173: Sex Shooter

Apollonia 6 (1984) / Originals (2019)
For 35 years the Apollonia 6 version of Sex Shooter was the only official release (appearing on their album, a single, and in Purple Rain) but it has since been superseded by two other versions – the demo that was cleaned up and finally released in 2019, and Vanity’s unreleased version. Vanity, God rest her soul, was never a gifted singer yet is helped by having Prince’s vocals buried deep in the mix like carbon steel rebar. When she left the band, Prince replaced the overtly sexual songs from Vanity 6’s sophomore album with more sensual fare that chimed better with Apollonia’s sweeter nature. Sex Shooter (a play on a six-shooter revolver) was left in, presumably because it featured in the movie, but asking us to picture Apollonia as a dangerous, love-shooting weapon was an ask too far. In her hands it was always an awkward fit. There’s only one person that can pull Sex Shooter off. It requires the androgynous power of a female lead – Prince imploring us to kiss the gun and blow him away is too on the nose, even for him – but the track needs the devouring glint in its eye that only the original Nasty Girl can provide. Hearing it makes me yearn for that second Vanity 6 album that never was.

289: Blue Limousine

Apollonia 6 (1984)
When Prince stripped the Apollonia 6 album for parts he left two jewels remaining: Sex Shooter and this six-minute helping of dreamy pop, featuring Brenda waiting for her promiscuous date who’s currently 90-minutes late and counting. Each verse furthers the story on one minute (7:30, 7:31, 7:32…) and I could quite happily clock watch to the early hours with these Purple Rain-era synths for company. Add in Brenda and Susannah’s vocals merging into a hot updraft of Amazonian rapture and you have a lost classic on your hands. Being stood up never sounded so good. Don’t listen whilst driving though; those car-horn samples can make the road-rage rise within.