417: My Love is Forever

For You (1978)
A song steeped in seventies sheen and Stevie panache, with tantalising glimpses of the future artist peeking through the mirrorball bokeh. There’s the multi-tracked vocals and a synth solo signalling the Minneapolis Sound he would later pioneer, but it’s the electric guitar that really imprints – imprince – his mark. An unconventional addition for the genre but more candidly emotive than anything the lyrics could muster. The words were not even Prince’s. Borrowed largely from a song a former producer had written, they later resulted in litigation and an out of court settlement. But they’re the weakest element of My Love is Forever and as meaningful as the “doo doo doo”s in the refrain. Aural texture. So play the song over the sound of running taps as you pour yourself a bubble bath and write ‘DEVOTION’ in reverse writing in the bathroom mirror. It’s music to soundtrack pampering and puppy love and the feeling that there’s actually nothing conceivably terrible in this world. Innocent fun. Can you believe that only two years separate this release from the wedding-gown-ruining Head?

  • Feamelwen

    And yet, I prefer the Prince of “Head” by a large margin. Between Michael Jackson, bis biggest rival in the 80s, and him, I’ll ALWAYS prefer Prince, because of “Head”, because of “Darling Nikki”, because of a lot of things actually, but mostly it’s because (and I’m sorry if that hurts someone’s fan feelings, fan feelings are a delicate thing) Jackson’s excellent, but he’s for kids. He’s always been for kids and existed in a non-sexual world far from reality. Prince is for grown-ups. I think that if Jackson might have ever grown up, he might have become Prince. At his best, Jackson is sparkling. At worst, he’s unsufferably saccharine. While Prince can also be saccharine (it might be blasphemy and I might be alone in this, but “When 2 Are in Love” makes my non-existant balls shrivel and is to me, one of the Prince songs I hate the most), he’s mostly jagged. He’s not clean, he’s not nice. He’s sexual and has an appetite for all things in life (and his later spiritual soul searchings make perfect sense in all that). Jackson was stuck somewhere in that timid period of being on the verge of puberty (metaphorically speaking) in his whole musical career.

    Long story short, “My Love if Forever” is fine, but could have been done my anyone else. “Head” could only have been done by Prince.

    P.S. : and yet, I prefer the Beatles to the Stones. Go figure.
    P.P.S. : by the way, I haven’t commented yet, but since I’ve been in an intense and painful Prince-mania for a few months now, I really enjoy your blog, listened to your suggestions up until this song, and slowly discovered Prince’s songs and albums I was way less familiar with. Keep up the good work! I’m looking forward to commenting on futher song choices.