There’s not one but two songs for this week’s Song For Sunday: Prince’s She Spoke To Me and Michael Jackson’s Call On Me.
I was torn between Prince (for obvious reasons) and Michael Jackson for this week’s edition of Song for Sunday. But then I remembered it’s been 6 months since the last one so having two in one week makes up for it. Kinda. But we’ll start with Prince. Yesterday was the 3rd anniversary of his passing and while we all played a tune or 50 for The Purple One, I went for something from a forgotten era of his legacy.
I don’t proclaim to be a Prince stan by any means; I leave that badge of honour to my best friends. I love him, his music and I respect his genius, and I say these in the present tense because we only got a taste of what he created when he was alive. His vault will be busted open and dispersed to the masses like Lucky Charms in the future and while that goes against his wishes, that’s the reality we’re in now.
But before all that, Prince released the last album of his tumultuous Warner Bros. contract, The Vault: Old Friends 4 Sale. The tracks were recorded over a 9-year period between 1985 and 1994. My favourite of them is She Spoke To Me. From an overall perspective, it’s a laidback ballad but for me, it fits a particular feel and setting. Mid-90s, summer day, not too hot, not too cool, Saturday afternoon, not a care in the world. That’s how it feels to me every time I hear it. I especially loved the jazz movement in the middle-to-end. This was a band song rather than Prince featuring the NPG.
For the Michael Jackson track, given how wonderful the weather has been this weekend, I chose another oft-forgotten gem from his catalogue. Unlike with Prince, I am an MJ stan. I cry watching his videos because they’re so overwhelmingly good (and because he’s gone and it will never sink in). I’ve dressed up like him, gotten drunk and danced to Billie Jean. I even had a custom military jacket made for my 20th birthday party in London. He’s my guy. In 2006 when P2P clients like Limewire and Kazaa were all the rage, I managed to “acquire” some of his unreleased tracks and demos. Call On Me was one of them. It was later remastered for Motown cash-in compilation Farewell My Summer Love but the original version is perfect. This one is more of a late Sunday afternoon vibe, as the sun starts to set on a weekend and a lost love. Michael sang with all the passion of a man 4 times his age.
Stream them below.