Guest Blogger: Ernest L Sewell, IV
With the unexpected and devastating passing of our dear Prince in April of this year (oddly foreshadowed in the last line of the song “I”m going 2 another life”), the recent weeks have certainly put us Prince fans into a deeply reflective state of mind. Some have went through the 39 studio albums, the EPs, maybe even the maxi singles and B-sides. YouTube has filled up, unchallenged by NPG or Paisley Park – at least for now, with Prince videos, including the video for “Let’s Pretend We’re Married”. The video is relatively unremarkable. It’s a typical performance video. It was filmed in the same week (the last) of rehearsals for the 1999 tour, as “Automatic”, and “1999”. Prince Vault says it was the last video with Dez Dickerson in it. The video was a promo only, but played in clubs a lot at the time.
As a writer, I still feel at a loss on how to articulate how Prince’s music has truly touched my life, formed who I am as a person, and co-wrote on my very soul. Even while being damn near brain washed in an independent Baptist church growing up, Prince was there to dirty my mind back up again. Somehow, I leveled out. I’m not sure if Prince weren’t around politely excusing himself into a girl’s panties, if I’d even have the desire to write this blog entry. The balance of God and sexuality, love and lust, unabashed machismo and appreciation of the female species is part of what made Prince the man we grew to love, admire, respect, and want to know. He told Oprah, in 1996, that he wanted people to remember his music. While he had long stopped cursing seventeen years ago, he said he never doubted the journey. You remove one piece and the whole structure falls. So while we never heard Prince really sing “Let’s Pretend We’re Married” again, even he couldn’t deny that it was an integral part of all things Prince.
The b-side of “Irresistible Bitch” is a song that charted as well, alongside “Let’s Pretend We’re Married”. Both were played quite a bit on the 1999 tour, and the Purple Rain Tour, and some tours after that. A quick note about “Irresistible Bitch”. If you listen hard, you’ll hear more in the song. There is some clever backwards masking in the intro, and throughout the song. It’s wrapped around the rubbery percussion, and it’s Prince saying “I want you, I want you, irresistible bitch, oh I want you”.
We often pretended Prince was magic, or perfect, but we found out in the end he was just as flawed and human as the rest of us. However, the rest of us weren’t the physical embodiment of the definition of music itself. Prince was that. We are all waiting on the autopsy, the toxicology, and the vault. We’re waiting, tense, upset, sad, and downright angry. But through all that grief process, we can do what The Onion joked about – we can fuck, just like Prince would have wanted. Maybe for a couple of hours, or maybe for the next seven years. People thought Prince was crazy, and they’re probably right, but he was gonna have fun every motherfuckin’ night.
The B Side:
The Billboard Charts:
|Chart||Debuted||Debut Pos.||Peak Pos.||Wks on Chart|
|Hot Black Singles||1/7/84||75||55||8|
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Enjoy and get it on!