470: Walk Don’t Walk

Diamonds and Pearls (1991)
With its Sesame Street melody, child-friendly lyrics and an open heart, this harmless track sets off on a superego-filled, buttoned-up jaunt down an unmemorable side-street. Things start to get interesting when it reaches the main road and has to fend for itself amidst revving engines, bleating horns and LL Cool J’s jeep with his boomin’ system adding to the general cacophony. The superego falls to the id encaptured in a hail of “Sha-na-na-na-na”s – a vocal hook taken from the much superior, unreleased Camille track Rebirth of the Flesh – and our walker emerges more confident, worldly and with a gait and attitude more reminiscent of the album’s earlier track Strollin’. Narratively these two tracks would have made a fitting couplet but I get the feeling that Walk Don’t Walk, along with the gospel-led Willing and Able, was used on Diamonds and Pearls to wrap the explicit lewdness of Gett Off up in a taming embrace. Two songs carrying strong positive messages of ‘being yourself’, sandwiching Prince at his most dionysian.