VINYL DIG: Prince 'Erotic City' WARNER BROS

Who knew the B-side of Let's Go Crazy would become a timeless classic

April 21, 2016

Every week, I dig through my vast record collection. Sometimes it's to discover long forgotten gems or B-sides. Other times it's to clean house and lighten the load. Here's what surfaced from the stack this week:

Record: Prince and the Revolution - 'Let's Go Crazy' 12" single backed with Erotic City - WARNER BROS

Year: 1984

Why do I have this record?

At the tail end of my time in Bellingham while studying at Western Washington University, I was avidly after 80’s vinyl, mostly singles. For the hell of it I ran an ad in the local rag asking if anybody had any sitting around they wanted to part with. A few folks responded, but one really stood out. This guy told me he’s a big collector. For instance he’ll hit up estate sales and buy the whole lot. He said he was interested in everything BUT 80’s records and had stacks he couldn’t care less about if I wanted to come dig through them. I was so stoked and cruised out to his place in Birch Bay immediately.

This guy's three-car garage resembled a record store. Packed with bins, completely organized with hardly any space to walk, I spent the day out there checking out his discards while he turned me onto all kinds of old Psych, Prog, and instrumental guitar Rock that I’d never heard of, like The Shadows. It was a glorious day and I left with about 200 7”’s and maybe a 100 12” singles. One of which happen to be this Prince record. I was already very familiar with Erotic City. I’d heard it in sets at both raves and 80’s parties alike. But it was a surprise I discovered after I got home. Stoked. 

How was this record originally received?

I really have no idea. I'm sure it was over shadowed by the Purple Rain album in the mainstream, but have no doubt it was a mainstay belter in every dance club through out the 80's. And I'm sure it influenced many that went on to produce House music. 

Has it stood the test of time?

Absolutely. Today it sounds right at home in the middle of any House set, and sets the place off during any throw back night. I played it often on my mix show at NileFM in Cairo, Egypt. But the jury is still out on whether he says 'Funk until the dawn', or, well, you know... the 'F' word. So I don't dare play it on Subtronic. I'm pretty sure Prince intended it to be ambiguous, and that's why I won't edit it to be on the safe side. He's one of few artists who's integrity I want to keep in tact by not editing. 

It's nearly impossible to find any of his music online, so here's Sheila E covering it. 

RIP Purple One.