My Top 1000 Songs #433: Dear Prudence
I don't know if it's still true in the digital age, but for those of us who grew up on physical media--in my case, vinyl--there are certain records where we'll never be able to forget that initial rush of bringing home some new treasure and dropping it on the turntable for the very first time.
The Beatles' White Album was pretty monumental for me. I was probably around 13, and it was the first Beatles album I'd bought with my own money. It was a sizable investment--a double album, on white vinyl no less--and took a chunk out of my remaining Bar Mitzvah gift cash. I'd just started getting deeply into the Beatles (this was shortly before John's tragic murder), and was excited to move beyond the hits that I'd heard on the radio and that populated those inescapable Red and Blue Album compilations.
The opening track, "Back In The USSR," was the one song on the album I already knew, and I wasn't a big fan--how that ended up being the sole White Album selection on the Blue Album mystified me. But then it segued into "Dear Prudence," and it was a moment of revelation for me. Despite countless amazing songs I already knew, here was a song at least as good as any of their radio hits, arguably better than most of them, and yet it had completely evaded airplay (at least on the local classic rock stations). Good Lord, how deep was this well? (Pretty damn deep!)
The rest of the album was the relentless stylistic rollercoaster we all know and love... but "Dear Prudence" remained my personal favorite, if largely for that initial revelatory moment--though I think that, listening objectively, it's also quite simply one of their finest moments.The original demo:Siouxsie & The Banshees' cover:Jerry Garcia:World Party:Some live Phish: