96: Take Me With U

Purple Rain (1984)
We finally get to Purple Rain – the only album residing wholly in this list’s top 100. Take Me With U was the album’s final single and the film’s romantic duet between the lead and love interest during the most memorable scene in the film, but its upbringing could have been very different. Initially, it was the opening track on Apollonia 6 before Prince stripped the album of potential hits (Manic Monday and G-Spot were also removed). With unabashed pop swagger and a suggestive wink, it would have fitted in well, easily becoming the stand out track. But who would have heard it? Getting the call up to return us to earth after Let’s Go Crazy’s stratospheric “take me away” scream and to lighten the mood before the ultimatums start in The Beautiful Ones is one hell of a promotion. Luckily Take Me With U has an ace up her sleeve: two drum fills that hit you like the pounding of your heart. These bookend the track, cocooning the soft and fluffy pop in a hard, protective layer that no cynicism can penetrate. We’re safe inside. This is our happy place. And when the concert lights get turned on full beam for this song’s duration we can all gaze into one anothers’ eyes and know that for two minutes and 57 seconds, the world is perfect.