(Featured Image: Official artwork for the Originals version of “You’re My Love”; © NPG Records/Warner Bros.)

Got something today for the patrons: an exclusive post on “You’re My Love,” the most surprising–and arguably the most controversial–track on last month’s Originals. For those who haven’t yet become patrons, here’s a taste:

Last month’s Originals had plenty of surprises for even dedicated Prince collectors–but none quite as surprising as “You’re My Love,” a track recorded in March 1982 at Prince’s Kiowa Trail home studio and later gifted to, of all people, country music crooner and rotisserie chicken mogul Kenny Rogers. Most reviews of the collection greeted the song with mild (or not-so-mild) bafflement. Paste’s Zach Schonfeld intimated that “there’s a reason” Prince didn’t keep “You’re My Love” for himself. PopMatters’ Chris Ingalls panned it as a “bland-yet-serviceable 1980s pop song” that “sees Prince almost veering into parody with a Vegas-style croon.” In her excellent piece for The Quietus, Soma Ghosh dismissed the song as “schmaltzy.” Even Michael Howe, the A&R professional in charge of Prince’s posthumous Vault releases, described it as a “full-on Holiday Inn lounge vibe” in an interview with The West Australian.

To hear what I have to say about the track, it will cost you a buck a month–but that buck a month also helps make it possible for me to post regular blog posts each week, and will entitle you to more exclusive content in the weeks to come. If that sounds like a good deal to you, then check it out here:

Patreon Exclusive: You’re My Love

Otherwise, I’ll be posting my next regular piece on “How Come U Don’t Call Me Anymore?” tomorrow, which will cost you–to coin the phrase–not even one lousy dime. See you then.

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5 thoughts on “Patreon Exclusive: You’re My Love

  1. Awww. Yer a TEASE, Zach! Getting me all riled up for nothing. I’ll share what I wrote about it on my blog for free:

    QUOTE>>>The one track I was reading about prior to this album’s release that was a total shock was the song that Prince had written for… Kenny Rogers??!! If ever there was an artist diametrically opposed to the Purple One, it would have to be the Silver-Haired Primate himself. Anything the man recorded after “Just Dropped In [To See What Condition My Condition Was In” with The First Edition [in 1967] was eminently missable in my book. And yet, when asked by Rogers [a fan, apparently] if he had any songs for him, “You’re My Love” was the senses-shattering result. That Prince sang this in the lowest register I’ve ever heard him sing in leaves no doubt in my mind that he wrote this expressly for Rogers! That the song itself was a perfect Kenny Rogers pastiche suggests that Prince took the challenge on just to see if he could hit the target. I have to say that this song is as turgid and bathetic as any Kenny R. love ballad I’ve ever had the misfortune to hear. The result was a head-scratching curio that is just here to show that Prince could hit any target he wished to; no matter how ill-conceived.<<<UNQUOTE

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      1. A world where even the unthinkable [Prince being smarmy] is possible. That’s why I really think that this one was him aiming for the Kenny target. Let’s not forget, that in the period of ’80-83, Kenny Rogers had a lock on the top 20 with his greatest levels of pop success. Lots of big, massive pop hits from the guy. It’s PRN’s vocal on this one that so strongly suggests a guide vocal with Rogers name on it, that I have no doubt in my mind that it was written expressly for that artist.

        …But if it wasn’t, then Prince had done something that I wish every artist I like had done when they write an artistically atypical song [kind words for crassly commercial] that they nonetheless think will be a huge seller. He flogged it off to an artist who was appropriate for it instead of “diluting the brand” and issuing it himself [and reaping every possible cent]. I wish that Tom Bailey had that lightbulb over his head when he came up with “Hold Me Now!” That was the line in the sand for Thompson Twins.

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        1. Yeah I don’t know if it was for Kenny specifically (the gap in time between his and Kenny’s version seems too long if so, but maybe it was like a bucket-list thing?), but it definitely feels like he had someone else in mind for it–and not even his usual stable of proteges, since it’s not in any of their thematic or vocal range. All in all it’s fascinating to me, and does feel like evidence of how calculating and image-conscious an artist he was at that point in time.

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          1. I know, I know. The four years between the recording and Roger’s rendition sends red flags, but it’s not remotely in the PRN wheelhouse – but a bullseye squarely in the Kenny Rogers zone! Kenny sez’ he asked a friend to ask if he had material but has not indicated when that was done. I can’t imagine Rogers knowing of Prince before the “Dirty Mind” bomb blew up with the ***** Rolling Stone review. And even then, I can’t imagine him wanting a Prince-written track at any time prior to “Purple Rain.”

            So then we roll back into the eerie “Prince-is-compelled-to-record-3-to-4-songs-a-day-comulsion-zone!” No matter what they sound like!!!! Prince wrote and demoed a song not remotely in his [or his stable of mouthpieces] aesthetic purview and years later thought “here’s one for Kenny Rogers!”

            …Naaaaaaaaaaaah!!!!

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