43 Min Released May 5, 2016

35. Purple Lemonade: Prince & Beyoncé

It has been a period of musical loss and celebration. On the same week we lost Prince, the world was gifted Beyoncé’s Lemonade. Both artists contain multitudes of musical traditions, collaborators and themes that weave throughout their song. In the first half of the show, we break down Beyoncé's “Hold Up,” an exemplary piece about Lemonade's main theme of marital distress. But the song is not as simple as it may seem. Its compositional restraint suggests more complex ideas about love. Speaking of love, Prince may have published more songs on the subject than any other recording musician. In the second half of the show, we speak with scholar and Musiqology contributor Matthew Valnes about Prince’s musical legacy.


  • Beyoncé - Pray You Catch Me
  • Beyoncé - Freedom
  • Beyoncé - Formation
  • Beyoncé - Love Drought
  • Beyoncé - Sorry
  • Beyoncé - All Night
  • Beyoncé - Daddy Lessons
  • Beyoncé - Hold Up
  • Major Lazer & DJ Snake - Lean On
  • Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Maps
  • Vampire Weekend - Obvious Bicycle
  • Beyoncé - Don’t Hurt Yourself
  • Prince - Musicology
  • Joshua Redman - How Come U Don’t Call Me Anymore
  • Prince - How Come U Don’t Call Me Anymore
  • Prince - When Doves Cry
  • Sly & The Family Stone - Thank You
  • Prince - Super Bowl Press Conference Performance
  • Marcus Miller - Jean Pierre (live at North Sea Jazz Festival) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G7Q8Ual3coM

You can read Matthew Valnes' article "When Doves Cry" over at Musiqology: http://musiqology.com/blog/2016/04/25/when-doves-cry-prince-and-black-popular-music-history/

Also check out Behind The Linear Notes’s latest episode on the history of the Castrati featuring a clip from our episode on One Direction: http://www.betweenthelinernotes.com/episodes-1/castrato

Switched On Pop

Switched On Pop

Breaking down how popular music works

Go To Show Page

More Episodes

From reject to icon: Rubik's Cube turns 40

MarketWatch Money, Markets & More

The Rubik's Cube isn't just an iconic puzzle. It's an amazing story of an inventor's perseverance. Liberty Science Center CEO Paul Hoffman talks with Alisa Parenti.

6 Min

Apr 8, 2014

Vulnerability: The Sorting Hat (Book 1, Chapter 7)

Harry Potter and the Sacred Text

Vanessa and Casper explore the theme of vulnerability in chapter seven of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. They discuss how Harry’s experience with the sorting hat teaches us to reclaim our own narratives after trauma, and extend...

26 Min

Jul 2, 2016