222: Power Fantastic

Unreleased (1986) / The Hits/The B-Sides (1993)
Originally a Wendy & Lisa composition called Carousel, Prince changed the lyrics and recorded Power Fantastic in one take, intending it to be used on the ill-fated Dream Factory album. Eric Leeds said the session gave him goosebumps and revealed the band all felt they had taken part in something special. You can see why. Even in recorded form, hidden on the end of a three-disc compilation, the song has a mystical quality. Sublime and fragile as the fire of life itself, its qualities are difficult to pin down. I’m sure many would feature this in their top 20 Prince songs. It certainly has the potential to get there for me, but at the moment I can only enjoy it on a cerebral level. I sense it has restorative properties beyond my ken, and – like a court reprieve or the handhold of a bystander while the paramedics arrive – it needs to be lived to be fully appreciated. But until the time comes to pull this particular bottle of tonic down from the shelf, it’s good to know it’s there waiting – its essence in reserve like a tree in winter.