206: Big Fun

Exodus (1995)
“Big fun” is a phrase seldom heard in real life, but used endlessly in pop music. It’s given us Inner City and Kool & The Gang hits; Miles Davis and Shalimar albums; and is the name of at least three bands. As a euphemism it’s infantilising but in Prince’s hands, or more specifically Sonny T’s, Big Fun sounds seductively sordid. A siren song of liquidized George Clinton poured into a seven-minute come on. The track shares elements with Poom Poom and unwinds like the Crystal Ball number swollen on party vibes and grown to an adult sea serpent. P-funk tendrils coil around your hips and lure you lair-wards. Danger signals flare and you’re even warned your safety is not guaranteed but you’re too busy wrapped up in its promises of Darling Nikki’s devices to notice. Just a vague feeling persists that you should resist the insistent pull but your head can only bob affirmations to its forbidden rhythm. I doubt Barry Manilow’s Big Fun has the same effect.