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Prince’s Song ‘Little Red Corvette’ Was Actually About An Edsel

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Yesterday, news circulated far and wide that legendary recording artist Prince had passed away from complications related to influenza. The world is still mourning his loss.

In remembrance of the musical innovator, Jalopnik published a story discussing the true origins of his song “Little Red Corvette.” This well-known Prince track, as it turns out, was not inspired by a Corvette at all, but a pink Edsel.

Edsel, you may recall, was a short-lived marque launched by Ford Motor Company in the late 1950s. It was a commercial flop, and the name “Edsel” is perhaps a bit less sexy than “Corvette,” besides.

Prince started writing “Little Red Corvette” while napping in bandmate Lisa Coleman’s pink Edsel. Citing the 2011 book Prince: Inside the Music and the Masks, Jalopnik reveals that Prince sat in the Edsel after an all-night recording session, and was dozing off when the first few words of the song started to come to him: “I guess I should have known by the way you parked your car sideways that it wouldn’t last.”

He wrote down more lyrics as they came between brief naps, and somewhere along the way, decided that “Little Red Corvette” was a more appealing song title – and subject – than Ms. Coleman’s Edsel.

Today, “Little Red Corvette” is remembered as one of Prince’s greatest hits. In fact, it’s rated at No. 11 of his top 40 biggest tracks by Billboard. We can’t help but feel it mightn’t have been quite so big a hit had the hook incorporated the phrase “Big pink Edsel.”

Rest in peace, sweet Prince.

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Aaron Brzozowski is a writer and motoring enthusiast from Detroit with an affinity for '80s German steel. He is not active on the Twitter these days, but you may send him a courier pigeon.

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