149: Crucial

Unreleased (1986) / Crystal Ball (1998)
A ballsy ballad written for Prince’s uncompleted musical and considered for Sign O’ the Times before losing out to the Slow Jam Zeus, Adore. Crucial was released a decade later buried in the centre of his Crystal Ball compilation, meaning it never made the splashes it deserved but not for the want of trying. In I986 Prince kept tweaking the track, and various variations exist where Eric Leeds is on sax, Susannah is on vocals, Clare Fisher’s orchestra is overdubbed. But then his spotlight moved on, leaving us to discover it ourselves. A Roman coin hiding in shrapnel beneath the earth. This one’s just for us. The fans who dig where the weeds are overgrown.