Prince – Why You Wanna Treat Me So Bad? (Live in 1982)

Why you wanna treat me so bad / When you know I love you? / How can you do this to me / When you know I care?

Prince is not a fan of YouTube. That’s why, in general, you’ll almost never find anything Prince related that stays online for more than a month or so. But this stuff from Music Vault has been up for like nine months now, so I’m making the assumption that they own the rights to the Capitol Theater show it comes from, and Prince can’t legally get it taken down. So I’m posting a clip from it.

“Why You Wanna Treat Me So Bad?” was released only as a single. It was Prince’s first big rock and roll number, which is probably why it’s one of my favorite Prince songs. It’s got a big, funky guitar riff that drives it straight into your chest. In this version, the guitar work is outstanding. Prince does a great solo about 3 1/2 minutes in, and then does a Prince-y multi-instrumental freak out at the end. Wow.

Chronology wise, it’s worth noting that this was about 9 months before 1999 came out. When “1999” and “Little Red Corvette” hit the air waves and MTV, that’s when Prince became a household name among America’s youth. So in this clip, we’re watching the artist as he’s about to explode onto the national scene.