Not sure if the numbers are going to back me up on this one [per my ratings system], but this was always one of my favorite Prince eras. I mean, “Purple Rain” is hard to top and this doesn’t necessarily top it.
But I’ve always looked back on it fondly- to the point where I was planning for this to be the last chapter I wrote for The Word. A book where I was going to explore Prince’s music, much the way I had on this blog, talked about the albums as a whole, which songs stood out, my likes and dislikes, and in the end, I was hoping to help admirers of Prince to rediscover his music and to create new fans. Particularly out of people who just dismissed Prince as a weirdo.
But if you wanna get technical, he IS a bit of a weirdo. And if anything shows that, it’s his sense of humor in ‘Under the Cherry Moon.’ But more on that later…
This chapter in Matt Thorne’s book was actually not that bad. It didn’t have that one moment every chapter has where I take a proverbial step back and flip the hell out. He did say that most of the tracks on this album are “essentially pretty filler”… and that’s fine. Most of them aren’t any special. At least not when you compare it to the scores of successes. There was some touching on the tour, the rapport that Prince and Jerome had on stage and how Wendy and Lisa were disillusioned by how the emphasis went so far away from the music in the concerts, how The Revolution saw the ending drawing near. But it was only touched on. Not full explored. We all have our own idea of what happened and that’s probably true of all the guys.
Dr. Fink had have an interesting quote about him being asked if he was leaving too and he stayed because he thought Prince was testing his loyalty, but he felt bad about staying on when everyone else left.
I loved how there was all this talk about Clare Fischer, really going into that relationship and why it worked so well. Brent Fischer, Clare’s son, was interviewed as well, which added more to it.
Although most of the info, I’d already learned from Peach & Black’s Clare Fischer tribute show.
I also learned a little more about the making of the movie, which was great, because I really didn’t know that much about it. I learned from a podcast discussion with Jerome that Under the Cherry Moon was Prince’s idea and much of the jokes in the script were his own ideas.
Then I found out later into it something that’s a little disconcerting… the ending was Prince’s idea!! That terrible ending was Prince’s idea.
And supposedly the movie got screened with a happy ending [this paragraph had an exchange between Harold Bloom and Bob Cavallo] and Prince changed it back.
I mean, Purple Rain had that original ending where The Kid’s parents were meant to die in a murder/suicide and Prince wanted it. Now this… what is with Prince and unhappy endings?
The movie spoils this in the first 30 seconds, but *SPOILER ALERT* Prince dies at the end. But unlike with “Less than Zero,” which I pretty much rewrote the ending of that story half a dozen times… I could never figure out how I would have ended this movie so that Christopher and Mary could run away together and live happily ever after.
On the plus side, watching it again this time around didn’t KILL me the way “Purple Rain” did. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to get through that movie, or that song, without crying again.
But I’m sure that when I listen to “Sometimes it snows in April” over the next couple times, I will… perhaps against my better judgement, I put Parade in my car the day after Prince’s death. And after that song ended, I was sobbing for at least 3 minutes. Luckily at the time, I was in slow traffic getting on my exit onto the route leading to my street heading home.
It’s hard to believe- I’m talking for me personally… that this was another of those albums I didn’t want at first.
While my intentions with Prince’s music was widespread on the surface (wanting a couple albums from the 80’s, 90’s and 00’s), they were also shallow in other respects. I decided what albums I wanted based on that and wanting certain periods of his life to be represented, but also based off the hits. The singles, I thought, would determine what albums were best suited to my tastes. “Kiss” was the one single of this album… and I really didn’t like Kiss. I STILL really don’t like it that much. It’s got nothing to do with the fact it’s overplayed at his concerts (just because I didn’t go to any myself doesn’t mean I didn’t come across dozens of live versions on YouTube- before he started pulling clips like crazy off there)… I’ll go more into that later as well.
Much like most of the Prince albums not on my wish list, this came about as random opportunity I couldn’t help but take.
My receipt (I started saving my receipts for music and DVD purchases when I started buying Prince albums- I never had to use any of them, other than to reference when I bought them) says June 26 2007. That same day, I got my first two [of 4] Beatles albums, the new Click Five album (something I’d blogged about before- it didn’t go well at first) and this movie. And I’m sure it was because I got curious, checked the movie rack at FYE, found it and decided to get it because I most likely will have trouble finding it again.
I already kinda knew the ending- that Christopher Tracy was going to die at the end. Prince.org, whenever you refresh the screen, there’s a different quote at the top of the screen and you can click on it to find out what the quote is from. There were several UTCM quotes, but there’s one that said “we had fun, didn’t we?” and I found out he died at the end and it was a shock.
I thought maybe it was because he had AIDS or something because I’d heard the first line of “Sometimes it snows in April” could be interpreted as dying from an illness. “long fought civil war”… I was under the impression, for whatever reason, that the movie would be about a summer love story and the guy dies at the end of AIDS.
See, I wouldn’t mind him dying at the end if there was a good reason for it. The politics and reasoning behind it just never made sense to me.
So I watched the movie and found the humor very odd in some instances. But of course I just enjoyed spending an hour or so with Prince, however I could get that to happen 😉 and again I watched all the way through, including the ending credits. Prince was the first person that got me to sit through the entirety of movie credits LONG before Marvel did with their post-credit scenes that connected the movies together. It’s always worth it.
I remember I watched the movie in July of that year because my folks were away at Las Vegas for a vacation and they came back either later that night or the next day. My sister came in a couple times and once she said “they’re kissing again”… there were a lot of kissing scenes in this and let’s not sugar-coat it, they’re awkward to watch. But at the end, it was good that I was by myself watching it.
I’d watched it with one of my roommates and more recently with my mom… they didn’t get it. This is one of those things that really only cater to Prince fans. Plain and simple.
The album itself however is very accessible to everyone, I think. There’s nothing really unusual (not lyrically anyway), the quality of music is amazing and it doesn’t push the envelope in the explicit department. There are innuendoes, but they’re playful if anything else.
[The end of that story- my parents came back and my mom brought back the last Harry Potter book. She bought it at the airport and started reading it on the plane… hard to believe this is 10 years ago]
2014 was the last time I watched this movie, according to my blog. I knew it’d been a while, but that feels like even longer. A lot’s happened since then, it’s making my head explode just thinking about it.
Revisiting the movie again nearly 3 years later… I just enjoyed it so much. And I thought to myself- aside from the ending, the plot really isn’t that bad.
But the script is kinda bad, and so is the acting 😛
Prince’s directing earned him a Razzie as did his acting and the movie itself… OUCH… Love or $ won for worst song [that song is AWESOME- you guys know NOTHING!]… Jerome for worst supporting actor… the screenplay and Kristen Scott Thomas were only nominated, but didn’t win Razzies. Now she’s a more reputable actress. It’s so strange seeing her now that she’s so old 😛 not that she’s super old, but she’s also not 25 anymore.
I mean, I get “Sex Shooter” getting a Razzie, but “Love or $” is amazing… ah, moving on.
I watched the movie like it was Prince playing a character- which he essentially is. A very fun character you just love spending time with. While making the movie, I wonder if Prince ever picked up on the fact Christopher was kind of an alcoholic. He was always drinking. Heck, in one scene, he was drunk driving.
The one scene where Tricky spills the truth about why he conquested Mary Sharon and he runs away from that woman… I never understood that. Was he so drunk that he was hallucinating? It felt as random as that Bela Legousi joke. Prince has a spellbinding personality, for me personally, but he doesn’t need to try THAT hard to succeed in doing so.
Other things that didn’t work– I didn’t care for much of the birthday party scenes and how they were shot. Like the sweeping crowd shots- just too fast and they seemed clumsy and unnecessary. The two boys growling hungrily at this hot girl that walks into the party. Someone randomly screaming in the background. All this happens while “Do U Lie?” is playing-just to give a point of reference. So many bad choices in such a short span of time.
And when Christopher and Tricky are thrown out, the camera is level with their feet instead of their heads, like Prince was trying to show depth perception. They’re up on the balcony and they later shoot to Mrs. Wellington on ground level, who opens her passenger door as an invitation.
For the first time, I think I noticed that it was raining while Christopher and Mary have that phone call and when he comes to her place afterwards, it’s stopped. I wonder if that’s a continuity error.
Also- the close-ups in the phone booth scene… it’s a little uncomfortable. As if the kissing wasn’t already uncomfortable to watch because… I mean, anyone who’d dated Prince or married him, he didn’t do that with any of them, did he?
The sense of humor and jokes… they’re hit and miss. Prince has the strangest sense of humor sometimes and not all of them make sense.
“Are you afraid of bats?”- so random… like, what? I wonder if Prince came up with that early on or he just was struggling to figure out how that scene should end.
But there were lines like “marry a stupid girl, you have stupid kids. don’t believe me? follow a stupid kid home and see if someone stupid don’t answer the door”
I laughed so hard because I remembered how prince.org had threads where people posted pictures that represented lines from the movie. Memes before memes were a thing.
Christopher saying to Mary “you’re a bit of a maniac, aren’t you?” and she’s one of those closet maniacs that just needed someone like him to bring that out.
That is so me! I’m just not comfortable with letting that maniac really take over and show beyond my family 😛
As was the case with Purple Rain, I saw the movie first and heard the music second. It’s for the same reason I look at cover art and album booklets before I listen to a Prince album for the first time. The visual gives me a taste of Prince’s vision and what I can expect.
I didn’t like most of the songs right away. The ones that stood out immediately were Girls & Boys, Life can be so nice, and Anotherloverholenyohead. That last one especially… I loved it immediately.
As cheesy as it was, I loved how “Kiss” was incorporated into the movie. It was a freaking punchline- cueing up that song after Mary says “define love…”
I liked the song more than I did originally because I finally got to hear it with its home material. But I’m still not crazy about it.
…so the game plan is… I’ll listen through the CD Monday. My custom mix (which I listened to for ages before buying the actual album)- which has all the songs in order, except for one, which is among the last three additional tracks- Love or $, Mountains (extended) and Alexa De Paris. Tuesday. And I’ll go through the Peach & Black podcast Wednesday and Thursday.
Alexa De Paris is an instrumental I really, REALLY liked in Under the Cherry Moon. And I was overjoyed to find it among the bootlegs I was gifted by another fan. Too bad it won’t count towards the overall album’s rating and ranking. But it’s one of my favorite Prince songs ever. Also might be my favorite instrumental track by him. Most likely is.
Either way, it will get to be a part of my top 100 Prince songs, whenever I get around to putting that list together. Which will be a long time off- gotta get through all these albums first.
going through princevault and the info on the songs.
Christopher Tracy’s Parade was originally Little Girl Wendy’s Parade.
And there’s one lyric in particular that was changed in the process that explains something that always felt off to me… the final verse where the devil runs for his evil car- the line before it referred to Wendy’s guitar. That was meant to rhyme, now it doesn’t- that always bugged me 😛 poetry doesn’t always have to rhyme, but still…
New Position- I think it said Brent Fischer played the percussion on it, although maybe not the final album version. He also played it a month before his death.
I wonder U- Prince decided before its release to mute his vocals so Wendy’s would be the lead. I don’t know if it’s because he thought she sounded better than him or he really wanted to give her this chance to shine. But it’s a fine choice.
Under the cherry moon- it’s a little too eerie to me to read he performed it on April 14th, a week before his death, and the night he had that mid-air scare.
Girls & Boys probably got the most concert play of all the Parade songs- besides Kiss, obviously
Life can be so nice- also recorded April 21st 1985, alongside Sometimes it snows in April… yeah, the significance of that was not lost on Prince fans.
Venus de Milo got live play every now and then.
Mountains- I thought would’ve been played live more than it was- got a lot of play in the last 10 years actually.
Do U Lie?- Jonathan Melvoin played drums on it.
Kiss- I know the story of how this song came into being… I think all die-hard fans do. Prince offered it to Brown Mark’s band Mazarati, Brown Mark really didn’t like the song, but his band worked on it. Prince liked what he heard and he took it back. And that was also last done at his April 14th concert.
Anotherloverholenyohead- also got a lot of play in the 00’s.
Sometimes it snows in April- played this on April 14th, he also played this one a lot. he must have really loved this song a lot. And it’s also a beloved song among fans. Now, though, it’s a little harder to listen to. I think I also read recently that it was recorded in one take. That is magic right there. Prince decided not to use the Clare Fischer contributions, but whenever I hear it, I always miss that orchestra part where he says “I guess he’s better off than he was before”- as it’s heard in the movie.
So next part- talking about the tracks and my feelings on each of them.
Seeing the movie again and really grooving to the music- it kills me that the songs come in and they don’t get the chance to fully play out 😛 I want more
The ultimate goal was to own physical copies of all of the official Prince music I own. But with Parade, it’s REALLY hard for me to listen to the physical album when it ends on such a sad note.
Luckily, I’m coming into the home stretch, mainly my road 2.5 miles up to my house where there’s minimal traffic.
I understand that’s how the story ends, but I just can’t let go out like that.
So even though I own this album, I prefer my own arrangement- everything in order with one exception… instead of after “Venus de Milo,” I have the extended version of “Mountains” 2nd to last on the disc.
That’s another thing- “Venus de Milo” is pretty, but kind of a sad song. And having “Mountains” right after it… it just doesn’t work for me. Especially since there’s nothing to cushion the blow after “Sometimes it Snows”… I’m just left to wallow in misery until I get home.
It’s more than a little fitting that it’s going to be cloudy and rainy this week. Lack of sunlight mutes the colors around me, so I feel like I’m in the black & white world of UTCM while listening to the music. But it also helps disguise the fact I’m sobbing in my car from the people driving in opposing traffic.
I hate to say it, especially now, but I can’t respect the order of songs on this album as Prince intended them. I have to end on a much lighter note- so after that song, I have Love or $, Mountains and Alexa de Paris.
but more on that later… now to focus on the album in its minted and printed form, as Prince intended.
Christopher Tracy’s Parade- it’s a fun song to kick off the album. The instruments used give you a taste of the sound you can expect to hear throughout the album. [I love how this is a very cohesive sounding album, but in some respects, that’s taken to another level]. It’s a nice sing-along, almost like a nursery rhyme.
Except for the final verse that doesn’t rhyme. I addressed this already, but I also noticed the guitar shred you hear… it doesn’t really make sense now that the line was changed to “Christopher Tracy’s piano.” I mean, Prince doesn’t make mistakes on his songs, if something is left in, he meant it to be that way. But I still kinda wonder on that one…
The strings are one thing, but the striking part of overall song is lack of bass and the different drums. We have the good old Linn-drum every now and then, but these few songs, they have kettle drums and steel drums that invoke thoughts of other lands. Namely, the south of France.
New Position- this is an old track from 1982- it makes me wonder what originally inspired this and what Prince’s intent for it was. Here, it could say a number of things. It could be in response to the people who didn’t get the last album. Or it could just be another part of the scores of innuendos strung throughout the album. I guess you could say it’s a parade of sexual exploits and relationships- it’s about the show and performance and façade.
The steel drums brings a little something extra and different.
I Wonder U- this song is all about the vibe for me. Like these early songs in the album, a little too short. I don’t know what Prince, Wendy and Lisa would’ve done with another 3 minutes of it, but I still wish there was more.
There was a whole orchestra string section on this, but Prince just wanted the flutes. They are amazing flutes, though. Love the use of flutes in general on this album… in a lot of Prince’s work, actually. I think it’s an underappreciated instrument in his repertoire.
Under the Cherry Moon- this was a song I always thought was well put together and executed. But never one I had that extra special connection with.
Now I kinda do… I always thought it was eerie and spooky, even more so now. I sing along and my own voice comes out (although it kinda fits where Wendy and Lisa’s tenor and register is, just to fit the overall vibe) rather than following Prince’s vocals at his register.
The instrumentals really shine here. Whatever part of this was written by or influenced by John L Nelson, it’s brilliant.
[During the movie, this song plays as an instrumental and at one point, the camera focuses on the moon… I wonder if Prince thought for a second about painting the moon red to go with the song…]
Girls & Boys- one of The Revolution’s best performances. Back-up vocals paired up and split between the two headphones (that had to have been cutting edge at the time, don’t you think?).
This song always makes me smile the moment it comes on. But that also chalks up to the fact I always associate it with the performance- in the movie and the music video. I saw the music video ages before the movie. It was one of many that was shown during an interview Prince did with a couple guys from somewhere in Europe in 1999. Long hair, sunglasses inside… not a great look for him (in my view anyway). Anyway- they showed a bunch of his videos and this had to be the last one because they had it maybe halfway through to the end. Where Prince says “Boo” and Jerome is the only one laughing. I didn’t realize it was him until I saw it at least another 3 times 😛 I used to laugh so hard at that. Now that I expect it, not so much.
This song should have been a single. Heck, it should be bigger than freaking Kiss. It is catchy and poppy and just feel-good fun.
Life can be so nice- as I said, this was one of my favorite songs in the movie. Other than Girls & Boys, nothing really impressed up to this point.
But getting the song in full is kind of a disappointment with what Prince wound up doing with it. Basically, he accelerated it to the speed of a runaway freight train that comes to an abrupt stop into “Venus de Milo”.
Really, all it is is Sheila E’s percussion and cowbell and Eric Leeds on flute with Prince singing over the top of it. But I love those instrumentals so much-I could listen to that for ages. [the music on this album is so good].
There’s not much to it lyrically and Prince’s vocals aren’t anything extraordinary. But I enjoy it all up to the point it goes out of control. Like he had no idea how else to end this song.
Venus de Milo- all piano and strings with Eric Leeds on saxophone in the final minutes. it’s always beautiful to listen to- I always thought of it as Prince’s version of UTCM- where he’s doing his own version of the music his father used to play.
Maybe it’s because of its placement in the movie, but I always found the ending part kinda sad.
Mountains- I remember the Peach & Black guys being kinda gobsmacked at the fact this made the top 20 Prince songs on their poll- I think #19… nope, 20, just made the list.
We do hear parts of the extended version in the movie when Christopher and Mary “run away for a couple of hours” and it’s a nice accompaniment to a massive make-out scene that might have been boring and uninteresting on its own. [I do kinda like the effect where the two of them are superimposed over her hand, blurring the images together… that’s one of the few parts of the movie Prince got right in its creation and direction].
But for all intents and purposes, it’s the song that plays through the credits- where we see the whole line-up of The Revolution in the clouds. It lets us know that Christopher is in a better place after the events of the movie. It’s that hope that makes it less of a letdown by the end of it. Also why I just have to song here…
In its originally intended place, not only does it feel out of place to me personally, but it’s hard to be fully invested when I know I’m going to be let down a couple songs later. I was fighting not to be totally depressed during it and for the most part I was. But there were some points where the energy and hope it promises comes out and I feel good. The feeling just doesn’t last long enough.
Do U Lie?- I think I got to like this one a little more over the years. Not sure if it’s one of my favorites on the album. Prince’s vocals are something kinda special, though. He doesn’t do a lot out of the ordinary, staying in the middle register, not too high or low. But this has that great playful falsetto that comes out to play.
This is another song I feel benefits from my personal playlist- it immediately picks up the mood or at least lets it come back up on its own without trying to pretend everything is daisies and sunshine. Not that that’s what Mountains is about- but I felt like it tried to make me happy when I just wasn’t up for it.
Kiss… yeah… it’s fun and playful. Very minimalistic with that almost banjo-like guitar riff and Linn-drum. I really like the video because it allows Prince to be playful and also just to dance and I love seeing him move. Just in general. And it brings out a side of him that we don’t get to see much. At least I don’t- I see him as very serious most of the time. I just don’t like hearing it ALL THE TIME. The radio plays it way too much where there are so many better songs Prince had written.
But you gotta give it up to the fact it is a Prince original through and through.
Anotherloverholenyohead [I swear, if I spelled this wrong once on this post so far]… this is another song that feels out of place on the album. Doesn’t quite fit the instrumental scheme of all the other songs. But I just love this one. Everything about it. Wendy and Lisa’s contributions, the way their vocals are timed with his- not quite together and it just worked so well.
I put the extended version on my iPod- I just hope that I get as much out of it as I wanted to with this… it starts to fade out as I’m really feeling great in that pocket.
It’s well-put together. From the first few notes- I love the interplay between the piano and the drumming that just drives it all the way through. Timing is just everything.
Sometimes it Snows in April- yeah, this song is special. A trademark of Prince’s chemistry with Wendy and Lisa. They all bring everything to this that they brought to the band’s sound and identity these last couple years.
Prince tells a great, but sad, story. It’s never boring, even though the chorus doesn’t vary much each of the three times it’s sung through. [I’m thinking it’s not quite as sad in the movie because you never hear the chorus… that’s where the emotions really come out… oh man, if I’m able to find the Musicology acoustic set video of him doing the medley, including this song… I don’t think I can handle it].
I swear (well, a lot of us fans do) that Prince’s voice starts to break up a couple times in this. Especially in the final verse. I know this was about the character in the movie, but I wonder what he was thinking about as he was singing it. Because that emotion comes from a personal place he doesn’t always bring out for all of us to see.
This will be a hard one to score- it’s great, but I can’t listen to it all the time.
Just fill it in the same list as Purple Rain and Way Back Home… songs that are near impossible to listen to after Prince’s death- because I’m only going to be thinking about that fact.
This one especially because it was recorded on that day 30 years earlier. Prince died in April. People were headlining articles about this fact, saying he predicted his death 30 years earlier. I wonder if he even realized that as that was happening to him. What he thought about in general.
I think I’ll ponder that as I get myself to sleep tonight… better than to work that out here. There’d be no point.
Not much to add today.
Listening to “New Position,” I wondered what was recorded around this time. Unfortunately princevault didn’t have anything on this other than Spring-Summer 1982. If I knew what was recorded around that time, I might have a better idea of what its original intention was.
Reading on their page on the movie really quick- the scene with the bats and the ladder scene weren’t in the original script and written while on set. Of course the bats had to be random… give me a break 😛
so I’m reading about the two B-sides.
Alexa de Paris… OMG… I love this song so much. I got so swept in the main hook that it’s one of those hooks I just don’t want to end. [Something that seems to ring true for many songs on this album that I love]. It’s actually named after someone- Alexa Fioroni, who is “the dancer” in Under the Cherry Moon. We see her in the background shadows during the opening credits and briefly a couple times during the “Girls & Boys” performance.
If I had the chance, I would have asked Prince about this song and what it’s about and what inspired it.
That sweeping hook is like a dream. Then his guitar appears several times, has some great solos, and… oh man… that ending. Love the ending- the timing of everything. And no surprise, it’s the B-side of “Mountains”… those two songs are on such equal footing for me, it’s crazy.
Then “Love or $”… Wendy & Lisa singing the title over and over gets repetitive [other people, including the ones who gave this song a Razzie might care. I certainly don’t], but there’s so much else going on that it doesn’t matter. Everything just fits together so well. This is the first instance of Prince experimenting with vocal modification, speeding his voice up to a higher pitch. Although Camille wouldn’t come until a bit later.
July 9th 1985 according to princevault… I wonder when the first Camille tracks started to appear and whether he realized then that was something he wanted to pursue in the future- songs with using that voice or some variation of it. There isn’t much to the song as far as lyrical content or a message. It’s more like a jam- maybe one of my favorite Prince jams ever. But I don’t know if I like it as much on its own as I do because of where I have it placed on my own playlist of the album.
Everything just fits so well.
“Mountains” is so great that it needs to be aired out to its full potential.
Funny enough, while “Sometimes it Snows in April” could be on a playlist of songs hard to hear after Prince’s death… “Mountains” could easily be on one about songs that make that heartache not hurt as much. Takes your mind off the pain. Not just because how it’s placed in the movie credits, but the overall message. So far, for this hypothetical playlist, I’m considering “Love” (3121), “Positivity” (Lovesexy- if I could ever get it separated from the rest of the album, lol), and “WHITECAPS” (Plectrum Electrum). I’m sure I’ll have more as I get through more of the music.
I was running out of road to listen the album to- I was so tempted to skip “Kiss” but I just couldn’t… have to listen to this album as a whole… it might have a bit of filler on it, but this is really one of those albums, not just by Prince, by anyone… I can’t skip a single song. And it’s not often I listen to the individual tracks either. Unless it’s those last three.
I thought about “Under the Cherry Moon” and the lyric “I’ll die in your arms under the cherry moon”… I started to wonder whether he really meant “die” or he meant something else… after finding out that Cutting Crew song “(I Just) Died in Your Arms Tonight” was actually about dying of ecstasy after sex [even though that song was written after UTCM was]… you could take it a number of ways. I know Christopher Tracy dies at the end of the movie, but at the end, before saying that lyric again, he says “I guess we’ll make love under the cherry moon”…
The more I listen to it, the more I’m really getting to like it. And I feel like I might be able to find meaning in it for myself… been having some moments of uncertainty and lack of confidence lately… makes me kinda wonder if, despite the success, Prince had moments like that himself and that song hints at that.
there’s a configuration here that DIDN’T have Sometimes it Snows as the last song. And there’s also no Kiss or Girls & Boys…
The first four songs are intact (although the first song has Wendy in the title), followed by Others Here with Us, Life can be so nice, sometimes it snows, old friends 4 sale and all my dreams… yeah, that really doesn’t work. That sad song after “Life can be so nice”… just no, I’m sorry. Thematically it works, but the album’s mood would crash so hard, there’d be no recovering.
One last comment- I thought of this yesterday… I wondered if Prince was killing off Christopher Tracy to kill off a part of him… a part of him that values sex and lust over love, like it continues the narrative from the end of ATWIAD.
Based on “Anna Stesia”… it didn’t work. and if the rumors are to believed (the fact he often dated at least 2 women at the same), he didn’t learn this lesson for several years, not until he married Mayte.
[And my head is exploding going that far ahead in this narrative… that’s why I’m stretching this out as long as I am- Prince has so many sides to him and his music has so many different shades and color, I can only handle so much of it at a time. Hence the one album a week thing]
So it’s Peach & Black for the next two days.
As for the scoring system… I’m predicting it’s going to be 7 point something.
the technical merit is so high… I’m not going to give anything less than a 4…maybe 3.5 at the most extreme. If I take points away, it’ll be for song composition, lackluster lyrics or the fact they’re not particularly special or memorable in the vast canon of Prince music.
and components score… I don’t skip anything on this album and I’m not never tempted to do so (never mind what I said about “Kiss”)… so the base line will be 3.
Anyway… my guess is that this will rank higher than 1999. Which is 8.0 even.
…just because there’s nothing like “All the critics love you in New York” on here. It was one of those songs that crashed the rating.
If I could submit my personal configuration, it’d score a lot higher. Might have to take a little away from “Mountains” because this album version just isn’t long enough.
Overall, I’d say this album is stronger as a whole than the sum of most of its parts. But there are some notable peaks.
I wonder if Toejam will like this album or not quite as much. He likes cohesive albums. I can imagine Captain saying certain songs aren’t that good, but I can’t imagine him fanboying about any of them.
Player, I’m still figuring Player out.
And MC, I think this is an album he’d like. But it’s hard to be sure if there are any tracks he thinks are terrible or he absolutely loves.
I will say that I’ll be surprised if any of them still love “Kiss” despite it being overplayed.
I’m not quite halfway through the album tracklist, but close to it- not halfway through the podcast, though.
It’s been interesting so far, though. It always is. But with this album, it’s hard to know what to really expect these guys to say.
MC has been weird about this album with his likes, dislikes and comments.
Although he does have a point- the first song is kind of an intro, not quite a full song and “I wonder U” is an atmospheric interlude. But then he called “Under the Cherry Moon” ungenuine. This coming from the same guy who said “Still Waiting” had to come from a personal place. Not that I don’t believe that also. I just think he’s the guy who picks that up in certain songs and I do feel something of this song is genuine and personal to him. Even if it’s playing the role of Christopher Tracy, that is still a part of him.
Then Toejam was awesome by demonstrating the chord progressions. MC clapped after he did the first few runs. I think because it was the first time he did that in a podcast. He did it a couple more times in other episodes that it’s almost expected and not worthy of applause.
I think I tried playing the melody ages ago on keyboard, but couldn’t quite do it. The keys aren’t quite on a normal scale. I’d been thinking about this lately- I hadn’t played my keyboard in a long time, but I definitely hadn’t done it since Prince died.
A couple of the guys said “New Position” was one of the best songs on the album or would have been if it was longer.
If I ever heard what that sounded like (if a version even exists), I’ll be the judge of that.
For me… I feel like the first few songs are good for what they are, but they aren’t anything ground-breaking and they collectively set the tone. Also- they go into each other flawlessly so I can’t really picture them separately.
I expected Captain to say that “I wonder U” was most skippable, but he didn’t.
He also liked “Girls and Boys” a lot. Not to the point where he was gushing and fanboying, but sung its praises.
Player said it’s great, but you get used to it and it loses the magic. Player also has this thing- I’ve noticed- about the warehouse sound of these Revolution albums. I get the impression he doesn’t like that- which is why he gave Purple Rain a lower score than I think it deserved. Makes me curious about what albums and eras he prefers because he isn’t as jazzed about this particular era, which is very popular among fans.
Toejam said that he never really liked this one… which is hard to imagine. But then, Captain… enough said. I’d written it enough times already 😛
Then the biggest surprise for me- “Life can be so nice” getting so much praise.
MC said it was his 2nd favorite [detracting “the 2nd best” as his first statement] song on the album. That’s huge. There’s at least three songs on this album that are absolute monsters… and I think they’re the last three.
Captain said, I think, “I like this song a lot, but I don’t know why”
I think Toejam also liked this song a lot and MC was like “I’m so glad I’m not alone in this”… like he was afraid he’d be the odd man out on this one.
I don’t think it’s going to be in my top 3 on the album, but I’ve always really liked this one. Even though I’m not crazy about how it ends.
So I finished the Peach and Black review of this album and it’s another good one. I don’t think there has really been an episode yet where I haven’t been total excited or where I haven’t laughed out loud at least once or talked along with it whether or not I agree or disagree with something.
So the “life can be so nice” love fest was ended the next day when I resumed and Player said he didn’t like it as much as the other guys.
I guess there had to be someone who didn’t get it and oddly he’s the odd man out.
It’s almost always Captain 😛 and it’s usually on fan favorites.
So Captain… it’s no secret that he’s my favorite member on the panel. And as much as I laugh along with what shenanigans he pulls in his commentary, I’m the most vocal when we disagree on something. More so when he doesn’t like songs I love.
I tweeted something about this and it got likes and RT’s. It’s almost always guaranteed that on any given album, the most unlikely song will be his favorite on the album and he will either not get or like a song that I’m particularly fond of.
He didn’t get “Mountains” or “Anotherloverholenyohead”. Mountains I was especially vocal about 😛 then he said that since it was #20 in their poll, “obviously I’m wrong” and I pretty said “yeah, you’re totally wrong”
But that really is the best part about getting to know other people as familiar with Prince as I am and more- getting to see different points of view.
I mean, Prince is so brilliant at what he does (I don’t care- I will continue to refer to him in the present tense and not correct myself). The results are hard to argue.
“Kiss” is not my favorite Prince song. Some songs, I hate it or really don’t like it. But it’s loved by a lot of people. You can’t argue with the technical merit, obviously. I just don’t get why it’s considered one of his greatest ever from a subjective standpoint- which my components score, which includes relistenability and emotional connection, whether it’s having fun with a song or being in love with it. Depending on the song obviously.
Anyway- Kiss got good reviews from the technical point and the good argument that nobody but Prince could sing it in falsetto and make it sound good.
I will sing along with it when I’m really in the mood and I get over the top during the last chorus. It’s a blast 😛 I just don’t never want to do that with any other people around.
“Do U Lie?” was Captain’s favorite on the album and I’m like “no way, you gotta be kidding me”… it’s weird, though. Because there isn’t any song on this album I outright dislike or think is overrated (ok, Kiss is debatable… man, I’m bashing that song a lot… and it was mentioned a couple times that its inclusion on the album kept it from failing commercially… as if Mountains, Girls and Boys and Anotherloverholenyohead couldn’t support this album… sucks that Europe was the only place Girls and Boys was a single).
But when I hear certain songs being hyped that I find kinda forgettable sometimes, I can’t help but argue.
The truth is nearly all the songs except for a couple standouts are on equal footing. Those four songs I listed, I consider among the best on the album along with Sometimes it Snows in April and I’m particularly fond of Life Can Be So Nice.
At this point, I think I’m just rambling and should rein it in.
Captain has a good point that “Do U Lie” is unique in Prince’s catalogue and there’s nothing else like it. That’s admirable. And I agreed so much when he said he loved the falsetto and vocal performance… it’s the best part along with Jonathan Melvoin’s drumming. That’s good stuff.
Sometimes it Snows had a really good discussion… but I couldn’t help but wonder how this review would change if they ever, as MC jokingly hinted at but I don’t think he’s serious, recorded their whole back catalog and reviewed all the albums again… what would their review be like if they did it now? When some people wrote articles titled “Prince prophesized his own death 30 years ago”.
this was MC’s favorite on the album and is very justified in doing so. No arguments. Player said the only negative is if you have this album on a loop, it’s jarring to have Christopher Tracy’s Parade after such a sad song. That’s a different version of the argument I made in this post.
Supposedly there was debate about the final lyric- whether it was “love isn’t love until it’s passed” or “until it’s had”… MC’s always heard “had.” I’ve always heard “passed.”
One last Captain comment- he said he’d like to see Prince do this song live and then do a Purple Rain guitar solo immediately after, just to see if that would sound good or not.
I think if done just right… it’d be a show-stopper and if it was the last song he did that night, that memory would stay with you forever.
I’m trying to think if there’s a Prince song I hate with a burning passion so much that if Captain said he loved it, I’d flip out and rage while I’m listening in my car on my iPod.
I don’t think so… but I’m also having trouble remembering if I hated any Prince songs that much.
At the moment, I can only think, maybe, “Now” on The Gold Experience. And that’s such a long way from here and I’m getting ahead of myself.
Before I start breaking down the song and finally rating them…
well, Peach and Black collectively gave Parade 8.5 except Player, who doesn’t like the warehouse sound and wants a remaster really bad, still gave it a 9. That was the reason he gave Purple Rain a lower score. he’s the guy I’m still figuring out, so I’m curious to see what his favorite album will be.
And I thought yesterday… one day after I’m done all these album posts… I’m going to come up with a list of my favorite Prince songs… I need to figure out a way of, well, figuring that out.
So I thought I should take my math from these posts and put them on an Excel sheet as I go.
But I don’t know if math will be able to determine everything.
Just like this album- Toejam said something that I nodded and agreed with very much. This album is better as a whole than the sum of its parts.
My heart wants to give it a high score, but the math probably won’t agree.
I just love living in its world. I watched UTCM again last night and actually spent much of the movie disconnected from it. I guess the one time last week was plenty. Almost like I’d rather just listen to it than see the visuals because they don’t all fit the songs.
I’m still trying to figure how Anotherloverholenyohead fits in the movie. Also- what does “Do U lie?” mean… is it about telling mistruths or about having sex or messing around? Or all the above? It sets the mood for the movie, but the lyrics don’t have much relevance.
Most of the lyrics don’t, really… well, maybe it’s 50/50.
After the movie, I watched 3 of the videos.
I can get why Wendy wasn’t jazzed about sharing the stage with her sister. I’m sure the Parade shows were amazing, but it looked like the stage just had too many people on it.
It was also the first time Prince had his girlfriend on stage with him… well, Jill Jones was for a time as well, but after Susannah was Cat, then Diamond and Pearl, then Mayte and after a long hiatus, the Twinz… I have no idea if Prince ever dated either of them, but it’s something to think about. It was just him and his band on stage. Then girlfriends started to become more involved.
…I should just rate this thing and stop. It’s going to be so long at the end of this.
Also Jerome talked about the Wrecka Stow and bats scene in the Funkenberry interview. They actually happened. The two of them were teasing Kristen Scott Thomas about being so English and they launched into the dialogue that eventually became part of the movie.
And the bats thing… The Time was rehearsing back in the day in a warehouse, someone saw bats and everyone ran out hysterical. He said how bats don’t fly straight. So I watched that scene in the movie and it was actually funny to me.
Kiss, I really enjoyed the video. It really benefits to have Prince performing to it. I get the fun and enjoyment of it.
And Girls and Boys… omg, love that video. And the end, I was ready to burst out laughing a few seconds too soon 😛 I totally forgot Jerome calling the bandmates by name as they were leaving him to laugh himself to death. Over the top, yes, but the laughter was damn near contagious 😛
Christopher Tracy’s Parade
..another good opening track that introduces the album… I thought about it as a concept and how these first few songs could be like parade floats, how each has a different theme and a song plays with them… in that scope, you can take this to another level. But I think the Parade crashes after Life Can Be So Nice and the concept kinda ends.
A nice little ditty that shows you what you can expect for the album as a whole, as any good title or opening track should do.
Technical merit- 4 (it’s well composed, nice vocal performance, the instruments help form the identity of the album, nice lyrics… the only drawback is that it doesn’t stand out particularly in Prince’s catalog)
Components score- 3.5 (for me, 3 is average- I don’t feel strongly about it positively or negatively. 4 are for tracks I like and enjoy, but aren’t over-the-top in love with. It’s likely this album will have a bunch of 3.5’s. This earns because I like it more than average and it gets me excited to listen to the whole album. It’s just too short to warrant wanting to go out of the way to listen to it… especially when it’ll just get me in the mood to listen to the whole album anyway… come to think of it, I don’t think there are many openers I’ll go out of the way to listen to on their own. 1999 is the only one that really jumps to mind at the moment)
Total score- 7.5
…what this song could have been if it was just a little longer…
Man, this is hard. This album is structured a little weird where the first 3-4 songs fit together so well, but I don’t think of them separately and they aren’t super strong on their own. Then with the others, they’re easier to separate. Maybe Prince should have just recorded them as one 10 minute track 😛 heck, if he did the LoveSexy think and made it all one track, I wouldn’t mind it either… but then there’s my personal configuration so it wouldn’t work.
Technical Merit- 4 (it’s a very solid track- I only detract a point because it has the potential to be amazing, a really good song and a Prince classic, if only it was longer)
Components- 3 (I like it, but I don’t like it enough where it’s memorable or I got out of my way to listen to it)
Total score- 7
I Wonder U
…not sure if this is really a song, but I don’t care. I’ve always liked it, the whole vibe of it, if anything else. It’s very unique in Prince’s catalogue because Wendy sings lead on it and Prince took his vocals out of it. I thought that was so odd. At the time I first heard it, I don’t think I knew it was Wendy.
Technical score- 4.5 (it’s not quite a full song… so I can’t quite give it a full score)
Components score- 4 (it’s so short, but the vibe is so strong and mesmerizing and good overall, as any Prince song should be)
Under the Cherry Moon
…I don’t think I liked this song nearly as much as I do now, so this makes things interesting.
I’m just going to go right into the score.
Technical score- 5 (he hits all the right notes, musically. Lyrically, it paints a great picture. Vocally, it’s vulnerable. It’s a solidly written song with credit to Prince’s father- whatever his contribution to this was, or whatever he played that Prince recalled while writing this… it’s brilliant. and it’s something kinda special, I think)
Components score- 4 (I’ll give this one a solid score- I don’t know if I like it quite enough to go higher. Also, I feel like I’d be too biased for this album if I gave it any higher).
Total score- 9
Girls & Boys
…oh man, this is a good one.
Technical score- 4.5 (the lyrics have a little bit of cheese… I wanted so badly to give this a perfect score, but I just couldn’t…)
Components score- 5
One of my favorites on the album for sure. The back-up vocals help make up the chorus. And it has some unique components. I always enjoy this one when it comes around.
Total score- 9.5
Life Can Be So Nice
Technical score- 4 (if not for how it ends, it would have scored higher… also some of the lyrics are a little vague and nonsensical)
Components score- 4.5 (I like this one a lot, but I don’t feel good about giving it a perfect score)
Total score- 8.5
Venus de Milo
Technical merit- 4.5 (even as an instrumental, it has a beginning, middle and end. Great instrumentals. It’s brilliant, but I don’t think it stands out necessarily in his overall catalogue).
Components score- 4 (I don’t got out of my way to listen to this one- that’s the only thing holding it back)
Total score- 8.5
Technical- 5 (it’s an effort by the entire Revolution and it’s so brilliantly performed. Great lyrics, dreamy music I absolutely love)
Components- 4.5 (if it wasn’t so short and didn’t end so abruptly, it’d be a perfect 10)
Total score- 9.5
Do U Lie?
Technical- 4.5 (yeah, it’s technically brilliant and it is unique. But in the grand scope of all the songs he’d written, I don’t know if it stands out)
Components- 3.5 (I like it more than most. I think it’s well-written, the music really fits what he’s trying to convey in this overall soundtrack. It’s also one of the more complete songs on the album where there are a bunch that feel unfinished or under-realized)
Total score- 8
Technical- 5 (you can’t argue with its brilliance, how unique it is to Prince, how everything is so well accomplished in it)
Components score- 3 (it’s a perfect 3- sometimes I’m so over it and other times I really get into it)
Total score- 8
…omg, the album’s almost over already?!
Technical score- 4.5 (yeah, something is just missing… it isn’t absolutely perfect where I’d feel confident enough to give it a perfect score)
Components score- 5 (again, another one I really enjoy when it comes on)
Total score- 9.5
Sometimes it Snows in April
…even if Prince was still alive, I’d still give it the same score I am now.
Technical score- 5 (it was recorded in one take, it’s raw and emotional, a great collaboration with Prince, Wendy and Lisa, one of their best ever. Great poignant lyrics)
Components score- 4 (I like this one a lot, but don’t go out of my way to listen to it… certainly now when the song makes me cry… although it was only on the one time I listened to the physical album opposed to my personal mix of it with the B-sides)
Total score- 9
So overall, the album starts kinda weak, but really gains steam as it progresses. The math should make it interesting…
Ranking the tracks from highest to lowest:
Girls & Boys- 9.5
Under the Cherry Moon- 9
Sometimes it Snows in April- 9
Life Can Be So Nice- 8.5
I Wonder U- 8.5
Venus de Milo- 8.5
Do U Lie?- 8
Christopher Tracy’s Parade- 7.5
New Position- 7
Total points- 102.5 (oh man, I’m so nervous…)
divide by points possible (120- 12 tracks, each worth up to 10 points)…
8.5… the math backed me off, omg… I need to check where that stands in the grand scheme of things…
it’s my 2nd favorite album after Purple Rain… omg!
Okay, now for the rest of the albums so far…
For You- 6.2
Dirty Mind- 7.4
Purple Rain- 9.1
Around the World in a Day- 8.3
I’m so happy, I can’t even say…
so the three I’ll bring onward for my favorite Prince songs…
Girls & Boys
And I did way too much talking in this post… but I’ll publish it now and end it.
SotT will be next and that’s going to be a monster. I just don’t know if those 16 tracks will stack up to Purple Rain and Parade. There are some brilliants songs in that set, but there are a handful I don’t care for quite as much.
We shall see… that’ll probably be another of my long posts 😛 at this point, all my posts are pretty long and anyone who manages to get through them, I commend them for that.
I can’t believe my score… and it’s the same as 3/4 of Peach & Black, which is pretty cool 😎