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The Undertaker (1995)

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Prince showcases his prowess on the guitar.
17 May 2005 | by (Ireland) – See all my reviews

This short is basically an excuse for Prince to showcase his prowess on the guitar. All 7 tracks here are heavily guitar based and a finer example of guitar playing you will be hard pressed to find.

There is a very loose story involved, unhappy girl takes overdose but on hearing Prince's music decides that life is worth living and sticks her fingers down her throat thus averting suicide. This is inter-cut with footage of Prince and his band (drummer and bass guitarist only) playing 7 rip-roaring tunes. But in this case the visuals are nothing and the music is everything.

This is Prince at his funkiest. This is lowdown, bass-heavy, soul/funk as it is meant to be. The songs have few lyrics but both the title track and "The Ride" last for over 10 minutes each. His cover of the Stones' "Honky Tonk Woman" and his own "(Prelude to) Zanalee" are hardly recognisable under the weight of his guitar playing. "Poorgoo" and "Bambi" should be throw away tracks, but are played with such power that you just can't ignore them. All of these tracks are played and recorded live and you can really feel the intensity.

The final track is the studio version of "Dolphin" which nearly comes as light relief after all that has gone before. It's like a wind down after one hell of a workout.

Make no mistake, this is not easy listening background music. Prince once said that he only wanted two words on his tombstone. "Prince : Guitarist" and here he proves that he deserves that epitaph.


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