New Purple Celebration – The Music of Prince lands at Symphony Hall on Friday 17 August with a nine-piece live band, but that’s not the only event that is a cause for excitement.
Back in April, just a few days after the second anniversary of Prince’s death, his estate released the previously unreleased and unheard original version of “Nothing Compares 2 U” along with a video of previously unseen rehearsal footage of Prince & The Revolution from the summer of 1984.
The song was released in 1990 by Sinéad O’Connor and a live take by Prince himself in 1993.
As Michael Howe, long-time A&R executive, Prince expert and the official Vault Archivist of the Prince Estate said to Variety:
No Prince-penned song performed by another artist has enjoyed more chart success (#1 in over a dozen countries) and overall cultural impact than Sinead O’Connor’s 1990 recording. So, hearing the song in its original context performed in its entirety by the author makes it particularly noteworthy.
As well as these new releases and unseen footage are two new Prince websites, a fan site called Prince2me and a comprehensive database called Discography along with news of a memoir and a new Prince album of unreleased songs to be released in September 2018!
With all these new material being released next month, we asked our THSH staff what their favourite Prince songs are and why.
Programme Manager, Chris Proctor, said that his favourite would have to be “The Most Beautiful Girl In The World” from the 1994 EP “The Beautiful Experience”:
“It was Prince’s only UK number one single and has such an iconic flamboyant introduction that means it could only ever be that song, and could only ever be sung by Prince. I really like the intricacy of the production with the background detail in the guitar riffs, keyboard lines and drum accents in particular, let alone Prince’s vocal ability to cover such a wide range in one song – a song that should only be listened to and not attempted to be sung!”
Marketing Manager, Danny Watkins, on the other hand, said that it has to be Sinéad O'Connor’s “Nothing Compares 2 U”.
Others lament at the fact that they were asked to only name one song when they love so many.
"What, you’re making us pick just one? I could quite honestly go on for hours about my favourite Prince songs and stories I’ve heard!" Ticket Sales Agent, Dan Giles, said. "It’s a difficult decision, but I’d have to go with "I Would Die 4 U". It’s not only a stunningly beautiful song, but was a massive artistic step for Prince to make at that point in his career. I remember listening to the Purple Rain album for the first time and that song always stayed with me from the first time I heard it. It still gives me goosebumps to hear it today, and that is why it goes down as my favourite."
Rachel Adams, Head of HR, named "Sign O' the Times" and "Starfish and Coffee" as her favourites commenting on the former as "so lyrically complete. The simplicity of the arrangement allows a set of powerful stories to emerge. It tells a bleak story of its time 1987, and pretty much every decade after it."
On the latter she reminisced, "I sang this song to my son through the first night he was born. I just like the idea of someone being self contained enough to stand at the end of the line with a smile beneath their nose and order butterscotch clouds, a tangerine and a side of ham. It’s sort of what I want for my children or maybe it was the drugs (emergency c-section)."
Development Manager, Guy Oddy, also chose "Sign O' The Times" as his favourite, commenting "Social observation/politics and funk. What’s not to like?"
Phil Woods, Data and CRM Officer, named "Musicology" as his favourite:
It’s a really fun and upbeat track, with a brilliant groove. An obvious tribute to James Brown, and other legends of funk music who are name-checked, it features original JB Maceo Parker on sax. I’m a big fan of that style of music, and as a music student loved the fact he titled the track ‘Musicology’.
New Purple Celebration – The Music of Prince will perform at Symphony Hall on Friday 17 August with a full nine-piece live band, backing vocals, horn section, keys and of course, Jimi Love as the unsurpassed Prince. With 5 star reviews from live shows across the UK in 2018, an additional run of shows in 2019 has been announced due to phenomenal public demand!