25 Essential Prince Songs

The best of the Purple One's world-changing, genre-defying hits

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"I Would Die 4 U" (1984)

On "I Would Die 4 U," Prince tossed aside gender roles, societal standards and mankind in general – "I am not a human, I am a dove," he proclaimed – in the name of love. It didn't hurt that he swaddled his mission statement in silk, courtesy of his Revolution backing band, because the quickest way to the heart is often through the hips. Neither Revolution keyboardist Dr. Fink nor Prince could play the bass line manually, so they rigged up an interface to lock a sequencer up to the drum machine. "We did some groundbreaking technological things that day," Fink remembered.

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