469: Broken

Unreleased (1981)
Sounding more at home at a Jools Holland Hootenanny than a Glam Slam nightclub, this boogie-woogie piano ditty swings along at a rockabilly pace. A young Prince showing off his chops and rock’n’roll smarts. The lyrics are typical of his early career – he’s alone and heartbroken – but unlike, say, Gotta Broken Heart Again or So Blue they’re so at odds with the underlying, uptempo music that the effect is an enjoyable cognitive dissonance, much like Nina Simone’s Go To Hell. It reminds me of when your mind wanders whilst reading a book. Your thoughts and the story travel to different destinations on the same tracks. Later that year he wrote Jack U Off in a similar style which consigned the less subversive Broken to the back of the vault.