"The Ladder," off the Around The World In A Day album, gives us another glimpse into the gospel side of Prince. Some say that it's a play off Led Zepplin's "Stairway to Heaven." Well, yeah... o-kay, you could say that... but not really.
I mean, the concept is similar in that people are searching for salvation, or looking for tangible evidence on how to get to heaven. Both songs include a spiritual message but Zepplin's "Stairway" is a bit of folk slash gospel gone hardcore rock and roll, "The Ladder" is a bit more BET Gospel with a dash R&B and jazz.I think Prince could have easily made an entire gospel album and some fans wouldn't have thought twice about it.
After the success of Purple Rain, Prince did a 180 and switched gears on people with Around the World in a Day. He experimented with songs like "The Ladder," "Paisley Park," and "Tamborine." The public could have shut him down as wishy-washy because we all know that some fans like for people to stay in their lane. They want to put artists in these little boxes and label them nicely so they can pull them out at will. However, most artist don't fit into these neat little boxes.
Some artist, like Prince, can pull off any musical genre without breaking a sweat (Whitney for example), but some will falter if you pull them out of their comfort zone (ahem Brittney). But no matter the genre or box you put him in, Prince will outside anyone in it.