434: The Most Beautiful Girl in the World

The Gold Experience (1995)
There’s a wealth of elaborate wrapping surrounding this song. Multiple releases, remixes and covers. An EP. A TV Movie. The Most Beautiful Boy in the World. The Shoop-influenced Staxowax. The Crystal Ball track 2morrow. It obviously meant a lot to Prince being the first release under his unpronounceable moniker. Warner Bros allowed him to independently release it, hoping a flop would show how indispensable they were. Oops! Worldwide hit. And the beginning of the end of their working relationship. Buried under the layers of flutestramentals and bilingual covers is the sugared artichoke heart of the original. An apocalyptic love-song, bursting with literal sound effects and featuring both his piercingest, glassware-troubling falsetto and deepest baritone. Being his first and only number one in the UK it’s often the song that non-Prince fans associate with him. As if a fraction of his light can be contained within the bars of a single hit. I always want to take their hand and lead them on a merry dance through the many-splendoured, winding streets of his kaleidoscopic back catalogue. Or dependent on mood, just shake them by their shoulders and scream in their poor, deprived faces “HE’S SO MUCH MORE THAN THAT!” 433 songs more in fact. But regardless of its towering mainstream appeal and underneath the surface gloss, TMBGITW is a heavyweight ballad which, much like the Angel of the North, has foundations deeper than it is high. A song to birth Goddesses to.