362: Mutiny

The Family (1985)
Ostensibly written about the singer taking back control of his own life after a no-good relationship, Prince’s low-in-the-mix shouts out to Morris (and also Jesse in the Prince-sung original) reveal the true thrust behind the lyrics. It’s Prince’s diss-song to those who leave his retinue, particularly Morris Day as the final lines are a direct quote of his from a year previously, when a collection plate was passed around the audience during rehearsal while Morris shouted “Prince are you out there, did you give? You TOOK! Did you give!?” This comment obviously riled Prince as it’s also referenced in the preceding track High Fashion. Things between them only got worse from that point on and when Morris and Jesse jumped ship from the Time, Prince formed The Family from the wreckage. Rescued band members Jellybean, Jerome and Paul were commandeered into new roles with the latter taking charge of the ship’s helm under his new name of St Paul. So it was more Prince reshuffling his remaining deckhands than a genuine mutiny but like Old Friends 4 Sale it was a way to communicate his feeling of betrayal and became a good stick to beat deserters with. As St Paul found out himself when he later left The Family and had an irate Prince dedicating a performance of this song to “Paul, punk of the month”. Mutiny has Morris stamped all over the vocals, making it a particularly poignant missile to throw his way. But without the real deal at times it can sound like a Time pastiche. In an alternate universe a bona fide Time version of this song is rocking the high double digits of this list.