Songs I Wish Everyone Knew: “Waterfall” by Wendy and Lisa

If there’s one person who knows how to pick musicians, it’s Prince. His backing bands have been some of the most enviable in the industry, the most famous being The Revolution. The group helped him achieve megastardom with hits such as “When Doves Cry,” “Kiss,” “Raspberry Beret,” and “Purple Rain” (to name a few.)  At the center of the group were “the girls,” Wendy Melvoin and Lisa Coleman, better known simply as Wendy and Lisa. After the disbandment of The Revolution, the pair attempted a career of their own, and despite being considered exceptional musicians, the ladies had a hard time finding a home on the charts. Their closest thing resembling a hit was 1987’s “Waterfall” from their self-titeld debut album. The song, a mix of pop, rock, soul, and funk is really nothing short of awesome. There’s a real sweet pop sensibility to it, but in a way that doesn’t distract from the musicianship the girls bring to the table. Lisa’s funky keys and Wendy’s trademark shimmering guitar are at the forefront of the track (some help from Revolution drummer Bobby Z doesn’t hurt, either.) The melody is simple, almost predictable, yet that somehow ends up making “Waterfall” that much more endearing. This wasn’t a sorry attempt to break some sort of mold, stand on their own two feet, or prove themselves, this track sees two very talented musicians doing their thing without any pretension. “Waterfall” makes it perfectly clear how crucial these ladies were to helping Prince create his sound that made him a legend, but at the same time, when you listen to to the track, it’s really not that difficult to forget that they were ever associated with their former bandleader. The song is really worth giving a listen!

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