Very few artists can have an unimpeachable year; Prince almost had a perfect decade. From 1980, when he unleashed Dirty Mind, his masterpiece of funky new wave, to 1988's gorgeously dense Lovesexy, Prince Rogers Nelson put together an arguably unmatched run of musical innovation and pop culture success.
In the years since, Prince has never been less than interesting, but the hit-to-miss ratio has changed as his Purple Majesty increasingly devoted himself to his always stellar live performances. Sometimes, as with 1998's four-CD Crystal Ball collection or 1994's Come, incredible work has been tucked away on hard-to-find or obtuse albums. But even at their most confounding and indulgent, Prince's post-Eighties albums have always contained a one song or two that stands with his very best work.
You could be forgiven for not having kept up with Prince — he's released 17 studio albums since 1988 — but in advance of the impending release of his new Plectrumelectrum, you've got no excuse not to familiarize yourself with the following songs, the cream of his later-career output. By Andy Beta