Is This the Best-Ever Prince Cover?

April 21 is destined to be remembered by everyone born between 1965 and 1985 like December 8 is remembered by everyone born from 1945 to 1965. That’s because just as the sudden death of one musical genius John Lennon forever stunned Baby Boomers, Prince’s passing one year ago from a drug overdose jolted Gen Xer’s, Gen Y’s…shit, who are we kidding, that shook just about everyone. Prince’s appeal and influence spanned generations and will continue to appeal and influence for generations to come.

To commemorate that sad day in April when we lost a true virtuoso rock composer, singer and instrumentalist, we offer testimony below from contributor Mark Saleski about what is quite possibly the best cover ever made of a Prince song; it couldn’t be any further from those hits “I Feel For You” and “Nothing Compares 2 U.”

Oh, and by the way, the guy responsible for this sublime interpretation? He has a wonderful new album out today.


I’ve always been a big fan of covers, especially when the artist doing the covering decides to completely reinvent the original song. A regular ‘ole tribute? Well, it takes a lot of charisma to pull that off, or at least make it interesting — Toots and the Maytals doing “Take Me Home Country Roads” is a fine example.

But a complete inversion of a song? While it might invite scorn from fans of the original, it almost always gets me smiling. Arto Lindsay presented his take on Prince’s Purple Rain B-side “Erotic City” on the album Mundo Civilizado. If you’re not paying attention (or aren’t a lyrics person), you might not actually place the song on the first listen. Lindsay does add in some percussion that hints at the song’s sonic origins, but for the most part you’ve just got this droll, blissed-out vocal and slack funk presentation that makes lines such as “we can fuck until the dawn” a laugh riot.

I dunno, this may piss off fans of the Purple One but for my money, Arto Lindsay gets into the Cool Covers Hall of Fame on the first ballot.


Alternate live version from Arto Lindsay’s ‘The Encyclopedia of Arto’:


Mark Saleski

Mark Saleski

Mark Saleski is a writer and music obsessive based out of the woods of central New Hampshire. A past contributor to Jazz.com, Blogcritics.org and Salon, he originated several of our weekly features including the Friday Morning Listen, (Cross the) Heartland, WTF! Wednesday, and Sparks Fly on E Street. Follow him on Twitter: @msaleski. Contact Something Else! at reviews@somethingelsereviews.com.
Mark Saleski
  • elson

    It’s an…okay cover. Points for artistic license. But the headline is rife with hyperbole and clickbaitedness. What also made Chaka’s and Sinead’s covers so legendary were the amazing vocal performances, which this one sorely lacks.