The Prince 100

I'm still in total shock about Prince's death. When he was rushed to the hospital last week, I joked that I believed he would live to be 110 and be making amazing music in his nineties, but when he died I realized that I really meant it. Him dying at 57 is as surprising to me as if anyone else died at 27.

I contributed a paragraph to Third Bridge Creative's blog post about Prince today, along with about 20 other writers. But I still feel like rambling about him, because in terms of the combination of personal importance to me as a music fan and overall culture impact and the total shock of it happening, I don't know if any music death has hit me harder since, I don't know, Kurt Cobain when I was 12. But back then, my view of music was much smaller, so small in fact that I hadn't yet accepted the genius of Prince, who of course had a pretty rough '90s in terms of public image and commercial popularity.

But around 2000, after I'd become good friends with a Prince superfan, Mat Leffler-Schulman, he made me a mixtape that converted me, and it's been love ever since. I fell for the self-titled 1979 album, of all records, at first, and then of course the insane '80s catalog that I was too young to appreciate in real time (outside of loving his music in Batman without really knowing anything about who it was by). And then I started to find songs from beyond his peak period that I loved as well, underrated '90s albums like Come as well as occasional great deep cuts from his more sporadic 21st century output. And Mat has exposed me to a lot of amazing unreleased music and 12" extended mixes from his considerable collection that have made me understand the obsession of serious longtime Prince fans.

There was more Prince than any other artist on my wedding playlist (specifically, "She's Always In My Hair," "Forever In My Life," and "Adore"). And one of my most vivid memories from our honeymoon was walking around on a beach in Australia, watching an amazing sunset while listening to the incredible 12" extended mix of "I Would Die 4 U." But there are a dozen other memories like that of Prince becoming the soundtrack of my adult life, after I neglected him in my adolescence.

Last year, when Prince put (most of) his catalog on Tidal along with some new music, I made a deep album cuts playlist just to kind of skim the highlights of one of the richest discographies in popular music. But since easy access to Prince's classic albums one of the only things Tidal had over other streaming services that was motivating me to keep my Tidal subscription more than any fleeting Rihanna or Kanye exclusives, I had been using it for that purpose a lot and thinking about some kind of bigger playlist.

I hate the reason that I had to finally finish this playlist. The first thing I did after I heard the news was call Mat, and the second thing I did was listen to "Sometimes It Snows In April" and cry, seriously cry like I almost never have for any celebrity, but after that, listening to the music just made me feel good. There are only a handful of artists that I could even imagine being able to name 100 favorite songs by, and probably none who wrote and played nearly everything on most of those songs, probably none whose #100 would be as strong as the #100 on this. And it was fun to be able to have room for everything I could think of, from his debut single "Soft And Wet" to the last charting single of his lifetime, "1000 X's & O's," which I just wrote about 2 months ago. There are only 96 songs on the playlist, because a few aren't on Tidal (I'm so sorry, "Endorphinmachine"!), but for the most part it's all here.

My 100 Favorite Prince Songs (SpotifyTIDAL playlist):

1. I Would Die 4 U
2. Why You Wanna Treat Me So Bad?
3. Little Red Corvette
4. Adore
5. She's Always In My Hair
6. Controversy
7. Sometimes It Snows In April
8. If I Was Your Girlfriend
9. 17 Days
10. Pop Life
11. I Could Never Take The Place Of Your Man
12. The Ballad Of Dorothy Parker
13. 1999
14. Mountains
15. Something In The Water (Does Not Compute)
16. The Morning Papers
17. Come
18. Bambi
19. Endorphinmachine
20. D.M.S.R.
21. Tamborine
22. The Beautiful Ones
23. Slow Love
24. Kiss
25. Let's Go Crazy
26. Another Lonely Christmas
27. I Wish U Heaven
28. Darling Nikki
29. Feel U Up
30. Money Don't Matter 2 Night
31. Nasty Girl (Vanity 6)
32. Do Me, Baby
33. When Doves Cry
34. Call My Name
35. How Come U Don't Call Me Anymore
36. Diamonds And Pearls
37. Soft And Wet
38. 1000 X's & O's
39. Erotic City
40. Jungle Love (The Time)
41. Strange Relationship
42. The Cross
43. Partyman
44. Uptown
45. Dark
46. Shockadelica
47. Breakfast Can Wait
48. Good Love
49. 7
50. Forever In My Life
51. Baltimore
52. Baby I'm A Star
53. The Screams Of Passion (The Family)
54. Black Sweat
55. Sign O' The Times
56. Slave
57. All The Critics Love U In New York
58. (There'll Never B) Another Like Me
59. Don't Play Me
60. Stare
61. My Name Is Prince
62. Cream
63. Letitgo
64. Thieves In The Temple
65. U Got The Look
66. Wow
67. Love Song (Madonna)
68. When We're Dancing Close And Slow
69. Gett Off
70. I Feel For You
71. Computer Blue
72. Trust
73. Starfish And Coffee
74. Private Joy
75. Another Boy (Bria Valente)
76. Loose!
77. I Wanna Be Your Lover
78. Play In The Sunshine
79. Raspberry Beret
80. New Position
81. I Wonder U
82. Purple Rain
83. Beautiful, Loved And Blessed
84. International Lover
85. Jack U Off
86. Round And Round (Tevin Campbell)
87. Anotherloverholenyohead
88. Sexy Dancer
89. Do It All Night
90. When You Were Mine
91. Love
92. I'm Yours
93. The Glamorous Life (Sheila E.)
94. Condition Of The Heart
95. Can't Stop This Feeling I Got
96. Partyup
97. Let's Work
98. Scarlet Pussy
99. It's Gonna Be Lonely
100. Take Me With U
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