Prince Gave Away 10 Amazing Songs Fans Didn’t Know

Prince Gave Away 10 Amazing Songs Fans Didn’t Know | I Love Classic Rock Videos

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Prince, the visionary musician known as “The Purple One,” was a genre-bending artist whose unique style made his songs hard to cover. But what many fans may not know is that Prince also wrote incredible songs for other artists.

This generosity, along with his undeniable musical talent, resulted in a treasure trove of hits by other singers and bands.

Below, we’ve compiled ten of the best songs Prince ever “gave away”. This list showcases not only Prince’s mastery of pop music but also the surprising range of his songwriting. Some of these tracks were Prince originals, while others were co-written masterpieces.

This collection proves that Prince, despite his reputation for solo perfectionism, could collaborate effectively when the right creative spark ignited.

10. “A Love Bizarre” – Sheila E. (1985)

Sheila E.’s track “A Love Bizarre” bears the hallmark of Prince’s co-writing prowess, a testament to their profound connection since their first encounter in 1978. Prince, smitten from the outset, humorously debated with bassist Andre Cymone over who would win Sheila’s heart first. This playful rivalry underscored an enduring bond that would manifest in their collaborative work.

Before Sheila E. emerged as a solo star in the mid-80s, she collaborated with Prince on the legendary “Purple Rain”. Among her successful hits, “A Love Bizarre” stood out, showcasing a dynamic duet that explored themes of love and rebellion. The song, shorter in its single form yet impactful, captured the essence of their unique artistic synergy.

9. “How Come You Don’t Call Me” – Alicia Keys (2001)

Alicia Keys’ album Songs in A Minor is a treasure trove of musical gems, with one of the most luminous being the Prince B-side “How Come You Don’t Call Me”. This track, originally tucked away on the flipside of “1999”, shines brightly in Keys’ multi-platinum collection. Her rendition of the song is widely regarded as the most definitive, capturing the essence of Prince’s musical genius.

At the tender age of 19, Alicia Keys demonstrated remarkable maturity and artistry by breathing new life into this classic, thereby introducing Prince’s legacy to a fresh audience. Her profound respect for Prince culminated in a poignant moment in 2004 when she inducted him into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, eloquently stating, “There are many kings… but there is only one Prince”, highlighting his unique ability to craft songs that resonate as deeply personal narratives.

8. “Yo Mister” – Patti LaBelle (1989)

Patti LaBelle, a titan in the realm of music, not only admired Prince but also enjoyed a unique camaraderie with him. Prince’s multifaceted support for LaBelle went beyond music; he even had a personal tailor craft outfits for her and prepared an elaborate 12-course meal, showcasing his affection and respect.

Their friendship culminated in the creation of “Yo Mister”, a standout track on LaBelle’s album Be Yourself. Prince’s musical versatility shone through as he ventured into a modern swing style, both composing and producing the song. The track, which tells a poignant story of a strained father-daughter relationship, resonated with fans and climbed the R&B charts, becoming one of LaBelle’s most celebrated hits.

7. “When You Were Mine” – Cyndi Lauper (1983)

“When You Were Mine”, a track from Prince’s 1980 album Dirty Mind, may not have been a standalone single, but its inclusion as a special 12″ release and as the B-side to “Controversy” in 1981, highlighted its significance. While it wasn’t hailed as a pop classic, the song was adorned with the meticulous craftsmanship characteristic of Prince’s music.

Cyndi Lauper’s rendition of “When You Were Mine” on her debut album She’s So Unusual in 1983 was a bold move. She retained the song’s original male pronouns, a decision that was quite unconventional at the time. By slowing the tempo and enhancing the use of synthesizers, Lauper reimagined the song, infusing it with her distinctive style and paying homage to Prince’s versatile artistry in a way that was both rare and highly regarded.

6. “Jungle Love” – The Time (1984)

Crafted by the legendary Prince, “Jungle Love” propelled The Time into the spotlight, a band graced with the songwriting talents of Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis. It was Prince’s guiding hand that led to the creation of this funk-laden hit, marking The Time’s ascent in the music world.

Imbued with pure funk and wild jungle rhythms, “Jungle Love” emerged as a quintessential eighties anthem, tailor-made for the exuberance of dancefloors. Despite the controversy stirred by guitarist Jesse Johnson, who claimed ownership over the song’s distinctive sound, ‘Jungle Love’ remains a testament to Prince’s influential style and musical direction.

5. “Manic Monday” – The Bangles (1985)

The Bangles’ ‘Manic Monday’ soared to become a pop anthem, dominating airwaves and MTV, yet few were aware that the genius behind it was none other than Prince. He managed to encapsulate the monotony of the 9-5 grind in a sparkling jangle-pop tune, despite his own detachment from the daily workforce.

This track marked The Bangles’ breakthrough, climbing to the second spot on the US charts. Susanna Hoffs of The Bangles recalls the pressure of recording a Prince composition, striving to do justice to the iconic artist’s work. Her initial apprehension turned to relief when Prince expressed his delight with their rendition, even though it deviated from his original demo.

4. “Why Should I Love You?” – Kate Bush (1993)

The song “Why Should I Love You?” is a shining example of Prince’s prolific creativity. Initially penned by the renowned British artist Kate Bush for her album The Red Shoes, she invited Prince to add his backing vocals, recognizing his extraordinary musical flair.

However, Prince’s contribution to the song went beyond mere vocals; he infused the track with his unique instrumental and production touches, transforming it into something more than Bush had envisioned. This unexpected collaboration led to a prolonged period of refinement as Bush and her producer Del Palmer worked to integrate Prince’s input while maintaining the song’s original spirit. Their efforts paid off, resulting in a track that has been cherished by fans ever since its inclusion in The Red Shoes.

3. “Stand Back” – Stevie Nicks (1983)

“Stand Back” may not be a pure Prince creation, but Stevie Nicks credits the song’s soul to him, a sentiment stemming from its inception and Prince’s impactful involvement. After departing Fleetwood Mac for a solo venture, Nicks crafted the majority of “Stand Back”, yet she feels the track is intrinsically linked to Prince.

The song’s spark ignited during a post-wedding drive to Santa Barbara when Nicks and her husband were inspired by Prince’s “Little Red Corvette”. The urge to write was so strong that Nicks immediately began composing “Stand Back”. After sharing the moment with Prince, he swiftly appeared at her studio, leaving his signature sound via the synthesizers—and on Nicks. His brief but brilliant session set a standard that Nicks believes no band could match, and it’s said that Prince had envisioned “Purple Rain” as a country duet with her, a testament to their mutual admiration.

2. “Nothing Compares 2 U” – Sinead O’Connor (1990)

Sinead O’Connor’s rendition of “Nothing Compares 2 U” catapulted her to international fame, breathing new life into a Prince song that had been largely overlooked. Originally released by Prince’s side project, The Family, in 1985, O’Connor’s powerful interpretation transformed the song into an iconic hit of the 1990s.

The song’s raw emotional power and its theme of loss resonated deeply with listeners worldwide. O’Connor’s personal connection to the song, dedicating it to her late mother, added a layer of profound emotion, further immortalized by the song’s memorable music video. Prince himself praised O’Connor’s version, recognizing the song’s journey and evolution. Despite rumors of his envy, Prince acknowledged the song’s expanded legacy through O’Connor’s unforgettable performance.

1. “I Feel For You” – Chaka Khan (1979)

The enchanting backstory of “I Feel For You” is as captivating as the song itself. Rumored to have been written by Prince as a Valentine’s gift for Patrice Rushen, the song found a place on his 1979 album but didn’t truly shine until Chaka Khan and Arif Mardin elevated it. The track is a tapestry of iconic moments, notably Melle Mel’s vocal tribute to Khan and Stevie Wonder’s harmonica solo, making it a piece with undeniable musical pedigree.

Chaka Khan’s version became a defining moment in pop music, its catchy groove resonating with listeners everywhere. In a 1984 Billboard interview, Khan reflected on the deliberate choice to spotlight the synthesizer, an instrument emblematic of the ’80s. This strategic decision paid off, as “I Feel For You” not only became Khan’s most celebrated hit but also earned her a Grammy, securing its place as one of the most treasured gifts from Prince’s repertoire.