Women in Music 2019

Prince's '1999': 10 Best Bonus Songs on the Super Deluxe Edition

DO NOT REUSE EVER.
Allen Beaulieu
Prince photographed in 1999.

When Prince dropped 1999 on Oct. 27, 1982 -- his fifth album, released as a double LP -- it was the beginning of his purple reign on the pop charts, becoming his first top 10 entry on the Billboard 200. Now the classic that gave us “Little Red Corvette,” “Delirious” and, of course, “1999” is getting a royal reissue complete with alternate versions, remixes, previously unreleased tracks and live cuts. 

Here are 10 highlights from the Super Deluxe Edition of 1999 out Friday (Nov. 29) that will have you partying like it’s 1982 all over again.

“Little Red Corvette (Special Dance Mix)”

Prince’s first top 10 Billboard Hot 100 single comes in multiple versions here. And while the original remains sheer perfection, this eight-and-a-half-minute mix is a revelation, winding down a road full of cool twists and turns on the wheels of synths, guitar and drum machine. Although it’s not exactly a “dance” mix, that hardly matters when the groove is deepened to this degree.

“Money Don’t Grow on Trees”

This guitar-pop gem from the vault possesses such an easy breeziness and bounce that it practically skips down the street. Prince sounds downright carefree, even as he remains mindful about money, evoking the early innocence of his 1979 self-titled album.

“Vagina”

Another guitar-pop ditty chugging along with rhythmic riffage, this previously unreleased track sounds like a Dirty Mind outtake. The demo-ish quality only adds to its tossed-off charm, topped off by Prince’s flirty falsetto.

“Rearrange”

Playing like a quirky cousin to “Sexy Dancer” -- lifting a guitar riff from that Prince jam -- this previously unreleased track finds the Purple One working to “rearrange your brain.” There’s a hippie spirit in the mix that lets you free your mind to the funk.

“Bold Generation”

There are two tracks here that would turn up later, in different versions, on 1990’s Graffiti Bridge soundtrack: “Can’t Stop This Feeling I Got” and “Bold Generation,” which would become “New Power Generation.” Hearing it as a raw slab of funk here makes you realize just how underappreciated it was on Graffiti Bridge.

“Turn It Up”

Bouncing with the same giddiness of “Delirious,” this isn’t as crazy-catchy as that 1999 single, which is probably why it didn’t make the cut for the album. Still, it’ll make you jump for joy.

“Purple Music”

Just as “Turn It Up” echoes “Delirious,” this previously unreleased track evokes another 1999 classic: “Lady Cab Driver.” It’s a jazzy jam that goes on for 11 bass-bumping minutes.

“Do Yourself a Favor”

The fact that this song was never previously released is testament to just how much of a roll Prince was on in the ’80s. The sweetest of soul-pop kiss-offs, this is irresistible bliss.

“Do Me, Baby” (live)

Taken from the 1982 Detroit midnight show captured on this reissue, this seven-minute rendition of the classic Controversy ballad, one of Prince’s all-time best slow jams, shows just how much he could transform his material in concert. Teasingly taking his sweet time building up to an orgasmic falsetto release, he proves that -- of all his many talents -- he was a stellar singer.

“How Come U Don’t Call Me Anymore?” (live)

Long before Alicia Keys covered it on her 2001 Songs in A Minor debut, this was one of Prince’s A-list B-sides, as the flip half of his “1999” single. The B-side version is included here as well as an alternate studio take, but it’s the live rendition from the 1982 Detroit concert that really stands out. With Prince on the piano oozing stripped-down soul and sass, he’s a playful player.


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