1988 Prince – I Could Never Take The Place Of Your Man
Jazz singer Mattie Della and her husband, John Lewis Nelson, had a song in 1958 that they named Prince. He clearly inherited a great deal of music ability and wrote his first song at the age of only nine. He graduated from high school in Minneapolis and then formed the band 94 East with his cousin’s husband.
After signing with Warner Brothers Records in 1978, he moved to California and recorded his first album. Much success followed.
In 1987, Prince put together enough songs for a triple album he intended to call Crystal Ball, but Warner Brothers nixed the idea. Instead, they allowed him to prune the selection down to a double album that became Sign o’ the Times. The title song became a single that reached #3 on the Hot 100 and #1 on the R&B chart.
Sheena Easton worked with Prince on the album, and their duet U Got the Look reached #2 on the Hot 100 and #11 on the R&B chart a few months later.
The last single from the album was first recorded in 1979 but never released until a 2020 remaster.
A new version of the song appeared on the album and became a single in late 1987. The record reached #10 on the Hot 100 and #14 on the R&B chart in early 1988.
Prince produced an unannounced album that eventually became known as The Black Album. A few promotional copies escaped, after which they cancelled the album. It arguably became the most bootlegged album of all time.
Later that year, Prince released his next album, LoveSexy. The first single from that album, Alphabet Street, reached #8 on the Hot 100 in 1988. I’ll admit to not remembering either the song or the video.
If you watch the swirling letters on the screen behind Prince in his video for the song, “hidden” messages pop up a few times. The most interesting message? “Don’t buy The Black Album, I’m sorry.”
Two more singles came from that album, but neither one reached the top forty on the Hot 100.
Prince had nearly a dozen singles that reached #1, #2, or #3, so it’s not surprising that some of his other singles get little airplay anymore on oldies stations.
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