Prince - hmv staff pay tribute to the Purple One
Music lost another icon last month when Prince passed away at the age of 57. Over the course of his 40-year career in music the singer recorded 39 studio albums, sold over 100 million records and took home numerous awards, he leaves behind countless classic stories and an unrivalled collection of hits.
To commemorate and celebrate his extraordinary body of work, we asked hmv staff across the UK to name their favourite Prince song and why. This is what they said...
'When Doves Cry'
By Rob, hmv Leeds
"There are so many great songs to choose from, but this is the one that stands out for me. I would have been about 16 when I first heard it and remember going straight out to buy the single. And you know what? It still sounded every bit as good when I was lucky enough to see him at the Leeds Arena in 2014. Prince was a phenomenal talent, I don't think I've seen a better guitarist or live performer, he was definitely one of a kind."
By Tom, hmv London
"My introduction to Prince was on the soundtrack to Tim Burton's Batman, specfically the brilliant 'Batdance'. The idea of asking a maverick like Prince to compose the soundtrack for such a massive film would seem crazy today, but it worked like a dream. That album wound up selling over 11 million copies and had five singles, which ic amazing considering there are only nine tracks on the whole thing!"
'The Beautiful Ones'
By Paul, hmv Chichester
"He made too many great albums and way too many great tracks to pick just one, but 'The Beautiful Ones' from Purple Rain is probably my favourite Prince track. Why? Because of that performance in the Purple Rain film! Wow!"
By Mike, hmv London
"I saw Prince on the Lovesexy tour and was in the first two rows. The concert was played in the round but at one point, he did 'The Cross' off Sign Of The Times right in front of us. I can still remember the feeling, the shivers down my back, the pure joy at seeing, hearing and experiencing a once in a lifetime talent. 'The Cross' is still to this day one of my favourite tracks by anyone..."
'Sign O' The Times'
By James, hmv London
"Prince was so prolific it’s hard to pick just one track, but I’ve chosen 'Sign o’ the Times' because it represents everything I love about Prince’s music. The arrangement is so sparse, I think he pretty much did the entire thing on a Fairlight synth, except for the guitar licks and the vocals. But ultimately it’s the lyrics that I love about this song, he was becoming much more socially conscious at this point and the stark arrangement leaves so much space for that vocal performance to shine through. For a pop artist as big as Prince ego be that minimal was pretty bold at the time, but for for my money it’s one of the best things he ever did."
'Sometimes It Snows In April'
By Rob, hmv Coventry
"Prince was my first love - I watched Purple Rain aged eight and it amazed me, as it still does today. From that point on, any money I had went on collecting his albums. I like to think that maybe I was the only eight-year-old in the Dunstable area who was listening to the Dirty Mind and Controversy albums at that time."
"Like Prince, I fell foul of censorship and closed minds when aged 10, my school project on the Lovesexy album was rejected for having a picture of naked man with ladies hair on the front of it. My favourite track is easy - 'Sometimes It Snows In April' from 'Parade' - one of his simpler songs, but the trumpet part 40 seconds in is pure magic, totally brilliant."
'I Could Never Take The Place Of Your Man'
By Gordon, hmv Gateshead
"I could go on about the influence Prince has had within the music industry, the groundbreaking albums he made, but I wouldn't be doing him justice. I've chosen 'I Could Never Take The Place Of Your Man', a song that just makes me smile, it makes me think of summer (any summer) and makes me thankful to Prince for being part of the soundtrack of my youth."
By Mel, hmv London
"I first saw Prince on the Parade tour, 1986. I travelled down from Liverpool to (big bad) London with my cousin knowing very little about him but by the end of the night I was blown away and nothing was ever the same for me. I love the Parade album but my favourite album is Around the World in a Day. It was his next release after the Purple Rain album but it couldnt have sounded - or looked - any different!"
"Leave it to Prince to slay the world with the Purple Rain album and film and then release something so completely different like Around the World in a Day. Fans and critics alike were aghast. But its a brilliant, sexy album, with psychedelic compositions and cryptic religious imagery. Standout tracks are the ballad 'Condition of the Heart' with a fusion of piano, minimal percussion and synthesizer; the title track with its fuzzy processed guitars and 'Raspberry Beret' - catchy pop perfection."