Prince – Raspberry Beret

When Doves Cry (the first Prince song I ever heard), 1999, Nothing Compares 2 U, Purple Rain, The Beautiful Ones, The Most Beautiful Girl in the World, Diamonds and Pearls, Money Don’t Matter 2 Nite, Kiss, I Feel For You, Little Red Corvette, If I Was Your Girlfriend, where do you start with Prince?

I will admit to shedding a few tears when I learnt of his death last year, a man whose songs I lost myself in, who was capable of moments of extreme musical genius and still at times of decidedly average music, and yet he still effortlessly wrote and performed rock, soul, love soaked ballads and sex drenched funk, a little hip-hop, a touch of jazz and a whole lot of purpleness.

I first heard him on the radio, got deeper into him via his greatest hits albums, just as he ditched Prince and came back as Symbol, or the more keyboard friendly TAFKAP. I was hooked just from The Hits 1, Let’s Go Crazy, Adore, Alphabet Street, Pink Cashmere, Sign Of The Times, pretty much every song was great. The Hits 2 contained more of the same, but from that I bought The Gold Experience when it was released, preceded by the pop ballady Most Beautiful Girl in the World. This album absolutely cemented Prince into my life. P Control, Shhh, Endorphin Machine, We March, Now, 319, Eye Hate  You, the uplifting ttle track, the funk busting Billy Jack Bitch and the electric soulfulness of Shy, it still ranks as one of my favourite albums ever. I listened to it over and over again, I threw almost every song onto one home made mix tape or another for my car.

From Gold Experience on I bought every album he released (that I could find out about) while slowly gathering his back catalogue. For some reason I instinctively knew there was a hidden track on New Power Soul, Wasted Kisses, probably the best track on the album, and after listening to The Vault, I wondered just how amazing he would be if he turned his hand to jazz. The Rainbow Children started in that direction but by then Prince had become a Jehovah’s Witness and the sweaty sex driven funk had become diluted. I listened to his later stuff, but didn’t get into it so much, completely missed the album released in the Daily Mail and just raved about the show I was lucky enough to go to as part of his 21 nights at the O2 in London.

So why Raspberry Beret? Mostly because it was one of my early favourites, and because I used to tape songs of the radio and I remember taping it on what would become my favourite tape. It always reminds me of summer and showcases Prince’s playful side
“busy doin’ somethin’ pretty close to nuthin’, but different than the day before …That’s when I saw her, ooh yeah I saw her she walked in through the out door..”

Since he was so hot on the ownership rights of his music (and rightly so) it’s actually fairly difficult to find his songs with audio on youtube or soundcloud, so I’m posting the links to the mixtapes I did in tribute, the 2nd one contains Raspberry Beret.

 

 

U2 -Mysterious Ways

After something of an unexpected hiatus, I’m aiming to carry on with my Life in Music series of posts, looking back at the songs that I’ve grown up with, that revealed a new direction to me and that soundtrack some of my favourite memories.

Music is probably the biggest passion in my life, it features much more in my life than my books do, mostly just out of practicality, I never leave the flat without my ipod yet I never really take a book with me (I don’t like them getting tatty).

So we come to U2. Or more specifically Achtung Baby, my first U2 album. This album is the soundtrack to Super Mario World on the Super Nintendo. I received both for Christmas and would put the CD on loop while I jumped, flew, rode Yoshi and grabbed mushrooms in my mission to unlock all 99 levels.

While I loved most of the songs on the first hearing, there were a couple that took a while to grow on me, and even to this day I still can’t say I love Acrobat.

It was Mysterious Ways though that went onto my casettes for the car and my walkman (I know, I’m revealing my age here), edging out the album opener, Zoo Station. The crashing wall of the guitar leading into bongo’s and rumbling base and Bono’s pleading vocals making the song an epic rock track..
I missed getting to see the tour for various reasons, but when watching the Zoo TV video (there’s no point trying to hide it now) I fell in love with it again when they revved up the guitar, added a big dollop of keys, some funky bass, and for good measure threw in a dancer (Morleigh Steinberg, or Mrs Edge). It’s this version I’ve bunged in at the bottom of the post.

Over time Ultraviolet (light my way) and Tryin’ to throw your arms around the world overtook Mysterious Ways, and I could easily write about every song on the album (think they’ll be another post coming) but it was Mysterious Ways that drew me in, and started my love affair with U2. Since drafting this post I’ve been listening to the album on repeat on my ipod, and it’s still stands the test of time.

 

Funk Soul Brother 4

So I’m aiming to increase the music side of my blog this year and a new mix seemed a good place to start. Going to put out some different kinds of mixes as well at some point so keep an eye out for those, for now, it’s the latest instalment of my Funk Soul Brother series.

Not quite as proflic as I had hoped but still going, as Volume 4 finally gets uploaded. A somewhat down tempo mix this time, full of electonic winterscapes with a splash of heat here and there. We kick off with the dream like A Scarecrows Heart is Made of Straw by Rain Dog Feat. Finn Ryder followed by J-Felix’s remix of Ooh by Paper Tiger and the tumbling One Day by Mooryc. Next up some atmospheric funk from Brazil’s Junip with Ola, La Vem Ela and some mellow hip hop from Medline. Melody Gardot’s silky voice is up next with It Gonna Come before some deep and cold Electronic goodness from In Fields with the vibrating Stay Safe, Electric Wire Hustle’s March and Molasses from Kan Wakan. Picked up from a mix by iZem, DJ Satellite’s Malembe Na Sououss warms things back up before the soulful Aching Heart from Ade Alafia Adio leads us to the haunting Cold Little Heart from Michael Kiwanuka from his album Love and Hate closes the mix.

Funk Soul Brother 2

So I’ve renamed the series to Funk Soul Brother, as that’s what I’m going to (mostly) stick to. A nice mellow one this month, with Dead Horse Beats and their hypnotic version of Thinking of You and The Bird by the talented Anderson .Paak kicking off. Had to stick in another song from Gecko Turner’s album before rolling back the years for a couple of tunes, Brian Auger’s hammond filled Save Me featuring Julie Driscoll and the soulful Billy Paul. Edwin Collins features on Gabin’s Mr. Freedom before another artist with a second song from their album, this time Romare, with Work Song. Meute roll on with the horn filled foot stomper Rej before a bit of deep house with Brame’s Full Custody. Bibio’s remix of Night Trek from Wax Stag slows us back down and there’s the unmistakeable Ghostpoet with a Sorry My Love, It’s You Not Me with Lucy Rose before we hit a soul soaked double with the Ephemerals and Willie West. Paul White’s Seagull Mansion closes out the mix with Runnin’ on a Rainy Day.

allsorts 01

So after my little revamp I’m going to try and put a bit more music on here, as it’s the other major passion of my life and something that is with me all the time.

As I finished the series of CD’s I made for my mate I’ve decided to do another series of music that I’ve heard and loved. I’m going to aim for monthly but we’ll see how it goes.

Here’s volume one, hope you enjoy some, if not all of it.