DUST IT OFF: Prince & The Revolution’s “Parade”… 30 years later

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  • When Prince released his album Parade on April 1, 1986, it was his third album in three years. Looking back at how the music industry normally plays itself, maybe three albums in three years is not that of a big deal but consider that the first album of that three-album batch was Purple Rain, essentially the soundtrack for one of the biggest films of the year. 1984 was also the year where Michael Jackson’s Thriller album was finally dying down in massive popularity after its release in November 1982. Normally when someone comes out with a hugely successful album, they generally wait two to three years, taking those years to tour across the country and perhaps the world, then cutting the business off and allowing them to relax and decompress. Then perhaps two years after the release of that album, they return to the recording studio after having a number of songs waiting to be recorded and see what happens.

    However, it seemed Prince was not on a normal time schedule compared to everyone else. He not only had time specifically to make his album, but whenever he felt like doing a session or two for someone he was working with or wanting to collaborate with someone else, he had the opportunity to do so. On top of that, it seemed when he wasn’t on tour, he was in the studio recording a wealth of songs, some of which remain on the vaults as is so the only time anyone knew he was releasing a project was when it was reported in Rolling Stone. As Purple Rain came out with a string of successful singles, it was when we heard about him already finished with another album, Around The World In A Day. Upon listening to the first song, the title track, it seemed Prince was not about to follow-up a successful album by creating variations on a theme. Due to how different some of the tracks sounded to those who were able to listen, it was immediately called Prince’s Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band with slight psychedelic touches. Yet with every hint of “Strawberry Fields Forever” or “Penny Lane” one felt they could detect on that album, you had songs like “America”, “Pop Life”, “Temptation”, and “Tamborine”.

    Around The World In A Day featured four singles, at least in the UK. While “Paisley Park” also marked the introduction of his brand new boutique record label, it was also the first single released from the album and got a small bit of airplay in the United States but depending on what you read, either radio programmers didn’t like it as much, code for “it doesn’t sound anything similar to “When Doves Cry” or “Let’s Go Crazy” and we need something familiar so fans can say “hey, welcome back” or fans didn’t take to it immediately. They may have wanted something closer to Purple Rain than the Beatles fetishism Rolling Stone were creaming about. Nonetheless, when Warner Bros. UK decided to release “Raspberry Beret” as the album’s second single, that became the United States’ first release for the album. While not as big as Purple Rain, Around The World In A Day was a huge success and just when it was expected for him to perhaps rest another year, here came news of not only a new album, but a new movie.

  • When news surfaced that Prince would be doing a follow-up film to Purple Rain, it made a lot of people anxious. The hope was it would be as great and powerful as his initial Hollywood success and on top of that, it would be in black & white. In comparison, it was a reverse approach that The Beatles did with their first two films. A Hard Days’s Night was shot in black & white and the following year, Help! was filmed in color. Prince decided to do something completely different, to the point where when the film was released on July 2, 1986, it moved many mainstream fans away from their newly-embraced superstar. It lead many wondering if Prince had lost the power that introduced him to them.

    However, fans had three months to have some sense of what this new movie would be like with Parade. Like Purple Rain, while it was released as a soundtrack, the music worked on its own terms and could be heard separately from the film. In fact, most people who saw the film probably wanted to forget it, as the film that cost Warner Bros. $12,000,000 to make barely made over $10,000,000. It lost money for Warner Bros., who spent $7,000,000 to make Purple Rain, relatively low but decent for a first-time project for Prince, and it made close to $70,000,000. Under The Cherry Moon was panned, bashed, give any word that compared it to complete crap and it probably received it. I saw it at a local drive-in theater and I didn’t mind it at all, I thought it was good. It was quirky and fun and while that may come off as a nice way to say “it’s good but not as good”, not at all. There were a lot of in-jokes throughout the film and sadly, new Prince fans weren’t wanting Prince to be quirky. They wanted to try to understand their new hero and Prince wasn’t about to let anyone in. If that is anywhere close to being true, Prince was not afraid to let people in through his music.

  • If Around The World In A Day was considered his Sgt. Pepper, then what to make of Parade? For me, the album’s first four songs would easily be compared to the medley that makes up Side 2 of Abbey Road, as each song did not sound like the next but were strung together in harmony to carry the listener and let them know it was meant to be listened to as one. Yet if we are to make one last Beatles comparison, Parade could be considered his Revolver. If that’s to case, then what to make of the album that would follow a year later, Sign ‘O’ The Times? I’m ahead of myself.

    Prince had utilized string sections in two tracks on Around The World In A Day: “Raspberry Beret” and “The Ladder”. He liked it so much that he wanted to do much more with one of his next projects. He decided to make it work for a number of songs on his Parade album by bringing in Clare Fischer, a composer/arranger who most likely knew of Wendy Melvoin and Lisa Coleman, as both of them were children of the recording studio culture of Los Angeles that their parents came from. Nonetheless, Prince knew he wanted to work with Fischer in time they would but their relationship involved never meeting with each other. In an interview with Fischer, he said that Prince did not want to know what he looked like, nor did he want to be anywhere near the recording studio when he created arrangements for him. Prince felt if he was there, he would interfere and end up adding his input, which he did not want to do. Prince was confident in his own capabilities but wanted to work with Fischer because he put faith in his capabilities so in the time they made music, they apparently never met each other. They traded master tapes, sheet music, and notes and if Prince liked it, that is what would be added. If Prince didn’t like it, it wasn’t used. That was their healthy exchange and as odd as that might sound, it ended up creating some of the most incredible music in Prince’s discography.

  • Parade is very much an album by Prince, The Revolution, and Clare Fischer, that can’t be denied. Bootleg cassettes circulated on what was considered early rough versions of Parade, with one bootleg album called Charade. An early version of “Christopher Tracy’s Parade” was called “Little Girl Wendy’s Parade”, the line of which surfaces in the song “Kiss” during the guitar solo. In that early version of the song without the string arrangement, the lyrics are different and things sound sparse, if not empty as if something is indeed missing and what Fischer did is welcome in the listener into a new world, Prince’s new world, or Fischer’s new world, or “Prince’s new world with Fischer hanging out in the mythological background.” The strings build the song together in different ways and while it is arguably the most effective part of Under The Cherry Moon, the idea of hearing strings bringing the viewer in to this unusual Parisian world, the world it captures in audio is distinctly its own.
  • Just when it things Prince will take you to a completely world, he brings you into a “New Position”. It’s in the same tempo as “Christopher Tracy’s Parade” but is slightly funkier, at least in feel. The exchange of vocals between Prince, Wendy, and Lisa shows how beautiful they worked together and their groove was something that was irresistible.
  • This eventually segues directly into “I Wonder U”, essentially a Wendy & Lisa song with the kind of eroticism some fans were hearing through their harmonies, arguably starting with their exchange in “Computer Blue”. For me, this is one of the best songs on the album. While Prince is not heard vocally throughout the song, it is Prince who plays everything but the string arrangement. In fact, even though the album is credited to Prince And The Revolution, The Revolution only played on three of the tracks. We wouldn’t hear anyone from The Revolution, outside of Wendy and Lisa, until song #5. and we were still here on track #3. The lyrics of “I Wonder U” are basic and one could hear this as an interlude, even though it works very well on its own. One might argue Prince could’ve done more but it easily does its magic without anything else added to it. On top of that, Fischer’s arrangement carries things nicely until the next track.
  • The last song of the four-part movement is the title track to the film, where Prince takes to the piano. It is here where he builds a sculpture for what the movie would be like, at least in theory:

    I want to live life to the ultimate high
    maybe I’ll die young like heroes die
    maybe I’ll kiss you some wild special way
    if nobody kills me or thrills me soon
    I’ll die in your arms under the cherry moon

    Essentially he is telling what will happen in the film but what works about the song is while it wouldn’t be known that Prince played everything but the arrangement in “Under The Cherry Moon”, it sounds like it’s just him and his “band” in a small jazz club, playing a bit of the blues and being intimate with no one but himself. I always love the “if that alright” part as he is getting into a piano groove. One can say he is either giving himself code as he is in the studio doing the overdubs, or perhaps it’s a bit of code for Fischer to do something specific. One can say Prince got caught up in the moment and simply said something as if someone else was in the room or the studio. As the song comes to an end, the album’s first four tracks could have easily been something Prince could’ve or should’ve done more of in the years to come, and I wish he did. Then again, I probably would’ve said something to the effect of “Prince did that mini rock opera again, I wish he didn’t repeat himself.”

  • Track 5 is the first song where The Revolution joins in with help from Eric Leeds on baritone saxophone in the jazzy funk pump of “Girls And Boys”, complete with mean baritone saxophone work from Eric Leeds. Also in assistance is Sheila E., who helps Wendy and Lisa in their background vocals. The song was recorded in July 1985, most likely around the same time Prince and Sheila E. recorded “Alexa De Paris”, a song that would be used within the film but was released as the non-LP B-side to “Mountains”.
  • This goes immediately into “Life Can Be So Nice”, which sounds like it could be another Revolution contribution but is actually Prince all to himself with help from Wendy and Lisa and Sheila E. on cowbells. When this is heard in Under The Cherry Moon, it is one of my favorite parts of the film, where you see Prince sitting in his car just jamming and getting lost in his own groove before he is seen mouthing the lyrics “scrambled eggs, so boring.”
  • “Venus De Milo” wraps up Side 1 and sounds like a true interlude, not wasteful but a nice delicate piece that highlights Prince with Sheila E. on drums, most likely recorded around the time she did her parts in “Girls & Boys” and “Alexa De Paris”.

  • Side 2 begins with the second song with the rest of The Revolution, “Mountains”. This one sounds like a cross between Curtis Mayfield and Larry Graham, with Mayfield’s essence heard in Prince’s falsetto while Brown Mark’s bass work could be straight out of the Sly & The Family Stone vaults. While many have said the lyrics are Christian in theme, the line “Africa divided, hijack in the air/it’s enough to make you want to lose your mind” suggests it’s also cultural as well. The overall feel of the song is about someone looking for love and regardless of how you find it, it will pull you out of your loneliness. Eric Leeds and Atlanta Bliss’ horn playing is sharp but it also ties in with the complete arrangement from Fischer, which carries this song throughout in different textures. The 12″ version, a full ten minutes, carries a funkier groove and it offers a chance for Leeds and Bliss to get lost with their instruments.
  • “Do U Lie” could be considered an extension of an interlude, as if “I Wonder U” and “Venus De Milo” wasn’t enough and Prince said “I need to make something stronger but keep things mellow.” The music is primarily Prince with help from Wendy and Lisa but Wendy’s brother, Jonathan Melvoin, sits in for this song playing the drums. It’s playful and if others covered this song in their own way, it could easily become its own entity.
  • “Kiss” was Parade first single and the one most people identify with the album and, if they remember it, the film. While the video also featured Wendy playing the guitar, she is not in the actual version. Prince plays everything in the song and originally he did it as a demo to present to a group he had signed to Paisley Park, Mazarati. However, after Prince heard Mazarati’s version of the song, which was funkier than the acoustic and laid back approach of his demo, Prince decided to tinker with their formula and make it his song. He pulled out a few elements (including the original lead vocal from Sir Casey Terry) but made sure to leave the background vocals from Mazarati to give it a bit of character. The song, pulled by the seductive and also humorous music video, eventually went to #1 on Billboard’s Pop Singles Chart, becoming Prince’s third #1 single and because of its success, is often one of the Prince songs you’ll always hear on the oldies format today.
  • If there’s another song on Parade that had much more of a Sly & The Family Stone hint, that would belong to “Anotherloverholenyohead”, the third and last song on the album to feature the entire Revolution, along with Wendy’s twin sister Susannah on background vocals. The third single in the U.S. from Parade, there’s so much to enjoy from this song, from the different ways he sings one verse compared to the others to Prince’s guitar work, especially in the last minute. The extended version on the 12″ doubles in time and allows everyone to keep things in the pocket until he calls it a day. A full arrangement from Fischer had been made for “Anotherloverholenyohead” but according to PrinceVault.com, he liked the song without the orchestration so while you do hear light strings in parts of the song, most of it was pulled out of the final mix.
  • The album closes with “Sometimes It Snows In April and ends up being the moral of the story in Under The Cherry Moon although if you just hear it as is, you might wonder what it means and what it has to do with the rest of the album. The main character in the film is Christopher Tracy, played by Prince, and the name can be shortened to Chris T., or “Christ”. If “Mountains” was said to be Christian themed, you might say that by the snow existing in the warm spring month of April, it’s a reference to Jesus Christ in his last days. Everything is in metaphor and in the song, it’s just Prince on piano with Wendy on guitar and vocals and Lisa on keyboards and vocals. While he did initially approve of Fischer’s string arrangement in the song, he decided to not use it on the final mix of the album but choosing for it to be used in Under The Cherry Moon.

    The song itself ends with two lines that you could say ended up being prophetic for what was to come for Prince and his career:
    Sometimes I wish that life was never ending
    and all good things, they say, never last
    all good things, they say, never last
    and love, it isn’t love until it’s past

  • While Under The Cherry Moon was a complete flop, Parade is easily one of the best things Prince recorded and released not only in the 1980’s but his entire career. You could play along with the story line of Christopher Tracy but the album has more of a running theme than an actual concept but then again, you can say the same thing about the film. His songs, his guitar work, his vocals and musicianship was becoming stronger and by continuing his collaboration with Wendy and Lisa and bringing in Clare Fischer to help, one was hoping these good vibes would continue for perhaps the rest of the decade. As we now know, Prince had other things in mind for he wasn’t about to wait around to follow himself up in anything.

    Parade would become the last set of music credited to Prince & The Revolution. A tour in support of the album was fairly small compared to all of the dates did for Purple Rain and if you look at the concert dates, it almost seems as if he had no urge to push the music to a bigger or greater audience. Only eleven shows were done in the U.S. and the second half of the tour went to Europe along with a small handful of shows in Japan.

    Perhaps the failure of the film in the United States moved Prince to wonder if it’s worth supporting the album at all. “Anotherloverholenyohead” only went as high as #63 on Billboard’s Pop Singles chart and ran out of steam in a month. By the end of the tour, Wendy & Lisa were no longer happy with Prince’s shenanigans and that put an end to The Revolution. While reading that made it off as if Prince’s decisions to break things down was sudden, perhaps it was something he was preparing to do in the first place, despite the fact most of his band had toured with him long before there was a Revolution.

    Nonetheless, even when Parade was recorded, mixed, and mastered, he was still working on an album that had yet to be finished, Dream Factory and it had been planned for release at the end of the year. In other words, Prince was not only working on what was assumed to be one new album a year for three years, but he had enough on stand-by to possibly release a second album. All the song that were done over the years were put together for album configurations but Prince was not happy with either of them. A few weeks after Under The Cherry Moon was released in limited theaters, Prince was putting together what he felt was good enough for a double album. However, when Wendy & Lisa getting ready to leave, there was no reason for him to release Dream Factory as is and the album was scrapped. The album never came anywhere close to being approved for a final version but some of its songs would be used for a project-to-come.

    That included a third album that was planned for 1987, and it was Crystal Ball that was was not only announced as his follow-up to Parade, but it would make up for the scrapped Dream Factory (at this point in his career, Prince’s on-again/off-again album projects were becoming told like a soap opera). Portions of what was Dream Factory were used for what was to be Crystal Ball and he came up with a plan to release it as a triple LP. That included tracks from a new project he was working on, where his voice was sped up to where he came close to sounding like a Chipmunk. That would be the voice of Camille and he had plans on releasing a full album under the character. While sales for his music were still very strong, Warner Bros. looked at the flop that was Under The Cherry Moon and told him under no circumstance would they ever release a 3-record set. He needed to reduce the amount of songs or come up with something completely different. While Prince had no problem with coming up with anything, two of his potentially-biggest projects were not meant to be and that would help him create what we now know as Sign ‘O’ The Times. When news of that album surfaced in Rolling Stone, I was kind of leery about it, only because his other projects were not considered worthy so what should I expect from him in 1987. We would find out on March 31, 1987.

  • As for Parade, it ended a formula that Prince very much had in the palm of his hands and while it’s easy to say he let it fly away, perhaps Wendy and Lisa’s departure was inevitable. Fortunately it lead to them being signed to Columbia Records and release music on their own, pushing on with a musical collaboration that continues to this day. Prince went to a different and arguably higher level with Sign ‘O’ The Times, which continued with the release of Lovesexy and later with Diamonds And Pearls, nothing could equal what was created on Parade, and perhaps even Prince knows this too. The trilogy of albums Prince did with The Revolution are remarkable and while each of them are still self-contained showcases, it’s what he did with the other members that helped make those albums stronger. Parade was, in many ways, a climax of a feeling that ended up becoming another feeling, from a man who refused to stay in one place at any given time. Maybe he forced himself in not wanting to be too comfortable, not ever wanting to take the easy way out. If he did, he could have yet… well, anyone can assume what he would’ve/could’ve/should’ve but at this point in his career, Prince was doing things with his music that no one else could equal to. As Sheila E. said in one of her songs, Prince was inside of his toy box and he didn’t cared who knocked. Parade was a theme park you never wanted to leave but all good things, as they say, never last, and it didn’t.

  • BOOK’S JOOK: Andre Cymone’s “The Dance Electric”

  • Book’s Jook is a column dedicated to placing a record within my dream jukebox, if I were to have one. The Seeburg jukebox shown below is similar to the one I have wanted since I was a kid. To read more on why I started this column, click here.

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    When “The Dance Electric” was released, I had already been a Prince fan for six years, of interest since Prince wrote the song. Prince was slowly winding down with what he presented with Purple Rain and was already getting into an Around The World In A Day mind state, so when this came out in early 1985, it really came out of the blue. I knew Andre Cymone was a part of Prince’s live band on his earlier albums and left a few years before this, and I had heard some of his solo material before, but this sounded nothing like what he had come out with before. To be honest, it didn’t sound anything like what Prince had come out with before either. To my ears it was harder, funkier, and sexier, and for this overeager 14 year old, I had no true concept of what a sexier song could be like, despite hearing music by Prince, Frankie Goes To Hollywood, Barry White, Earth Wind & Fire and so many others, but no one was doing what this song had done. It’s a bit like Art Of Noise throwing around electronic music with drum sounds from different sources, I had no idea what they were doing or why it sounded that way, but I couldn’t stop listening. The same could be said for “The Dance Electric”.

    What made me get into the song was the fantastic music video that was shown on Black Entertainment Television’s Video Soul and Video Vibrations. They were always supportive of anything that had the Minneapolis sound, so this was presented to the people by default. The video was some kind of pre-apocalyptic tale about going to a club where only the sexy people could be, although people seemed to judge themselves by how sexy they are. Some of them may have been greedy or deceitful, but the dance kept on going. Even when the world (or their world) was about to end, the centered dance kept on going, sexiness uninterrupted. Who didn’t want to find a partner to get involved in that?


    I had felt “The Dance Electric” was the sexiest video I had ever seen in my young love, sexier than Rod Stewart’s “Tonight I’m Yours” or anything that was on the airwaves pre-1985. Two years later, when a certain movie was released and became an international success, I still felt “The Dance Electric” was the real Dirty Dancing. I’m sure by today’s standards, the video would be fairly tame and yet despite occasional off-tempo steps, it was the kind of seduction that you could only see on some foreign film that you could only watch on Cinemax After Hours or something. All of that appealed to me, and that only made me love the song even more.

    As for the song, Prince’s guitar work throughout is solid and has a number of peaks and valleys that help carry the music towards its destination. The background vocals from Wendy Melvoin and Lisa Coleman carry in the tradition of how Prince would arrange every vocal in the song as if it could be a possible lead vocal. There were so many statements made in the song that it lead to great quotes that hold up every much today:
    never mind your hatred, try a brand new style
    when your youth is gone, when it comes to dawn, the light of truth will shine and you will fall”
    look, our world is falling, a rhythm-less house of blinded prophecy

    As for the Prince-isms in the song, where does one begin? In the Prince song “God” (the B-side to “Purple Rain”), he did say “wake up children, dance the dance electric” so perhaps he was dropping a hint of what he had created. While I never had the 45, I knew of the single version through the edit used in the video, but on the 12″ version, Cymone also said “we got 14 years”, which made be go “oh, it’ll be 1999”. This means we’re going to have to party before we get there. Being a 14 year old, I wasn’t about to party any time soon (nor was I a party-type guy) so how to party and with whom, I had no idea and had no sense of doing anything that felt good. It just seemed that Cymone was throwing out codes, with Prince laying some extra information along the way, with the voices/spirits of Melvoin and Coleman guiding the listener through the underground tunnels. Eventually, we were all going to get there, somehow.

    It’s a song that made us (or at least me) think, and I could only imagine what this song must have been like in the right clubs. Were people getting heated in a sexual manner as the video showed, or did the song not get much dance floor action because it wasn’t a massive hit? While the version the 45rpm single was four minutes, the 12″ version was 5 1/2 minutes and known as the “long version”. There have been demo versions circulating for years amongst diehard Prince collectors but in 2012, an acetate surfaced which featured the longest mix of “The Dance Electric” known: 12 minutes. It was a mix with Cymone’s lead vocals, none of Prince’s vocals like existing demo versions, and his guitar work was intact, this was real. To think that this was a mix made for possible release but either he, Cymone, or Columbia Records rejected it and it remained untouched by anyone, it didn’t surface on any imported 12″ singles either. It eventually surfaced on a deluxe edition of Cymone’s A.C. album that was released last year. To fans of Cymone throughout his career, this remains one of the best songs he has done. For Prince fans, this was just another part of his endless dimensions. It remains one of the best songs of the 1980’s, which is often identified with other songs but for me, the 80’s would have been nothing without “The Dance Electric”.

    (SIDE NOTE: One of the dancers in the video reminded me of a girl I liked in middle and high school, so there was that too. Respect to Lori S.)


  • DUST IT OFF: Prince & The Revolution’s “Purple Rain”…30 years later

    (NOTE: While other writers posted articles yesterday about the 30th anniversary of Purple Rain, the actual release date is June 26, 1984, a Tuedsay, catering to the United States. While Wikipedia likes to shine the spotlight on the UK release date first, Prince did not have the kind of credibility yet for him to have one of his albums released in England first. Wikipedia lists the release date as June 25, 1984, which is incorrect, not only because that day was a Monday. The UK release date is said to be July 13th, but that would be a Friday. UK albums were released on Monday, thus the UK release date is most likely July 16, 1984, which would be much closer to the release of the film, July 27, 1984.

    Now, we begin.)

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    By the time Purple Rain (Warner Bros.) was released on June 26, 1984, I was a Prince fan for close to five years, with “I Wanna Be Your Lover” being my introduction to the man. Unfortunately, due to him being Prince, I didn’t hear any other of his hits until he started to gain massive MTV rotation in 1982 with the videos for “1999” and “Little Red Corvette”. MTV’s issue back then was that they didn’t normally play black artists unless that person was the bassist for another artist: Haircut 100, Big Country, Pete Townshend, The Waitresses, and Culture Club, along with various British ska groups. Michael Jackson changed that with “Billie Jean” in late 1982, but then came Prince. It was “1999” and “Little Red Corvette” that helped get Prince on the pop of the charts, and it can be argued it was because his music may not have sounded “black” to some audiences. He was still considered new wave by some artists, but these two songs made people know that he was an artist not to be messed with. As “1999” and “Little Red Corvette” had more MTV airplay, he was already hard at work on a new album, along with his first motion picture. It seemed peculiar: why would there be a movie about Prince? Regardless of why, some were wondering what was going to happen and if it was going to be a success at all. Does Prince have any level of celebrity? Longtime fans knew that he was very much a star, but he needed to get that across to wider/whiter audiences. The release of “When Doves Cry” in May 1984 showed that something was up, a song completely played and vocalized by Prince himself, with the bass removed from the final mix. The song stood out for many reasons, and this was a sign of what was to come.

    I really didn’t become a deep Prince fan until Purple Rain, even though I had been familiar some of his other songs. I did not have access to souk/R&B radio stations that played his music on a regular basis, I had lived in Honolulu and it was only pop and rock. I know I heard “I Wanna Be Your Lover” on pop radio but as far as “Uptown”, “Dirty Mind”, “Controversy” or “Sexuality”, I did not hear them until I moved to the Pacific Northwest on June 14, 1984. It was then I discovered a cable network called Black Entertainment Television (BET) and considering my music interests, it was a dream come true. I also started watching a show on USA Network called Night Flight, which did not hesitate to show Prince videos. Essentially, Purple Rain opened the door wide to Prince, and I had to backtrack and pick up all of his albums. My auntie had his second, self-titled album, as she was a fan first, so eventually I would borrow that album but until I started exploring, I had to examine what this Purple Rain was about.

  • “Let’s Go Crazy” began as if we were at church, with Prince starting up a service for what his Revolution would be. Even though the song sounded very new wave, arguably code for “very white”, there was something else in the song that made me believe there was something more to him. I already had a sense with “1999” and “Little Red Corvette” but the guitar solo got me open. I had never heard anything like that, and I was already a fan of Jimi Hendrix and Carlos Santana. It sounded like a mixture of both guys, so at least I tuned into the right frequency. When I saw the movie, I loved and preferred the extended version of “Let’s Go Crazy” that opened the film, which I discovered when I bought the 12″ single. The 12″ mix is great, for there was an ode to “Let’s Pretend We’re Married” build right in. He seemed to be someone who was willing to play games with his music, little did I know how much.
  • “Take Me With U” always seemed like the worst song on the album, and partially because it featured Apollonia Kotero. As Prince started releasing more music throughout the 80’s and 90’s, he was more than wanting to share his musical influences, and I can distinctly hear Joni Mitchell throughout this song, but Kotero’s voice didn’t fit for me. I prefer the song without Kotero, but what stands out for me was the string arrangement. Maybe it also didn’t fit because the song was not originally recorded as part of the film, it was one of the last songs to be put together in March 1984 before Prince approved of a final master and mix. Out of the five singles released in the U.S. for Purple Rain, it was the fifth and last single and did the worst, going as high as #25 on the Billboard Top 100 Singles Chart and yet doing well in the UK, making it to #7. I remember it getting some airplay but by that time, Purple Rain had been released on VHS and he was preparing his follow-up album.
  • “The Beautiful Ones” is the ballad side of Prince that many people love and enjoy, and he gets into a wicked scream which was sure to have made some new fans panic, perhaps to say “how come this man sounds so wild?” On 1999, he was telling his lady “Let’s Pretend We’re Married” but here, he stated “If I told u baby/That I was in love with u/Oh baby, baby, baby/If we got married/Would that be cool?” He was not strong enough to say “I’m gonna have fun every motherfuckin’ night” in the song, but his juices were slowly being revved up. In “The Beautiful Ones”, he wanted to show his beautiful side, a sensual side.
  • “Computer Blue” was the first time we heard the voices of Wendy Melvoin and Lisa Coleman that were not sung, and for me at first, the song seemed cool at first but I used to hear it as being one half of “Darling Nikki”. When I got into trading Prince bootlegs on cassette in the late 1980’s, I was able to find a longer version of “Computer Blue” and I liked that. I had hoped he would release that version in better quality. The song basically told the listener that he will forever be sad until he finds someone who will not make him so blue. It’s also significant because of the song title, very few people in the mainstream were singing songs pertaining to computers, it was heard a lot throughout the music but not part of the pop music lyrics.
  • “Darling Nikki” will forever be the song many of us heard, smiled, looked around to see if anyone else was in the same room, and turned down a bit so someone else wouldn’t hear the line “I met her in a hotel lobby, masturbating with a magazine.” We quickly learned that this Nikki woman was someone dirty and raw, and she also loved to grind. At age 13, I certainly was not grinding to anything yet, so it was a bit like finding dad’s Penthouse or Penthouse Letters and being wide-eyed. Now, we were wide eared. It wasn’t the dirtiest thing I had heard on record, I was already a fan of records by Richard Pryor and Redd Foxx but this just seemed so bold and in-your-face. The song builds up to the point where the Linn drums seemed to be louder than everything else, and then a synthesized orchestra mixed with Prince’s guitar was just turning things beyond the point of no return. Then the song ends… or did it? The choir of Prince is heard singing, but we quickly learn that it’s backwards. I had the cassette, so I couldn’t put it on the record player and turn it the other way. I also knew a technique of opening a cassette shell and flipping the tape reel backwards so when the shell was tightened again, you could hear a lo-fi version of the audio, but backwards. I’d have to discover what the full message said when it was printed in Rolling Stone. The energy of the song was felt even more when I watched the movie, and it became one of my favorites.
  • “When Doves Cry” had already been familiar to me for a month, I bought the 45 when I heard it on the radio in Honolulu, a few weeks before my family and I were to move to Washington State, so I loved it. I hadn’t been aware that every instrument and vocal was Prince himself, I already knew he did this on his earlier albums but to hear it with a different perspective with each playing, his records become listening lessons. I didn’t know the true meaning of the song at first, but I related a bit to part of the chorus which said “maybe you’re just like my father, too bold/maybe you’re just like my mother, she’s never satisfied”. I related because before my dad died, I wondered if he considered himself bold or if others did, and while I would never ask my mom if she was satisfied in anything, it’s something I wondered about as a teen and trying to understand their relationship. I was trying to piece the lyrics together and see if I could relate. It would be years until parts of my own life could be heard in the song.
  • “I Would Die 4 U” was a blast from start to finish, although the song was under three minutes, it was meant to be an example of a great pop record. Even when it was released as Purple Rain‘s fourth U.S. single, it would cut the ending cold but allow that to echo until it eventually faded. The song always felt like the perfect half for “Baby I’m A Star”, and while the 12″ version of “I Would Die 4 U” was a much lengthier (10:15) live performance, it always seemed to be its own song in this form, yet the 2:49 cut always seems incomplete without “Baby I’m A Star”. I always preferred “Baby I’m A Star” over “I Would Die 4 U”, as the song seemed more powerful and fancy free, as if Prince was now telling everyone “I’m a rocker, I’m a star, get used to it”. He was celebrating stardom in a slightly humorous fashion, and we wanted to eat it up. The movie ends with the two songs, and when we saw Prince doing a bit of the laser ejaculate, we couldn’t help but want to believe in this freak from Minneapolis.
  • The album ends with what would become the epic song, the powerful title track. It was another ballad, but this felt like something else entirely, not just “a ballad”. Looking back, one could say that this was Prince’s attempt that trying to make something as powerful as The Beatles’ “Hey Jude” or Derek & The Dominos’ “Layla”, not trying to copy what they did, but to make something that would become as moving and overwhelming as those songs. The song moves on at a very nice pace, and while it seems like it has much more lyrics than it does because of its eight minute and forty-five second length, it only has three verses and the chorus repeated three times. His bluesy guitar solo takes the listener away in the second half of the song, along with the passionate non-verbal lyrics that help take the song to what sounds like its ultimate end. Prince isn’t ready to give it up just yet, he has a few more chords left to go, perhaps a bit more tears from this “rain” before he says goodbye. He reaches those high notes and it might feel like something you’d expect to hear on John Coltrane’s A Love Supreme album, and then it… doesn’t end. The song ends with an orchestral coda while you hear a repetitive piano melody, looped as if no other chords can move into or out of it, you’re locked in for good. This goes on like a dirge or meditation and I remember being in a 7-Eleven parking lot hearing the coda for the very first time. I wasn’t sure how to react or feel, I just knew that it was special and nothing like I had ever heard. Eventually we hear all of the instruments reach a comment note before an audience applauds, and the album ends.

  • As I started to become a bigger Prince fan and collector, I would also make my own custom cassettes for Purple Rain, where I would include the long version of “Let’s Go Crazy”, along with non-LP B-sides “17 Days”, “Erotic City”, “God”, and “Another Lonely Christmas”. Making a custom version of Purple Rain would mean to expand the experience much longer than the original 44 minute album length.

    Purple Rain still holds up as an album with a lot of strengths, songs that still hold up very well thirty years after the fact. Prince didn’t only release the album with The Revolution, for he also had a hand in Sheila E’s debut album The Glamorous Life and the debut by Apollonia 6, released at the end of the year a few weeks after Purple Rain was released on VHS. The Time also recorded and released their third album ice Cream Castle on July 3, 1984, so when Purple Rain hit theaters a few weeks later, music fans had a lot of music to consume and explore. Longtime Time fans would feel that this album felt more like The Time they heard at live performances, and it had been said by many that they would outdo anything Prince could do in a live setting, which is exactly what part of the movie was about.

    Then again, what exactly was the movie about? Could fans appreciate the movie away from the music, can the soundtrack be loved without knowing how it was interpreted visually, or did they both have to be a union between one another? Musically, Purple Rain stands up on its own and will forever be known as the album that finally made Prince one of the biggest artists of not just the 1980’s, but all time. Without Purple Rain, we would not have great albums like Around The World In A Day, Parade, Sign ‘O’ The Times, Lovesexy, the first Madhouse album, and everything else he has released (and not released) in the last thirty years. Some fans who were turned on to Prince with the movie may have found him hard to endure with each subsequent release, and it’s safe to say the huge audiences that went to his shows in 1984 and 1985 didn’t bother holding true to him through his many life and career changes. I’d like to think that without those fans who chose to care and believe in his creativity before and after Purple Rain, he wouldn’t continue to do what he does today.


  • DUST IT OFF: Prince’s “When Doves Cry”…30 years later

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    This was something I looked forward to. I knew the 30th anniversary of this was on its way this month, but Wiki, Discogs, and Prince.org lists it as either May 9th or 16th, 1984, which is wrong since both dates are Wednesday. While I know Wikipedia tends to cater to the UK release date, both dates would still be wrong. Anyway, regardless of the actual release date, we are now 30 years beyond the impact of this song. It’s a bit significant for me, as it’s the last Prince song I heard as a resident of Honolulu before I moved a little over three weeks later. I had been a Prince fan since I saw the video for “I Wanna Be Your Lover” on public access, which lead to me buying the 45 at Music Box in downtown Honolulu. I knew of Paul McCartney playing all of his instruments but I had never seen a promotional film clip of anyone doing the same. I was hooked and loved the song. Sadly, due to radio genres and formats, I didn’t become aware of Prince again until “1999” and “Little Red Corvette”, and that was because MTV had played him. I want to say I heard “Controversy” back then too but I honestly don’t remember. Nonetheless, when “When Doves Cry” was released, this was just a new Prince single, sounding uniquely different from “1999” or “Little Red Corvette”. It sounded like Prince was going to change his method a bit, but we weren’t sure why. A month later, a soundtrack album arrived, and we all knew a movie was going to come out. Little did we know how big this film was going to be not only for him, but 1984 as a whole. I wasn’t able to see Purple Rain at the theater because it was Rated R, and while my mom had no issue with him, I don’t think she wanted to take me to the theater to see the movie just because. I ended up renting the VHS for Purple Rain before we even had a VCR, I was that advanced and dumb at the same time. When I hear “When Doves Cry”, I hear a bit of sadness from someone who was about to move away from home and discover new people and scenery. I found a way to relate to “how can you just leave me standing alone in a world so cold” because I was about to leave behind everything and not sure what the future would offer However, in the album version of the song, the courage came back through that guitar solo. For me, I guess the song was the start of a new way of living for me, and little did I know how much it was going to change me, discovering many things the hard way.

    OPINION: Prince now owns publishing and master recordings of his Warner Bros. material

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    In the words of Jane’s Addiction’s Perry Farrell, “everybody has their own opinion”, and here is mine. Word this morning is that not only has Prince obtained the publishing rights of his older music (previously owned by Universal), but he has now obtained the master recordings, something he has fought for for over twenty years. When he marked his face with the word “SLAVE”, it had to do with issues pertaining to Warner Bros., as he wanted to own his own music. You would think that would be a simple task to do, but when you’ve made your company millions of dollars, that company does not want to give up what is essentially a piece of their cash cow. Prince changed his name to a symbol, he released music independently, then he left Warner Bros. to find a new home first with EMI, then with Universal. This left some fans wondering if he was so fed up with the music industry, why is he still catering to them by being associated with a major label.

    Prince has showed he has a winning formula, but with every winner, there’s a miss. Prince has sold music independently, but the reason he has fought so hard for his older music is because not only does he want ownership of his own music, but because he will be able to earn as much from it. In a world where MP3’s are king and concert sales earn an artist much more than music sales, where does this leave Prince? If anything, it leaves him a much happier man.

  • This is what’s known. 2014 marks the 30th anniversary of Purple Rain, both the album and the movie. Many fans are expecting for some good things to happen in commemoration of it, and the article reveals that there will be a 30th anniversary deluxe edition of the album. Contents haven’t been announced yet, but one hopes it will feature all of the B-sides (both 45 and 12″ versions), live performances, and alternate takes, outtakes, and demos that have been circulating amongst collectors for 25 years. Will a deluxe edition also feature a DVD featuring all the videos made, live videos, and TV performances? Ideally, it would be nice but that would require to pay a fee for the use of his performances from the American Music Awards and Grammy awards but this is Prince, so we’ll see.
  • In terms of his publishing, it is possible we will hear more Prince material in television commercials, along with TV shows, movies, video games, and apps. Signing the contract is all about exploitation, and with him having full ownership, he will be exploiting himself in his own way. Now, it doesn’t have to be a specific product, in fact one doesn’t even have to hear Prince sing. It can be a portion of “Little Red Corvette” behind an ad for a car. Maybe a portion of “Delirious” for Cialis. “America” heard for a store selling patriotic carpets. The sky is truly the limit, but it also depends on if he wants to do it that way, or if he plans on selling his music in that fashion.
  • With him owning his master recordings, I am sure the requests for how his music will be sold will be an issue. Fans have wanted all of his albums to be properly remastered, and while there is a Kevin Gray-remastered version of Purple Rain, it is said to have been done not from the actual master tape, but a safety copy. If there is a series of Prince vinyl remasters, will they be done on 180g/200g vinyl? Will it be just the albums, or all of his 12″ singles? How about compilations of nothing but high quality versions of unreleased goodies? Or how about a compilation of unreleased music videos, as Prince was known to shoot his own videos at Paisley Park, only to never show them again? He could release them on DVD or Blu-Ray, or keep it digital and have it shown on Netflix. Speaking of Netflix, how about director’s cuts of Under The Cherry Moon or Sign ‘O’ The Times, or are films excluded? How much of the foods are the public going to get? How free will Prince’s new form of freedom be? Will the door be wide open, or more selective than ever?

    I loved what Frank Zappa was able to do when he finally obtained the rights to his own music. He released some projects on his own Barking Pumpkin label, but also had a deal with Rykodisc who ended up releasing most of his albums and new compilations, in the way he wanted them to be heard. It did upset a number of Zappa fans, who wanted to hear certain albums as is and not fixed up/edited in the way Zappa felt was better, so I’m certain people on different Prince-related boards will nitpick about things.

    Of course, the focus of this article is to show how selfish we, as fans, can be about our favorite artist. Or maybe that’s just me. Either way, the fact that he owns publishing and the master recordings is a huge plus for him. Part of this still has him attached with Warner Bros., who I am sure do not want to lose contact with someone who made them a healthy amount of money in the 1980’s. You can say that Prince is now on the same level as Neil Young, who Warner Bros. do not want to lose either. Young left Reprise records in order to find a new home with Geffen Records, where he ended up making five albums. While those albums were not big sellers as the work he did with Reprise, it proved to Reprise why Young was an asset to the label and why the label was an asset to him. Young was allowed to continue to explore, all while still earning a percentage of what he earns every year from “Heart Of Gold”, “Tonight’s The Night”, and “Long May You Run”. This could mean that Prince will be pulling some of Warner Bros.’ strings this time around, but who knows at this point. However, now that someone like Prince owns his work, where does that leave others who continue to fight for their rights to make a living from what they created in the first place? Will more artists continue to push forward or still earn an annual amount that continues to dwindle for the sake of another person’s livelihood?

    Also at hand: Prince samples. While not as heavily sampled as James Brown or Sly Stone, there’s a nice amount of Prince-related samples in hip-hop, electronica, and other forms of music. Will his people pursue those who have sampled him? Will he be open to more sample usage? How about Prince multi-tracks, how much of that will surface, if at all, outside of what already exists on bootlegs and file circulation?

    Until we hear “Starfish & Coffee” become the best part of waking up this morning, I say congratulations to Prince. We eagerly await to see and hear what’s next, and no doubt will be arguing when it doesn’t satisfy us because you know, we’re selfish when we don’t have to be.

  • VIDEO: Prince’s “Breakfast Can Wait”

    Perhaps Prince’s eating habits have changed since the chorus of “Starfish & Coffee”, but now he is saying when it comes down to the nitty gritty, “Breakfast Can Wait”. The video fools around with the idea that Prince is not himself, and he is definitely not himself in this video, similar to the back cover of his “Sign ‘O’ The Times” 12″ single.


    VIDEO: Prince & 3RDEYEGIRL’s “Crimson & Clover (Coliseu De Lisboa – Lisbon, Portugal, August 17, 2013)”

    A few days ago, Prince welcomed himself more openly on Twitter under the @3RDEYEGIRL, which caught many fans by surprise. People wondered if it was indeed him, or just someone on the account posing at him, but he then started posting videos on YouTube, warning people that they best watch it now before the lawyers take it down. It’s a different position from how his work has been presented on YouTube before, where any intellectual property from the man has been taken down. These videos consist of new live performances, doing everything from new renditions of “Let’s Go Crazy” to “She’s Always In My Hair”. A few hours ago, he posted his rendition of Tommy James & The Shondells’ “Crimson & Clover” from a performance done in Portugal last night. One is hopeful that these frequent posts is a sign ‘o’ what’s to come but for now, I think some fans are wondering if this is just a one time thing and if so, everyone must take advantage of what he is posting before he closes (or is forced to close) shop again.


    SOME STUFFS: Numero Group to unleash unreleased Jimmy Jam recordings

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    Before he became known for producing hit songs for Janet Jackson, and even during a time before he became a member of the touring band for The Time, James Harris was a 16 year old musician with a dream. His dream would initiate when he became a member of Mind & Matter not only as a musician, but as a writer and arrange. That young man in the middle of the photo with a keyboard and bright smile? That’s the man we now know as Jimmy Jam. Now, that era of Jimmy Jam’s career will be explored with a new compilation coming out on Numero Group.

    While the band barely made a dent in the midwest, that part of his career will be examined with an album called 1514 Oliver Avenue (Basement), featuring basement demos previously unheard by anyone outside of the immediate circle until now. Disco, funk, soul, and jazz were all explored amongst Mind & Matter, and while they weren’t able to take their moniker to heart, perhaps it will this time, now that Jimmy Jam is considered a major component of the Minneapolis Sound. The bio for the album states that this was Harris’ trip into “vintage alternative”, some soul that even soul fans weren’t appreciative for at first, into the ventures that would become a part of Prince Rogers Nelson’s own sound, to the point where his time with The Time was considered far better than what Prince was doing at shows. Here’s the track listing:

    1) No One Else Can Do It To Me Baby
    2) Wonder Of It All
    3) Love Is Like a Fire
    4) I Don’t Know Why (I Love You Like I Do)
    5) Disco Child
    6) When You’re Touching Me
    7) Would Be Mine
    8) Virgin Lady
    9) Now That I Don’t Have You

    The album can be considered a companion album to Numero Group’s Purple Snow: Forecasting The Minneapolis Sound which explored what was going up (or down) in the Twin Cities before the Twin Cities became the it place to be. It will be released on October 29th.

    DUST IT OFF: Prince’s “Lovesexy”…25 Years Later

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    As a Prince fan, I had been waiting to find out what his follow-up to Sign ‘O’ The Times would be. Sign ‘O’ The Times was an album that had to grow on me in the first month I was listening to it, perhaps because his previous album (1986’s Parade) was one I got into completely. There was a lot of territory covered on Sign ‘O’ The Times that I had to, as he says in “Slow Love”, take my time in listening to things. Up to the release of Sign ‘O’ The Times, there was a lot of coverage in Rolling Stone magazine about the album he was working on, and how that was scrapped and turned into the record we now know. When the singers were released and Prince was ready to try something new, more news in Rolling Stone surfaced that he was working on a grittier, dirtier, and raunchy album, perhaps even more filthy than his earlier works, or at least it was compared to the Prince of yesteryear, before he was embraced by the mainstream post-Purple Rain. I was highly looking forward to this new dose of dirty music, but as time moved on in the early spring of 1988, there was word that Prince was not happy, that he allegedly rejected this submitted album, almost as in a way to say “if I were to die, I don’t want this to be my last statement”. However, review copies of The Black Album were sent to journalists and that became the hot item to have. Except most people didn’t have it or couldn’t obtain it, at least not yet. Eventually, Warner Bros. Records revealed that Prince would be releasing something that would be more acceptable/accessible to the public. No black cover, no raunchy songs, and with the exception of one song, no trace of anything that was on The Black Album.

    When Lovesexy was released on May 10, 1988, “Alphabet St.” was the first single from it, promoted by a video that looked like it was shot on a public access cable show with the cheapy graphics to match. The song was incredibly funky with a nice pop shine, but due to how irresistible it was, fans loved it enough to help get it into the Top 10 of Billboard’s Singles chart.

    As with most first singles, this was the entry way into an album that, in effect, represented The Black Album‘s replacement album, but people seemed to be taken aback by him sitting nude with a photograph of a flower behind him. Some had felt the flower featured a phallic component that represented its penis, which made things worse for stores who refused to sell the album. In some cities, the album cover was censored while other stores would sell them behind the counter, the old school practice way of selling something to the public that was considered offensive. In some cases, the album would not be stocked which resulted in lower-than-expected sales, which is sad considering how good Lovesexy is.

    The album was supported by three singles: the aforementioned “Alphabet St.”, “Glam Slam”, and “I Wish U Heaven”. “Glam Slam” was one of Prince’s great efforts at making pop, right alongside “Raspberry Beret”, and the video featured him and his group performing at the warehouse in Chanhassen, Minnesota that was his rehearsal space at Paisley Park studios. The song is meant to be a representation of love and beauty in the way Prince does it best, but it did not do as well as a single as “Alphabet St.”, at least in the U.S.

    The third and final single was the short and sweet “I Wish U Heaven”, another pop gem that seemed to be influenced by everyone from Sly Stone to Larry Graham to Curtis Mayfield, with nice gospel overtones heard in Prince’s own multi tracked background vocals. As quirky as the song was, with its 1960’s pop single length of 2:43, it seemed to be pure perfection. While Prince was a master of releasing extended performances of his songs, a song like “I Wish U Heaven” very much showed that there was someone who was very much the king of pop in his own right, when he could be.

    Even in the seven months following the release of Lovesexy, I always wondered if Prince made the right choices in singles. While “Glam Slam” is a decent song, “Anna Stesia” is far more incredible although perhaps the spiritual overtones of the second half may have been considered a threat to pop radio, even though I’d like to think it would have been a massive hit on the black charts. It’s a song where he proudly finds a love he can’t get enough of:
    Anna Stesia come to me
    Talk to me, ravish me
    Liberate my mind

    Tell me what you think of me
    Praise me, craze me
    Out this space and time

    The second half of the song almost seems like a much lighter version of “Temptation” from Around The World In A Day, but again, not released as a single. Nonetheless, it was a moving way to end Side 1, and the opening song on Side 2 should have been released as a single too. “Dance On” was irresistible from the moment he yells “PICK IT UP”, but at a time when R&B music was not this deep in the pocket, it may have been too much. The only song from The Black Album that survived on Lovesexy was “When 2 R in Love”, a beautiful ballad that might have thrown off some fans, who knew this was from the raunchy album but outside of talking about things that shouldn’t be forbidden and taboo, it seemed fairly safe for a Prince song. A video was made for it, but like the album it was originally meant for, it consisted of nothing but black.

    Lovesexy ends with “Positivity”, with the line “have you had your plus sign today?” a part of its chorus. It seemed to be the antithesis to what The Black Album was supposed to represent, a bit of Dr. Jeckyl & Mr. Hyde, a Prince with two personalities, one feeling completely guilty of the other. For the time being, no one had heard The Black Album and had nothing to compare it to. However, by the summer of 1988, cassette copies were being circulated by fans, some of which were sold in stores as the real thing. For many, The Black Album was the real thing, or at least better than the “thing” that fans felt was Lovesexy, the untouchable album that few wanted to hear, yet alone hold in their hands. The speed of distribution and bootleg sales were so strong, it moved a group of anonymous British musicians to perform The Black Album note for note and pass it off as being a dub of the album. The most noticeable differences is when you hear British men say “2 Nigs United 4 West Compton” with a British accent. Did underground sales and distribution of The Black Album do better than Lovesexy? Some will say yes, but it didn’t stop Warner Bros. from finally releasing the album six years later.

    Looking back at “Alphabet St.” and its success, would “Anna Stesia” and “Dance On” have been more successful than “Glam Slam” and “I Wish U Heaven”? No one would ever think “If I Was Your Girlfriend” and “U Got The Look” (from Sign ‘O’ The Times) would become hits in their own right, but they were. Lovesexy should not be looked at as the replacement album, because now that we do have The Black Album available, it can be placed between Sign ‘O’ The Times and Lovesexy. Or just like countless hip-hop artists, consider it his street album, which is exactly what it is. Prince may love being uptown, but The Black Album was his downtown release. Lovesexy holds up quite well despite the flaws I may have felt upon first listen, and is arguably the last bit of glory in the 1980’s before he released Batman and Graffiti Bridge in 1990. Was this the start of Prince running out of ideas or coming up with great songs? It’s easy to debate about it, but Prince would eventually come up with tracks like “Joy In Repetition”, “Scandalous”, “Thieves In The Temple”, “Money Don’t Matter 2 Nite”, “Diamonds & Pearls”, “Strollin'”, “Live 4 Love”, “The Morning Papers”, “Blue Light”, “Come”, “The Most Beautiful Girl In The World”, “Dolphin”, and “Had U”, and these songs barely skim the surface of what Prince has done in the 25 years since Lovesexy. If one is to look at Prince’s discography, you can either love the hits and only the hits, or take him on for the duration. Prince has tested the limits of not only his fans, but very much himself, and Lovesexy is barely an album that people should complain about it. We’re still talking about its music 25 years later, and he should be proud of that fact. Yet most likely, he spends less time talking about what was and continuing on with what will come next. Maybe Prince himself.