202: Annie Christian

Controversy (1981)
Bladerunner was still in production when this four-minute window into a neo-noir, dystopian world was set upon the world. A succession of events from the turn of the 80s are blamed on Annie Christian, the Anti-Christ. The Atlanta murders, John Lennon’s assassination, Reagan’s shooting, the Abscam political corruption scandal all get ticked off but if the references have dated, the techno-vibe sure hasn’t. Unlike later songs with an anti-gun message (Love Sign, Baltimore), Annie Christian isn’t coached in cosy, warm tidings. It’s cold, hypnotic, leftfield and weirdly, weirdly captivating. Like a proto-Sign o’ the Times where hurricane Annie has ripped the roof off civilisation and exposed all the bleakness inside. I’m not sure what Prince means by the line “I’ll live my life in taxicabs”. It could be a reference to living a stationless, rootless existence, but maybe it’s answered in the next album when he asks his lady cab driver to “drive this demon out of me”.