In terms of musical output post-1999, I would say that Parade has the weakest collection of unreleased B-sides. 1999 and Purple Rain set the standard. Check out this murderer’s row of non-album classics.
- How Come U Don’t Call Me Anymore
- Horny Toad
- Irresistible Bitch
- 17 Days
- Erotic City
- Another Lonely Christmas
Honestly, that would be a dope little LP right there. Around the World In a Day kept it going with excellent B-sides, including “Hello,” “Girl,” and one bonafide classic in “She’s Always In My Hair.” On top of that, the 12″ versions of both the A and B-sides were spectacular treasures.
Prince would release more classic B-sides for Sign o’ the Times (“La, La, La, He, He, Hee,” & “Shockadelica”), Lovesexy (“Escape,” & “Scarlet Pussy”), and Batman (“200 Balloons,” “Feel U Up,” “I Love U In Me,” and the whole-ass Scandalous Sex Suite) before the ’80s were through. The Parade-era had a few genuinely remarkable 12″ remixes of A-side singles “Kiss,” “Mountains,” and “Anotherloverholenyohead.” However, the two original B-sides, “Alexa De Paris” and “Love or $,” don’t get the same attention from P-fans, or even by their label, when Warner Bros. chose not to include either song on The Hits and B-Sides collection from 1993. Conspicuously enough, these were the only two songs from the ’80s that weren’t on the B-sides disc. “Love or $” even received a Golden Razzie award nomination for Worst Song in 1986. Oof.
But really, what the fuck do they know? All their taste is in their mouth, right? Right. “Love or $” isn’t top-tier Prince, but it is by far and away better than a lot of other movie-related dreck that was released in 1986. I’m here to celebrate the B-sides and 12″ remixes from this era, so let’s get started.
Love or $ (7″ & 12″) – As the B-side to “Kiss,” “Love or $” was going to receive the most exposure of any B-side from this era. “Kiss” was an enormous smash, and I’m sure a lot of people still buying vinyl in 1986 (were cassette singles a thing in 1986?) were familiar with this kinda simple, kinda silly, movie-related track. “If you wanna be with me now. What’s it gonna be now? Is it love or money?” It’s not a brilliant piece of songwriting, but effective in its intent, and it introduced Prince fans to Eric Leeds if you weren’t familiar with The Family project released in ’85. The extended 12″ version contains a few additional minutes filled with more horns, more Chipmunk (not Camille) Prince vocals, some boasting, some crude references to female anatomy, and mo’ funk.
Alexa De Paris (7″ & 12″) – As the only other non-album B-side from the Parade era, “Alexa De Paris” receives notice as the second instrumental song from this era, after the album track “Venus De Milo.” While the previously mentioned track is a gorgeous piano ballad, “Alexa” actually kind of, no, scratch that, definitely rocks. There’s nothing like a soaring ’80s power guitar ballad that sounds like it could have worked on the Top Gun Soundtrack.
Kiss (Extended 12″) – Prince just wants some of your extra time, approximately three and a half minutes of extra time to be precise. We get two “Kiss” songs for the price of, well, a 12″ single, and who can complain about that? Where the original 7″ single would end, we get synthesized horns, a revamped drum beat, and more attitude. Some new lyrics here seem like throwaway lines (“woman overboard, everybody on the ground,” “everybody will have short hair”). There is also a woman’s voice going on about a television showing David Letterman and how much she (i.e., Prince) doesn’t like him (“I can’t stand David Letterman, he looks like a banker”). It’s all fun and games, but the “Kiss” 12″ extended version might be the only extended version of any Prince song, ever, that I don’t prefer over the 7″ version.
Mountains (Extended 12″) – “Hey you, get out on this dance floor!” Prince calls us out for being wall-flowers on this spectacular nine-plus minute extended version of one of the most exuberant Prince jams of all time. The additional five minutes of the song is all vibe. There are no new lyrics, just a new groove, a new horn line, more synths, more fun. As probably indicated from the first line of this version, the extended “Mountains” is meant for dancing. Lyrics just get in the way. As Prince would tell us the following year, “shut up already, damn.”
Anotherloverholenyohead (Extended 12″) – “Put your foot on the rock.” Another 12″ designed to keep bodies moving on the dance floor, “ALHIYH” is the answer song for anyone that thinks Prince forgot about the funk after 1999. I don’t think the 12″ does anything that vastly improves on what is already a jam and a half. Still, it extends that jam several additional minutes, and ultimately, isn’t that what these 12″ remixes are all about?
As I mentioned in my Around the World in a Day B-sides and Remix post, many of these tracks are out of print and unavailable in an official digital format as of 2021. This could be easily rectified by putting them up on YouTube if there was no legal reason that the Prince Estate could not do so. Otherwise, it will take some sort of Parade Deluxe Edition release to get these bangers away from their ’80s obscurity and remind newer Prince fam that he had this B-side and 12″ remix game locked up.
High-Speed Dub Review: Prince’s Parade Era B-Sides and 12″ RemixesTweet