I’m the type of Prince fan guilty of only liking his classic period–up to his unpronounceable album in 1992 which now is awkwardly called “Love Symbol Album”. During this time, there was huge anticipation and thrill knowing a new album was coming out and that he’d probably produce some excellent b-sides, ensuring you bought his singles, too. “Erotic City” is my favorite, the flipside of his monster single “Let’s Go Crazy”. Yes, the lyrics are purely sex-obsessed (“we can funk until the dawn”), but the music is irresistible, with hugely-fun vocal interplay between Prince and Sheila E in her first collaboration with him.
The fact that a great song like “Erotic City” was consigned to a b-side is a testament to how much great music Prince was producing at the time. Not only was he preparing the “Purple Rain” album and movie, he also wrote and produced all the music for his satellite groups including The Time, Apollonia 6, Sheila E and The Family. A compilation called “Originals” will soon be released containing his versions of songs he gave away to those and other artists including most famously “Nothing Compares 2 U” which first appeared on The Family album and later was covered by Sinead O’Connor.
There’s so much more in his famous vault that still needs to be unearthed. Although some artists hate having their vault songs released saying if they were good enough they would have been, Prince actually fought his record company to release more music than they’d allow. So it’s not really going against his wishes, really, to unleash this music. The fact that he didn’t once he had the freedom might have been due to legal issues but also his tendency to always look forward instead of back.