394: Make it Through the Storm

Unreleased (1976)
The thing I love most about Prince’s music is that his tendrils delve into all genres and styles, subverting and recreating along the way and pushing things in interesting and never before heard directions. The variety is what makes a list like this possible. No sane person could ever write a 500 or even a 100 Greatest Ramones Songs for example. Sometimes though, especially early on, Prince would create just a perfect pop song with no peculiar features, boundary pushing or experimentation. Unchallenging, expertly crafted, Vaseline-lensed, radio-friendly pop. Make it Through the Storm is such a song. One of his earliest but sung in a lower voice than his usual For You falsetto. The lyrics tread familiar water – the protagonist pleading a deserting love to stay, because, you know, warmth! They weren’t even written by Prince but obviously made an impression as the imagery would repeatedly echo over his career. The Max and Grafitti Bridge also describe a “cold, cold world” and the phrase “a world so cold” is found in both When Doves Cry and The Holy River. The storm regularly crops up too, but in The Cross and Thunder the love that now sees him through the “black day, stormy night” is one for Jesus. Prince must be the only person that has ever made Christian Rock seem cool.

  • Feamelwen

    You’re so right about the Christian rock thing! I’d say another artist with both deeply sexual AND spiritual lyrics would be Leonard Cohen, but more in a dirty old man way than in Prince’s young (mostly) clean-shaven rock god way.