10 Hit Songs You Didn’t Know Prince Wrote

Publish Date
Tuesday, 3 May 2016, 12:21PM

It’s the question asked at every quiz night. Who wrote this famous song? If you guess Prince you’ve got a good chance of being right because when he wasn’t busy creating classics like Purple Rain, Little Red Corvette, 1999, and Let’s Go Crazy — he was handing over hits to other singers, and his songs were often their biggest successes.

No doubt fans will be aware he was behind at least a few of these tracks, but some will surprise you...

 

MANIC MONDAY — THE BANGLES

 

Prince originally wrote it under the pseudonym Christopher for the girl group Apollonia 6 and there are some early demos of it around. But it was The Bangles who scored big with the song after releasing it in 1986. It was their first hit, reaching number two in the United States and United Kingdom and in the top five in New Zealand.

 

LOVE ... THY WILL BE DONE — MARTIKA

 

A massive hit for Martika, this Australian number one ended up as one of the biggest songs of 1991. Prince later reclaimed the track, playing it live most recently during his Australian tour in February.

 

NOTHING COMPARES 2 U — SINEAD O’CONNOR

Who can forget O’Connor with her shaved head and mournful face singing to camera in the video clip? The song was a smash hit for the Irish singer in 1990.

 

I FEEL FOR YOU — CHAKA KHAN

 

This track originally appeared on Prince’s 1979 self-titled album, and he didn’t even bother releasing it as a single. Five years on, soul survivor Chaka Khan picked the track up, dusted it off, gave it an oh-so-80s makeover and scored the biggest hit of her career. The song revitalised Khan’s career, going to number one and selling more than a million copies.

 

HOW COME U DON’T CALL ME ANYMORE — ALICIA KEYS

 

Prince originally released this timeless, intimate ballad as a B-SIDE. It remained a fan favourite until Alicia Keys recorded a faithful version for her 2001 debut album, releasing it as the album’s final single.

 

STAND BACK — STEVIE NICKS

 

It’s not known for sure exactly how much Prince contributed to this song, as his contribution went uncredited. But Nicks remembers she struck upon the track when humming along to the melody of Little Red Corvette on her car radio. She quickly recorded a demo of her Prince-inspired creation, and when time came to record the final track, he came into the studio to play synthesisers on it. Then, she says, “he just got up and left as if the whole thing happened in a dream.”

 

GLAMOROUS LIFE — SHEILA E

 

Prince wrote this 1984 hit for Sheila E, the singer and percussionist who served as a loyal member of his band for years. It served as her first hit as a solo artist, allowing her to step out from her mentor’s shadow and forge her own successful career.

 

SUGAR WALLS — SHEENA EASTON

 

Sheena Easton was the perky Scottish singer famous for her hit 9 To 5. Until she met Prince, that is.

 

WHEN YOU WERE MINE - CYNDI LAUPER

Another brilliant Prince-penned song that he didn’t even bother to release as a single himself, leaving it as an album track on his 1980 release Dirty Mind. Cyndi Lauper saw what a gem it was, and released it as a single from her perfect 1983 debut, She’s So Unusual.

 

NASTY GIRL — VANITY 6

 

The ‘80s were a great time to be a Prince protege, as he wrote funky feminine hit after hit for the ladies he was working with. This saucy 1982 track was penned for his fledgling girl group Vanity 6.