How Prince Songs Shaped the Music Landscape: A Guide for New Fans

by Alex Harris

4th June, 2023

How Prince Songs Shaped the Music Landscape: A Guide for New Fans

Prince Rogers Nelson, known mononymously as Prince, was an enigmatic, innovative, and hugely influential artist who forever altered the music landscape. As a new fan, it’s essential to explore the multi-faceted genius of Prince and understand how his songs shaped the music industry. This comprehensive guide will delve into the various aspects of Prince’s career and highlight 10 of his most iconic songs.

Prince: The Artist, The Visionary

Prince was born on June 7, 1958, in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He released his debut album, For You, in 1978 at the age of 19, and quickly gained recognition for his high-pitched vocals, distinct falsetto, and fearless exploration of various music genres. Throughout his career, Prince fused R&B, funk, soul, and rock music, creating a unique sound that would become his signature.

Prince was a prolific musician, releasing 39 albums during his lifetime and earning numerous accolades, including seven Grammy Awards. His influence on other artists is immeasurable, with music legends like Beyonce and Bono citing him as a major inspiration.

Prince: The Multi-Instrumentalist and Studio Genius

One of the most remarkable aspects of Prince’s career was his ability to play multiple instruments. He often played the majority of the instruments on his records, showcasing his incredible talent and versatility. Prince’s innovative approach to music production pushed the boundaries of what was possible in the studio, giving his songs a distinctive sound that set them apart from other artists.

Prince: The Enigmatic Performer

Prince was known for his flamboyant, androgynous, and sensual stage presence. He captivated audiences with his provocative attire, electrifying performances, and undeniable charisma. As an artist, Prince wasn’t afraid to challenge societal norms and expectations, using his platform to promote self-expression and individuality.

Prince: The Legacy

Prince’s legacy lives on through his music, which continues to influence and inspire new generations of artists. His impact on the music landscape is undeniable, with his songs transcending boundaries and resonating with fans worldwide. In this guide, we will explore 10 of Prince’s most iconic songs and how they shaped the music landscape.

1. Purple Rain

Prince – Purple Rain (Official Video)

Arguably Prince’s most famous song, “Purple Rain” is the title track from his 1984 album and film of the same name. This emotional rock ballad features powerful vocals, evocative lyrics, and an unforgettable guitar solo. “Purple Rain” remains a timeless classic that showcases Prince’s extraordinary talent as a songwriter, musician, and performer.

2. When Doves Cry

Prince & The Revolution – When Doves Cry (Official Music Video)

Released as the lead single from his 1984 album Purple Rain, “When Doves Cry” became Prince’s first number-one hit in the United States. This genre-defying song features a unique blend of funk, rock, and pop elements, with a distinctive absence of bass guitar. “When Doves Cry” is a testament to Prince’s innovative approach to music production and his ability to create groundbreaking, genre-bending songs.

3. Kiss

Prince & The Revolution – Kiss (Official Music Video)

“Kiss” is a funky, upbeat track from Prince’s 1986 album Parade. The song’s catchy melody, minimalistic production, and falsetto vocals make it an irresistible dance number. “Kiss” demonstrates Prince’s ability to create infectious pop songs that captivate audiences and defy expectations.

4. Raspberry Beret

Prince & The Revolution – Raspberry Beret (Official Music Video)

From his 1985 album Around the World in a Day, “Raspberry Beret” is a playful, feel-good song that showcases Prince’s talent for storytelling. The song’s colorful imagery, catchy melody, and fusion of pop, rock, and psychedelic elements make it a standout track in his discography. “Raspberry Beret” highlights Prince’s versatility as a musician and his ability to effortlessly blend different music genres.

5. 1999

Prince – 1999 (Official Music Video)

As the title track of his 1982 album, “1999” is a synth-driven, dance-pop anthem that captures the energy and spirit of the 1980s. The song’s apocalyptic lyrics, infectious melody, and funky rhythm make it a memorable and enduring hit. “1999” further solidified Prince’s reputation as a trailblazer in the music industry.

6. Little Red Corvette

Prince – Little Red Corvette (Official Music Video)

“Little Red Corvette,” from his 1982 album 1999, is a seductive, guitar-driven song that showcases Prince’s skill as a storyteller and his ability to create unforgettable melodies. The song’s suggestive lyrics, catchy chorus, and blend of funk, rock, and pop elements make it a quintessential Prince track.

7. Let’s Go Crazy

Prince & The Revolution – Let’s Go Crazy (Official Music Video)

Another hit from the Purple Rain album, “Let’s Go Crazy” is an energetic rock anthem that features exuberant vocals, a catchy chorus, and an electrifying guitar solo. The song’s uplifting message and infectious energy make it a fan favorite and a testament to Prince’s ability to create anthemic, genre-defying songs.

8. Sign O’ The Times

Sign ‘O’ the Times

As the title track from his 1987 double album, “Sign O’ The Times” is a socially conscious song that addresses various issues, including drug abuse, gang violence, and the AIDS epidemic. The song’s minimalist production, thought-provoking lyrics, and Prince’s impassioned vocals make it a powerful and poignant track that highlights his versatility as an artist.

9. I Wanna Be Your Lover

Prince – I Wanna Be Your Lover (Official Music Video)

From his 1979 self-titled album, “I Wanna Be Your Lover” is a funky, disco-infused track that showcases Prince’s incredible falsetto and his ability to create irresistible dance songs. The song’s catchy melody, infectious rhythm, and sensual lyrics make it an early example of Prince’s signature sound.

10. If I Was Your Girlfriend

If I Was Your Girlfriend

As a track from his 1987 album Sign O’ The Times, “If I Was Your Girlfriend” is a provocative, gender-bending song that explores themes of love, intimacy, and jealousy. The song’s haunting melody, innovative production, and Prince’s emotive vocals make it a standout track that showcases his ability to push boundaries and challenge societal norms.


Prince’s songs have undoubtedly shaped the music landscape, leaving an indelible mark on the industry and influencing countless artists. As a new fan, exploring Prince’s vast discography is an essential and rewarding journey. From his innovative production techniques to his genre-defying sound and enigmatic stage presence, Prince’s impact on music will continue to be felt for generations to come.

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