“No one in the whole universe
Will ever compare”
Taken from the album Love Symbol
Also released on The Hits 1, The Hits/The B-Sides and Ultimate Prince
US #7, AUS #25, UK #27
I’m not going to make any puns about ‘7’ being a song of “Biblical proportions”, even though that would be quite funny. Of all his religious recordings, this would have to be the most cryptic once you first hear it, and then the most blatant once you realise what it’s about. Revelations was always my favourite book of the Bible – it’s the most interesting – and it is always the best source material for some great songs like Madonna’s ‘The Beast Within’ and Johnny Cash’s ‘The Man Comes Around’. Here, Prince takes the end of the Bible and turns it into fun, melodic pop with a preachy but enjoyable twist.
‘7’ is all about new cities and streets made of gold and embarking on a new life. The number seven, biblically, represents perfect completeness, and there are also 7 kings who rule Satan’s kingdoms in Revelations. It’s a significant number and Prince brings together all the different meanings to make a mega-metaphor for forgetting about bad things and starting out fresh, beginning again and watching the negative energy fall.
Luckily he paired these abstract lyrics and concepts with one of his catchiest ever melodies. The song is given a campfire-sing-along feel by extensive use of acoustic guitar and backing vocals, and you feel as though you could be sitting around a purple fire singing with Prince himself. It was the most successful single from Love Symbol despite being by far the strangest, proof that with a strong melody, you can send a song about the final book of the Bible into the US top ten – even peaking, amazingly, at 7.