Music

Welcome back, Prince

Our resident DJ/journo is thrilled that Prince actually wants to be Prince again

I remember the year when I started thinking Prince was ****. It was 1989.

He did the soundtrack album for the movie Batman. It was ludicrous.

The US singer-songwriter's sprightly fusion of pop and funk was completely inappropriate for the Goth-flavoured flick.

Batdance? It was more like a Batprance.

Batman don't prance, yo.

I wanted The Cure to do the soundtrack, to the point that I would actually play The Cure's Disintegration album while watching Batman on video.

Admittedly, I wasn't in a good place mental health-wise at that point in my life.

Prince's last big hit was The Most Beautiful Girl In The World, way back in 1994 - 20 years ago.

Since that time, he hasn't produced anything remotely commercial.

In the early 90s, he got in a kerfuffle with his record company, Warner Bros Records, over the rights to his songs. The legal battle seems to have distracted him to the point that his magical musical muse up and left him.

He changed his name to a bizarre symbol, becoming "The Artist Formerly Known As Prince".

Every once in a while, you'd hear his name pop up, but usually in the context of a joke.

By the time he finally changed his name back to Prince in 2000, not many of us gave a damn, and we've continued not giving a damn for more than a decade.

But that might be set to change.

Prince seems to be getting serious about selling real music to real people again. Over the weekend, he released a new single called The Breakdown, and it's pretty magnificent.

He kicks things off in an audaciously solemn fashion with the lyric: "This could be the saddest story ever been told."

Such a drama queen.

WISE OLD DUDE

Then he sings about how he used to be a party boy, but now he's a wise old dude thanks to the helping hand of God and/or a chick.

The thing I like about the song is that it actually sounds like the Prince I recognise from the early 80s.

The guy who wrote this is the same genius who wrote Purple Rain, When Doves Cry, Little Red Corvette and Raspberry Beret. Somewhat less inspired, but still basically the same guy.

Along with the release of his new single, Prince, 55, has announced that he will be coming out with a brand new album.

He's also going to be re-releasing a digitally-remastered version of his classic album Purple Rain in time for its 30th anniversary later this year.

How thrilling that a new generation will finally see Prince the way we children of the 80s saw him - not as a petulant, cagey weirdo but a joyously creative one.