The best ever Prince songs (Legends Slot)

Prince: The Legend Slot

For the seventh playlist in The Legend Slot I’m continuing on with the theme of royalty. We had Queen last month but now it’s time for funk legend Prince.

Prince: A Brief History

Born in Minneapolis, Minnesota in 1958, Prince (born Prince Rogers Nelson) was a singer-songwriter, producer, actor and filmmaker who was regarded as one of the greatest musicians of his generation. A guitar virtuoso and a talented player of other instruments including piano, bass, drums and plenty more, Prince worked across the funk, soul, synth-pop, R&B and psych genres amongst others too.

He was known for his flamboyant and androgynous persona as well as his highly skilled falsetto across so many of his tracks. He also pioneered the ‘Minneapolis sound’, which was a funk-rock genre that began in the late ‘70s and used synthesisers along with elements of new wave in its sound.

The Legend Slot: Prince - For You (1978)

‘For You’ (1978) – Prince.

In his 4-decade career he sold over 130 million records worldwide which makes him one of the best-selling musicians of all time. He received critical acclaim including AMAs, Billboard awards, an Academy Award and a Golden Globe too. In 2004 he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, in 2006 the UK Music Hall of Fame and in 2016 he was posthumously made a part of the Rhythm and Blues Music Hall of Fame as well.

In April 2016, Prince died of an accidental fentanyl (opioid used as pain medication) overdose at his home in Paisley Park.

The Legend Slot: Prince

There were almost 500 songs to listen to this month so can we all just take a second to wonder how the hell I did it. Honestly I was behind for the entire month and have absolutely no idea how I managed to do it. 39 albums and 496 songs later we’ve got a cut-down 57 track playlist of what I thought were the best Prince songs.

A Few of My Favourites…

So, onto the favourites. In my family we actually have a whole thing going where we’ve been trying to think of a greater song than Purple Rain. Which is obviously my first favourite. Pretty bloody hard isn’t it? It’s just got absolutely everything going for it hasn’t it? The build up is insane, the guitar solo slaps and by the time you’re 5 minutes in you’re so ready to try and hit those high notes and just sway along to the music.

If you’ve got a song that you think can rival it then send it my way. I’m genuinely so interested to find out what tracks you think come close. And it doesn’t have to be by Prince by the way, any song and any artist. Come at me!

The Legend Slot: Prince - Purple Rain (1984)

‘Purple Rain’ (1984) – Prince and The Revolution.

Despite Purple Rain being arguably the best song ever, overall I think I’m going to have to say that I Would Die 4 U is my all-round favourite Prince track. Purple Rain is a whole 8 minutes and 41 seconds long so it hasn’t quite got the ‘could listen to whenever, wherever’ factor that the 2 minute and 59 second I Would Die 4 U has. Also whenever I hear the beat for I Would Die 4 U I automatically start striking power poses and forming my own little dance routine. It gets me so hyped up.

Other favourites are 1999 and Little Red Corvette (both from the 1999 (1982) album)then there’s Raspberry Beret from Around The World In A Day (1985), Kiss from Parade (1986) and When Doves Cry from Purple Rain (1984). All of which are huge hits that I’m sure you’ll be familiar with. I’m also a huge fan of Stare from his final album HITNRUN Phase Two (2015). It samples his earlier hit Kiss and is pretty much funky Prince at his finest. A real party tune made for Saturday nights out dancing.

The Legend Slot: Prince - HITNRUN Phase Two (2015)

‘HITNRUN Phase Two’ (2015) – Prince.

New Discoveries

If I’m completely honest I reckon I only knew about 10 Prince songs prior to making this playlist (shameful!). So almost every single song on the playlist is a new discovery for me. Kicking them off is I Wanna Be Your Lover from Prince (1979). You know how much I love a good groove. And there’s no groovier a time than the ’70s. I Wanna Be Your Lover just about makes it into the decade and it brings with it all of the hip-shimmying vibes that we associate so strongly with the ’70s.

Also, can we take a second to appreciate how majestic Prince looks on the album cover. THAT HAIR, THAT MOUSTACHE, THOSE BROWS.

The Legend Slot: Prince - Prince (1979)

‘Prince’ (1979) – Prince.

So, there’s a little story for you before this next pick.  I was 19 albums deep into the Prince archives and it’s at this point that I usually start to think ‘I can’t take anymore of X artists music’. I’d gone past the hits and was at the mid-point with both the number of albums and also the general quality of music. It happened with Elton John, Kylie and even Aretha Franklin too. When they’ve got so many albums you’re going to find some real duds in there.

Anyway when I saw that Emancipation (1996) was THREE HOURS LONG I was really feeling the stress. But amongst the 36 track album I found an absolute gem in the form of Friend, Lover, Sister, Mother/Wife. It’s the ultimate love ballad and, although it’s over 7 minutes long, it never feels like it’s dragging. Amazing.

A Little Extra For You

I have to say I was seriously annoyed that ‘Nothing Compares 2 U’ wasn’t on any of his studio albums because it’s one of my favourite Prince songs. It was a big hit for Sinead O’Connor back in 1990 but what you might not know is that Prince actually wrote it. He recorded his version of the track too. I’m not the biggest fan of Sinead’s version, but the Prince original…DAMN!! It’s incredible. Even though it isn’t on a studio album I just couldn’t miss it out so I’ve added it below (not technically in the playlist) for anyone who wants to give it a listen.

What’re some of your favourite Prince tracks? Are you familiar with his music or is this all new to you? Let me know. Who else do you want to see featured in The Legend Slot? And also make sure to comment a song that you think could rival Purple Rain for the title of greatest song ever. I’m waiting!

Female Original

Read next: The Legend Slot: Queen. 

*Photography taken from Discogs.

64 thoughts on “The best ever Prince songs (Legends Slot)

  1. I am always fascinated by the lives of iconic singers, though there seems to be a sad number of accidental deaths and suicides involved. My thought is maybe it takes too much soul to put a piece of your heart into every song until perhaps there is nothing left!

    1. It seems to be a real theme doesn’t it! That’s such an interesting way of thinking about it 🙂 x

  2. I absolutely loved reading this! Prince has so many incredible songs and I love that you listened to hundreds of them to narrow it down to the best of the best! Thanks for sharing this! 🙂

  3. Prince is truly a legend! He is dearly missed! I live in Minneapolis and have often driven buy his house (mansion) and wondered about the geniousness that goes on in there back in the day

  4. I actually put on Purple Rain to sit and read this post haha! I love the (shamefully little) Prince music I’ve heard, and you’re right – it’s the ultimate banger of a song. I do also love Raspberry Beret for a bit of dance. I had no idea he had 39 albums! I’m completely blown away that you managed to listen to so much music from one artist. As you said, I’d get halfway through at best before I got sick of them haha! But you’ve inspired me to listen to more Prince, so I’m gonna start with your playlist!

    1. Oh I love that!! Haha the 39 albums definitely killed me off, I’ve gone for an artist/band with a much smaller discography this month to give myself a break :’) I hope you enjoy the full playlist! Let me know if you discover any new favourites x

  5. I don’t know how you managed this!! 496 is so many and I imagine very overwhelming to try and make the playlist. I’ve got to admit, I don’t know that many Prince songs either so I’m sure I’ll find lots of new ones listening to your playlist. Okay, Purple Rain is phenomenal but the greatest song ever?? I’m not sure about that. I had no idea that Prince wrote Nothing Compares 2 U, I’m listening to his version right now (I clicked instantly) and totally agree with you that it’s better than the Sinead version x


    1. I honestly have no clue how I did it either!! The Prince version of Nothing Compares 2 U is SO much better isn’t it. Haha, I’m going to need an alternative song suggestion if you’re not on board with Purple Rain being the best song ever. Let me know what you think could rival it! x

    1. He was such a talent wasn’t he! I really learned a lot about his music this month. Haha love that! x

    1. I was shocked at how few of his songs I actually knew when I was listening to his albums. There are so many great tracks in his discography though! Purple Rain is such an incredible song isn’t it! x

  6. Oh definitely deserves a spot on the legends slot, doesn’t he?! I forget how many incredible songs he had done, and I think you don’t realise how many he wrote that other artists have released either. My favourite is Raspberry beret, I don’t know why but I love that one. The Party lie it’s is a good one too!
    Thanks for sharing…will be going to play prince now!

    Aimsy xoxo
    Aimsy’s Antics

  7. Oh wow I can’t believe you managed to listen to that many songs! I feel like I would struggle, but then again, it does depend on who the artist/band is. I never really listened to Prince songs growing up, so if I were to go through his whole discovery I would probably not recognise that many. Although I would obviously recognise the big hits! I like the idea of choosing an artist to listen to for a whole month, its a good way to widen your music taste as well if its someone you don’t really choose to listen to that much. Great post!

    Chloe xx

    1. I honestly have no idea how I did it either lol! I learned a lot about Prince’s music when I was putting it all together. There were so many songs that I’d never heard of before x

  8. I’m not sure I can come up with a song to rival Purple Rain. I mean, that’s got to be impossible! In addition to some songs I hadn’t heard of, I didn’t know Prince’s career lasted four decades or that he won an academy award. So cool to learn more about him!

    1. Haha, I haven’t had any suggestions for alternative songs so far so I think most of us are in agreement that it could be the greatest song ever! 🙂 x

  9. Love this post; I haven’t seen or read a lot of music blog posts so this was really interesting to read and learn about. My Grandad absolutely loves listening to Prince music; I remember all of his tracks playing on car journeys as a child.

    Paige // Paige Eades

    1. I’m so glad you enjoyed reading! That’s such a lovely memory, the songs that I used to listen to on car journeys as a child always stick with me too 🙂 x

    1. Glad you enjoyed reading! For some reason that song wasn’t on Spotify so I couldn’t include it. I listened to it on YouTube though and loved it 🙂 x

  10. Except for purple rain I’m not sure how many of his songs I’ve ever heard before! Thankyou for sharing x

    1. I only knew the big hits before writing this post as well! It seems as though a lot of us weren’t that familiar with his music in comparison to some of the other musicians that I featured 🙂 x

  11. Prince will forever stand the test of time! I cannot believe I got onto him really late! For the longest time, the only song I knew by him was Kiss and Purple Rain. Now Im going back and listening to his other music and watching his performances and he is one of a kind – Josie xxx

  12. I think I know less than 10 of Prince’s songs, if it makes you feel any better :’) I loved this installment of The Legend Slot!! I’ve been meaning to listen to him properly for ages, and this has been a great nudge for me to do so x

    1. I think there’s quite a lot of us that haven’t really explored his music before! Glad you enjoyed reading and hopefully listening to 🙂 x

  13. Prince is such an icon! I really like his flamboyant vibes. Made the music pop, and he did a great job with all of his work. WOW!!! Almost 500 songs??!? I didn’t even know he has that much! Purple Rain is such a classic. I love that you have new discoveries of his work. I really liked the tribute musicians gave to him a while back. Thanks for sharing!

    Nancy ✨

    1. Agreed! He really was a true icon and his music still sounds absolutely amazing now. Haha the 500 songs killed me off but I learned so much from listening to them all 🙂 x

  14. OMG! I am a Prince fan all the way! I love his music so much, he can make words sound so poetically beautiful. He can make you wanna dance, feel sexy, sad, happy and empowered. My ultimate favorites are the ones that are not well known like(and you listed some):

    1. America: It is the ultimate power anthem of 2020, and is sooooo true.
    2. Ballad of Dorthy Parker: He didn’t know who she was at the time, but this song is so cheeky, silly and you can groove to it.
    3. Computer Blue: 80’s power thought to why am I single.
    4. Future Baby Momma: If I was told every line in this song. I would be that down chic.
    5. Mr. Goodnight: Every woman dreams for a man to spoil them like he is singing.
    6. Strollin’: It’s another fun cheeky song.
    I’ll just list the rest and I know you have listened to them already……
    Comma, Pimp, and Circumstance
    Question of U
    When 2 R in Luv
    Slow Love
    Release It (Actually Morris Day, but still written by Prince)
    Eye hate U
    Damn U
    annnnnnnnd all of Lovesexy.
    Ok I am done. Thank you for this post, it made my long day very interesting.

    1. Ahh so glad you enjoyed reading! It was definitely a challenge putting together the playlist but I really learned a lot about Prince and his music by doing it. I can’t believe I hadn’t listened to him sooner. We’ve definitely got some overlaps in our favourites too!

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