And the number one song is:
1.Lady Cab Driver (1999, 1982)
This was, from the very first time I heard it, my favorite track on my favorite Prince album. Itís a relatively minimalist funk track over 8 minutes long, and everything about it works. It starts out with just a drum beat, with some traffic sounds, then Prince hails a taxi and the bass line comes in. And damn, what a bass line. Itís one of my favorites of all time and certainly my favorite from a Prince song. Itís just so damn funky. The synth in it is also fantastic. What I like about it is how unpredictable it is. It comes in at unexpected times, it does strange things, it comes in when you donít expect it. Thereís sort of a main synth riff but itís messed with so often throughout the song that itís not repetitive. The song also features two great synth solos.
Another great thing about this song is the drums. I could be wrong but Iím pretty sure this is the only song on 1999 with live drumming (and if itís not live drummingÖ Iím impressed by Princeís programming). They keep a steady beat through the song, but much like with the synth thereís a lot of variation with mini drum solos throughout. The drums add a lot to the song, and along with the synth noodling they give the song a much more live improvisational feel that the rest of 1999.
Of course, thereís one thing that I think could keep this song from being a favorite for many people, and that is the sex-scene-bridge, where Prince talks about things that bother him over the moans of the lady cab driver that he is apparently doing. Personally, I think itís a pretty unique thing that does a good job keeping the song from being boring, although I can see how it would be an awkward thing to listen to with some people. Itís one of those rare moments where Prince gives insight into his personal self (ďThis is for why I wasn't born like my brother, handsome and tallĒ)
Finally, the guitar... It serves mainly as a rhythm keeper, with a pretty cool funk riff for most of the song. That is, until the end of the bridge, where it comes in momentarily with some really crunchy chords, which leads to a synth solo. Then, the synths swell, and in comes my absolute favorite moment on a Prince record, the guitar solo. It comes in at the perfect time. The song sounds like itís winding down, then in comes a heavy metal guitar solo. Itís a great, though short, and it truly makes the song, in my opinion. So anyway, I love all the parts to this song, and I think that they work together perfectly. Thereís nothing I would change about it. I realize that this probably isnít the most popular choice, but there is no Prince song that I would rather listen to.