Prince 'Originals' tracks explained by biographer Duane Tudahl

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This cover image released by Warner Bros. Records and TIDAL shows "Originals," a release of music from the late pop icon Prince. The album will be available on Jay-Z's Tidal streaming platform exclusively for two weeks starting June 7 and the album will be widely available on June 21. (Warner Bros. Records and TIDAL via AP)

The latest release from the Prince vault is dropping today on Tidal, in honor of the Purple One's 'born day.' The album Originals will feature 15 tracks that Prince wrote for other musicians; some of which became career-defining hits i.e. "Manic Monday" and "The Glamorous Life."

To reflect on the new release, Duane Tudahl, author of Prince and the Purple Rain Era Sessions: 1983 and 1984, joined Andrea Swensson in The Current studio for a special edition of Purple Hour. In researching his book, Tudahl was able to interview Prince's engineers, bandmates, and fellow creators and traced his activity during one of the busiest times in the artist's career. According to Tudahl "[Prince] could do nothing but record music," during this period. See below for Tudahl's track-by-track break down of the album. Originals will be available in a physical release June 21.

Sex Shooter

This was the pivotal track for Apollonia 6 in the Purple Rain movie, but it was originally recorded for Vanity 6 and before her, Prince had recorded his own vocals on this. [Apollonia 6's] job is to mimic everything he does; every coo, every giggle.

Apollonia 6 and Vanity 6 were Prince as a girl group. Other bands were Prince as a funk group, but this is Prince as a girl group and ["Sex Shooter"] is a perfect song for that.

Jungle Love

Jungle Love is the song by The Time in Purple Rain and it's one of their pivotal songs. Originally it was written by Jesse Johnson while they were on the 1999 tour and it was a great piece of music, but he didn't have the lyrics to it, and he gave it to Prince and Prince in his wisdom put these amazing lyrics to it.

This is what Prince would be like if he was in a funk band. He would take what Jesse would do and what Morris would do and throw it in a blender, add his own secret sauce, his own sriracha, and make something amazing.

Manic Monday

"Manic Monday" is one of those classic pop songs. It was originally written for Apollonia 6 and Prince wrote this in his sleep basically.

He told his engineer Peggy McCreary "I've got part of a song in my head, if I can think of the chorus, I will record this the next morning."

It's just a great, pure pop song. He eventually took it back from Apollonia 6 and he gave it to the Bangles. One of the interesting things about giving it to the Bangles is he still had to have complete say in what was done. If it came back and he didn't like it, he would say "you're not going to be able to use this."

Hearing Prince's vocals on the song--it's exactly what he wanted it to be that day.

Noon Rendezvous

[Sheila E.] has said that this is about their relationship. This was in a time when they were very close and I think she brought something out of his music that was different. Each person he worked with would bring a little bit of personality out of him.


What I like about this song is that it's so different from everything, it's very Devo, it's very new-wave-y.

["Make-up"] is not one of the big hits he had for other people, this is one of the ones he did on his own that's never been released as a single. If you listen to the album, you know it and it's fun to hear his voice doing this.

100 MPH

["100 MPH"] sounds like it could have been a Time song and even on the longer version of it there's a little bit of a riff from Cool.

I think Prince was trying to find a voice for Mazarati during this period and so this was what he thought the band should do and the direction the band should go in. Any band that's recorded by Prince is going to have his influence, that's just the way it is.

You're My Love

["You're My Love"] was given to Kenny Rogers and it became a country song. It shows Prince's range; he can not only do pop and jazz and blues and funk, but he's got a country song in there too.

I think this song shows that he can pretty much do anything.

Holly Rock

It's just this fun, catchy, playful song. The words are a play on "Planet Rock" and a play on Hollywood--which on the "Flintstones" they called "Hollyrock."

Sheila is, on the released version, having to follow everything Prince did and Prince's guide vocal is really the bible.

Baby, You're a Trip

Jill [Jones] was one of those people who was always there. She was so important in a lot of the things [Prince] was doing and her solo album was one of those things that kept getting pushed, and it really is a fan favorite. Hearing [Prince's] version of this as a guide vocal really shows what he was thinking and it's fun to know what he gave to Jill.

But Jill always brought her own bit to it and once you hear this, I would suggest going back and trying to find the Jill Jones album because it's really worth listening to.

The Glamorous Life

You can't hear [the song] now and not think of Sheila, it doesn't make sense that anyone else would sing it until now. When you hear Prince singing it you go "Oh, this is how he pictured it."

It was his way of singing a song for a female, but his own voice in there. What's great about his work is that he was so good about crafting a song that was perfect for a female voice or female narrative without compromising himself.

You forget that not only could he craft master songs, but he could do it for different artists flawlessly.

Love... Thy Will Be Done

I think [Prince] put as much love into the songs he gave to other people as he did his own stuff. This is one of those songs that once you hear it, it really touches you because it's a very moving, intimate song.

Martika was a singer who came out with an album in 1991 called Martika's Kitchen and he submitted several songs to her, but this one is probably the most personal.

Dear Michaelangelo

"Dear Michaelangelo" is a song Prince recorded on the Purple Rain tour. On tour, he would drop in a studio wherever he was going and just record for the night.

This guy couldn't stop. Who tours and does a long soundcheck, an after show, a concert, and then records an album for somebody else?

Part of this song was recorded after a concert; he did the concert, got a haircut, went back up and did this song. That to me is the essence of Prince: this guy could do nothing but record music.

Nothing Compares 2 U

This is one he wrote supposedly about his housekeeper who had lost somebody close to her and he wrote this song about that. It's such a moving song.

Eventually it was done by Sinead O'Connor and she did a great version of this, but you have to bring it home back to Prince. Every song that Prince did is a snapshot of where he was at that moment.

Close your eyes and picture him in his studio in the dark singing this song, and you get an idea of what this meant to him.

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