Prince - More Than a Symbol (Pt. 5)

In previous entries, the focus was predominantly on the legal and business obstacles Prince encountered or raised during his fruitful but tumultuous tenure at Warner Brothers Records (1978-1996 - spanning 18 studio records).  In this part, the focus will shift slightly to Prince's writings and publishing.  Although prolific in his own right for writing and recording much of his own material, Prince was also a bit generous with his writings, offering these songs to others when appropriate. In the past several days, there have been a handful of articles published identifying songs that many folks may not have known were penned (at least in part) by Prince.  One of the more famous examples is The Bangles' hit single "Manic Monday" that is officially credited to Christopher (one of Prince's many pseudonyms).  "Manic Monday" peaked at #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 Singles Chart, and denied the top spot by (wait for it) - Prince's "Kiss" (from the album Parade).  However, two other Prince-penned songs achieved similar chart success and acclaim: Chaka Khan's re-recording of "I Feel For You" (originally recorded by Prince in 1979); and Sinead O'Connor's "Nothing Compares 2 U" (originally recorded by Prince-produced funk band The Family, and later recorded live by Prince with Rosie Gaines).  O'Connor's "Nothing" topped the Billboard Hot 100 for four weeks ("I Feel For You" peaked at #3).

Other notably successful songs/singles written in whole or in part by Prince include a song recorded by The Kid's nemesis from the film "Purple Rain" - Morris Day and the Time's "Jungle Love" (and the memorable dance from the video), as well as Sheila E.'s "The Glamorous Life" and "A Love Bizarre" (and keeping with the Prince-influenced alternate spelling).  In fact, Prince provided vocals to "A Love Bizarre" though the song was not officially pressed or marketed as a true duet between the two.  Prince also wrote "Sugar Walls" (recorded by Sheena Easton), someone he would later join for a duet on "Arms of Orion" from the "Batman Soundtrack".  Prince also wrote "Love . . . They Will Be Done" that was recorded by former child-actor Martika.  And, Prince contributed a synth part to Stevie Nicks' "Stand Back" (which was inspired by Prince's "Little Red Corvette".

Because Prince owned publishing rights in these songs, many of them he owned out-right as the sole writer, he also reaped additional financial reward through the publishing royalties monitored by the performing rights organizations (PROs - such as ASCAP or BMI).  Quite often, publishing royalties form a lucrative part of the musicians arsenal, esp. as hit songs continue to resonate with future generations and become subject to reuse in advertising and film.