I’ve never made it secret that I love my 80’s music satellite station. (I have tried to make it secret that I love the love song station… terribly though.)
So of course it’s natural that I would rediscover
The Artist Formerly Known As The Artist Formerly Known As Prince That’s Now Known Only As Prince’s I Would Die 4 U while bouncing around the dial.
A refresher from 1984 (in the form of a strange college project in 2009):
Then the thought occurred to me, could this be the first song that used leet speak in its title?
The Jets had a hit in 1988 with Rocket 2 U…
…and in 1990, Sinead O’Connor struck gold with Nothing Compares 2 U (which was also written by Prince)
But there was nothing sooner. Or was there?
Now if I had actually done all this homework, I probably would have stopped at Prince’s I Would Die 4 U. I wouldn’t have even delved to the album that preceded Purple Rain and 1999 called Controversy. (Released in 1981, it had a song called Jack U Off.) So does that make it official that Prince started leet speak since he has three of the earliest appearances of it?
In 1977, there was a funk band known as Graham Central Station, and they put out an album (and song) called Now Do U Wanta Dance:
But even better than that – the first song on the album is called:
Can we be sure PR1NC3 knew about Graham Central Station? According to Wikipedia:
In 2011, Graham Central Station opened for Prince on Prince’s “Welcome 2 America” tour.
Isn’t it ironic? Don’t U think?
(SIDENOTE: Thanks to my brother-in-law and fellow blogger, Judd, for the research. Check out his insightful site Pancake Dominion by clicking here (or over there —>)…)