Friday, June 26, 2020

"I Could Never Take the Place of Your Man" - Song of the Month

Each month I will share some brief, personal thoughts on one of my favorite Prince songs.

When I watched Prince perform an acoustic version of "I Could Never Take the Place of Your Man" on MTV in 2004, I wasn't as familiar with the song as I am now. (The audience wasn't singing along with much confidence, either.) When he finished playing, he asked, "Remember that from high school?" I'm a little jealous of fans who can say they do; I was just a toddler when the Sign O' the Times album dropped in 1987. His '80s period was not the soundtrack of my childhood. I developed a deeper relationship with his music as an adult. So, for me, "I Could Never Take the Place of Your Man" brings up memories of riding two buses to my grant-writing job at the Kentucky Symphony Orchestra. For some reason, of all the tracks on the album, I added that one to my commuting playlist. I remember being especially impressed by the last two and a half minutes. Prince always gets me when he goes beyond the perfect, three-minute pop ditty and taps further into the emotion of the song with his guitar. I listened closely to each lick and the silence, which reminds me of what he said during the Piano & a Microphone show on January 21, 2016: “The space between the notes, that’s the good part. How long the space is … that’s how funky it is or how funky it ain’t." Sheesh. That last section of "I Could Never Take the Place of Your Man" is truly funky and it is why I even listen to the song. I'm still hearing new things! And just think: He wrote this song in 1979--eight years before its official release. I can't wait to hear the early version on the forthcoming remastered edition of Sign O' the Times.

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  1. I was 17 when "Sign" came out! I was truly upset when Paul Simon's "Graceland" won album of the year over to me Prince's "classic"! Paul could never do Prince's music, but Prince could do Paul's! The spiritual content of "The Cross" still moves me this present day! Keep the faith, hope, and love in your journey with this book! Would love to discuss my spiritual connection with Prince's music and work!

  2. Thank you so much for reading and for your encouraging words! Hit me up via email if you haven't already. I have to catch up on my inbox.

  3. Prince is indeed the prince who can Bring Music to Life ! He was an incomparable human being who can mesmerize his listeners through his magical music. Painting art with one's guitar is something that is that is amazing to be expected from a person, but Prince was no extraordinary person!