Six Songs Prince (Probably) Won't Play in Tempe (But We Wish He Would)
[Ed. note: Before this week's Prince-mania comes to a close after Wednesday night's show at the Marquee Theatre, I asked Up on the Sun's writers -- hereafter The Revolution -- to let me know exactly what they were looking for in a Prince concert. Chris24 Hassiotis came through with this list of six songs Prince probably won't play in Tempe, even though we wish he would.]
1. Another Lonely Christmas
There's absolutely no reason Prince would play this song now -- it's an obscure, seasonal, one-off piano tune about a lost lover. It's a B-side to 1984's "I Would Die 4 U" single recorded during the Purple Rain / 1999 era. But it's also Prince at his most idiosyncratic -- vampy, maudlin, hugely tuneful, and plain weird (check the reference to banana daiquiris.)
2. Erotic City
Better suited for a dance club than the live stage, "Erotic City" is a straight stunner. But with Prince (kind of) eschewing overt sexuality and profanity in his lyrics, "Erotic City" will most likely stay locked up in Prince's sexy, sexy vault.
3. Cinnamon Girl
Prince's 2004 album Musicology was one of his most successful in years, and another in the long list of what became known as his "comeback" albums. Some of the tracks were funky jams while some were limp ballads. "Cinnamon Girl" is a swirly, thumping and rare political tune written for a post-9/11 America that tackles ethnic tension and misunderstanding. It's a solid song that would make for an even more powerful one given Prince's current backing band, the guitar-heavy 3rd Eye Girl -- and, sadly, its message is still relevant.
4. Horny Toad
Jittery, peppy, and more than a little rockabilly-influenced, "Horny Toad" pulls from the same vein as "Delirious" and its even more lascivious evil twin song "Jack U Off." And if online Prince forums are to believed, it's never been performed live over its 30-year lifespan -- and Prince fans are just the kind of obsessives we'd believe.
A weird track off Prince's 1994 album Come , "Orgasm" is, well, what it sounds like. It would be lousy for a live show and not in line with Prince's somewhat cleaned-up lifestyle, but, man, it'd be interesting.
A remnant of an earlier song, "Poem," that was chopped up into multiple pieces, "Orgasm" is mainly sampled guitar feedback, Prince's seductive whisperings and (importantly) moaning from Prince collaborator Vanity. Her parts were recorded a decade earlier, for the unreleased track "Vibrator." Any questions about what kind of moaning it'd be?
6. When Doves Cry
Hey, who knows, maybe Prince will play this song? But for decades, it wasn't a part of his live show, and then it started creeping in in the form of a medley. Or sometimes he'd just tease the audience with the opening guitar lick before segueing into another song. And on his current "Live Out Loud" tour, he's sometimes worked it into his setlists. But with two shows, just go in expecting not to hear this hit -- and be delighted if you do.
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