"Around The World In A Day" was my main intro to Prince. I was aware of him prior of course and by far preferred him to Michael Jackson with whom he was always compared and I felt there was a only very tenuous comparison to be made. It was my friend Daniel Powell (and trumpet player in my band at the time), who made me sit in his car and really listen to this album. The story about it being a concept album with no single to be released intrigued me as did the neo-psychedelic and 70's soul fusion. Begrudgingly, I was transfixed and by the time I exited the car I was totally sold.
As years went by, I tended to always gravitate towards the latest Prince single for whatever cover band I was in at the time. Sure, I listened to the whole album and knew several of the songs by heart. Still, wouldn't have considered myself a Prince fan.
After many years, I think as I was learning "Cream" in '94 for my gig at Montego Bay in Fort Lauderdale, I looked at my collection of Prince music and I think upon seeing the Batman movie cassette and having a flash memory of every tune on the album I had an epiphany: I was a pretty huge Prince fan!
I did eventually fall away from his prolific and increasingly experimental and ambitious output but always kept one eye on his art, reveling when his music would rise, to be revealed like Aphrodite above the waves of all the drek, or when he shone so brightly on the viral video of him playing "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" for the George Harrison memorial, owning everyone on stag. I'd nod and smile knowingly, of course he's kickin' ass. That's the man. That's fuckin' Prince!