“Gold” by Prince

In commemoration of the late musical legend Prince Rogers Nelson, I thought I would shine some light on one of his lesser-known masterpieces. Now, Prince’s Nineties output has a reputation for being far more uneven that the work of his peak period in the Eighties, but The Gold Experience was definitely one of his better Nineties albums, even if the only track off it anyone seems to remember today is the hit love ballad “The Most Beautiful Girl in the World”. And ravishing as that song is, I’d argue that this is the true high point of that album. It features one of his most gorgeous melodies, and shows off his incomparable guitar chops as well as anything in his discography. It also features a surprisingly profound lyric that speaks of artistic integrity and faith and reinstructs the Who’s famous dictum with the rebuttal “What’s the use of being young if you ain’t gonna get old?”, a statement that has become all the more bittersweet with his own passing. It is every bit the equal of his legendary ballad “Purple Rain”, which it strongly resembles, and it’s a true injustice that this song is so much more obscure than its famous predecessor. For many people, this album represents the final burst of greatness Prince would ever achieve, and while I actually think some of his late-career efforts (such as Musicology) are quite underrated, there’s no denying that this epic album closer would have made for a very satisfying climax.

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