PRINCE & THE REVOLUTION - THE ALBUMS 1984 - 1986

 


"PURPLE RAIN"

1984


LET'S GO CRAZY - It's memorable opening line, "Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today..." well you all know the rest! A powerhouse of a track, blistering guitar solos and a backdrop of spiritual spoken words about God and all things religious.  Just a superb track which has many "air guitar" moments for the wannabe Rock stars, even though by their blinkered standards he was never thought of as a Rock guitarist...quite ridiculous in my opinion.

TAKE ME WITH U -  A sultry Pop ballad sung with Apollonia Kotero.  Jill Jones, Wendy and Lisa sung on backing vocals to add "sexy fullness" to Apollonia's vocal.  It was released as a double A side with "Let's Go Crazy" and was often played on the radio as an alternative.  Allegedly it was going to appear on an Apollonia album.   Romantic, sultry and sexy, all in the best possible Prince taste!

THE BEAUTIFUL ONES -  harsh, sometimes angry song about the anguish of a boy wanting a girl to choose between him and her.  Lots of things going on in this very experimantal, falsetto based track.  The vocals becoming more and more intense until Prince is positively screaming to the target of his affections.  

COMPUTER BLUE - Another song with a bit of everything, searing guitars, throbbing drumbeats.  The spoken intro between Wendy and Lisa was like some weird Dominatrix leanings.  After the initial dark overtones it drives into a mega guitar and keyboards Rock fest.  Add some Electronic effects and this is just an awesome song.  The guitar solo was based on a piano piece by his father John L. Nelson.  
 
DARLING NIKKI -  A track I always used to play a little quietly when my mum and dad were home! I used to giggle at the lyrics but now I don't bat an eyelid.  At the time it was known only for its explicit lyrics and masturbation references.  This song was the forerunner of Tipper Gore and the PMRC (Parents Music Resource Center) placing Parental Advisory stickers on records.  Today it is nothign compared to some of the rappers's lyrics, but then it was a major thing.  The song is quite dark, sensual and unnerving at the first listen and tells of "sex fiend" Nikki.  After following Prince for years, this kind of unusual, sexy, sensual, romantic imagery is nothing new!

WHEN DOVES CRY -  The song was unique, a kind of 80s Dance song but with no bass line, was it Rock? Pop? nobody really knew, it was just one of those songs that sounded brilliant and nobody really knew why they liked it! It was Prince's creativity and inventiveness to do the things nobody would have tried, genius!
 
 

I WOULD DIE 4 U -  An upbeat Pop Rock track that is just under 3 minutes long, if you can find the extended version of this, it is a mega jam and vastly superior.

BABY, I'M A STAR -  the song that everyone realises that Kid is definitely a "star" at the end of the "Purple Rain" film.  It's fast, bright, an ego trip for a rising star and danceable.  Played live so many times and it always gets the crowd on their feet.  The almost jam like quality of the guitars, keyboards and brass make it a raucous positivity laden smash.

PURPLE RAIN -  Just epic, this is Prince's "Bohemian Rhapsody" moment, nearly 9 minutes long on the abum, totally emotive, even more now he is gone.  A pure Rock ballad of gargantuan proportion. The guitar extended guitar solo will make a grown man weep, it is one of the best solo's you will ever hear on record.  It always used to annoy me, that on the radio they would cut the song off just before the solo, blasphemy!


 


"AROUND THE WORLD IN A DAY"

1985


AROUND THE WORLD IN A DAY - The title track opens up this 7th album by Prince and the second official set with The Revolution.  It is a Psychedelic Pop track with various distorted backing vocals and effects that give the scene as being 60s hippie time. It's a great easy going opener that is both spiritual and experimental.  

PAISLEY PARK - The second single to be lifted from the set and reaching number 18 in the UK chart.  It is more like late 60s Progressive Rock than the previous uptempo "Raspberry Beret" and surprisingly went higher.  I always liked this song, its a little off key, its sound is like nothing I heard before and the chorus is strangely catchy.


CONDITION OF THE HEART - An anthemic epic Prince ballad, coming in at almost 7 minutes.  Mostly piano backing with various choral vocals.  Prince uses his full range here and for me its a little long and not up there with the best ballads by him but its a nice track and a grower.

RASPBERRY BERET - Classic Prince, a geeat singalong track and as I said earlier, surprisingly only reached number 25 in the UK chart but here Prince songs were still not readily on the radio playlists.  Its got a humorous 60s inspired video with a rainbow of coloured images.  Its glittery, easy going Pop.


TAMBORINE - This is a weirdly engaging track that just mixes a lot of percussion with no guitars and Prince using various vocals over the top.  Seems like a fun song that Prince enjoyed experimenting with.  A marmite song, you either love these experiments or hate them.  

AMERICA - A relentless pumping beat and searing guitars throughout makes this a great Pop Rock/Funk hybrid track that keeps you enthralled.  Check out the 20 minute version its incredible.  Love this track even though its the short 3 and half minutes version.

POP LIFE - Slight Psychedelic feel on this track but radio friendly Psychedelic Pop, amazingly only reached number 60 in the UK, another criminally ignored Prince song.   

THE LADDER - A hugely spiritual and uplifting mega ballad that is one of my favourites.  As I previously said with "Condition of the Heart", this track actually does hit the spot.  For me, this should have ended the album on a high and positive note.

TEMPTATION - An indulgent, obligatory sex-fuelled track on a Prince album.  8 minutes of experimental sounds and vocals all backed up by a sexual/spiritual battle that Prince found so intriguing. Not a big favourite of mine but to love Prince you have to hear "everything" and for every "mediocre" track by his standards there are 10 more genius-like songs.

 


 "PARADE"

1986


CHRISTOPHER TRACY'S PARADE - This album is also the soundtrack to Prince's second movie "Under The Cherry Moon".  This opening track is a whimsical almost fairgound sounding intro to his character.  It pretty much carries on the Psychedelic style of the previous album "Around The World In A Day"

NEW POSITION - A mainly percussive track with Prince basically saying his woman needs a "new position", which we can all guess in what manner! As with a few of these tracks this is experimental and would appear fleetingly over scenes in the film.

I WONDER U - A repetitive vocal fronts a strange percussive backing with a little guitar twinkling sporadically.  For some reason this album is a lot of Prince's fans' favourite, but it lacks quality songs in my opinion and is a soundtrack album with a few gems.

UNDER THE CHERRY MOON - The title of the film and actually I quite like this track.  The first track to near 3 minutes and its a lazy, jazzy kind of number that keeps the listener engaged.

GIRLS & BOYS - The first of the "gems" I have previously referred to.  One of my favourite Prince tracks.  A neat slice of Funk with Eric Leeds' starring on saxophone.  Marie France seduces in French while Prince attempts a short rap.  Classy track.  Reached number 11 in the UK chart and was the fourth single to be released.

 

LIFE CAN BE SO NICE - Another experimental track that is repetitive and serves as a "filler" of sorts.

VENUS DE MILO - A short but beautifully played piano led piece.

MOUNTAINS - One of my favourites and a great track, the10 minute extended version is even better. This second single ridiculously only reached number 45 in the UK chart.  Another criminally ignored Prince track, surprising after the success of "Kiss".  It has Pop and Funk elements as well as some orchestral parts courtesy of Clare Fischer, more sax from Eric Leeds and trumpet from Atlanta Bliss.  Genius.


DO U LIE? - The character Christopher Tracy is a funny guy and this is a humorous, sarcastic song which is funny if you have seen the film. If you haven't this is just more experimental Prince!

KISS - The first single to be released from this album reached number 6 in the UK chart.  Its minimal, brash and sexy Funk charmed listeners who didn't know what to expect after the previous album.  Classic Prince.

ANOTHERLOVERHOLENYOHEAD - The third single released and only reaching number 36 on the UK chart.  Its singalong chorus and lazy Funk style is a hit with Prince fans and is one of my favourite tracks.  

SOMETIMES IT SNOWS IN APRIL - A beloved ballad and it has become more so since the death of Prince in 2016.  The line "Tracy died..." resonates with fans as they know who Tracy was.  Its a beautiful, soulful and emotional ballad.  Its up there with "Purple Rain" and "Still Would Stand All Time" for me.

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