Produced, Arranged, Composed and Performed by Prince
While he’d released four previous sets, this is the one that marked the beginning of his arrival. He finally got the sound down and started to take over the world. The Revolution had clearly began. The four sides could have been cut down to two but even as it sits, it should be listened to as a whole. While the entire first side has shown up on compilations, lesser-known gems such as “Lady Cab Driver” are also essential. On that cut especially, several of his many influences can clearly be heard: Sly Stone, Quincy Jones, Herbie Hancock, and Jimi Hendrix. Prince’s sound certainly didn’t come out of nowhere, but he brought the influences together and made the thing his own.
(author of Kalamazoo: Growing Up Sideways in the 1970s)