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A Prince 'flip sides' memorial

As the music world mourns the passing of Prince, we honor him by looking at one of his best flip sides (B-sides).

By Warren Kurtz

As the music world mourns the passing of Prince, we honor him by looking at one of his best flip sides (B-sides).

Prince had over two dozen vinyl flip sides in the ‘70s and ‘80s. We went back to an early flip side, “When You Were Mine,” to highlight the diverse creativity he entertained us with, and his influence on others.


Flip side: When You Were Mine

A side: Controversy

Top 100 debut: October 24, 1981

Peak position: 70

Warner Brothers WBS49808

Record's market value: $20 (Near Mint condition)*

After Prince’s Top 40 debut at the end of the disco era in late 1979, with “I Wanna Be Your Lover” and before his hit-filled albums “1999” and “Purple Rain,” Prince released a pair of albums in two consecutive Octobers. In 1980, the album “Dirty Mind” was released and in 1981 “Controversy” followed, with the title song, a techno-pop dance number, released as its first single. The flip side was “When You Were Mine” from the “Dirty Mind” album. The sound was catchy, new wave, keyboard-influenced, pop with a steady beat, similar to what Rod Stewart had on the radio in the fall of 1981 with “Young Turks.” In 1983, on side one of Cyndi Lauper’s debut solo album “She’s So Unusual,” between “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” and “Time After Time” she covered “When You Were Mine,” keeping it very true to the Prince original.

Prince was also tied to other significant female debuts. He was working with vocalist and percussionist Sheila E. in 1984 on the “Purple Rain” recording sessions while she debuted with the Prince-influenced Top 10 single “The Glamorous Life.” Sheila E. opened for Prince on the “Purple Rain” tour. After hearing and enjoying The Bangles’ first full length album “All Over the Place,” when no hit singles surfaced from it, Prince was determined for the female quartet to succeed and provided them with a pop song in line with his 1985 hit “Raspberry Beret,” using the penname of Christopher, entitled “Manic Monday.” This Top 10 hit in 1986 began the string of The Bangles’ eight Top 40 singles through the end of the decade. As the ‘90s began, Sinead O’Connor covered Prince’s “Nothing Compares 2 U” as her debut single and it spent four weeks in the number one spot during the spring of 1990, a position Prince achieved five times in his lifetime.

In addition to his recordings and films, in 1993 the Joffrey Ballet used 14 of Prince’s songs for the ballet “Billboards.”

*Source: Goldmine Price Guide to 45 RPM Records, Goldmine Standard Catalog of American Records 1976-present, Goldmine Records and Prices, Goldmine Standard Catalog of Rhythm & Blues Records, and Goldmine Standard Catalog of American Records 1950-1990.