There are Kings and Queens, but there is only one Prince. Prince Rogers Nelson was one of the most prolific artists of our generation. Whether it’s performing classic hits or penning songs on social issues, no one can deny that the Purple One was a creative genius.
His songs for many people were a soundtrack to their lives. They have marked proms, first dates, weddings, and for former dancers, some cool dance recitals.
With a song catalog that has too many memorable hits to compile, we decided to choose some of Prince’s most memorable tunes. Some will be ballads and some are well-known hits. This list is just as diverse as the man himself. So instead of mourning this royalty of Paisley Park, let’s celebrate his life with 12 Of The Most Memorable Prince Songs. Rest well, sir. Your contributions to music will never been forgotten or duplicated.
12 Diamonds and Pearls (1991)
“If I gave you diamonds and pearls would you be a happy boy or a girl…” This song is the title track to the CD Diamonds and Pearls from Prince and the N.P.G./The New Power Generation. It was in the Billboard Top 100, reaching #3 in the US and #25 in the UK. Featuring NPG’s Rosie Gaines this song is an upbeat ballad full of guitars and drums. FYI, rapper Lil Wayne introduced Prince to a new audience when he sampled the song on his mixtape “Da Drought” with the great song Diamonds and Girls released in 2007.
11 Gett Off (1991)
“Gett off, twenty three positions in a one night stand. Gett off, I'll only call you after if you say I can.” This is one of the many songs that showed how provocative Prince could be. It’s a fun and sexy dance tune that is more known for Prince showing his backside at the MTV Video Music Awards. It was one of the hottest musical numbers performed on the video musical channel we have ever seen. Performed with the New Power Generation, Prince proved once again he was a man way ahead of his time with this song.
10 Raspberry Beret (1985)
“I was working part time in a five-and-dime. My boss was Mr. McGee. He told me several times that he didn't like my kind…” released in 1985 by Prince and the Revolution from the Around the World in a Day CD, this psychedelic pop song reached the No. 2 position on the Billboard Top 100 chart in the US behind A View To A Kill by Duran Duran. This song talks about a teenage romance and sexual experience with a girl who wears the infamous colored beret. The song only reached No. 25 on the UK chart.
9 Kiss (1986)
“You don't have to be rich to be my girl. You don't have to be cool to rule my world…” This song by Prince and the Revolution was released with Parade and the Under the Cherry Moon soundtrack that starred Prince. The film marked Prince’s first time as a director, but despite the song’s No. 1 success in Billboard’s Top 100 chart, it failed at the box office. It also marked one of the actress' Kristin Scott Thomas early films. The song did win a Grammy award for Best R&B Vocal Performance by a Duo or Group.
8 1999 (1982)
“I was dreamin' when I wrote this, so sue me if I go 2 fast. But life is just a party, and parties weren't meant 2 last…” The title track of this album was Prince’s fifth studio album after his previous album Controversy. It would be the first time that we would hear The Revolution. This funky, upbeat song is on Rolling Stone’s list of the Top 500 Greatest Albums of all time coming in at No. 163 in 2003 and made it onto Slant’s list of The 50 Most Essential Pop Albums. One of Purple's most important works.
7 Money Don’t Matter 2 Night (1992)
“Money don't matter 2 night. It sure didn't matter yesterday. Just when u think u've got more than enough. That's when it all up and flies away.” It may not be one of Prince’s smash hits, but this song more than deserves to be on this list. It’s a soulful ballad from the Diamonds and Pearls CD. One of the most memorable things about this song is a promotional video by famed director Spike Lee. Prince doesn’t appear in the video, but the video about the issues of poverty in this nation provide a haunting commentary.
6 Batdance (1989)
“Get the funk up!" Go, go, go with a smile!" BATDANCE! Do it! Keep bustin…'” You know you have made it when a director like Tim Burton asks you to pen an entire soundtrack. The soundtrack for Burton’s Batman was recorded in six short weeks and was originally supposed to have the songs “Baby I’m a Star” and “1999” on it; however Prince opted for an original soundtrack along with samples and lyrics for some of the songs. According to Billboard, Prince earned his fourth #1 hit with Batdance and his first since Kiss in 1986.
5 U Got the Look (1987)
“You've got the look (You've got the hook). You sho'nuf do be cookin' in my book. Your face is jammin' Your body's heck-a-slammin' If love is good…” This duet between Prince and Sheena Easton is from the double album Sign O The Times. The song was the highest single from the album. It featured percussion from Sheila E, Prince’s ex-fiancé and one of his many collaborators. The song is also featured in the film Sign O the Times. The song went to #2 on the Billboard Top 100 Singles Chart. Such a fun song.
4 Let’s Go Crazy (1984)
“Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to get through this thing called life...” Such prophetic lyrics from the Purple Rain soundtrack that spawned several hits and propelled Prince and The Revolution to superstardom. The organ intro at the beginning of this rock anthem is enough to get you to a club. Who didn’t want to be at the historic First Avenue nightclub? The club not only still stands today, but it was the backdrop of the film. The song reached No. 1 in the Billboard Top 100. It also topped the Hot R&B/Hip Hop Songs.
3 When Doves Cry (1984)
Another smash hit from Purple Rain that is on the list. Honestly, if we could, this entire soundtrack would be on the list because there are no bad songs, but then our list would go on forever! This video also has to be another of Prince’s sexiest songs. If you could only watch this for him and the bathtub, go right ahead. But the lyrics are just as amazing. "How can you just leave me standing? Alone in a world that's so cold? (So cold)… Maybe I'm just too demanding…Maybe I'm just like my father too bold.”
2 Little Red Corvette (1982)
“Little Red Corvette… Baby you're much too fast…Little Red Corvette…You need a love that's gonna last…” This is a song requirement on any list about Prince. This song about a one night stand using the car as a metaphor is a classic from the 1999 album. It was one of Prince’s first hits prior to hitting superstardom with Purple Rain. It's his first top 10 hit, peaking at No. 6 on the Billboard Top 100 charts. In 2006, Prince added a newer dance remix version of Little Red Corvette to his compilation CD entitled Ultimate.
1 Purple Rain (1984)
“I never meant to cause you any sorrow…I never meant to cause you any pain…” Who remembers where they were when they first heard this song? One couldn’t help but to be spellbound and speechless at the passion of Prince’s lyrics. His voice is so haunting and beautiful that you couldn’t help but to cry at the entire enormity of the song and the autobiographical film that bears the same name. This single stayed at #2 in the Billboard Top 100. According to People.com, this song was his final song performed at his show in Atlanta, his now final performance.