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Prince’s “The Very Best Of Prince” Reviewed


Released during the summer of 2001, Prince’s 25th album, The Very Best Of Prince, cemented ots position as the one you just must own (well, the two – Purple Rain was the other) even if you own no other:after his death, it went straight to the top of the charts everywhere In some ways, I prefer the 2006 Ultimate, and I definitely prefer the 1993 The Hits/The B Sides,  the 1993 masterpiece. But, since we have yet to find an album that adds his NPG hits (well, if he had had any) with the Warner Brothers, and if all you want is a double vinyl, The Very Best Of Prince does the job.

The first thing to note is this are the single versions of some huge songs from “I wanna be Your Lover” to “Cream” and “Diamonds And Pearls”, it is all relentless genius pop and funk songs, hook filled, tuneful, career defining and defending songs. When you lose Prince, you come here, because when you lose Prince you don’t want to defend him from the naysayers, or from yourself either, you want to reinforce what you know: that he owned the 1980s second to no one (not even MJ).

The Prince who wrote “Little Red Corvette”, “When Doves Cry”, “Let’s Go Crazy” and “Purple Rain” -a four song burst near the top of the set, is simply of a different creative mindset than most  popsters. Or then himself, by the time The very best of was released, Prince, despite half hearted attempts on the occasional album, didn’t have the skills to crossover in such monumental, arena rock style. Funk is funk and very good as well, and so is soul, but songs that same to break the foundation of rock fans dreams, not many people can do that. Even less so black ingénues who turned rock on its heels and raked in the bucks with ease.

But he couldn’t do it forever, and unlike nearly any star you can think of, he stopped really attempting, happy to blow us away with one funk out after another, and then dole out the hits on stage.

The very best isn’t really enough, there is least another seven songs necessary to even skim it, plus I can think of two NPG songs (“One Of Your Tears” and “Betcha By Golly Wow”) that must be included. But of what we have, at this particular price range, it is the best. The people have spoken.

Grade: A

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