Going For A Song: ‘Prince Alone in the Studio’

Smog – Prince Alone in the Studio

To claim I was a Prince fan would be misleading. I don’t own one album or a single by him. I liked certain songs, usually these were the hits – ‘Purple rain’, ‘When Doves Cry’. I sang along if these were played at parties, on the radio. But that doesn’t really make me into him. My overriding reaction when he died, if I’m honest, was surprise because he wasn’t at all old.

However, I’ve written about how knocked back I was when Jason Molina died; surprised at my own sense of loss. For Molina was my musician whose music meant a lot to me for many years. So I read the Prince obituaries by Simon Price and Neil Kulkarni, read various comments on social media, and understood to an extent their reactions, knew, as Kulkarni puts it, “this is what music can do”.

I’ve chosen Smog’s song this week as it’s an imagining of the creation of that music. A song that points out Prince was a musician first and foremost but never denies the persona (the sex, the clothes) Prince also created to go along with it; more importantly it decides that Prince’s music, his songwriting, always came first for Prince.

In just over 7 minutes ‘Prince Alone in the Studio’ argues for Prince and by doing so simultaneously makes the case for itself, it’s own creation. And when Prince was alive there was no greater compliment, and now he’s dead it stands as a suitable obituary.

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