Prince is gone. The world is unlikely to see someone quite like him again.

Image provided by Allmusic/Warner Bros.

It really isn’t possible to overstate the impact that Prince had on the world of music. He was a genuine pioneer who didn’t just tear down the barriers between genres. He refused to acknowledge that they even existed. He drew from R&B, rock, pop, dance, blues, gospel, folk and electronic. It all blended perfectly. It all made sense. No one had ever heard a sound like his before. Purple Rain was the soundtrack of a generation.

In addition, Prince changed the way that music was promoted. He was a video innovator. But more than that, he turned the concept of personal presentation and personal style as an entertainment brand into its own art form. He fought for creative control and was willing to go the independent route to ensure that his musical vision could reach his fans the way he intended.

It seems that almost everyone has a story about Prince and what his music meant to them. His impact is profound. People often throw around the term “genius” and bestow it too easily. Prince was one of the few who deserved the title.

The best way to remember Prince, though, is through the music. Here are some of his best (links provided where possible, Prince was notorious for pulling videos from the web).

The Prince Playlist

When Does Cry”: The most brilliant song that Prince ever crafted, no arguments even considered. It changed the course of popular music in the ‘80s.

Little Red Corvette”: The song by which much of my generation discovered Prince. And taught us a thing or two about the “grown up” world.

Let’s Go Crazy”: Perhaps the Purple One’s most indelible rock moment.

Kiss”: Wherein Prince re-wrote the rules for dance music for a new decade.

I Wanna Be Your Lover”: Prince’s first big hit remains one of his best songs.

I Would Die 4 U”: Demonstrating the correct way to fuse synths and organic instrumentation.

“7”: Prince was deeply into his own mystical/artistic persona at this point and this under-appreciated hit was the best extrapolation of that ethos into a musical setting.

“Diamonds and Pearls”: One of Prince’s best ’90s hits, a canny blend of new and old school styles.

“Raspberry Beret”: Psychedelia for a New Power Generation.

1999”: Life is just a party. And parties aren’t meant to last.

Originally published at thunderalleybcpcom.ipage.com on April 22, 2016.

Author (Grievous Angels) and pop culture gadabout #amwriting