Favorite songs by Prince (tracks 20-11)

11 Anna Stesia (From 1988’s Lovesexy)
(Love this, both musically and lyrically masterful. Would be in the top 10 if the ending had been as strong as the first 80% of the track. Interesting title, which could be interpreted as the drug anaesthesia. Perhaps that love is like a drug addiction)

When You Were Mine (From 1980’s Dirty Mind)
(A classic and it wasn’t even a single. He kind of sounds like Lenny Kravitz on this one)

13 Computer Blue (From 1984’s Purple Rain soundtrack)
(I love the shift in tempo half way through the track. The song was composed by Prince, with credit to his father, John L. Nelson for the guitar solo. As with most of the disc, I feel it works best as part of the full album, rather than a stand-alone track)

14  Paisley Park (From 1985’s Around the World in a Day)
(Very catchy. The song has a psychedelic feel, similar to some of The Beatles' later work with echoed guitar and finger cymbals. The lyrics describe a Utopian place that you can feel in your heart, despite the chaos of the world around you)

15 Let’s Go Crazy (From 1984’s Purple Rain soundtrack)
(An iconic opening to the Purple Rain album. In an interview with Chris Rock Prince revealed that the song is about god and satan, and you couldn’t say those words on the radio, so he used the phrase “elevator” instead. According to Prince the track is about staying happy and focused, and then you can beat the elevator)

16 Sometimes It Snows in April (From 1986’s Parade - Music From The Motion Picture Under The Cherry Moon)
(While Kiss from the same album is good and deserves praise, I decided to replace that single with this underappreciated ballad which is the final track on the Parade album. Thanks to Steven at Surrender To The Void for the recommendation)

17 Controversy (From 1981’s Controversy)
(First time I heard this I thought he was singing “got-your-p*ssy” which in fact was “con-tro-ver-sy” He was quite daring in his lyrics during that time, so wouldn’t have put it past him!)

18 Trust (From 1989’s Batman soundtrack)
(A guilty pleasure of mine, which plays during the Jokers street parade in Tim Burton’s Batman movie)

19 The Ballad of Dorothy Parker (From 1987’s Sign O’ The Times)
(Took me a few listens to get into the song, there’s a lot going on musically, without even listening to the lyrics. I prefer it to the title track Sign O’ The Times which is mainly interesting for the lyrics ”A skinny man died of a big disease with a little name”, which was a reference to aids)

20 Diamonds and Pearls (From 1991’s Diamonds and Pearls)
(Probably among his most recognizable tracks from the 90s)

I just discovered that on November 1, Chris Rock is to Host Saturday Night Live with Prince as musical guest. 

Be sure to stop by next time for tracks 1-10 as I continue the countdown to #1! Which are your favorites from these Prince albums? As always, comments are welcome. 

Favorite songs by Prince (tracks 30-21)

21  Do Me Baby (From 1981’s Controversy)
(The song has grown on me with repeats plays. Which is better, the long album version or shorter single version? The live or studio edit? I haven’t decided)

22  Uptown (From 1980’s Dirty Mind)
(You just want to get up and dance to this. Here's a live version)

23  Mountains (From 1986’s Parade - Music From The Motion Picture Under The Cherry Moon)
(I can listen to Mountains on repeat. Interestingly, Under The Cherry Moon was the first role in a movie for a young Kristin Scott Thomas. A movie I haven’t seen)

24  Pop Life (From 1985’s Around the World in a Day)
(Just all around great dance pop)

25  Head (From 1980’s Dirty Mind)  
(A daring, controversial song, even today)

26 When We’re Dancing Close and Slow (From 1979’s Prince)
(A slow ballad, which can stir the emotions. Too bad I couldn’t locate the full song)

27  17 Days (From 1993’s The Hits/The B-Sides)
(The quality of B-sides during the Purple Rain era is very high. 17 Days appeared on the flipside of his most successful single "When Doves Cry" (1984)

28  Money Don't Matter 2 Night (From 1991’s Diamonds and Pearls)
(Just immediately draws me in. I like to think it's about valuing the free things in life such as the soul, although the lyrics could also be about reckless spending)

29  Cream (From 1991’s Diamonds and Pearls)
(With a killer opening, the track really needed a flashy music video. Which it delivers)

30  I Wanna Be Your Lover (single version) (From 1979’s Prince)
(Was his first hit, gaining heavy radio airplay and chart success)

Be sure to stop by next time for tracks 20-11 as I continue the countdown to #1! Which are your favorites from these Prince albums? As always, comments are welcome.

Horror mini-reviews

Soon it will be Halloween, so it's time to watch horror. I watched a few of these earlier in the year. Have been saving the reviews for October. Lets get to it!

Only Lovers Left Alive (2013)
Arthouse horror from Jim Jarmusch. Has a refreshing approach to the vampire story, and I like that it wasn’t about killing, which these types of horror films so often are.
Touches on themes such as vampires in love for centuries, being dependent on blood controls your life like a drug, and that the vampire lifestyle doesn’t have to be harmful to others. How you can learn a lot and have a ton of experience from staying alive for so long. In her suitcase is the huge book Infinite Jest, and she reads Les Anglais au pôle Nord by Jules Verne. Asks, what would you do, if you lived forever? Also about how a famous figure from the past (John Hurt character) could influence the present. The ice lolly scene was a fun idea. To my knowledge the wooden bullet was never used?
Does have an atmospheric soundtrack, which gives it its own mood. Funnel of Love was my favorite.
I liked how full of ideas it was, and it did seem unique. But I had problems with the storytelling and slow pacing. In many scenes they talk rather than do. They just sit or stand around. Speaking about the past, not letting us see what happened.
Hardly anything happens, I would call it a situation, rather than a story. I found it dull. A pity, because there was huge potential in those script ideas. I think the story is better suited for a book, because I sense it’s more about an inner struggle than an outer experience.
Jim Jarmusch interview about the film in March issue of Sight & Sound magazine was actually more fascinating than the movie. Could have been a classic, and somehow didn’t quite get there.
Rating 6.5/10

28 Days Later (2002)
Rewatch. I liked it more on second viewing. The opening 15-20 minutes of 28 Days later (in London) are what you remember. The rest of the movie is pretty good too. The "fast zombie" thing was something new. About what happens when society crumbles.
The soundtrack is quite haunting, especially In The House, In A Heartbeat by John Murphy
Rating 7.5/10

Beetlejuice (1988) 
Over the top horror comedy, directed by Tim Burton. I would say it’s suitable for the younger audience, despite the 15 age certificate. The film has a fine Danny Elfman score, and I like the original idea of ghosts learning the ropes. The sets and sfx are imaginative, yet isn’t really funny. There are contrived moments, on 2-3 occasions a character needs to know something and another character happens to be there to give the information. The finale is confusing, how are the couple cured from the séance? I guess when dealing with a fantasy world, there’s a certain creative freedom, anything is possible, so you just have to go with it as an audience.
Rating 6/10

It (1990)
Rewatch. Stephen King mini-series. Not as good as I remember. We see the characters both as adults and children. The first half when they are children I still think is the best part. The adults are hard to take seriously during the reunion in second half, and it drags a bit, maybe the acting is just poor. Pennywise (the clown played by Tim Curry) scared me as a kid, now he doesn’t. He gives a good performance. However the scares are quite lazy with repetitive confrontations with the clown.
Rating 7/10

Last House On The Left (1972)
Wes Craven’s first feature. Still scary despite made in early 70s. Kubrick’s Clockwork Orange was probably an influence. The dentist dream is terrifying. Only issue I have is the soundtrack doesn’t feel right for a horror film. Better than expected, Wes Craven made a great little movie on a limited budget.
Rating 8/10

The Innkeepers (2011)
I wasn’t scared by it at all, but it has atmosphere, likeable characters, and I wanted to see it through to find out about the mystery. Kind of a contemporary The Shining, as it’s set in a hotel. I'm surprised that it has such a low score on IMDb, as it really is quite good.
Rating 7/10

Irreversible (2002)
I’m including it as horror, because of the disturbing nature of the film.
Told in a somewhat confusing, yet involving non-chronological order. The violence is quite extreme at times.
Why Monica Bellucci wanted to star in that transgressive rape scene is unfathomable, I guess someone had to play that role. You won’t be in a hurry to go in the subway after watching. An ugly, yet unforgettable film.
Rating 8/10

Battle Royale (2000)
Debatable whether it can be labeled horror, you could call it a hybrid of drama, action, thriller and horror. I can appreciate that it’s an original idea(a precursor to Hunger Games) but in terms of personal preference I just don’t like to watch all that killing. Pretty gruesome to have your head chopped off, and then use the head as a grenade to kill again.
Favorite quote: Teacher: “Now you can’t even get angry when a student stabs you!”
Rating 7/10

Have you seen any of these films? Agree or disagree? Which horror will you be watching this month?

Favorite songs by Prince (tracks 40-31)

31 She’s Always in My Hair (From 1993’s The Hits/The B-Sides)
(Arguably among Prince’s best B-sides from the 80s. Released as the B-side to Raspberry Beret.  The track has proven it’s endurance in that Prince still plays SAIMH live)

32 Erotic City (From 1990 maxi single, extended dance mix)
(Incredibly funky, and incredibly dirty. Released as the B-side to the Purple Rain era single "Let's Go Crazy")

33 I Wish U Heaven (From 1988’s Lovesexy)
(Love the keyboard. The video is pretty bonkers, I wonder who he wishes goes to heaven. Perhaps everyone?)

34 Strange Relationship (From 1986’s Dream Factory)
(Strange relation ship ship ship….I prefer the instrumentation on Dream Factory alternative version which is different to the 1987 Sign o' the Times version)

35 Soft and Wet (From 1978’s For You)
(Such a fun, groovy sound. The song which got him noticed)

36 Why Do You Want To Treat Me so Bad? (From 1979’s Prince)
(I love the chorus)

37 Automatic (From 1982’s 1999)
(Probably goes on slightly too long. Even so, the beat is incredibly catchy)

38 Gold (From 1995’s The Gold Experience)
(The lyrics are a tad cliché, I love the instrumentation)

39 In This Bed I Scream by Prince (From 1996’s Emancipation)
(I sense this is the song on Emancipation’s disc 1 Prince put the most effort into, and could have been a single. The section where he sings and then the guitar answers back was a fun idea)

40 Compassion (From 2010’s 20ten)
(I didn’t expect a lot from an album that was given away for free with a newspaper. Compassion is possibly my favorite Prince song of this decade so far)

Be sure to stop by next time for tracks 30-21 as I continue the countdown! Which are your favorites from these Prince albums? As always, comments are welcome.

Favorite songs by Prince (tracks 50-41)

Here are tracks 50-41. Several of the below are lesser known songs, and if you're wondering about the hits, those will feature as I move forward in the top 50. I managed to include a track from PlectrumElectrum (2014)

41 Lets Pretend We’re Married (From 1982’s 1999)
(Danceable song. Only reason it isn't higher up is the somewhat average chorus: "Ooh-we-sha-sha-coo-coo-yeah" )

42 Power Fantastic (From 1993’s The Hits/The B-Sides)
(B-side that won me over, simple and powerful. Could listen to this one all day)

43 Lady Cab Driver (From 1982’s 1999) 
(Takes you on a journey, it's also quite sexually explicit. Not for kids)

44 The Holy River (From 1996’s Emancipation) 
(He was getting into spirituality at this point in his career, and it showed in his music. Prince would probably claim he always was spritual)

45 The Most Beautiful Girl In The World (From 1995’s The Gold Experience) 
( I'm not crazy about his vocal here, but it has grown on me, and a track that I feel deserves to be represented in the top 50)

46 Sexuality (From 1981's Controversy)
(Thanks to Steven from Surrender to the Void for the recommendation!)

47 Somewhere Here On Earth (From 2007’s Planet Earth) 
(A slow burner. If you like jazz)

48 Beautiful Strange (From 2001’s Rave In2 the Joy Fantastic)
(Oddly captivating. The video makes you feel like you are floating in the clouds. Prince has a thing for clouds, see the tracklist for new album Art Official Age.  I remember Prince once said he's a fan of Kate Bush's hit Cloudbusting)

49 Fixurlifeup (From 2014’s PlectrumElectrum) 
(All I can say is, YOU NEED TO FIX YOUR LIFE UP!!! )

50 God (From 1993’s The Hits/The B-Sides) 
(Amazing vocal performance. The B-side to Purple Rain single)

Be sure to stop by next time for tracks 40-31 as I continue the countdown! Which are your favorite lesser known Prince songs? As always, comments are welcome. I talked about the albums here


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