Watching Prince perform the halftime gig at the Susperbowl was nastolgic. Luckily for me, since my 9 year old was watching, he didnt't do anything erotic with the end of his guitar as he was famous for in his 80's concerts. I never saw him in concert but some of his songs are etched in my memory. Little Red Corvette, reminds me of my Junior Prom. And the whole Purple Rain soundtrack reminds me of my freshman year in college. As DH and I were trying to impress upon oldest boy how talented Price is, we googled songs written by Prince and came up with this list.
The legendary Prince has been known for several of his talents: funk-guitar playing, soulful falsetto singing, and micro-detailed song production. One talent that where he is often underrated and seldom-mentioned is his ability to write and produce songs for other artists. Prince has collaborated with a wide variety of yesterday and today’s artists to include Mavis Staples, No Doubt, Chuck D. of Public Enemy, Ani Di Franco, Kate Bush and Sheryl Crow. This top 10 list will reflect some of his more chart successful songs that he wrote, produced, or was heavily sampled upon.
10-Jungle Love- The Time /#20 Hot US 100. Drawing from the successful movie Purple Rain, This hit from longtime Prince associates The Time became a staple party song in the mid-80s. The time featured the self-obsessed Morris Day singing the lead while Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, who went on to become mega producers throughout the next two decades, laid down a solid foundation of new-wave party funk instrumentals.
09-I Feel For You- Chaka Khan /#14 US Charts. This was originally a Prince-performed song off of the 1979 self-titled album. He allowed Chaka Kahn to remake it in 1984, a remake featuring legendary rapper Melle Mel and super legendary musician Stevie Wonder on harmonica.
08-Love…Thy Will Be Done- Martika /#10 US Charts. Martika was an early-90’s pop chanteuse who originally had a hit with “Toy Soldiers” from her first album. On her second, Martika’s Kitchen, “Love” became a hit as well in the UK, reaching #9 on the British pop charts. Martika was one of the first pop stars to come out of the Disney show Kids, Inc.
07-Sugar Walls- Sheena Easton/ #9 US Charts. Prince wrote this song under the pseudonym Alexander Nevermind for this single on Sheena’s album “A Private Heaven”. Sheena Easton was also featured in the hit duet “U Got the Look” from Prince’s most critically-acclaimed work, Sign O’ The Times.
06-Yo Mister- Patti Labelle/ #6 on US RnB Charts. Patti Labelle had been a big fan of Prince for many years before he finally produced and wrote songs for her. This track, released in 1989, was featured on her Be Yourself album. That album reached the top-100 charts of that same year.
05-Stand Back- Stevie Nicks /#5 US Charts. Stevie Nicks often retells the story of listening to Little Red Corvette and calling up Prince to see if he could lend a hand in this song. Supposedly, Prince came into the studio, layed down tracks on the synthesizer for 20 minutes, and left without talking to Stevie Nicks ever again. Whatever he did to the song apparently worked!
04-A Love Bizarre- Sheila E. /#3 US Charts. Another hit song of the Romance 1600 album, it also features Prince singing background! He also co-wrote "Glamorous Life" on the album, another track that made the top 10 in the US. Sheila, daughter of famed percussionist Pete Escovedo, went on to do more solo albums and several future collaborations with Prince.
03-Pray- MC Hammer/#2 US Charts. This song was one of the few that featured a Prince song being majorly sampled. The “When Doves Cry” background featured heavily in MC Hammer’s hit about needing faith to survive in the world. He also sampled Prince’s “Soft and Wet” on another track of the wildly successful album Please Hammer Don’t Hurt Him.
02- Manic Monday- The Bangles- / #2 US Charts. The rumor is that while Prince was trying to court lead-singer Susanna Hoffs, he offered the The Bangles this song for their 1986 album Different Light. It was originally intended to be a duet sang with Apollonia of Apollonia 6, but the track never made it to her album.
01-Nothing Compares 2 U- Sinead O’ Connor /#1 US Charts. Probably one of the most successful songs written by Prince (to include ones he performed on himself!), this track became a huge career boost for the often-controversial Sinead. It reached-and stayed- #1 on the US, British, and Australian pop singles charts in 1990.