Greetings, fellow seekers of the wild, the weird, the wonderful, and the presumptively worthless! I come before you today with my usual slab of dusty vinyl scrounged from a flea market, featuring not just R&B third-stringers The Moments, but also their platooning labelmates, the Whatnauts! What could be better?
I’ll tell you what could be better: a full-on R&B conspiracy, featuring a mysterious man in purple who some around here love to hate.
Our story begins with the Moments and the Whatnauts, heard here collaborating on a great little chune called, simply, “Girls.” The groove is light and frothy, the melody pleasing, the sentiment positive and the singing tuneful, plus — what’s that I hear? A rare R&B deployment of a Mellotron! It’s a winner, and here it is for your enjoyment:
01 Girls-Part I
Up next, the villain in this case, one Prince Rogers Nelson, from his soundtrack LP “Under the Cherry Moon,” with one of my favorite Prince deep cutz, “Mountains”. As soon as I heard the Moments/Whatnauts number, I raced back to the stereo to play this track. Can you hear why?
Have you twigged it yet? Here, this should help. First the opening chords to “Girls”:
01 Girls Opening segment, Whatnauts
Now, the opening chords to Prince’s “Mountains”:
01 Girls Opening segment, Prince
Let me make this even more plain. Whatnauts:
01 Girls Opening chords, Whatnauts
01 Girls Opening chords, Prince
And, for my coup de grace, the two segments, “stacked” on top of each other:
01 Girls Opening chords, Stacked
What I find remarkable about this coincidence is that both sets of chords are played, a.) in the same key; b.) at the same tempo; c.) with the same general timbre/voicing; and d.) as an introduction to their respective songs. Now, to be clear (lest Prince’s lawyers be listening in): I don’t really think Prince “stole” his intro to “Mountains” from “Girls.” But I do get a warm fuzzy glow thinking of the possibility that he knew about, and liked, that obscure track enough to pay it tribute at the height of his fame. It’s probably just a coincidence, but my job here is to titillate and tantalize as well as enlighten.
I look forward to your reponses.