446: Still Waiting

Prince (1979)
The first three seconds wrong-foot you with a country feint but the song soon settles down into a traditional ballad; his first to be released as a single, sharing the honours with the raucous Bambi on the flip. Bambi also precedes this gentle giant on the lp and I feel that this overshadowing rock presence often causes Still Waiting to be overlooked. There’s a quiet subtlety and solid construction to it, which becomes more apparent if you stand it up against With You, another ballad on the album and a whole different weight class. Still Waiting is breezy and fresh but still has heft with more confidence than the jejune pining-for-a-girlfriend lyrics portray. I’ll admit that if this had been one of Prince’s latter releases, after he had learnt how to pucker and twist the format in more interesting directions, I probably wouldn’t be giving it the same kudos but Still Waiting is an important brick in Prince’s career and an example of him following rules in order to be given more license to later break them.