Wednesday, March 7, 2018

"Dirty Mind" and "Mountains" by Prince

It's Diva Wednesday again. And our Diva this time is His Purple One.

In 1980, Prince released his third album, "Dirty Mind" which forged a new sound out of classic funk, a touch of punk, and the synthesizer sounds of New Wave. No one was making music like this at the time and both white and black audiences were initially puzzled by the sound and by Prince himself. How could they not be? Look at him in all his glory: punk haircut, trench coat with studs (and a "Rude Boy" button) and bandanna, little black g-string (!), thigh-high tights, and high heels! What was he thinking? What a head-spinning mix of male and female, but without parroting an actual woman. He was not emulating women or "doing drag," but what he was doing was something unique and singular. Indeed, he would later go on to write in the lyrics for his song "I Would Die 4 U," "I'm not a woman / I'm not a man / I am something that you'll never understand."

We all know his subsequent greatest success with the film and soundtrack album for "Purple Rain." But he followed that up with a not-as-successful film, "Under The Cherry Moon" starring Kristin Scott Thomas in her feature film debut (!). Despite the fact that the film, let's see, how to say this...bad (and I'm a fan!), the accompanying soundtrack produced some more excellent, experimental pop songs. Recorded in France, the album was peppered with spoken French and a snippet of bal musette music. This song, "Mountains" comes from that album. The video also features Kristin Scott Thomas...and it is easy to see that Prince was still pushing boundaries of his style and appearance.


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