The Time, "Jerk Out" (1990)
Hot 100 Chart Position: Number Nine
Like so much of Prince's work with the Time, "Jerk Out" has a complicated and perhaps unknowable history. The song is officially credited to the Time, but Jimmy Jam has said that he, bassist Jesse Johnson, keyboardist Terry Lewis and Prince wrote the song. "Back in those days, Prince would come in with a lot of the ideas… and then we'd flesh them out," Jimmy Jam told Billboard. "It was always like a jam session. 'Jerk Out' was written like that. It was a drum machine groove that we filled in." Written sometime in the early Eighties, "Jerk Out" finally appeared as the first single on the Time's 1990 reunion, Pandemonium, and delighted their fans with its vintage Minneapolis funk swing. However, the comeback also coincided with Prince's film disaster Graffiti Bridge, and when the Time appeared on BET's Video Soul that year, they seemed to mock the entire fiasco. Decades later, when group members reunited for a critically acclaimed 2012 album and tour, the Purple One legally kept the funk juggernaut from using the Time name, so they were forced to call themselves the Original 7ven. "I think he feels like he's a member of the group because he was the architect of those earlier records," Jam said. However, he added, "As the Time or the Original 7ven, we can't make a record without Prince's influence… In a way, we feel like we're his kids."