Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Certain Songs #1657: Prince – “I Like It There” | Medialoper

Album: Chaos & Disorder
Year: 1996

Chaos & Disorder aka Prince’s Contractual Obligation Record was his final album for Warner Bros records, and as such, was incredibly underpromoted, and as such, went absolutely nowhere on any charts.

Which seems weird now, considering that 1995’s The Gold Experience had broken the top ten as an album and contained the last of his top ten singles, the overly adorned “The Most Beautiful Girl in The World” made it all the way to #3, the last time that happened in his lifetime.

So you’d think maybe Warner Bros might have wanted to milk one last record from their departing superstar, but clearly everybody was sick of each other, and it was his eighteenth album, so it wasn’t like they didn’t have a back catalog to milk.

So figure Chaos and Disorder is an underknown quantity in his catalog, as well as the beginning of Prince’s irrelevancy in terms of the charts, but at the same time, it has its charms, this time spotlighting his hard rock chops.

Not just solos — he’d been able to toss crazy-ass solos into any kind of context — but riffs. And in fact, the standout track, “I Like it There,” is as big and noisy as anything he ever did, including “The Cross,” and indeed would have fit well on the alt-rock radio of the time, had they been adventurous enough to play a grungy Prince track about . . . well you know what it’s about: fucking.

I like it there
I like it there
I like it there
On your heavenly body I swear
I like it there

But it’s also about how the big rock riff and his trademark angelic overdubbed harmonies collide throughout the song, a study in contrasts where each part shouldn’t fit in with the other — and in fact, they probably don’t until they totally and completely do.

There’s even a part where I swear he’s doing an Axl Rose impersonation for no other reason than he can, and even if he uses the phrase “emotional ejaculate” later on in the song, it’s clear that’s he’s just having a shitton of fun, knowing that he’s almost clear of his contract.

So yeah, “I Like It There” is a minor song in the Prince canon, but that just goes to show how major said canon was.

“I Like It There”

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