Some of you may have heard Martika’s song “Love . . . Thy Will Be Done.” Many of you probably don’t know that Prince wrote it and gave it to Martika to record. The song reached #10 on Billboard’s Hot 100.
Recently, I got to hear Prince’s version of this song. Martika did little to change the instrumentation, simply because it’s perfect: A pulsing bass line on the same note with a simple drum track, laced with synthesizers is all there is. As with songs such as “Sign O’ The Times” and “Kiss,” Prince is sometimes at his best when less is more.
The beauty in this song is the melody juxtaposed against the one-note bass. The bass line provides a constant, assuring foundation, and the rise and fall of the melody create chord progressions that aren’t really there. It’s instantly memorable.
The song doesn’t change much until about 2/3 of the way through, when it grows in intensity, with Prince adding multi-part harmonies at one point. It then settles back into the familiar bass line and simple melody.
Hearing Prince perform this is sad; not only does it showcase his talent (He gave away this song?), but his fragile, falsetto voice, sung in the same key is Martika, is a reminder of what a jewel we lost last year.