“How Come U Don’t Call Me Anymore?” by Prince (1982)

“How Come U Don’t Call Me Anymore?” is such an intimate song, you can close your eyes and feel like Prince is right next to you, hashing his thoughts about a recent breakup out on the piano. The only percussion is Prince’s feet kicking away at the pedals. It would be within reason to think that the lead vocal was an extemporaneous one-take slice of magic (even if, thanks to obvious multi-tracking and the surfacing of a couple demo versions, we know this isn’t the case). The point is; it’s an amazing song. Prince sings the crap out of it; his vocal increasing in intensity as the song continues. Although it has been covered by vocal powerhouses Stephanie Mills and Alicia Keys, Prince retains the definitive version. And to think that this was a B-side to “1999” (which is a superior song, but still…). Who else in the ’80s was making A-sides even half as good?

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