Album Remarks & Appraisals:
Out of print in the U.S.! Putting together a single-disc compilation from Prince must have been a tough task, but whoever put this together did a great job. 17 of the R&B/Pop icon's best including 'When Doves Cry', 'Little Red Corvette', 'Kiss', 'I Would Die For You' and many others. For the full and part-time fan, this is like a trip down memory lane, but for the beginner, this is the best path to take. Warner.
The Very Best of Prince is a best of compilation album by Prince, released in 2001. It contains most of his commercially successful singles in their radio edits from 1979-1991, including the U.S. #1's "Let's Go Crazy", "When Doves Cry", "Kiss" and "Cream".
The collection does not include the US #1 hit "Batdance", most likely due to licensing of the character Batman, Allmusic supposes that Batman album is being unofficially written out of his discography.
"Perhaps "Prince" isn't strong enough a word-"King" might better describe his impact on music and culture. No one took R&B into the latter part of the century like this inimitable megastar. With each album, Prince blurred boundaries and ventured into musical territories that other urban artists only hinted at, all the while chalking up hits and critical acclaim. Combining funky R&B with psychedelic pop and sensual balladry, Prince not only created a mind-bending, booty-shaking musical experience, he emerged as a postmodern personification of artistry and showmanship. Quite frankly, it's hard to argue that Prince is anything other than tha bomb!
Now presenting the ultimate single-volume Prince collection. From the early single "I Wanna Be Your Lover," through the stellar heights of 1999, Purple Rain, and Sign O' The Times, and into the latter-period excursions of Lovesexy, Graffiti Bridge, and Diamonds And Pearls, Prince's far-reaching reign of genius and versatility is showcased like never before." - WarnerBros
Q (9/01, p.133) - 4 stars out of 5 - "...He really was the exciting new face of popular music....The hits that transformed Prince into a superstar to rival Michael Jackson remain some of the most thrilling in pop history..."
Personnel: Prince (vocals, various instruments); Wendy, Dez Dickerson (vocals, guitar); Bonnie Boyer (vocals, Hammond organ); Rosie Gaines (vocals, organ); Lisa Coleman (vocals, keyboards); Sheila E. (vocals, drums, percussion); Sheena Easton, Camille, Tony M. (vocals); Levi Seacer Jr. (guitar, bass, background vocals); Miko (guitar, background vocals); Eric Leeds (flute, horns, background vocals); Atlanta Bliss (horns); Matt Fink (keyboards, background vocals); Tommy Barbarella (keyboards); Brown Mark, Sonny T. (bass, background vocals); Bobby Z., Michael B. (drums, percussion); Kirk Johnson, Damon Dickson (percussion, background vocals); Mayte, Mazarati (background vocals).
Engineers include: Gary Brandt, Peggy McCreary, David Leonard.
Compilation producer: Gregg Geller.
Digitally remastered by Keith Blake.
Recording information: 1st Avenue; Alpha Studios, Burbank, CA; Paisley park; Record Plant, NY; Sunset sound; The Warehouse; UpTown.
Considerably more streamlined than previous compilations THE HITS 1 and THE HITS 2, the 17 songs that make up THE VERY BEST OF PRINCE offer a nice tour through the Purple One's chart successes for Warner Brothers from 1978 to 1993. Mixed in among chart toppers like the quirky "When Doves Cry," Hendrix-fueled mania of "Let's Go Crazy" and stripped-down funk of "Kiss" are enough brilliant moments to make you wish the guy had focused more on music and less on the identity shifts that characterized most of the '90s.
Starting with the 1979 #1 "I Wanna Be Your Lover," Prince's pop sensibilities and inquisitive nature have found him cleverly bouncing back and forth between the twin poles of sex and spirituality. Whether it's the runaway pledge of faith found in "I Would Die 4 U," sly lasciviousness of "Gett Off" or battle-of-the-sexes throw-down with Sheena Easton on "U Got The Look," this Minneapolis native's way with a hook makes more of an impression in retrospect than his ability to shock. Other highlights include the millennial jam "1999," chilling view of the world "Sign O' The Times," gorgeous "Diamonds And Pearls" and irresistible "Alphabet Street."