150: La, La, La, He, He, Hee

Sign O’ the Times single (1987) / The Hits/The B-sides (1993)
The Hits liner notes tell us Prince wrote La, La, La, He, He, Hee after Sheila E dared him he couldn’t compose a song around this simple refrain. A bread and butter request for somebody who had already turned his bandmate’s phone number into a hit so the story always sounded suspect. And in 2012 Sheila confirmed her contribution was indeed more than providing those six syllables. She revealed La, La, La, He, He, Hee started as a song she had written about a cat teasing a dog from a tree and the chorus was suggested by her as a joke. Prince, having sensed the Atomic Dog potential in her feline/canine tale, sprinkled on a bit of p-funk dust (something he did more overtly with Scarlet Pussy later that year) added a sax solo (courtesy of Eric Leeds) and a bass solo, and the result was an 11 minute Saturday morning cartoon. Not your modern CG strobe of noise and colour – something subversive and timeless, like Looney Tunes or The Pink Panther. Although you may want to cover your kids’ ears when the licking noises start.