I’m neurotic enough to want to stick to the nostalgic ABC theme I currently have going but after the world lost Prince last week, I, of course, wanted to find some way to do a tribute to him. Luckily, he happened to have an album that began with the letter “E” but that’s not really surprising when you consider how prolific of an artist he was with 39 studio albums, 4 live albums, 6 compilation albums, 17 video albums, 13 EPs, 104 singles, and 1 remix album.
Emancipation was Prince’s 19th studio album, released in 1996, so named because it was his first album after he was freed from the long battle he’d had with Warner Bros. It was in the midst of this battle that Prince changed his name to an unpronounceable symbol, later referred to the Love Symbol.
Emancipation was a 36 song, 3 CD album that featured the first covers Prince had performed on an album including Joan Osborne’s “One of Us”, Bonnie Raitt’s “I Can’t Make You Love Me”, and “La-La (Means I Love You) by The Delfonics. Did I mention that in addition to being such a huge album, it was also his third of the year?
This album also featured several songs and ballads dedicated to his son, Boy Gregory, who was born one month prior the album’s release and tragically died shortly after birth due to a rare disease called Pfeiffer Syndrome. A recording of his son’s heartbeat was used as part of the percussion line of one of the songs. Granted, the song is “Sex in the Summer” but it’s Prince so whatever.
Like many people who own a TV, I’m a big fan of Saturday Night Live and my husband and I watch every week. Last season, season 40, we noticed something was . . . off . . . about the musical guests in the first few episodes. We weren’t sure what was happening but they all sounded so subpar that we started wondering if there was something wrong with the sound equipment at SNL because everyone sounded like first timers performing at an a local open mic night. And then, on the fifth episode hosted by Chris Rock, Prince was the musical guest. The moment Prince began to play, my husband and I looked at each other and we didn’t have to say a word. It wasn’t the sound equipment–it was the other artists. Because when a true artist, a true talent came out on that stage, he sounded incredible.
Prince was truly a special artist and a one of a kind talent. There’s not much more that I can say about him that hasn’t already been said other than to reiterate how deeply the music world will miss him.