329: Sarah

The Vault… Old Friends 4 Sale (1999)
When Van Morrison wanted to see out his contract he wrote over 30 nonsense songs about ring worm and danishes. Lou Reed churned out an album of nothing but guitar feedback. And Prince submitted a short but damn fine album of leftover jazzy rock and blues that lesser mortals would go full Faust for. It may have been an anti-climax to the hyped up hordes expecting true Vault diamonds but ‘not being Moonbeam Levels‘ is a crime I can excuse. The album’s penultimate track Sarah was the most recent song recorded for the project and is three minutes of good ol’ funky, bluesy rock. Although I will concede that the lyrics are rushed at best. I’ve met at least two girls who were named directly after Bob Dylan’s Sara but I doubt this song has had the same inspiring effect on new parents. Prince’s “girl, you sho’ is looking pretty” poetry can’t compete with the baby boomer bard’s “scorpio sphinx in a calico dress”. However the music more than makes amends, featuring arguably the best line-up of the NPG having fun in the studio, under no pressure to create a platinum classic. If this was recorded as a Warner Bros kiss-off it doesn’t show. Spite can be a creative force – Morrison’s Ring Worm is freaking hilarious and Reed’s Metal Machine Trio was one of my favourite concerts of 2010 – but there seems to be no dark motives powering Sarah. Just masters of their craft kicking back and lettin’ the good times roll.