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Old 05-07-2016, 06:19 PM   #256
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Very sad about prince!!
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Old 05-07-2016, 07:51 PM   #257
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RIP Prince

Take Me With U is one of my all-time favorites. The production is lush, the string hook is surprisingly catchy and the vocal interplay between Prince and Apollonia adds some spice.

You're sheer perfection!

Thank you!

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Old 05-08-2016, 04:54 PM   #258
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Yup. Take Me With U rules.
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Old 05-10-2016, 12:20 AM   #259
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Having just heard Diamonds and Pearls:

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Originally Posted by phanan View Post
Re: Diamonds and Pearls

Agreed that it's weaker, although the singles are all fantastic
Yep. About all I'm taking from it is Cream, the title track and Money Don't Matter 2 Night, which are all outstanding. Insatiable was far too similar to Adore.

Agreed with Cori that a major issue with the album is the dated production and sub-par rapping.
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Old 05-10-2016, 01:45 AM   #260
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Are you skipping around? Don't remember if you'd heard Parade yet.
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Old 05-10-2016, 03:09 AM   #261
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Parade is either my 4th or 5th favorite Prince album, depending on the day.

I skipped Graffiti Bridge for now.
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Old 05-10-2016, 09:32 AM   #262
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You're not missing much.

Same with the Batman soundtrack, though it has it's defenders.

I listened to "Love Symbol" yesterday and I may have been ranking it too high (can't honestly say it's in his Top 5 albums now). I still love half the album, but way too many songs and filler. Nice to hear P doing some reggae, though.

More looking forward to your thoughts on Come and The Gold Experience, honestly.
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Old 05-10-2016, 02:20 PM   #263
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Come was good.

And yes, too much filler on Love Symbol.

I'm a Batman defender, although there are only a few really strong tracks.
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Old 05-10-2016, 02:34 PM   #264
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Please dear lord protect me from myself right now.

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Old 05-14-2016, 07:35 PM   #265
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Went to Paisley Park today. Quite a site!

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G935A using Tapatalk
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Old 05-15-2016, 02:03 AM   #266
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I had a BBQ today, and the only music I provided was a 7-hour playlist of exclusively Prince material (including a few novelties like Manic Monday and some tracks by The Time).

No one complained.
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Old 05-26-2016, 02:50 AM   #267
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So this is a post I've been building up to for the last few weeks. I've been listening to all the 1986 material in frequent rotation, and I wanted to break down the evolution of Prince's various projects for those who don't care to read the Wiki entries, let alone the more detailed ones on the PrinceVault website.

I'm going to show the chronological order of the projects, and chart which songs made it all the way to Sign O' The Times, as well as highlighting some of the good material that fell by the wayside. Going forward, any song titles that appear on SOTT will be in bold:


DREAM FACTORY
This project had notable input from other members of the Revolution, particularly Wendy & Lisa, and begins with an instrumental piano piece from the former. It expanded from 11 songs to 19 until winding up as 18 tracks, with several new songs replacing others. When Wendy & Lisa informed Prince they wanted to leave the band, the album in this form was shelved.

[July 20, 1986 configuration]
Side One
1. Visions
2. Dream Factory**
3. Train
4. The Ballad of Dorothy Parker
5. It

Side Two
1. Strange Relationship
2. Slow Love
3. Starfish and Coffee
4. Interlude (Wendy)
5. I Could Never Take The Place Of Your Man

Side Three
1. Sign O' The Times
2. Crystal Ball**
3. A Place In Heaven

Side Four
1. Last Heart**
2. Witness 4 The Prosecution
3. Movie Star**
4. The Cross
5. All My Dreams


CAMILLE
Prince's next move featured the creation of a new alter-ego named Camille, all the singing done in distorted, high-pitched vocals. The material is considerably wilder and aggressive, in a dance/clubbier direction. Prince performed almost all the instruments, with the exception of horn parts. This project was originally intended to be released on its own and credited to Camille as the artist, but within weeks expanded into Crystal Ball, with 7 of its 8 tracks retained.

[November 5, 1986 configuration]
Side One
1. Rebirth of the Flesh
2. Housequake
3. Strange Relationship
4. Feel U Up^^

Side Two
1. Shockadelica^^
2. Good Love**
3. If I Was Your Girlfriend
4. Rockhard In A Funky Place++


CRYSTAL BALL
Not to be confused with the 3-disc set of career-spanning outtakes released in 1998. Taking tracks from the two previous projects, six new songs were added, four of them eventually making it to Sign O' The Times (and it's notable that everything still surviving from Dream Factory except for Crystal Ball made it to SOTT). The final tracklisting below, a triple-album, was actually submitted to Warner Bros., who asked Prince to trim it down to a more manageable length. Seven songs were removed and only one new track recorded (U Got The Look) before given its new title Sign O' The Times, with very few changes in the running order. So it's safe to say if Warner Bros. had approved it, this was Prince's legitimately intended release.

[November 30, 1986 configuration]
Side One
1. Rebirth Of The Flesh
2. Play in the Sunshine
3. Housequake
4. The Ballad of Dorothy Parker

Side Two
1. It
2. Starfish and Coffee
3. Slow Love
4. Hot Thing

Side Three
1. Crystal Ball**
2. If I Was Your Girlfriend
3. Rockhard in a Funky Place++

Side Four
1. The Ball
2. Joy In Repetition%%
3. Strange Relationship
4. I Could Never Take The Place Of Your Man

Side Five
1. Shockadelica^^
2. Good Love**
3. Forever In My Life
4. Sign O' The Times

Side Six
1. The Cross
2. It's Going To Be A Beautiful Night
3. Adore


** officially released on the Crystal Ball outtakes collection (1998)
^^ officially released as b-sides and on The B-Sides collection (1993)
++ officially released on The Black Album (1994)
%% officially released on Graffiti Bridge (1990)


Analysis: Some of the material lost with the abandoning of Dream Factory was certainly worthy of album inclusion, particularly Train and Last Heart, but most of this is Prince on familiar ground. The Camille tracks represent a new creative breakthrough and abrupt left turn. Crystal Ball represents the ideal culling of all the projects, losing only one track from Camille and keeping the best stuff from Dream Factory, while bringing impressive new tracks to the table as well. Sign O' The Times suffers considerably from losing the epic Crystal Ball title track, The Ball, Joy in Repetition, and Shockadelica, and Rebirth of the Flesh, all of which are arguably better than half of what's actually on Sign O' The Times. It should also be noted that as title songs, Crystal Ball is more reflective of Prince's 1987 adventures and the diverse nature of the album than Sign O' The Times political/social commentary. I don't think it's hyperbolic to say that Crystal Ball would have been one of the greatest albums ever released, missing only U Got The Look's late addition.

Further reading:

Album: Dream Factory - Prince Vault
Album: Camille - Prince Vault
Album: Crystal Ball 1986 - Prince Vault
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Old 05-26-2016, 08:16 AM   #268
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Thanks for that Lazarus. Always fun to read about how some of these albums may have turned out if one thing led to another! No doubt that it'll be interesting to see how the Vault might get sorted out ultimately and if any of these versions might see the light of day... at least in a proper context.

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Went to Paisley Park today. Quite a site!
I know, right? It was crazy in the days after he died too.
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Old 05-26-2016, 08:36 AM   #269
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How do you feel about Sign o the Times in light of these discoveries Laz?
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Old 05-26-2016, 09:11 AM   #270
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Thanks for that Lazarus. Always fun to read about how some of these albums may have turned out if one thing led to another! No doubt that it'll be interesting to see how the Vault might get sorted out ultimately and if any of these versions might see the light of day... at least in a proper context.
Well, the whole Prince library is in need of remastering. Unfortunately Prince won't be around anymore to oversee anything (who knows if he would have anyway).

The ideal move would be to package this into one boxed set: 2 discs for Dream Factory, 1 for Camille, 3 for Crystal Ball, and 2 for a remastered Sign O' The Times. Perhaps a final disc of outtakes from 1986 that didn't make any of these.


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How do you feel about Sign o the Times in light of these discoveries Laz?
Well it's only been solidified as my favorite Prince album, even if I don't agree with everything he chose to cut/keep. But it's irrefutable that this was a compromised album, and unlike his shelving of Dream Factory and Camille, Crystal Ball not being released wasn't a personal creative decision but a business one by the record label. Crystal Ball was what he wanted us to hear.

So I feel like I'll be reaching for this more often knowing it's the full, unedited expression. I like U Got The Look but I can do without it considering how much else is gained.
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