334: Extraloveable

Unreleased (1982) / Internet download (2011) / HITnRUN Phase Two (2015)
During your first listen to the original, unreleased recording of Extraloveable you think you’ve got the pop song sussed. With its cutesy title and “ooh-ooh!”s it’s a skip through a bubblegum meadow of bath-obsessed, lustful desire. Sweetly persistent but not as unhinged as Possessed or Delirious. Then six minutes in, with scant warning, a harsh synth chord poisons the atmosphere and the sexual monomania gets ramped up into sinister rape threats. It’s a truly shocking moment. This isn’t pop’s normal background-hum level of misogyny, it’s a sudden radiation blast and there’s no wonder it wasn’t unleashed on the paying public. Extraloveable was considered for the Vanity 6 project and a refined version committing the slightly more tolerable sin of misandry would certainly have been a better choice than He’s So Dull. Instead Prince sat on the song for three decades until it was pulled from the vault and cleaned in chlorine for it’s debut release in 2011. Rape reference redacted. The dark denouement now replaced by rapped pet-names, suds and giggles – a rose tattoo over an embarrassing scar. A version pumped full of horns and named Xtraloveable Reloaded was also released which eventually found its way onto his final album but if you listen closely to all these re-recordings you can still hear the blackened and bewitching heart of the original beating away.