Song 18: Prince, “Take Me With U” (1984)

purplerain

I wrote off Prince for an embarrassingly long time. The simple reason is that the first time I heard him, his big song was “The Most Beautiful Girl in the World,” which I hated. Prince, I decided, is not for me.

Terrible right? There’s really no excuse. I finally got around to hearing Purple Rain when we moved to Minneapolis, where Prince is rightly treated like a tiny, untouchable deity, and I immediately understood. His songs are just weird enough to be interesting but, of course, he’s completely accessible. Sex and love are for everybody; why wouldn’t songs about sex and love also be for everybody?

I’m still woefully ignorant about most of Prince’s output, but I know a little, and “Take Me With U” is my favorite from what I’ve heard. The main reason is that acoustic guitar, chugging away in the background of what is ostensibly an R&B song. How did Prince even think to have an acoustic guitar powering this song? Then there’s those strings, which are out in front, but never distracting. I met a guy in Minneapolis who briefly worked as Prince’s sound engineer, and he said the guy is as much of a perfectionist as you’d guess. This song, with all its bells and whistles, makes that clear.

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