Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Prince & The New Power Generation 'Gett Off'

Chart Peak: 4

YouTube [it's there at the time of writing!]

And again contractual complexities give us another act slightly curiously represented on the series. To be sure, this track was a huge hit (so much so that an imported remix single even went Top 40 on the album chart) but he'd already had a great many of them and with hindsight, the bulk of his best work was probably already behind him, no innudendo intended. His one other appearance in the series was with a song I've never even heard of.

OK, so we're back into sex territory here, so to speak, and even if the word itself isn't used it's another song that's slightly uncomfortable to hear on the car radio with your parents (or with your children, I presume). Indeed, this is almost the exact opposite of the Color Me Badd song; it doesn't use any ruder words than "ass" - at one point Prince even says "you ain't you-know-what" but the song and performance are rampantly sexual, if not necessarily sexy. Even if you couldn't understand the language he was singing in, and weren't familiar with Prince already, it shouldn't be too difficult to work out what he was singing about here.

What it does have in common with that song is that it's a bit ridiculous, but I think the difference is that he knew and decided to play along with it, as exemplified by the scene in the video where he wields his guitar in the style of a penis. Judging by the various other Prince tracks I've been listening to in order to write this post, it's unlikely that he didn't notice: a little like Serge Gainsbourg he clearly enjoyed being provocative (in both senses of the word) but unlike Gainsbourg he chose to play up his own sexiness. Indeed, it's hard to think of anyone else who's ever had the same combination of machismo, androgyny, irony and seriousness. It's easy to find people who wish they were Prince though.

PS - some releases of this track also give flautist Gary Leeds an artist credit. He does indeed do an excellent job on this track, but so do all the other contributors really.

Also appearing on: Now 22
Available on: The Hits/the B-Sides

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