Category Archives: Prince Reviews

Rave Un2 The Joy Fantastic 1999

Rave Un2 The Joy Fantastic, released very soon after the forgettable “The Vault” in 1999, was a much more commercial and more funky experience that Prince fans were waiting for at the time. There was much hype over the fact that this release was timed to coincide with a live performance for the 2000 millennium, and lots of promotion for the single, “The greatest romance ever sold”. There were duets with many famous and up and coming artists and current legends such as Ani Di Franco. Chuck D, Gwen Stefani and Sheryl Crowe.

It was a minor commercial success but probably not the scale that Prince intended and he very quickly stopped promoting this record. Its a pity as there was a lot of good stuff on it, and better promotion or management could have seen different results. Some of the music is Prince’s best commercial output since Diamonds and Pearls.  Songs like “So far, so pleased” and “Baby Knows” were really good fun. “Man O War” was a great ballad. whilst “Undisputed” and “Prettyman” were as much fun as Prince could have over the years considering the poor output. Prettyman in particular is a special song, as he exudes the soul of James Brown fairly flawlessly. It demonstrated that as a preformer he still had “it”, that something special.

Over all, Rave Un2 The Joy Fantastic is a good someback, and the release of Rave In2 The Joy Fantastic in 2001 showed a personal interest in the project, and a much improved overall record, almost a bonus to fans at the time. However, in reality most fans already had “Un2”, so they had to pay the full price of a CD for a new song and some remixes. Once again, not great fan management.

3 out of 5

Rave Un2 The Joy Fantastic 1999

  1. Rave Un2 The Joy Fantastic (4:19) 1 
  2. Undisputed (4:20)
  3. The Greatest Romance Ever Sold (5:30)
  4. Segue (0:04)
  5. Hot Wit U (5:11)
  6. Tangerine (1:31)
  7. So Far, So Pleased (3:24)
  8. The Sun, The Moon And Stars (5:16)
  9. Everyday Is A Winding Road (6:13) 2 
  10. Segue (0:19)
  11. Man’O’War (5:15)
  12. Baby Knows (3:19)
  13. Love U, But Don’t Trust U Anymore (3:36)
  14. Silly Game (3:30)
  15. Strange But True (4:13)
  16. Wherever U Go, Whatever U Do (3:16) (track time is 8:51 including silence after track)
  17. Segue (0:44) (not listed on back cover)
  18. Prettyman (4:25) (not listed on back cover)

 

Rave In2 The Joy Fantastic 2001

  1. Rave In2 The Joy Fantastic (5:15)
  2. Undisputed (The Moneyapolis Mix) (5:46)
  3. The Greatest Romance Ever Sold (8:07) 1 
  4. Hot Wit U (Nasty Girl Remix) (4:24)
  5. Tangerine (2:14)
  6. So Far, So Pleased (3:24)
  7. The Sun, The Moon And Stars (5:19)
  8. Man’O’War (Remix) (5:12)
  9. Baby Knows (3:54)
  10. Love U, But Don’t Trust U Anymore (3:36)
  11. Beautiful Strange (4:56)
  12. Silly Game (3:30)
  13. Wherever U Go, Whatever U Do (3:16)
  14. Prettyman (5:36) – not listed on back cover

The Vault… Old Friends 4 Sale 1999

The Vault… Old Friends 4 Sale released in 1999 was a short (less than 40 mins) album of previously “unreleased” material.

The stand out songs being, “She spoke to me” which was already released in 1991, and the title track. “5 women” was also a good jazzy up-tempo song, reminiscent of Joe Cocker.

“There is lonely” is a down beat, depressing affair.

Overall, the songs are unspectacular, and mostly uninteresting. The fact that they are unreleased material makes the CD less of an interest rather than more. With Crystal Ball coming out the year before, fans were really interested in new material..

The Vault, however is a largely forgetful album. After starting the 90’s with so much optimism and the NPG in Graffiti Bridge, it really did end with a damp squib.

o out of 5

  1. The Rest Of My Life (1:38)
  2. It’s About That Walk (4:26)
  3. She Spoke 2 Me (Extended Remix) (8:19)
  4. 5 Women (5:12)
  5. When The Lights Go Down (7:10)
  6. My Little Pill (1:08)
  7. There Is Lonely (2:29)
  8. Old Friends 4 Sale (3:27)
  9. Sarah (2:52)
  10. Extraordinary (2:27)

Kamasutra 1998

Kamasutra was given away as part of the Crystal Ball CD set in 1998. It contains 11 instrumental songs, and was performed by the NPG Orchestra.

As a Prince fan, Kamasutra would pass you by and you wouldn’t notice.

It’s not that I don’t rate the music. In parts the music is extraordinary, some of the sounds are reminiscent of the legendary beginning of “Condition of the heart”. The soundtrack is clearly a labour of love and personal joy to Prince, and shows his unerring creativity and diverse musical abilities. All the while, sounding like a “prince” record. But for me, there is little of interest.

1 out of 5

  1. The Plan (2:03)
  2. Kamasutra (11:49)
  3. At Last… “The Lost Is Found” (3:37)
  4. The Ever Changing Light (2:59)
  5. Cutz (3:03)
  6. Serotonin (0:47)
  7. Promise/Broken (3:46)
  8. Barcelona (2:16)
  9. Kamasutra/Overture #8 (3:11)
  10. Coincidence Or Fate? (3:24)
  11. Kamasutra/Eternal Embrace (4:02)

 

The Truth 1998

Part of the 4 CD Crystal Ball collection, The Truth was a “bonus” CD, which is in my opinion, the reason to buy the whole set. It’s like Prince “unplugged” in a way, stripped to the bone, and a nice reaction to the overproduced recordings of most of his 90’s output.

The problem with “The Truth” is the lyrical subject matter – although one of the most articulate and convincing lyrical outputs in a while, it’s also shows the state of mind the man was in.  “Don’t play me”, one of my favourites on the album, sounds like a grumpy old man because he doesn’t get played on radio anymore. Declaring that he likes to listen to his own music anyway, comparing other artists to lesser versions of himself. “Animal Kingdom”, sounds a bit like Oasis, and is a fairly weird song about justification for vegetarianism, and there are some nice cute songs, like “Circle of Amour”, almost innocent, childlike and pervy at the same time…   “Comeback” and “One of your tears” are brilliant songs, but I really like “Dionne” for it’s jazzy contemporary feel. “Other side of the pillow” is standard Prince ballad, and “Man in a Uniform” is a pretty funky acoustic song.

I think the simplicity and stripped down nature of this CD, has meant that it has aged well and still sounds pretty good. With basically no promotion or publicity and only available as part of the overall Crystal Ball set, this album seemingly loses it’s identity and has probably only been heard by purists..

A forgotten classic…

4 out of 5

  1. The Truth (3:35)
  2. Don’t Play Me (2:48)
  3. Circle Of Amour (4:44)
  4. 3rd (4:54)
  5. Dionne (3:14)
  6. Man In A Uniform (3:08) 1 
  7. Animal Kingdom (4:01) 1 
  8. The Other Side Of The Pillow (3:22)
  9. Fascination (4:55)
  10. One Of Your Tears (3:27)
  11. Comeback (2:00)
  12. Welcome 2 The Dawn (Acoustic Version) (3:18)

Crystal Ball 1998

1998’s Crystal Ball is a combination of bootleg, previously unreleased songs. Its also a lot of filler including some rehashed songs in a 3 CD set. There are some amazing moments on this album, but an overall feeling of disappointment and inconsistency as well. The songs clearly being over a long stretch of time and you can tell by the different styles.

The songs are of varying levels of quality as well, with some sounding like demos, some sounding very dated and others sounding like left overs. Wikipedia says most of the songs were recorded between 1983–96. Officially, this was also Prince’s way to avoid bootlegged material, similar to the Black Album, so that royalties/money was not lost on these sales. However, there were problems. Firstly a majority of the songs were 90’s recorded songs and very few from the 80’s golden period, and many of the songs were actually remixed for the album, so the original (mostly better versions) were still going to be bootlegged.

As a “peace” offering, Prince also released two extra albums – “Kamasutra” and “The Truth” (to be reviewed separately). The Truth being quite an interesting record, while Kamasutra was not so interesting. It was still incredible value and a lot (maybe too much?) material being released (5 albums worth) at one time.

There are some funk gems however. “Hide the Bone”, despite it’s poor recording quality, is a real pile driver funk record, and “Calhoun Square” is a nonchalant gem of a song, seemingly recorded live.  Similarly, “Interactive” and “Da Bang” are a lot of fun and possibly better than some of the songs from the 90’s in Diamonds and Pearls where they were originally intended.

However, Crystal Ball does contain a lot of filler, like the title track and Dream Factory. You can see why they were left out of their respective albums! There are some remakes or remixes of existing songs that don’t really work, “Tell Me How U Wanna B Done” is just no where as good as “The Continental” and “Good Love” is the same song as the soundtrack. “Love Sign” is OK, but very dated and just not that good. “P Control” is just horrible. The less said about “Ripopgodazippa” the better… Other songs like “Make your mother happy”, “Cloreen Baconskin” and “Poom Poom” are very irritating. The rest of the songs are (depending on your mood) nether here, nor there. Nothing songs.

The album ends, with what I think is the best song, “Goodbye”, which could have been on any of his albums and been a hit at any time. On my IPOD, the album has been compressed into about 10 songs, and this is what Crystal Ball is – a large set of low quality songs interspersed with the odd surprise. Like most Prince albums, post 90’s, it’s worth the purchase just to hear those rare good songs, as they are still very very good.

2 out of 5

 

Track listing

  • * – denotes song edited/revised for this compilation & can be found in original form on unofficial bootlegs.
  • ‡ – denotes remix of already released song.
  • † – Found in full form on Bright Lights, Big City soundtrack.
Disc One
  1. “Crystal Ball”* – 10:28 (recorded 1986)
  2. “Dream Factory”* – 3:07 (recorded 1985)
  3. “Acknowledge Me”* – 5:27 (recorded 1993)
  4. “Ripopgodazippa” – 4:39 (recorded 1993)
  5. “Love Sign” (Shock G’s Silky Remix)‡ – 3:53 (recorded 1994)
  6. “Hide the Bone” – 5:04 (recorded 1993)
  7. “2morrow” – 4:14 (recorded 1995)
  8. “So Dark”‡ – 5:14 (recorded 1994)
  9. “Movie Star”* – 4:26 (recorded 1986)
  10. “Tell Me How U Wanna B Done”‡ – 3:16 (recorded 1992)
Disc Two
  1. “Interactive” – 3:04 (recorded 1993)
  2. “Da Bang” – 3:20 (recorded 1995)
  3. Calhoun Square“* – 4:47 (recorded 1993)
  4. “What’s My Name” – 3:04 (recorded 1993)
  5. “Crucial”* – 5:06 (recorded 1986)
  6. “An Honest Man”* – 1:13 (recorded 1985)
  7. “Sexual Suicide”* – 3:40 (recorded 1985)
  8. “Cloreen Baconskin” – 15:37 (recorded 1983)
  9. “Good Love”† – 4:55 (recorded 1986)
  10. “Strays of the World” – 5:07 (recorded 1993)
Disc Three
  1. “Days of Wild” (Live)* – 9:20 (recorded 1995)
  2. “Last Heart”* – 3:01 (recorded 1986)
  3. “Poom Poom” – 4:32 (recorded 1996)
  4. “She Gave Her Angels” – 3:53 (recorded 1996)
  5. “18 & Over”* – 5:40 (recorded 1994)
  6. “The Ride” (Live)* – 5:14 (recorded 1995)
  7. “Get Loose”‡ – 3:31 (recorded 1994)
  8. “P Control”‡ – 6:00 (recorded 1995)
  9. “Make Your Mama Happy” – 4:01 (recorded 1986)
  10. “Goodbye” – 4:35 (recorded 1995)

 

Emancipation 1996

I must say when Emancipation came out in 1996. I just couldn’t wait. It was the next chapter in Prince’s career, free from all the shackles of record companies and marketing companies and no longer a Slave. And only released 4 months after Chaos and Disorder, which I loved.

What I was expecting was unbounded creativity and freedom of expression. What we got was plastic pop, commercial MOR, and disappointingly very poor single releases, and poor promotion. A triple CD made it expensive and it didn’t chart well. A very nice, but weak first single, not even written by Prince “Betcha by golly wow”, was underwhelming. You would have expected a belter (like Gett Off) as a first single or a funk classic like Alphabet St. But the poor single release ensured lack of interest, limited radio airplay and the passing into history what is a largely forgettable work, with some nice moments. The afterthought that was Chaos and Disorder was a much better album. Compressed into a single CD, this could have been a belter of a record. Lack of quality control from WB? Letting Prince do what he wants? Well it didn’t work.

However, lets dsicuss the songs.

The Good.

Lots of good stuff on the album actually. The duet with Kate Bush, “My Computer” is a really good pop song, however Kate is almost inaudible in it.  “Soul Sanctuary” is a beautiful uplifting song – although there are doubts as to whether Prince wrote it… And “Face Down” is pretty funky. “Somebody’s Somebody” and “White Mansion” are not bad pop songs.

The Interesting.

There a lot of remakes on this album, a departure for Prince who previously insisted on writing all or most of his material.  “La La La” is a nice cover, but “What if God was one of us” is just  horrible. “I cant make you love me” was only slightly worse than George Michaels version.

The Bad.

Lots.

Mr. Happy, Courtin Time, “Joint 2 Joint”. The Love we make, The title track.

 

All of this could have been avoided by compressing the above into a 10 song super album, with different songs being released as singles.

Overall, Emancipation is a bloated plastic piece of 90’s mess.

 

1 out of 5

 

The compact disc version is the original issue.

  • Disc 1:
  1. Jam Of The Year (6:09)
  2. Right Back Here In My Arms (4:42)
  3. Somebody’s Somebody (4:43) 1 
  4. Get Yo Groove On (6:31)
  5. Courtin’ Time (2:46)
  6. Betcha By Golly Wow! (3:30) 2 
  7. We Gets Up (4:17)
  8. White Mansion (4:47)
  9. Damned If Do (5:20)
  10. Can’t Make U Love Me (6:37) 3 
  11. Mr. Happy (4:46) 4 
  12. In This Bed Scream (5:40)
  • Disc 2:
  1. Sex In The Summer (5:56)
  2. One Kiss At A Time (4:40)
  3. Soul Sanctuary (4:41) 5 
  4. Emale (3:37)
  5. Curious Child (2:57)
  6. Dreamin’ About U (3:52)
  7. Joint 2 Joint (7:51)
  8. The Holy River (6:55)
  9. Let’s Have A Baby (4:07)
  10. Saviour (5:48)
  11. The Plan (1:46)
  12. Friend, Lover, Sister, Mother/Wife (7:37)
  • Disc 3:
  1. Slave (4:51)
  2. New World (3:42)
  3. The Human Body (5:41)
  4. Face Down (3:16)
  5. La, La, La Means Love U (3:58) 6 
  6. Style (6:40) 7 
  7. Sleep Around (7:41) 8 
  8. Da, Da, Da (5:15)
  9. My Computer (4:36)
  10. One Of Us (5:19) 9 
  11. The Love We Make (4:38)
  12. Emancipation (4:12)

Chaos and Disorder 1996

Chaos and Disorder, by the then known as “Symbol” in 1996, marked out Prince’s last contractual obligation to WB. According to the sleeve notes, it was made originally for personal purposes. Prince did not promote the album at all and it was only released less than a year after TGE. To say it was a low key affair is an understatement. To all but the hardcore Prince fan, this album did not exist. The single “Dinner with Delores” being perhaps the most familiar song as it had charted in a few countries. The lyrics on the album are mostly a parting shot at WB, with some of the more uplifting songs (such as “Into the light” telling us how good the future will be without WB).

However, taken at face value – Chaos and Disorder is in fact very very entertaining.

Side one, is a rollercoaster ride of rough and wild Rock, Blues and Jazz – the songs seem to go together like a glove, suggesting a set of songs made by a group (NPG) at their peak of performance.

The start of the album is the title track “Chaos and Disorder”, a loud and angry critique of the world today,  followed by “I like it there” which reminds me (for some reason) of the type of rock and roll you would hear on the Rocky Horror picture show. “Dinner with Delores” is an aggressive anti WB lyrics hidden behind a cute, cathcy little acoustic guitar riff.

“The Same December” is a brilliant rock opera piece with again, the most blistering guitar and some jazz riffs. Brilliantly performed by the NPG in what was to become their last album with Prince.

“Right The Wrong” can only be called an attempt at Country music? With Prince’s trademark funk stamped all over it. It confused a lot of fans when it came out, I remember on Prince.Org many calling it the worst ever Prince song made, but I never saw it that way. To me it’s a masterpiece, a deep southern, country, funk song and have always been left wondering why Prince didn’t make more of the same. In some respects it had that hillbilly feeling, slimier to “Horny Toad”, that, for some reason really works with Prince.  Then ending side 1 is Zannalee, a rocky blues number and very catchy at that. Zannalee works, because it just seems that Prince doesn’t care, telling whoever is with him at the end of the song – “See ya later.. Big Arse”. Brilliant, music, and its a pity that side 1 has to end, because at the start of side 2 is…

“I rock, therefore I am”, which is a kind of a B grade rap song with lots of Rosie Gains vocals. It’s just there like a fish out of water, but I don’t know why – maybe it’s the passing of time – but the cheesiness just seems to work.

The next two songs are brilliant ballads, “I will” and “Into the light”, with better quality production and with a better approach, could have been classics, but I think will be mostly forgotten by Prince fans.

“Dig you better dead” is a weird, operatic, rap which is frankly – superb. Especially like to hear Rosie Gains say “What the fuck!”.

Then it ends with “Had U”, a finger in the air to WB. The classic guitar riff in the background, Led Zepplin like is just marvellous and you don’t really want it to end.

But it does.

A chapter closes in Prince’s career. From here on, the music is not the same anymore – why? Did WB provide the much needed quality control to Prince’s career? Did they question some of his dubious (albeit highly artistic) reasons for doing things? Who knows. The breakdown of the relationship between Prince and WB also signalled the end of his great music (in my opinion). Although there are flashes of greatness – post WB Prince is not the same.

 

5 out of 5

 

Track listing

  1. “Chaos and Disorder” – 4:19
  2. “I Like It There” – 3:15
  3. Dinner with Delores” – 2:46
  4. “The Same December” – 3:24
  5. “Right the Wrong” – 4:39
  6. “Zannalee” – 2:43
  7. “I Rock, Therefore I Am” – 6:15
  8. “Into the Light” – 2:46
  9. “I Will” – 3:37
  10. “Dig U Better Dead” – 3:59
  11. “Had U” – 1:26

The Gold Experience 1995

The Gold Experience (or TGE to many fans), released in 1995 was supposed to come out in 1994 at the same time as Come, but couldn’t be any more different. Possibly the last of his major hits, with the odd “come back” every now and then, it contains some of the most spiritual, uplifting and positive music Prince has ever made. In some respects a soul mate to Diamonds & Pearls and Lovesexy before that.

This album contains more annoying “segues”, but generally good music. The best of which are “The most beautiful girl in the world”, which in reality is a slight disappointment as it is a bloated re-recorded version of the single that went to number 1 all over the world, but it’s still a stand out.

The brilliant “Dolphin” is another standout, but still not as good as the more raw, shorter version on The Undertaker the year before.

Other re-recordings, such as “Shhh” is over long, over produced, and bloated. Still a good song, but the problem is that I heard the Tevin Campbell version the year before and thought (and still do) that that was a better song.

“Eye Hate U” is a good song, but it’s once again very melodramatic and over the top.

319 and Billy Jack Bitch are 90’s funk songs, but are missing the soul and personality that you would have seen on tracks like “Kiss” and “Alphabet Street”. Hence, why I start to think that TGE while it had some great songwriting on it, was the start of the decline of Prince’s funk music (bear with me, Chaos and Disorder is still yet to be released), so in terms of rock he was still churning out classics – as proved by Endorphinmachine. And I must admit to still loving Dolphin and the title track at the end “Gold”, just because they are so uplifting.

3 out of 5

All songs written by Prince, except where indicated.

  1. “Pussy Control” (censored as “P Control”) – 5:59
  2. “NPG Operator” – 0:10
  3. “Endorphinmachine” – 4:07
  4. “Shhh” – 7:18
  5. “We March” (Prince, Nona Gaye) – 4:49
  6. “NPG Operator” – 0:16
  7. The Most Beautiful Girl in the World” – 4:25
  8. “Dolphin” – 4:59
  9. “NPG Operator” – 0:18
  10. “Now” – 4:30
  11. “NPG Operator” – 0:31
  12. “319” – 3:05
  13. “NPG Operator” – 0:10
  14. “Shy” – 5:04
  15. “Billy Jack Bitch” (Prince, Michael B. Nelson) – 5:32
  16. Eye Hate U” – 5:54
  17. “NPG Operator” – 0:44
  18. Gold” – 7:23

The Black Album 1994

The Black Album was officially released in 1994, but really came out in 1988 and was famously shelved for the much more positive and upbeat Lovesexy.

Lovesexy was written and recorded in 2 weeks due to Prince not wanting the world to see what was deep in his mind at the time – which was dark, nasty, sexy, funk. It’s probably not how he wanted to be perceived during the peak of his fame in the mid/late 80’s and was supposedly officially released by WB to expedite the release from his 7 album WB contract. This is all conjecture of course. Another theory is that there was too much trafficking in the bootleg, and WB wanted to cash in. Lastly, with the release of the dark/moody Come, they decided to also release The Black Album anyway, as the evil, violent content was no longer considered so shocking, with most people actually realising that the content was more of a social commentary at the time against the violence of rap music and a reaction (angry one) to the fact that people didn’t think he was funky anymore. Whatever, it seemed that Prince and WB were ok with releasing this in 1994, and NOT OK with releasing it 1988.

Back to the album. The two “rap” critiques are actually brilliant and inventive songs. “Dead On It”, says that rappers are tone deaf, and contains one of Prince’s funkiest guitar riffs ever, and a nasal pitched singing style – as well as super funny lyrics. Even more vicious is “Bob George”, a legendary song where Prince slows down his voice to sound like a gangster rapper, who ends up shooting everyone. Once again, very very funny and possibly taken out of context at the time. What we really see here is how wicked Prince’s sense of humour could be and how much he detested rap (which, by this time in 1994 – he had clearly changed his mind with a lot of rap appearing on his 90’s records).

The reaction to “you aint funky” anymore.. was a big one, with lots of Funk all over the place. From the brilliant “Cindy C” (thanks to Sheila E’s super tight drumming) to “Le Grind”, a song about blowjobs. The masterpiece, in terms of brining it home in the land of funk is “2 Nigs United for West Compton”, never a tighter, funkier bass line is to be heard again. And once again, there is a brilliant funny intro.

“When 2 are in Love” puts a dampener on proceedings, and was considered safe enough and boring enough for it to actually legitimately be released on “Lovesexy” in 1988.

The Album ends with “Rock Hard in a funky place”, one of the “older” Camille songs, and doesn’t really fit in with the rest of the album. Still it’s as rude as the rest, and (for my ears) a farily rushed throw away type of song.

Classic Album, One of the most famous bootlegs ever – part of Prince’s legacy forever.

4 out of 5

 

Track listing

All songs written by Prince, except #8, co-written by Eric Leeds.

Side 1
  1. “Le Grind” – 6:44
  2. “Cindy C.” – 6:15
  3. “Dead on It” – 4:37
  4. “When 2 R in Love” – 3:59
Side 2
  1. “Bob George” – 5:36
  2. “Superfunkycalifragisexy” – 5:55
  3. “2 Nigs United 4 West Compton” – 7:01
  4. “Rockhard in a Funky Place” – 4:31

 

 

Come 1994

After the relatively commercial releases, Prince released COME in 1994. This is perhaps the darkest and most introspective of Prince’s albums since the Black album, but also contains some of his best work.

From the smooth swinging title track of 11 minutes, to the dreamlike “Space”. ending with the brilliant 90’s pop of “Letitgo”. In between, there is a visual into the upbringing and mind-set of the Purple man. “Papa” talks about fatherly abuse, its a disturbing and almost childlike rock, funk song which starts with the sound of thunder and single string guitar and ends up in a psychedelic funked up groovy end. “Race”/ “Dark” / “Solo” talk about Prince’s thoughts on race, abuse and loneliness. Basically, what’s it’s like to be Prince and it’s not all good.

Like previous albums, there are segues scattered throughout, with the final moment (called “Orgasm”) being nothing more than moaning and breathing, which adds something ethereal to the record but is always difficult to listen to..

There is something empty yet beautiful about this album, it is consistent in it’s negative view of the world, kind of like the Black album (dark) vs Lovesexy (bright). Come is the dark version of “The Gold Experience”, made at the same time and released very soon after with TGE being the much more uplifting and commercial record. I think Come has dated better than the Gold experience as it’s such a personal record and  very true to his thoughts at the time.

Other songs such as the techno house of “Loose” and minimalist funk of “Pheromone” are entertaining but probably haven’t aged as well, but are equally as dark and moody.

Overall Come is a consistent, interesting record with some brilliant moments and some depressing moments – but always entertaining and passes the test of time as one of Prince’s great records and one of his two best 90’s records (The other is Chaos and Disorder). It also sees the “death” of Prince, and the birth of that squiggly character…

5 out of 5

 

Track listing

  1. “Come” – 11:13
  2. Space” – 4:28
  3. “Pheromone” – 5:08
  4. “Loose!” – 3:26
  5. “Papa” – 2:48
  6. “Race” – 4:28
  7. “Dark” – 6:10
  8. “Solo” – 3:48
  9. Letitgo” – 5:32
  10. “Orgasm” – 1:39

All songs written by Prince, except #8, lyrics written by David Henry Hwang. [8]

Love Symbol Album 1992

The Love Symbol Album 1992, was a slightly less, but still rather successful follow up to Diamonds and Pearls. For me, it’s a better album, but it is all over the place. It’s the typical Prince reaction to a successful album – make something completely the opposite, weird, eccentric, and using new styles (reggae anyone?).

The two first songs, and two of the hit singles from the album, the explosive “My name is Prince” is almost an agry rap song, but it’s so big and brash, so 90’s that it kind of works. The next song, is the much quieter, much ruder Sexy Motherfucker, or Sexy MF for Americans. The first single and one of Prince’s best in a long time, its as confident a sound you can get, all Jazzed up, using the brilliant NPG to it’s full effect.

Love 2 the 9’s and the Morning papers are simple two great songs, and remain staple classics to this day. The the interesting songs commence, The Max, is a song for it’s time, hasn’t aged well, and Blue Light is a sort of nothing song, a quirky romatic reggae experiment. I Wanna melt with U is an experiment with techno and has a raunchy video clip to accompany it. Sounded good at the time, sounds really dated now. Sweet Baby and Damn U are fine songs, Damn U has always been a favourite of mine and is one of the albums best moments. By the way, throughout the album are segues and discussion with Vanessa Bartholomew played by Kirstie Alley, and there are also vocals from Prince’s future wife, Mayte Garcia. But they are more nuisances, than interesting things to listen to.

The album ends with classics, And God created woman, a nice 90’s song, the EPIC 3 chains of gold, basically a Queen rip off, but still really enjoyable and the future funky Sacrifice of Victor, another Epic about racism.

I mean, it’s just an all round Epic album with something for everyone, very hip for the time and really enjoyable with very few bad songs. Even the dated tracks, are fun to listen to.

Highly recommend this album.

Track listing below.

No. Title Length
1. My Name is Prince 6:39
2. Sexy MF 5:25
3. “Love 2 the 9’s” 5:45
4. The Morning Papers 3:57
5. “The Max” 4:30
6. “Segue” 0:21
7. “Blue Light” 4:38
8. “I Wanna Melt with U” 3:50
9. “Sweet Baby” 4:01
10. “The Continental” (featuring Carmen Electra) 5:31
11. Damn U 4:25
12. “Arrogance” 1:35
13. “The Flow” 2:26
14. 7 5:13
15. “And God Created Woman”
16. “3 Chains o’ Gold” 6:03
17. “Segue” 1:30
18. “The Sacrifice of Victor” 5:41

Diamonds and Pearls 1991

Diamonds and Pearls, in 1991 is the successful follow up to Graffiti Bridge.

It has some incredible songs, including Gett Off, Thunder and Insatiable. The Middle of the road feel of the album makes it radio friendly, and songs such as the title track and Cream went on to become major hits. Money Don’t matter tonight being a smaller hit with a social message, getting a lot of airplay from radio stations at the time.

Like most of Prince’s records this one seems to almost be a reaction of the poorly received Graffiti Bridge the year before, and a much more polished effort. The new band, called the New Power Revolution had the tightest musical feel to a Prince group ever, and it showed in the wonderful live performances from the time.

Like Graffiti Bridge, the maxi singles for Gett Off and Cream really proved memorable events and in some ways overshadowing the Diamonds and Pearls album. Violet the Organ grinder is the one such example of an extremely good Prince song missing out on Album status and just appearing on the Gett Off Maxi single.

Here’s the track listing from Wikipedia.

No. Title Length
1. Thunder 5:45
2. “Daddy Pop” 5:17
3. Diamonds and Pearls 4:45
4. Cream 4:13
5. “Strollin'” 3:47
6. “Willing and Able” (Prince, Levi Seacer, Jr., Tony Mosley) 5:00
7. Gett Off 4:31
8. “Walk Don’t Walk” 3:07
9. “Jughead” (Prince, Tony Mosley, Kirk Johnson) 4:57
10. Money Don’t Matter 2 Night 4:46
11. “Push” (Prince, Rosie Gaines) 5:53
12. Insatiable 6:39
13. “Live 4 Love” (Prince, Tony Mosley) 6:59