“Blue Limousine” by Apollonia 6 (1984)

Hey, it’s Prince again!

In light of the contemporaneously released Purple Rain in addition to albums by The Time and Sheila E. that were largely created by Prince, A6′s debut album is given short shrift. It’s not a bad record, though. Patricia Kotero wasn’t much of a singer-I don’t think Prince was looking for someone with great pipes, necessarily-but she had a degree of spunk that served Prince’s lyrics well. Also, Prince was at the height of his melodic powers during this time. “Blue Limousine” is a prime example.

The song’s a trifle-Apollonia is waiting for her boyfriend to show up. But it’s a fun trifle and it’s got a melody that will stick in your head for days.  Would’ve been a better choice for a single than “Sex Shooter”, which turned pop radio off strictly on the basis of its title. Strangely (and sadly), if you slow the song down a bit, you realize that the verse melody is nearly identical to 1986′s “Sometimes It Snows In April,” a song that took on an eerie undertone after Prince’s passing.

Prince did love his colors. As I was thinking about writing this entry, I decided to see if I could create a compilation of Prince songs that have colors in the title. Using those parameters, I put together a collection that’s arguably better than a lot of major artists’ greatest hits records.

Cream | Computer Blue | Little Red Corvette | Pink Cashmere | Raspberry Beret | White Mansion | Black Sweat | Scarlet Pussy | Violet The Organ Grinder | Blue Light | Peach | Blue Limousine | So Blue | Gold | Purple Rain

Not bad, eh?

NOT QUITE FIVE STARS…

“Blood On The Dance Floor” by Michael Jackson (1997): What’s weird is that I wouldn’t have called this a five-star song twenty years ago. But time has been kind to “Blood On The Dance Floor”. So even though the Teddy Riley produced-track sounded dated back then, things have a way of coming back around (and greatness tends to unfold over time, so there’s that). Plus, any opportunity to marvel over MJ’s vocal gifts (and on this track, he jumps from Barry White bass to pleading yelp in seconds) is a good one.

“Blue Light” by Prince & The New Power Generation (1992):  Speaking of Prince songs with colors in the title…

Even if “Blue Light” isn’t great from an innovation standpoint, it’s fun and laid-back in a way that Prince rarely allowed himself to be. He’s chilled out, having a chuckle during a time when lots of fans were, like, “this dude takes himself way too seriously.” “Blue Light” also marks a very rare foray into anything that even remotely sounds like reggae from Prince. Even if it’s more cruise ship/Jimmy Buffett reggae than, say, Shabba Ranks.

If you watch the video, check out for the uncharacteristically lazy shot-by-shot discrepancies regarding Prince’s facial hair.

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