Friday, May 18, 2018

"Pop Life" by Prince & the Revolution

Top 10 Alert!
Song#:  2407
Date:  07/27/1985
Debut:  46
Peak:  7
Weeks:  14
Genre:  R&B

Pop Bits:  The week after "Raspberry Beret" peaked at #2, this follow-up single from Around the World in a Day got on the Pop chart. It's high debut position was promising and indeed the song was able to reach the Top 10. It would also get to #5 Dance and #8 R&B. While it wasn't as big of a smash as some of his previous singles, it was his eighth Pop Top 10 and it help to extend sales of the album.

ReduxReviewAround the World was meant to be more experimental, so only a minor few of the tracks were contenders for singles. "Raspberry" and this one were the two with the most potential and at least they did garner him a couple more Top 10s. While this one was worthy of its #7 placement, it isn't one of my favorites from Prince. The beat is solid, but I find that it drones on a bit. The melody is monotone and repetitive, which makes Prince's delivery sound a little robotic and stiff. It did well on the radio back in the day, but as time went on, folks seemed to have set aside this song in favor of his bigger and better hits. I kinda did too.

ReduxRating:  6/10

Trivia:  Nearly twelve years after this song was released, another artist approached Prince about covering this song. In 1997, Elvis Costello was readying an upcoming best-of compilation to be titled Extreme Honey and was readying a version of "Pop Life" for inclusion on the disc (one of those "new track" promo things). Costello then sought permission from Prince to release the track. However, it seems that Costello may have updated and/or changed some of the lyrics and whether that was the issue or something else, Prince denied Costello's request. Still needing a new song for the compilation, Costello decided to answer back to Prince in a way by writing "The Bridge I Burned." The song had a similar feel to "Pop Life," utilized some of its chord structures, and even had background vocalists rattling off "pop life" and "dig it." The idea to cover "Pop Life" had probably been with Costello for a while as he had performed this song in some of his concerts back in the late 80s.



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