Don’t Forget the Songs-365: Mach Dos: Day 167
Sun. June 23, 2012
“♫ You don’t have
to be rich to be my
girl/ you don’t have
to be cool to rule my
world/ ain’t no
particular sign I’m
with/ I just want
your extra time and
your… kiss ♫”
Prince once famously claimed—““Kiss” doesn’t sound like anything else…I have no idea where we came from. They’re gifts. They aren’t conscious efforts – you just have to get them out. Nothing in it makes sense. Nothing. The high hat doesn’t make sense…”
“Kiss” made perfect sense to me. Saying that, who knew, after all those years, I was singing the lyrics wrong to my favorite Prince song –“Kiss?” I actually thought Prince was singing— “♫ I just want your extra time [in] your… kiss? ♫” But I was wrong, mishearing the lyric— “♫ and♫—” definitely makes a difference to the meaning of Prince’s classic cut. My original misreading of “♫ in ♫” was Prince wants a girl who only gave extra time in her kiss. As a lonely confused teen, just the taste of a “Kiss” was all that was I was looking forward to experience.
To my naïve horny virgin ears, what I wanted to hear from Prince was that if a woman took her time with her besos, that meant she really, truly wanted you. Think about it, look at the movies and TV that raised me, most prostitutes charged extra for kissing and why do you ask—because sharing lips is one of the most intimate experiences you could share with another lovely human being.
This is why “Kiss is my favorite Prince song.” I actually used my misunderstanding of Prince’s “Kiss” lyrics as a standard on finding my imperfect mate. This is how I found my wife. I guess I am glad I misheard Prince’s original intention because there’s something passionately honorable about someone, who’s only criteria for a mate, is how fiery the feeling is behind their red lipped expressions.
I agree with Matthew Carcieri, who so eloquently wrote in his book, Prince: A Life in Music, perfectly describing “Kiss” as—“[…] Nestled among the Louvre museum pieces of Parade were some funk masterworks, and “Kiss” is his Venus de Milo.” Yes, I also believe “Kiss” is this masterful and worthy of inclusion in a Louvre song museum, if they had one “Kiss” would definitely be on exhibition.
Did you know that originally Prince was going to give his song “Kiss” away to the band Mazarati? But luckily after some quick studio production, his Purple Majesty took it back from the band; his engineer Susan Rogers was in harmony with Prince’s decision to keep “Kiss” when he realized what a funky and brilliantly strange his new song had become.
Unfortunately his record label at Warner Bros. didn’t agree with Prince’s assessment of his new song. Purple Rain engineer and Prince studio wizard David Z discussed in Ronin Ro’s most excellent biography Prince: Inside the Music and the Masks— the complications Prince faced attempting to release “Kiss” as a new single for Warner Bros, when he explained—
“But a Warner A&R executive hates “Kiss.” “We can’t put this out” he said. “There’s no bass and it sounds like a demo.” Prince had to tell the label. “You’re not getting another song. That’s the one we’re gonna put out.” The label wasn’t thrilled. [Prince] basically forced Warner to put it out.”
Imagine that, one of Prince’s most beloved classics was hated by his record label. But Prince showed his unwavering dedication to his art, forcing his irrational record label to leave the hit making, recording decision to the genius himself. I believe this and a myriad of other instances his mighty record company hindered Prince’s creativity were the reasons he finally left Warner Bros.
Did you know that UK’s New Music Express named Prince’s Kiss” #4 in their list of The 150 Greatest Songs of All Time? Imagine if Warner Bros. had there way and kept “Kiss” from becoming a number one song on the Billboard charts circa 1986.
Worse than all of those amazing statistics—if “Kiss” had never been released, I wouldn’t have had a tongue sharing standard on which to select my lovers with? Luckily, Warner Bros. came to there senses. I got to make out with some interesting women but more importantly Prince got his song released in the universe for all to savor.
Thank you Prince for sticking to your creative intuitions. “Kiss” is one of my all time favorite pastimes but also one of the best Prince lyrical compositions ever. Sometimes all you need is three chords, a helium like vocal and a funky beat to wet a music lovers appetite. Even today, “Kiss” remains—deliciously sultry and dynamite. So, lock lips with “Kiss” again. With Prince as your soundtrack, press play and relive your greatest make out sessions again, today. The aftertaste and brilliance of “Kiss” will linger—I can taste the beautiful sound already.
Let “Kiss” re-captivate your breath today.
[Editor’s Note: Prince’s Video for Kiss can be found in the link below:]