Prince is an artist that I've been aware of for some time. Through popular culture of course, and looking at shout outs of some of my favorite obscure dance bands. It wasn't until he starred in the Super Bowl halftime show last year that I sat up and went, "Woah, that's Prince?". His guitar playing abilities and energy were something that's not supposed to exist in pop music, or at least I didn't know could exist in pop music. A genuine genre hopping ability, from soul to funk to rock and everything in between. His scorching rendition of the Foo Fighters' Best of You no doubt won over many new fans all over the world. It went down as the second most watched performance of all time.
I know what you're thinking, if I saw the Super Bowl last year, why am I only talking about him now? Well, recently I've gotten really into music history and the dance hits of the early to mid 80's. This brought me to appreciate the likes of the Human League and a young Michael Jackson among others, but armed with a Christmas i tunes gift card and the knowledge of the amazing single that When Doves Cry is, my path was set out before me. I purchased The Very Best of Prince, and have been keeping it in semi rotation since I've had it. Rarely have I heard a collection of dance/pop/rock songs that are so consistently satisfying.
I realize it's a best of compilation, but upon further investigation I've come to believe that it is only an indication of the consistent quality of his output. I mean, he just put out an album this year! and there's lots of guitar on it! You can hear his influence in everyone from Justin Timberlake to Justice. He's made one heck of an imprint on the musical scene for such a short guy (he's 5' 2").
Prince - Sign 'O' the Times
Prince - I Would Die 4 U
Prince - Gett Off (Flute Groove? Yes Please!)
If that's not enough for you, enjoy this delicious satire.