Ranking Prince’s American top forty singles

So immense is the shadow of his biggest eighties hits that Prince’s smaller ones strike a defiant pose. I don’t need to hear the curious rock star posing of “Let’s Go Crazy,” which never stirred my veins, when “I Wanna Be Your Lover” and, better, “Mountains” exist. Studying this list, I realized his singles didn’t much excite me beyond John the Bapitzers for their parent albums. Even so, I counted only terrible single during this most amazing of runs, and if the most meh conglomerate comes from the Batman soundtrack, then consider this: I prefer that album’s tracks (“The Future,” “Electric Chair”).

The Hague

My Name is Prince


Gett Off
I Hate U
The Most Beautiful Girl in the World
The Arms of Orion

Sound, Solid Entertainments

I Would Die 4 U
Alphabet St.
Take Me With U
Pop Life
Thieves in the Temple
Sign ‘o the Times
Money Don’t Matter 2 Night

Good to Great

I Wanna Be Your Lover
Little Red Corvette
When Doves Cry
I Can Never Take the Place of Your Man
U Got the Look
Purple Rain
Raspberry Beret
Let’s Go Crazy

One thought on “Ranking Prince’s American top forty singles

  1. I Would Die 4 U
    Alphabet St.
    Take Me With U
    Pop Life
    Sign ‘o the Times

    I’d move those to the upper group. No single released reaching top 10 between Dirty Mind and Sign O the Times was less than “good”. And every other artist would have killed for any of those. And the latter title track is the sound of Prince describing contemporary malaises on his own terms. I have actual eargasm with the frenzy synths and bass combo of “I would Die 4 U”, every freaking time.I could write an essay on the rest, too.”Cream”, the best single off the blander Diamonds and Pearls is Prince being nasty for the last time (although more elegant than, say, “Head”) before his religiosity/mysticism took over.

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