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Thread started 10/11/18 11:25am

ChrisLacy1990

Appreciation Thread: “Anna Stesia”


As if hands clenched, eyes closed, praying, Prince brings us into his spiritual orbit like never before in “Anna Stesia”: “Have you ever been so lonely that you felt like you were the only one in this world? / Have you ever wanted to play with someone so much; you’d take anyone, boy or girl?”

Soft piano chords, booming drums, ghostly synths, and heavy metal guitar licks congregate while Prince confesses to God—“Save me, Jesus, I’ve been a fool / How could I forget that you are the rule?”—before raising his arms high in praise: “Love is God, God is love / Girls and boys love God above.”

Although it hasn’t appeared on any box-set compilations, “Anna Stesia” continues to uplift and empower people who struggle to find their place in the dark and violent world we inhabit.

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Reply #1 posted 10/11/18 1:01pm

NorthC

"The Lovesexy tour was hard. I was reliving that metamorphosis every night." I can't remember where, but this was something Prince said in the early 90s. And that's probably why he hasn't played it very much since then. And it wasn't a single ("God is love" isn't, wasn't and won't make it to #1), so it won't be on any greatest hits compilation, but it's a powerful song. And that's for sure.
I may disagree with everything you say, but I will defend your right to say it.
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Reply #2 posted 10/11/18 1:40pm

peggyon

NorthC said:

"The Lovesexy tour was hard. I was reliving that metamorphosis every night." I can't remember where, but this was something Prince said in the early 90s. And that's probably why he hasn't played it very much since then. And it wasn't a single ("God is love" isn't, wasn't and won't make it to #1), so it won't be on any greatest hits compilation, but it's a powerful song. And that's for sure.

Yes, beautiful and powerful, in my top 5

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Reply #3 posted 10/11/18 2:19pm

LovesexyIsThe1

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Anna Stesia is the greatest song ever written and recorded by anyone. It just happened to come through Prince.

I love the look on people's faces when they just assume since I am a Prince fan, that Purple Rain is my favorite Prince song. I'm like, nope... Anna Stesia! Hands down my favorite Prince song since 1988!! Then I get the deer in headlights stare as they usually have never heard of the song Anna Stesia.

Although I do appreciate the song Pruple Rain, I doubt it would crack my top 50 or even 100 favorite Prince songs. LOL.


[Edited 10/11/18 14:20pm]

Lovesexy Funkateer
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Reply #4 posted 10/11/18 2:25pm

gandorb

I have always loved Anna Stesia. Such an original and emotionally impactful song. It made a great ending to the One NIght Alone concerts.

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Reply #5 posted 10/11/18 2:47pm

peggyon

I think I heard it was Prince's mother's favorite song

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Reply #6 posted 10/11/18 4:53pm

donnyenglish

I named my daughter after the song. She is 25 now.
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Reply #7 posted 10/11/18 8:34pm

RJP1205

One of my favorites.
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Reply #8 posted 10/12/18 3:36am

thisisreece

This song is certainly a contender for Prince's best song. It's up there in that elite club with If I was Your Girlfriend, The Ballad of Dorothy Parker, When Doves Cry, Joy in Repetition, Power Fantastic, etc.

It is such a powerful song. It crescendos and explodes majestically. The screeching guitars, the brooding bassline, the piercing keys, and Prince's incredible use of his voice, at times searching, screeching, yearning... The song blows my mind, no matter how many times I have heard it before. Prince at the absolute peak of his powers and perhaps the best evidence of Prince's talent as a composer/arranger.


However, I've always thought the song began at 15:43 on the single-track Lovesexy, not at 16:32 when the lone beat begins. I think the song is even more powerful with the pseudo-classical segment at the start.

Hundalasiliah!
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Reply #9 posted 10/12/18 8:47am

donnyenglish

I put Anna Stesia in the same category of Last December, Way Back Home/affirmation and Holy River. Very profound and introspective songs. In fact, my favorite Prince songs are 1. Way Back Home; 2. Last December, 3. Anna Stesia and 4. Holy River.

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Reply #10 posted 10/12/18 7:33pm

peggyon

donnyenglish said:

I put Anna Stesia in the same category of Last December, Way Back Home/affirmation and Holy River. Very profound and introspective songs. In fact, my favorite Prince songs are 1. Way Back Home; 2. Last December, 3. Anna Stesia and 4. Holy River.

Yes

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Reply #11 posted 10/13/18 1:33pm

bonatoc

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peggyon said:

donnyenglish said:

I put Anna Stesia in the same category of Last December, Way Back Home/affirmation and Holy River. Very profound and introspective songs. In fact, my favorite Prince songs are 1. Way Back Home; 2. Last December, 3. Anna Stesia and 4. Holy River.

Yes


I would throw in "Welcome 2 The Dawn" for good measure.
and "Love Thy Will Be Done". But then there's "God (vocal)" and "The Cross". Heck, even stuff like "What's My Name?" is introspective as hell. There are days when "Gold" strikes just like it should.
It's not that short a list, if you pull the string. What about "The Ladder"?

Back on topic, you have to love Prince using the Roland D-50 piano.
It doesn't sound like a true piano at all. It's all dead, a dead piano, devoid of resonance, chillingly digital, and that's spot on.
I'm still riveted by the Blue Angel moaning in the background after all these years.
A glow of light near the end, there seems to be some hope but no, it falls back in minor, the dead piano wins.
But that was Side A. But now I think about it, Side B closes the album in even worse a mood.

There's this millenial anguish that makes Lovesexy everything but a peace and love manifesto.
"Koo Koo", "The World Is High", "Escape", "Dance On",
the outside world looks like a pretty bleak place to Prince in '88.




[Edited 10/13/18 13:40pm]

The Colors R brighter, the Bond is much tighter
No Child's a failure
Until the Blue Sailboat sails him away from his dreams
Don't Ever Lose, Don't Ever Lose
Don't Ever Lose Your Dreams
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Reply #12 posted 10/13/18 3:54pm

jcurley

I love this song but technically its not "introspective" in terms of spirituality. Its the basic concepts of what drives a lot of people to religion and ensuing guilt. It doesn't give us a huge insight into Prince unless that he's quite typical
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Reply #13 posted 10/14/18 5:09pm

bluefish

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thisisreece said:

This song is certainly a contender for Prince's best song. It's up there in that elite club with If I was Your Girlfriend, The Ballad of Dorothy Parker, When Doves Cry, Joy in Repetition, Power Fantastic, etc.

It is such a powerful song. It crescendos and explodes majestically. The screeching guitars, the brooding bassline, the piercing keys, and Prince's incredible use of his voice, at times searching, screeching, yearning... The song blows my mind, no matter how many times I have heard it before. Prince at the absolute peak of his powers and perhaps the best evidence of Prince's talent as a composer/arranger.


However, I've always thought the song began at 15:43 on the single-track Lovesexy, not at 16:32 when the lone beat begins. I think the song is even more powerful with the pseudo-classical segment at the start.


That's actually the outro to "Glam Slam." "Anna Stesia" begins with the piano keys.

The song is in my Top 5 Prince favorites. love

‎PRINCE: 1958 - infinity
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Reply #14 posted 10/14/18 5:33pm

206Michelle

Have you ever been so lonely
That you felt like you were the
Only one in this world?

Have you ever wanted to play
With someone so much you'd take
Any one boy or girl?

Anna Stesia come to me
Talk to me, ravish me
Liberate my mind
Tell me what you think of me
Praise me, craze me
Out this space and time

Between white and black, night and day
Black night seemed like the only way
So I danced

Music late, nothing great (Music late, nothing great)
No way to differentiate (No way to differentiate)
I took a chance

Gregory looks just like a ghost
And then a beautiful girl the most
Wets her lips to say

"We could live for a little while
If you could just learn to smile
You and I could fly away, fly away"

Anna Stesia come to me
Talk to me, ravish me
Liberate my mind
Tell me what you think of me
Praise me, craze me
Out this space and time

Maybe, maybe, maybe I could learn to love
I mean the right way, I mean the only way
Perhaps you could show me, baby (show me, baby)
Anna Stesia come to me
Talk to me, ravish me
Liberate my mind

Maybe, maybe, maybe I could learn to love
If I was just closer to somethin' (closer)
Closer to your higher self
I don't know
Closer to heaven (Maybe) closer to God (closer to God)

Save me Jesus, I've been a fool
How could I forget that you are the rule
You are my God, I am Your child
From now on, for you I shall be wild
I shall be quick I shall be strong
I'll tell Your story, no matter how long (no matter how, no matter)

We're just a play in Your master plan
Now, my Lord I understand

Love is God, God is love, girls and boys love God above

Songwriters: Prince Rogers Nelson
Anna Stesia lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

Live 4 Love ~ Love is God, God is love, Girls and boys love God above
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Reply #15 posted 10/14/18 5:40pm

206Michelle

"Anna Stesia" is among my top five Prince songs. Profound lyrics, beautiful piano, exquisite electric guitar, passionate vocals...the song is pure genius.

Live 4 Love ~ Love is God, God is love, Girls and boys love God above
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Reply #16 posted 10/14/18 7:17pm

peggyon

I know there have a multitude of discussions about this, but was this song somehow related to his troubling experience with Exstacy and the following insights?

Who is Anna Stesia? God?

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Reply #17 posted 10/14/18 8:59pm

206Michelle

"Anna Stesia" appears to wordplay on the word anaesthesia and the name Anastasia, which means "resurrection".

.......

Previous threads:

Let's talk about Anna Stesia

Link: http://prince.org/msg/7/70044

.

"anna stesia = anastasia (greek meaning "resurrection") ?
it certainly would hold up considering the re-birth motif of the lovesexy album and tour. prince is nude on the cover, just like being born.
the meaing of this song based on the lyrics alone is still kind of murky, IMO (who is gregory? interestingly, his and mayte's child was named gregory). i always saw it as a struggle between the desires of the flesh and that of a higher calling, something prince has addressed regularly in some way or another.
the song's coda of "love is god/god is love" is powerful, both musically and thematically. that is a strong statement to make, and it is straight out of the new testament (see 1 john 4:16). prince's use of anna stesia so prominently on several of the ONA tour dates says to me that it is a message he thinks we need to hear. we, his fans, may not agree on who or what god is. that would be the ideal. but at least all of us at his shows or listening to the CDs can agree on the excellence of the music, and come together in that, if in no other way. prince understands this, i believe."

.......

The meaning of Anna Stesia has been staring at us all in the face . Anna Stesia = Anaesthesia.

Link: http://prince.org/msg/7/384540

.

TheFreakerFantastic, Reply #1:

"Anna Stesia, always felt it was an 'interesting' name for a song. I was then humming it to myself and then suddenly it dawned on me that 'Anna Stesia' is personification of the word 'Anaesthesia', meaning pain-relief/numbness. It felt like a revelation, like it's been staring at all of us fans in the face yet we didn't see it. Suddenly it clicked, If in doubt, say anaesthesia it quickly, sounds like 'Anna Stesia'.

It all seems to make sense...this song is commonly thought to refer to drug use, but I also believe it deals with sexual experimentation ' Have you ever wanted to play with someone so much, you'd take anyone, boy or girl'...'Music late, nothing great, no way to differentiate...I took a chance..Gregory looks just like a ghost and then a beautiful girl the most'...

and about using sex or drugs in order to numb the pain.

Anaesthesia is like a numbing of the pain and this is exactly what Prince is looking for in this song before discovering that he's been going the wrong way about it and discovers that only God's love is the answer 'Sorry Jesus I've been a fool, how could I forget that you are the rule'....

'Love is God, God is love. Girls and boys love God above'

Maybe some others of you have noticed this but I haven't seen this ever discussed before even in his biogs...makes you realise even more what an intelligent enigma Prince is..."

.......

I really don't get Anna Stesia can someone explain it?

Link: http://prince.org/msg/7/349739

.

Pokeno4Money, Reply #11:

"Anastasia is the female form of the Greek name meaning resurrection, which is what this song is about - Prince's resurrection from the "sins and darkness" of the Black Album period and his re-dedication to God, which basically the entire Lovesexy album is all about."

.


Live 4 Love ~ Love is God, God is love, Girls and boys love God above
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Reply #18 posted 10/15/18 4:17am

bonatoc

avatar

206Michelle said:

The meaning of Anna Stesia has been staring at us all in the face . Anna Stesia = Anaesthesia.

Link: http://prince.org/msg/7/384540

.

TheFreakerFantastic, Reply #1:

"Anna Stesia, always felt it was an 'interesting' name for a song. I was then humming it to myself and then suddenly it dawned on me that 'Anna Stesia' is personification of the word 'Anaesthesia', meaning pain-relief/numbness. It felt like a revelation, like it's been staring at all of us fans in the face yet we didn't see it. Suddenly it clicked, If in doubt, say anaesthesia it quickly, sounds like 'Anna Stesia'.



To european fans who speak a latin-based language,
the root of the word was pretty obvious right from the start.
It's cool to experience a delayed revelation nonetheless.
Feels like you're solving an enigma.

It's Prince's ultimate "don't do drugs" song,
or rather "don't go look for God in drugs". Prince says he's been in a pretty bad place lately.
His "so I danced" is all dead, like the riff that underlines it. Even being Prince has become an habit to Prince,
and the excitement is wearing off (no wonder, you can't floor the gas pedal forever).

Near the end it turns to self-coaching "From now on, I shall be wild, I shall be quick, I shall be strong",
and to me it sounds like he's rejecting Anna Stesia. Anna Stesia is not the one that saves him in his song. God is.
Anna Stesia is the drug seducing you, puts you to sleep and soothe the troubles of the mind.
Anna Stesia wants Prince to just feed on compliments, to feed on crowd screams,
to escape the actual, real life ("praise me, craze me, out this space and time").

"Maybe maybe maybe", Prince insists on "maybe". Nothing is certain. Yeah, Prince envisions a happy congregation instead of "The Beast" (a term often used by performers to qualify huge audiences, where a number of souls that don't know each other from Eve are suddenly wired to the same channel and become a single entity), but in the end it's unresolved. The songs goes back to where it started. It's still lonely and empty and cold.

We don't know if Prince stays with Anna Stesia to feed on her powers of self-hypnosis and becomes a high-functioning addict (which is actually a challenge, and boy does Prince love challenges), or if he reaches the other side of the shore but already misses to be anesthetized. A simple pill will make you forget all about it. Because, let's be realistic, the world is wars, economic crisis, gang violence ("Dance On").

And then comes "Lovesexy", which is Prince's newfound response to the seducing charms of inebriety dispensed by Anna Stesia. The motto seems to go: "All things drugs bring, we have them at disposal in our brains when we're making love". Which is scientifically true (the dopamine rush, etc.). It's the blueprint for the Endorphinemachine concept.

In case you're not convinced, a song to make love to, where nothing's forbidden, nothing's taboo, follows right after. It's like an invitation to put the theory in practice. And even if by then you still have doubts, you can still have a different point of view, you can still hear "seven" instead of "eleven", it does not matter to Prince. He knows that wishing someone well is the best intention you can form: it leads to do that someone good. It's the only true Peace and Love song of the pack.

But Prince is all about dualities, and "Positivity" falls down like a hammer, destroys the peace and love paper clouds, the Big Sky, apples and flying mirrors. A "yes" can be faked, devoided of meaning, computerized, that's what the intro seems to imply. You can repeat "yes" to the Lovesexy way of life all day long, but what did you actually do today to curb the world's problems?

In the end, it's a world where drugs can be found around the corner, and Prince knows it. It may not have been South Compton, but Prince comes from a hood nonetheless. He knows about rejection. He reads papers. Prince uses rap to follow the trend? "Yes", a thousand yes: that's the point. In 1988 he has nothing left to prove, so it's not like he's going after a "younger market share". He uses rap in the hope to reach the Public Enemy listeners. In 1988, Rap is just starting to climb the charts, and it's still close to the social revolution premise and the summary of two ultra-liberals Reagan mandates.

Prince proposes a spiritual alternative, when everything around him goes the other way. His Wrecka Co. Won't let him have it.
Wall Street is in theaters, it shows how greed a normal component of the system, but this blatant social theft sparks no revolution among american people, already enslaved to the system. Black Monday doesn't change a thing.
What is there left but to hang on to your soul, when everything that surrounds you is considered a commodity or consumption material?

Man, this ain't no "Imagine". It's an aggressive "All You Need Is Love" that comes with a vengeance.
It's there, right from the intro punches. Prince envisions himself as a sworded angel with a mission.
In 1988 he's still in search reasons and purpose to the uniqueness of his talents.
That came later. But then, Prince was not at peace. "Lovesexy" isn't the Flower Power record it pretends to be.

If the visuals are colorful, bright, reaching for purity, it's because Prince tries to go the opposite way the world is going to.
He presents an alternative. But it was too clever, too rich, too complex for kids on the street to grab it.
It's a shame Lovesexy could never be up to his promise if you think its goal was to win everyone.
But it's a blessing for the ones it touched. It may be just a concept, but Prince experienced dreams coming true just a few years before. So to him there probably was no reason the tour would not win everyone's hearts and minds, or his rap not reach poor black neighbourhoods.

He wanted everyone to know that he escaped becoming a spoiled brat, and that pop music can be more than mere entertainment, and reach for the deep. He thought what sparked in '68 could be replicated in '88.
Alas, sixties hippies were already a dying breed.
The smartphone would conquer us all. Not love.

The Colors R brighter, the Bond is much tighter
No Child's a failure
Until the Blue Sailboat sails him away from his dreams
Don't Ever Lose, Don't Ever Lose
Don't Ever Lose Your Dreams
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Reply #19 posted 10/15/18 5:07am

donnyenglish

Wally told me that the song is about a girl he was dating from Detroit named AnnaLisa. He said there is more to the story but didnt share details.
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Reply #20 posted 10/15/18 5:50pm

motherfunka

At the PRN Alumni panel event, they asked all of the women what song they would pick to describe their relationship with Prince. Ingrid Chavez picked Anna Stesia. A lady in the audience asked her what it was like to have spiritual conversations with Prince and she told her to listen to Lovesexy and she would know.

.

I love this song. My favorite version is the live one from Milan, Italy with the epic 2 minute + guitar solo.

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Reply #21 posted 10/20/18 5:17pm

206Michelle

motherfunka said:

At the PRN Alumni panel event, they asked all of the women what song they would pick to describe their relationship with Prince. Ingrid Chavez picked Anna Stesia. A lady in the audience asked her what it was like to have spiritual conversations with Prince and she told her to listen to Lovesexy and she would know.

.

I love this song. My favorite version is the live one from Milan, Italy with the epic 2 minute + guitar solo.

What year was this performance?

Live 4 Love ~ Love is God, God is love, Girls and boys love God above
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Reply #22 posted 10/20/18 5:25pm

SoulAlive

It's an amazing song and one of the many highlights of the Lovesexy tour music

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Reply #23 posted 10/20/18 6:49pm

motherfunka

206Michelle said:

motherfunka said:

At the PRN Alumni panel event, they asked all of the women what song they would pick to describe their relationship with Prince. Ingrid Chavez picked Anna Stesia. A lady in the audience asked her what it was like to have spiritual conversations with Prince and she told her to listen to Lovesexy and she would know.

.

I love this song. My favorite version is the live one from Milan, Italy with the epic 2 minute + guitar solo.

What year was this performance?

July 19, 1988

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Reply #24 posted 10/20/18 8:51pm

donnyenglish

motherfunka said:



206Michelle said:




motherfunka said:


At the PRN Alumni panel event, they asked all of the women what song they would pick to describe their relationship with Prince. Ingrid Chavez picked Anna Stesia. A lady in the audience asked her what it was like to have spiritual conversations with Prince and she told her to listen to Lovesexy and she would know.


.


I love this song. My favorite version is the live one from Milan, Italy with the epic 2 minute + guitar solo.



What year was this performance?





July 19, 1988



Is there a soundboard of this?
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Reply #25 posted 10/21/18 1:43am

Purplegarden

Love, love, love, love this song. It just has romance, tension and pure pop balladry to it. I love Prince's voice, Prince's conviction, his passion and delivery. The line "Any1 boy or girl' (Unimplied bisexuality/pansexuality).

.

It is actually my 2nd favourite official song after the sublime - Adore, off Sign o the Times. Like one of y'all said Prince did not write this, God did and he used Prince as a vessel to deliver the message 2 the faithful (U will all come 2 me, through Prince, my mouthpiece)

.

I could sit down and analyse like you guys had - but why to me its a love and yearning song probably aimed at a God or a muse, rather than a girl or God is inspiring this mad passion the narrator has in the cuts. I am too busy melting to the vocal suspurations of Prince tearing it up in the studio doing this.

.

The song is a highlight on one of his finest albums and tops off 3 perfect songs in a row (Alphabet Street, Glam Slam and this and even better is some extreme violin interspersing GS and this). Dance On is still great, but not on the standard of these 3 cuts (a 8/10 song next to the 13/10 ones).

This is the place where emotions grow. 24 Feelings all in a row, its alright, its alright
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Reply #26 posted 10/21/18 7:01am

airth

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donnyenglish said:

motherfunka said:

July 19, 1988

Is there a soundboard of this?


Yes, there is. It's on the City Lights Lovesexy Tour set from Sabotage - https://www.discogs.com/j...se/7840220


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Reply #27 posted 10/21/18 3:02pm

motherfunka

airth said:

donnyenglish said:

motherfunka said: Is there a soundboard of this?


Yes, there is. It's on the City Lights Lovesexy Tour set from Sabotage - https://www.discogs.com/j...se/7840220


On the infamous Dortmund show, you can tell he was getting ready to do that solo, but he apparently had sound issues with the guitar. sad I have some other audience recordings where he did do it, but the sound doesn't compare to the Italy Soundboard.

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Reply #28 posted 10/21/18 5:25pm

herb4

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It's really a gorgeous, beautiful song that shows off so much of what is great about Prince. It has everything really. Love it.

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Reply #29 posted 10/23/18 3:45pm

steakfinger

bonatoc said:

Back on topic, you have to love Prince using the Roland D-50 piano. It doesn't sound like a true piano at all. It's all dead, a dead piano, devoid of resonance, chillingly digital, and that's spot on.

Prince used a Yamaha CP70 live throughout the 80s. I'm not sure if what you're saying is correct or not, but to me the piano on the studio recording sounds like a real piano. Especially the final chord (Ab major witha C in the bass).

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