Metro Weekly

Paying Tribute to Prince

On the eve of Prince's untimely death, Metro Weekly revisits its various celebrations of his music

Credit - Karrah Kobus / NPG Records

Credit – Karrah Kobus / NPG Records

“I’m not a woman, I’m not a man, I am something that you’ll never understand.”

Those lyrics, from Prince’s “I Would Die 4 U,” perhaps best encapsulate the gender-bending icon, who died this morning. No man has rocked heels better than Prince Rogers Nelson, the flashy performer known for his beloved purple guitar and chart-topping tunes.

Prince’s music reached generations of fans — from legendary tracks like “Purple Rain,” “1999” and “Little Red Corvette,” to lesser-known gems from a career spanning forty years.

In 2014, Metro Weekly’s then music-critic Chris Gerard revisited every Prince album released up to that point with a definitive ranking. Purple Rain may have been Prince’s biggest commercial smash, but it only scratched the surface of a remarkable body of work.

We also took a deep dive into Lovesexy, an album that remains essential for any Prince fan. In his assessment, Gerard wrote:

The emotional centerpiece of the album – and widely regarded as one of the finest moments of Prince’s entire career – is side one’s epic closer, “Anna Stesia.” Prince has often straddled the line between sexuality and spirituality in his music, trying to marry love of God with the ecstasy of sex. “Anna Stesia” is the ultimate expression of this tension.

In 2013, we celebrated Prince’s 55th birthday by surveying 10 lesser-known tracks from his deep back catalog. From “Irresistible Bitch” to “Shockadelica,” they’re unmissable gems for any Prince devotee.

Perhaps Metro Weekly’s Kate Wingfield put it best in her (admittedly lukewarm) review of Prince’s Hit ’N Run Tour, which slammed into the Warner Theatre last June.

A phenomenal, self-determining talent, Prince has always been in a class of his own. Versatile, clever, and curious, he moves genres like he owns them: rock, soul, pop, psychedelia, hip hop, and always funk.

Prince was performing until the very end, having played a concert just last week in Atlanta, Georgia. He was 57.

Fallon Forbush is a contributing writer.

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