 6’s “Make-Up,” Jill Jones’s “Baby, You’re a Trip,” and Kenny Rogers’ “You’re My Love.” The album also features Prince’s majestic original 1984 version of “Nothing Compares 2 U,” released in 2018 as a standalone single.
“Prince led the way, for artistic freedom, for ownership. He's one of the bravest people I can think of in the industry.” - Jay-Z
Make-Up was written for Vanity 6's self-titled debut album released in August 1982. Wanting the music to be judged on its own merits, he attributed songwriting credits on the album to the trio and production to The Starr* Company. Electropop singer/songwriter Amanda Blank also covered the tune on her 2009 debut album I Love You.
“Back in the Eighties, I had contacted [Prince] through a mutual friend to ask if he would write me a song. . . and he did. When he sent the song to me, if I remember right, it was him playing all of the instruments on it and he had his background vocals on it. Unfortunately on the finished record, somehow my producer didn’t end up using the music or vocals (the song was re-cut). It was such an incredible thing that Prince took the time to do that for me. He was a brilliant guy and a gifted musician with a lot of feelings, and you could tell his feelings went far deeper than what was written on his face.” - Kenny Rogers (Facebook, 2020)
Once again using a pseudonym, You're My Love was attributed to Joey Coco on Rogers' 1986 album They Don't Make Them Like They Used To. Coco also wrote a single for country singer Deborah Allen's foray into Pop entitled Telepathy that was released in 1987.
100 MPH was written by Prince for Mazarati's self-titled debut album released in 1986 via Paisley Park; they were a seven piece funk-rock band formed by former Revolution bassist Brownmark. The record was the group's only hit, peaking at #19 on the R&B chart, before disbanding in 1989.
Holly Rock was written and produced by Prince for Sheila E's appearance in the 1985 cult classic Krush Groove. It was released in 1986 as the last single from the film's soundtrack, becoming a top-10 hit in both Belgium and the Netherlands.
Love... Thy Will Be Done was co-written and produced by Prince for Pop singer Martika's sophomore album Martika's Kitchen. Released in July 1991 as the album's lead single, it became her second and final top-10 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 as well as her only #1 hit in Australia.
Baby, You're a Trip was written and produced by Prince for his background singer-turned-protégé Jill Jones' self-titled debut album released via Paisley Park in 1987. The album's closing track, it's been reported that Prince wrote the song for her about the time she read his diary after he read hers.
Manic Monday was released in January 1986 by The Bangles as the lead single from their sophomore album Different Light. Prince had originally written the song as a duet for Apollonia 6's 1984 debut album but scrapped it as he tended to do. The next year, when he discovered both he and The Bangles were recording at Sunset Sound studios, he decided to offer it to them (along with another unreleased song called Jealous Girl) since he had been a big fan of their single and video Hero Takes a Fall. The band loved the song but decided to re-record with their producer, David Kahne, so that it would sound more authentic coming from them.
The single became the group's breakthrough hit, peaking at #2 in half-a-dozen countries (Hot 100 included) and making it to #1 in South Africa.
Post by singingrulebritannia on Jul 3, 2022 16:48:45 GMT -5
"Manic Monday" as written is so cutesy, I can't stand it. Prince's performance of it isn't as garish but the ceiling for how good that song can be is very low, which makes it easily the worst track on this album for me.
Wouldn't You Love to Love Me? was first recorded by Prince in 1976 ahead of sessions for his debut album. It was scrapped, re-recorded in 1981 and 1982, and then left in the vault until 1986 when Quincy Jones called Prince about possibly duetting with Michael Jackson on his Bad album. Prince declined but submitted this song for Michael to record instead (he didn't). That same year, his Paisley Park signee Taja Sevelle was recording her self-titled debut album (with almost no involvement from Prince) and he sent the song to her; she erased his vocals and cut it immediately. It was released in February 1988 as the album's second single and peaked at #61 on the R&B chart.
Although credited to Sheila E., Prince had written The Glamorous Life in late 1983 for Apollonia 6. Once he started working with Sheila, however, he agreed to give it to her after hearing her drums on it. During the final mixing sessions for the song, he also had it extended to its final runtime of almost 9 minutes specifically so her musical prowess could be showcased. The title track and lead single from her debut album, it was released in May 1984 and quickly shot to #7 on the Hot 100 and #1 on the Dance chart; it also earned Sheila 1985 Grammy nominations for Best New Artist (losing to Cyndi Lauper) and Best Female Pop Vocal Performance (losing to Tina Turner's What's Love Got to Do With It?).
Sex Shooter was written by Prince for Vanity 6's sophomore album before the group imploded and was reborn as Apollonia 6. After they performed it in Purple Rain, it was released a month later as the lead single from their debut album; it stalled at #85 on the Hot 100 but peaked at #19 on the R&B chart and went to #16 in the Netherlands. It was also a Golden Raspberry Award (Razzie) nomination for Worst Original Song (losing to Drinkenstein, written by Dolly Parton and performed by Sylvester Stallone, from the film Rhinestone).
The initial version of Jungle Love was sketched out by Jesse Johnson and Morris Day for The Time's third album, 1984's Ice Cream Castle. Prince came up with the lyrics and melody and co-produced the final version that was released in December 1984 as the album's second single. The song became The Time's first crossover hit, peaking at #20 on the Hot 100 and #6 on the R&B chart.
Nothing Compares 2 U was written by Prince in 1984 for the self-titled debut (and only) album by The Family, a new band he developed from the remnants of The Time's breakup. Although he wrote all but one song for the album, this was the only track Prince took credit for in the liner notes. It remained an album track in obscurity until Sinead O'Connor released it as the second single from her sophomore album, I Do Not Want What I Haven't Got, in 1990. Her version wound up going to #1 in over a dozen countries and earning the Billboard Music Award for #1 World Single at the inaugural ceremony that same year; it also earned three Grammy nominations for Record of the Year and Best Female Pop Vocal Performance (losing both to Vision of Love) as well as Best Music Video (losing to Paula Adbul's Opposites Attract). Her album, however, did win for Best Alternative Music Performance in 1991.
Some of the icons seen in this theme are being used pursuant to a Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The copyright owners of these icons are Webdesigner Depot (the announcement icon) and Iconshock (the microphone icons on the forum pages, star icon, and poll icon). The microphone icons seen on the home page are being used pursuant to a Freeware Non-Commercial License with McDo Design (Susumu Yoshida). In accordance with these licenses, redistribution of the icons is not permitted. Please visit the owners' respective sites, linked above, if you wish to use these images.