Have A Good Cry With Prince’s Most Electrifying Live Covers
Prince’s impact on the musical landscape holds no bounds. Without him, the sounds that bless our ears today may not exist, and the careers of our favorite contemporary artists simply wouldn’t be the same. He made music that captured the deep depths of our cold hearts, influencing the records we listen to today in the process. Simply put, he created some of the greatest art of our time.
It takes a great artist to recognize another great artist, and Prince never failed to pay tribute to other works. Along with recording duets and performing with some of his fellow legends, including Madonna, MJ, and Beyoncé, Prince often made his love for great songs known by putting his own spin on them. And they always chilled us to the bone just like his own records do. To commemorate his passion for music, let’s reminisce on some of his greatest covers.
Radiohead’s “Creep” at Coachella 2008
As with most of his own music catalog, Prince’s rendition of Radiohead’s “Creep,” performed at Coachella back when it was still cool, wiped off the face of the Internet. But Thom Yorke objected, and for good reason: this cover is spine-tingling good. Prince hits every gritty low and unbelievably high note with ease, while performing with just the right amount of seduction and emotion. He makes it look absolutely effortless. And now that Prince finally gave his blessing for the recording to live on YouTube last year, over eight years after the performance, we can now get chills from it without guilt. Watch on, Frank Ocean and fellow Prince stans.
The Beatles’ “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
Prince’s legendary guitar solo during his 2004 performance with Tom Petty, Steve Winwood, Jeff Lynne, and other rock artists almost didn’t happen. George Harrison’s widow, Olivia, did not want Prince to participate, because he did not know the Beatles member — or the song — personally, but Hall of Fame organizers coerced her into letting him play. And thank God they did. Prince doesn’t even have to sing to give us goosebumps. Just one long, dedicated guitar solo and we melt in the palm of his hands. He even tried to get off stage and go into the crowd, but security was way too quick to respond. Way to ruin the moment, man!
Michael Jackson’s “Don’t Stop Till You Get Enough” at The Forum in L.A.
Despite their well-known rivalry and infamous ping-pong tournament, it seems that the two legends had nothing but respect for each other at the end of the day. And Prince made this known when he took on the King of Pop’s incredible track during a show on his 21 Night Stand in different venues in Los Angeles. The King of Funk lead his backing band through a faithful cover of the iconic hit before seamlessly transitioning into his own song, “Cool.” He also performed the cover on an episode of Jimmy Kimmel Live, but those videos are nowhere to be found, because this is Prince we’re talking about. At least we have this recording from The Forum to keep us jamming. While crying.
Joni Mitchell’s “A Case of You” at literally everywhere he performed
Prince was undeniably one of our heroes, but one of the great artists that inspired him was folk songstress Joni Mitchell. Mitchell recounted the story of a little 15-year-old Prince sitting front row at one of her shows to New York Magazine, and it’s just as charmingly Prince as you would hope. The show obviously had a big impact on the legend, as one of his most well-known covers is his passionate rendition of “A Case of You,” or in his language, “A Case of U.” He performed the song multiple times throughout his career, including at his last Piano and a Microphone shows. He also released it for his 2002 album, One Nite Alone…, which is the only recording of the cover you will find on the webz, so enjoy it below.
David Bowie’s “Heroes” at Piano and a Microphone
In the months leading up to his death, Prince embarked on a different kind of tour that redefined the concept of up close and personal: he hit the stage at intimate venues with just a piano and his glorious voice projected on a microphone. He performed piano versions of his classic hits, and at what would be his final show in Atlanta, he treated the crowd to a rendition of the late and great David Bowie’s “Heroes.” It was, of course, utterly brilliant, gracefully paying tribute to his comrade while adding the perfect amount of Prince flair. Now, the cover is even more poignant, knowing that The Purple One has joined Ziggy Stardust in the skies above.
Image via Deadline
Stay tuned to Milk for more of the Purple One.