Every Tuesday, the Analog Kid blog goes back in time and features five groovy R&B/soul songs from a specific year. Warning: by R&B/soul, I also mean disco. I could go Linda Clifford on your ass at any given moment, so just be ready!


1984 was truly the year of the Purple Reign. Prince was all over the charts as a performer, producer, and songwriter, and Purple Rain was a surprise hit at the box office. The man was EVERYWHERE.

As I have confessed before, I wasn’t really a Prince fan at the time. In fact, I was pretty pissed at him for keeping “Dancing In The Dark” out of the #1 slot on the Billboard Hot 100– a position that Bruce Springsteen has still yet to reach (damn you, “When Doves Cry!”). I had come to my senses by the time Sign “☮” The Times was released in 1987, but I might have been the only person in America who wasn’t drinking the purple Kool-Aid during that summer of 1984.

Purple Rain produced four Top 10 singles during 1984, and Prince contributed to a slew of hits from other artists that year as well. Let’s listen to five groovy R&B songs from 1984, all written by the Purple One himself…

259 - Prince & The Revolution - When Doves Cry

Prince: “17 Days” (Prince)

B-side of the 12″ single When Doves Cry

Warner Brothers Records, 1984

17 Days

How does a song as good as “17 Days” end up as a b-side? That’s the genius of Prince: his flip-sides are often just as good as the a-sides. Bruce never stood a chance.


Apollonia 6

Apollonia 6: “Sex Shooter” (Prince)

From the album Apollonia 6

Warner Brothers Records, 1984

Vinyl rip courtesy of the Analog Kid

Sex Shooter

Wow, did I have to dig to find this one! If you’ve seen Purple Rain, you know the song. However, “Sex Shooter” was not included on the soundtrack and has never even been released on CD in the United States.

Prince originally wrote the song for Vanity, but Vanity 6 had dissolved by the time Purple Rain went to production so the song went to Patricia Kotero instead. She joined with the other two members of Vanity 6 and became Apollonia 6. “Sex Shooter” stalled out at #85 on the Billboard Hot 100, although it did reach #7 on the R&B chart. It took me years to find a copy of the one and only Apollonia 6 album on vinyl, and now I share it with you so that you may properly purify yourself in the waters of Lake Minnetonka. Just don’t get my seat wet.


Ice Cream Castles

The Time: “Jungle Love” (Jamie Starr (Prince)/Jesse Johnson/Morris Day)

From the album Ice Cream Castle

Warner Brothers Records, 1984

Jungle Love

Prince didn’t take credit for his work on all of the albums from The Time, but in fact he wrote and recorded most of them himself (with Morris Day adding lead vocals). The Time actually broke up before Purple Rain was released, so they didn’t get to enjoy the fame the film brought them until they reunited in 1990.


Sheila E._Singles & B-Sides

Sheila E.: “The Glamorous Life” [Single Version] (Prince)

Original version from the album The Glamorous Life

Warner Brothers Records, 1984

The Glamorous Life [Single Version]

Prince originally wrote “The Glamorous Life” for Apollonia 6, but ended up giving it to Sheila E. instead. The song went all the way to #7, and brought international attention to Sheila E. and her fantastic percussion talents. Sheila E. eventually joined Prince’s band and toured with him extensively– if you’ve never seen the concert film Sign “☮” The Times, do yourself a favor and find an old VHS copy. It is phenomenal, and Sheila E.’s drumming is one of its high points.


I Feel For You 1

Chaka Khan: “I Feel for You” (Prince)

From the album I Feel For You

Warner Brothers Records, 1984

I Feel For You

Prince first released “I Feel For You” on his second album in 1979, and Chaka Khan turned it into a #3 single in late 1984. Rapper Melle Mel contributed the memorable beginning rap, and of course that is the unmistakable Stevie Wonder on harmonica.


Bonus Tracks!

The first rule of The Analog Kid blog is that if you write about a song on the Analog Kid blog, you share the song on the Analog Kid blog.

259 - Prince & The Revolution - When Doves Cry

Prince: “When Doves Cry” [Single Version] (Prince)

Original version from the album Purple Rain

Warner Brothers Records, 1984

When Doves Cry [Single Version]


Born In The U.S.A.

Bruce Springsteen: “Dancing in The Dark” (Bruce Springsteen)

From the album Born In The USA

Columbia Records, 1984

Dancing In The Dark



Prince: “I Feel For You” (Prince)

From the album Prince

Warner Brothers Records, 1984

I Feel For You

About The Analog Kid

"I'm 5-foot-8, 123 pounds. I have, uh, brown hair, blue eyes. I enjoy surfing, backgammon and men who aren't afraid to cry."

5 responses »

  1. HERC says:

    Discovered your blog on Halloween when I looked up Zebra’s “Who’s Behind The Door?” Liked what you wrote and have been reading your posts ever since.

    As someone who had only hopped aboard Prince’s Purple (T)rain with “Little Red Corvette” and the 1999 album, I was as shocked and pleased as anyone when seemingly the whole country was won over by the music of Purple Rain.

    Prince turned out to be the perfect artist for us obsessive collectors with all sorts of variants and versions to be had. (Plus he’s small enough to fit in your pocket!)

    And all the associated artists you covered in today’s post just meant that there was more to collect.

    A few that you didn’t mention this time around that I’d recommend would be Mazarati (“100 MPH”), Jesse Johnson’s Revue (“Crazay” and “Free World”) and André Cymone (“The Dance Electric”).

  2. Thanks for the suggestions– I will check them out! I appreciate the kind words as well and am glad you are enjoying the blog.

  3. The Good Doctor Polymer Noyz says:

    Spew, you rock. I was also not on the Purple One’s bandwagon in 1984. Nope. Wasn’t. Until I saw the movie at the request of a girl who seemed as much into it as I was into her. “Prince? He’s not metal. How can he rock?” Then I saw him play, first guitar then Apollonia, I was hooked.

    Was lucky to see Prince at The Drum on that tour because my freshman dorm roommate’s date bailed so he had an extra ticket. Sheila E. opened, more than just the show, if ya know what I mean. And dig if you will this picture, Chris and I in the Brimobile, cruising suburban streets. The radio. KZEW or Q102. A song, “you can’t start a fire. . . ” A sideways glance and Wayneish head bob. “Good song.”

    Oh wee oh wee oh.

    • Why are we still awake? We have a tailgate to get to in a few hours! Dude, I am glad you are enjoying the tunes. And yes, I remember that you saw the “Purple Rain” tour, you lucky bastard!!

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