A lifestyle blog from a forty-something mum

Sunday, 24 April 2016

Nineteen ninety-nine

Purple sky, Prince, DeathThe sad news on the way home from work on Thursday was that we'd lost another of our most talented musicians, Prince.

For me, Prince's music will forever be associated with sixth form discos, slow dances with first boyfriends and the realisation that it was OK to be different at a time when everyone around me thought it was cooler to be the same. I was one of the twenty-two million people who bought a copy of the Purple Rain album and to have shelled out on an LP with hard-earned cash from the Saturday job I loathed, meant that this was important. I was careful to turn down the volume when my father was anywhere near however, just in case he overheard one of many risqué lyrics and confiscated my album.

The issue with explicit lyrics came back to bite me when my own daughters were about 3 years of age and loved to dance along to anything with a strong beat. They had selected Prince's The Hits Volume 2, inserted it into the CD player with chubby little hands and were dancing happily when I heard daughter no 2 singing along to "Cream." This was swiftly ejected from the CD player and hidden away on the top shelf of the bookcase for many years. I thanked my lucky stars that the CD player had been on shuffle mode and that "Sexy M.F." had yet to be played.

Like many of my age, the song "1999" conjured up fabulous images of outlandish millennium partying when it was a hit back in 1985. At 17, marriage and children weren't on the agenda and I eagerly anticipated that New Year's Eve 1999 would involve a party of gargantuan proportions. The reality was that, I was 31 and married with twin, 5-year-old daughters. The night was spent at a friend's house. We both had young families and partied as hard as we could with our children for as long as they could stay awake.

"Let's Go Crazy," conjures images of visits to Silver Blades Ice Rink in Birmingham and flinging myself around the ice without a care in the world.

It's not easy to chose a favourite track as there are simply too many I love.

It's hard to know how to feel about the passing of another of our iconic, talented musicians isn't it? Especially when we didn't anticipate their death and had no idea they were unwell. But what right has anyone to know what's going on in anyone's private life exactly? Prince was perhaps one of the most private musicians of all-time and everyone has the right to keep their confidences - regardless of whether or not they're in the public eye.

I guess it's up to the individual to know how to feel when they lose an iconic influence from their lives. No one has the right to take these sentiments away. Whether you choose to grieve or celebrate the lives of those who have inspired over the years, we are reminded of our own mortality and how vital it is to make life count and live every moment to the full. Especially when the life of an icon ended too soon.

Personally, I am happy to have known Prince's music and may have danced around the kitchen dressed in purple on Friday night. I was transported back to 1985 and being a teenager all over again. They are mostly damn fine memories. If there was one thing I could change however, I'd have seen Prince in concert before it was too late.

Two thousand zero zero party over, oops out of time,
So tonight I'm gonna party like it's nineteen ninety-nine.

RIP Prince 21.04.16

Copyright ©2016 Izzie Anderton
Lyrics: Prince "1999"



  1. I totally agree with you on the matter of privacy. So many people jumped to speculate the cause of death. Why? There is Prince the man and Prince the artist. One is a public persona, the man is his private life, and as such, the only people who have any "right" to answers about his death are his next of kin. Let's not stoop to tabloid tactics and rush to sully the name of a person we didn't even know. Instead we should celebrate his life and his positive contribution to the lives of many. Without him the world would have been a poorer place.

  2. Ah - a lovely tribute to Prince. His song 'Sexy MF' takes me back to my uni days in the halls of residence, supping 50p a pint night! Good times!

  3. It does seem strange at the moment that so many well-known people are dying. I think it's easy to assume things about people's lifestyles but if they don't directly impact on ours then we should just celebrate what they had added to the world.

  4. A great tribute to Prince. Dancing and singing to his songs brings back many happy memories. In fact on Saturday me and my friends watched a Prince video marathon on MTV after drinking lots of prosecco. It was a great way to remember his work! x

  5. It's so sad to lose such an Icon and your's is a lovely tribute. I think 1999 is a song that has always been a momentous one in my life, not only when it came out to mark the end of my teenage years, our party of 1999 was a life changing one too.

  6. His death brought back a flood of memories principally of dancing to his music at different times and places which of course made me smile. I had no idea until last week how many hit songs he had written too for other artists.

  7. A lovely tribute to an artist you loved, and loved by so many. I was in shock when I heard the news, and have been listening to Prince whenever I can.

  8. I think people underestimate how they feel when a star dies, I remember when a few years ago Rik Mayall died, I was heartbroken! I cried for days and still do when I see him on telly, he was a person who got me through some difficult times with his comedy. Music holds so many memories and we often associate moments of our life with different songs so it is understandable the sadness his passing has bought. Go party like its 1999 x

  9. I still can't believe he is gone just like that, I hope the media don't pry any further into his private life, he is best remembered for the good times and the great artist he was.

  10. It did throw me hearing that he had died. I didnt love him the way I loved Bowie, but he was so huge in the 80s that much of my teenage years was soundtracked by Prince. And he was SO young - really makes you think!

  11. I find all the public mourning really odd. I think it is sad that he has died far too young and am sad for his family, but it is their grief not mine.

  12. I have to admit that I was never a fan of him or his music but even I had a pang of disbelief when I heard the news. It turns out that he did so much more for charity than I ever realised. Another great will be missed

  13. Prince has been one of those icons and artists whose music we all grew up with as life background, if you like. Taking that music away makes us stop and ponder on our humanity; some people can do that easier than others.

  14. Another sad loss for 2016 :(

  15. Hi Izzie, I was a little shocked to hear of Prince's passing. I still enjoy his music, but hadn't given him a thought as an artist for ages as he was living such a low key life. For me his best songs were Purple Rain and When Doves Cry.

    I can totally relate to thinking that in 1999 I would be swinging my pants whilst having the time of my life, partying as if it were the long awaited 1999. No, I was a Mum to a two year old and heavily pregnant with my second one. 1999 ended with me lying one the floor (mainly because I couldn't get up I was so heavily pregnant) laughing until I cried watching the Only Fools And Horses Batman Trilogy. Not comfortable at all when resembling a baby hippo.


  16. This has been such a sad few months for losing public figures. I was deeply shocked by Prince though. He was so young still. His songs really do mark an era. All of a sudden I feel desperately old....

  17. Oh Izzie I love this post, thank you so much for sharing those awesome memories. I'm a big Prince fan, grew up listening to his music so he was hugely influential to me. So glad I got to see him in concert in the early nineties, he was incredible! I bought Purple Rain and 1999 again on CD when he died, they were less than £5 each on Amazon. Sadly they're not now. Purple Rain is in the car at the moment :)


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