On episode 162 of the Press Rewind – Prince Lyrics Podcast, I am joined by Jack Riedy to discuss the overall themes of the 1999 and Purple Rain era vault track “Possessed,” as well as the subtle but important performance, musical and lyrical differences between the ’82 and ’84 versions.
“Free me from this spell; I’m much too young to die.”
Whether you prefer the slower, less frantic version of “Possessed” from 1982 or the faster, more demented version from 1984, there is no denying this song’s place in the overall Prince story. Part of that is its inclusion as background music played at First Avenue in a scene from the film Purple Rain. Another part was Prince’s decision to sometimes incorporate this unreleased song in setlists during the Purple Rain tour, most notably the Syracuse, NY show in March of 1985. While that version is still funky and includes an excellent horn section to accompany it, my money is on the ’84 studio version. It’s crazy, demented, and angry. Being possessed by another person seems to be driving the song’s narrator quite mad. We’re the beneficiaries of this madness.
The goal of each episode of Press Rewind is to:
- Take a track by track look at the lyrical content of Prince’s discography
- Discuss my own interpretation of each song’s lyrics along with any guest I may have
- If submitted, discuss listener’s interpretations of each song’s lyrics
Thank you for joining me on this journey through Prince’s catalog!