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Hear Prince’s Unexpected, Sludgy ‘Let’s Go Crazy’ Rock Rework

Prince, "Let's Go Crazy"

In a fruitful time for new renditions of Prince songs, the Purple One has decided it’s his turn. D’Angelo, the Roots, Elvis Costello, Bilal, and many others paid tribute to the Minneapolis pop trailblazer at New York City’s Carnegie Hall last month, and since then footage has surfaced of D’Angelo confidently covering Prince-written “My Summertime Thang” with an all-killer band at 2012’s Bonnaroo festival. For Prince’s part, in recent months he has performed at South By Southwest, smashed the Roots guitarist Captain Kirk Douglas’ instrument on late-night TV, and cryptically released copious amounts of new music: “Boyfriend (Demo),” “That Girl Thang,” “Screwdriver,” “Breakfast Can Wait,” “Same Page Different Book,” and “Rock and Roll Love Affair.”

What’s left to do, then, but ditch the totally ’80s organ chords and redo classic 1984 album Purple Rain‘s playful opener “Let’s Go Crazy” in a way that emphasizes the original’s gnarled, bluesy guitar soloing? Anyone who blindly overlooked the “I Could Never Take the Place of Your Man” guitarist’s musicianship on this the first time around will be pummeled in the face with it now, but subtle touches — including, as Consequence of Sound points out, a section lifted from the Edgar Winter Group’s 1972 instrumental hit “Frankenstein” — show there’s still plenty of Purple weirdness beneath the sonic murk. Still crazy after all these years.