R.I.P., Prince

princeDead at 57. Easily one of the greatest pop musicians of all time. I was a completely un-ironic fan of Prince even when I was going through my disaffected teen metalhead phase, when I wasn’t supposed to like anything but heavy metal. Prince was just that good. There was just no way to deny the man’s genius.

He had a supernatural musical versatility. In addition to playing multiple instruments, he could play just about every style of music with ease, like he’d been playing it his whole life. Really, the guy’s range as a musician was unreal. It’s hard for me to think of any musician, other than the Beatles, who could move so effortlessly from one style to the next. And the Beatles were a group; Prince was just one guy.

Over at Ace of Spades, Ace posted a list of his pick for the top 40 — 40! — Prince songs. I’d argue about the order (I’d put “Kiss” at No. 1), but still: How many artists have produced 40 great songs over the course of their career? And this even leaves off a lot of songs I would have included! Here’s Ace’s list:

40. When Doves Cry

39. Peach

38. Nothing Compares 2 U

37. I Feel For You

36. I Wanna Be Your Lover

35. It

34. I Wonder U

33. Darling Nikki

32. The Beautiful Ones

31. Do Me, Baby

30. Partyman

29. She’s Always in My Hair (B-side)

28. Cream

27. Jack U Off

26. P-Control

25. Sometimes in Snows in April

24. Mountains

23. The Ladder

22. Delirious

21. Let’s Pretend We’re Married

20. If I Was Your Girlfriend

19. Little Red Corvette

18. Pop Life

17. Let’s Go Crazy

16. New Position

15. Take Me With U

14. DMSR

13. Automatic

12. Controversy

11. I Could Never Take the Place of Your Man

10. Alphabet Street

9. When You Were Mine

8. Kiss

7. I Would Die 4 U

6. Baby I’m a Star

5. Erotic City (single B-side)

4. Purple Rain

3. 1999

2. Raspberry Beret

1. U Got the Look

What’s incredible about that list is the diversity. All of these songs have their own unique sound, and they all sound great. Again, just incredible. The world will not see this man’s like again for some time.

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