Day 134: Prince – Dirty Mind

12 Jul

Dirty Mind

We’ve pulled off something special today at Swole Ear Incorporated.  Minnesota Week will keep on trucking, even through Dad-Rock Tuesday.  This week, my father decided to unleash The Twin Cities’ infamous Prince on me.

I was not adequately prepared for this record.   It took me a couple of songs to realize that, in fact, that was not a girl singing.  Prince has one of the highest voices that I have ever heard, regardless of sex.

Once I got over this initial gender-shock, I tried to see exactly what my father enjoys about Prince, and his 1980 release, Dirty Mind. 

I understand why my dad likes Prince.  Mi padre was in college in Minnesota at the peak of this guy’s career, and I’ve been told that the Twin Cities had a case of Prince Fever.  I believe it. Minnesota normally doesn’t have that much going on.

Usually, with Dad-Rock Tuesday records, I’m missing out on something crucial: context.   I can’t possibly listen to these twenty-plus-year- old albums in 2011, and come close to understanding what was going on when they were released; what made them so good at the time.  Once again, I’ve listened to an old record out of context, but this time with a different result.

I like Dirty Mind.  It’s goofy, catchy, soulful, and there’s really nothing not to like about it.  That really speaks to the quality of this record.  A seventeen-year-old was able to pick it up thirty-one years after it was first released, and thoroughly enjoy it.  Now, tell me why I couldn’t do that with The Velvet Underground.

As far as pop records go, you can’t get much better than this.  It’s not hollow and meaningless, like I’ve come to expect from pop music.  Prince puts all of his unnaturally high voice into every song, and I was frequently amused by his promiscuous, definitely not radio-friendly lyrics.  If stuff like this were still on the Top 40, I’d definitely give it more credit.  But, as a result, there might not be a Swole Ear today.  Whether that’s a bad thing or not, I’ll leave up to you.

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One Response to “Day 134: Prince – Dirty Mind”

  1. Jose Dinero July 14, 2011 at 10:44 am #

    Right. Prince is not Nickelback. And Minnesota didn’t have a case of Prince Fever. The whole world had a case of Prince Fever. Check out Purple Rain — the movie — there has not been a comparable music/film crossover movie since except maybe that Hannah Montana movie — like I said, nothing comparable. Prince put together a string of magnificent albums and magnificent singles and there was period where damn near every song you heard on the radio showed some Prince influence. To this day, any band that doesn’t cover When You Were Mine is making a mistake. That song has it all and sounds good in any style. Brad Paisley should take a stab at it, or Toby Keith.

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