Prince Album #7: Around the World in a Day [at “Paisley Park”]

According to Matt Thorne’s book, the original title of the album was going to be “Paisley Park” until he heard David Coleman’s recording what would become the real title track…

man, what a difference that would have made…
well, following something like Purple Rain, a rose by any other name still wouldn’t have succeeded as the parties involved would have hoped for…

So I’m finally back- ready to leave Purple Rain behind and move onto the next album and phase of Prince’s career… which was basically trying to maintain that rate of success without repeating his past triumphs…
after spending two weeks with all the music from 1983-1984, I just wasn’t feeling it anymore… and I actually understand, for the first time ever, why Prince wanted to do something different, why he burned out in the final third of the tour for his monster success of an album and movie… as great as the material was, you can only hang with it so much before you yearn for something else.
Or as Prince put it, he was taking time off to “look for The Ladder”

[So far this post is sounding incredible… but sadly I must bring it down a bit for the “Complain about Matt Thorne’s book” section]

I cannot go a chapter without one thing just throwing me completely off and mad for no reason at all. He’s basically a stupid journalist to me at this point, one of many who’d tried to write about Prince over the years and misinterpreted so much about him to the point he wouldn’t talk to them.
Out of nowhere, he said “Pop Life” was a song that continues to rub people the wrong way, quoting another random journalist who said it tells people to stop complaining and put up with their “essentially shitty lives.” I can understand him trivializing “Temptation”… I’m sure someone on Peach & Black will think it’s kind of ridiculous, the 2nd half of the song. And I’ll admit that I’ve laughed it the first several times I listened to it when he’s being smited (smoten?) by God… but the final few seconds of dialogue, that was always a chilling moment for me. Can’t quite understand why.

Anyway… Pop Life, last I checked, was a beloved Prince song. I haven’t heard anyone say they hadn’t liked it. How many people could it have rubbed the wrong way to warrant such a comment? There was no real explanation for it. Interpretation is subjective, I get that, but it needs explanation for me to get why this was.
I never heard this song as being mean-spirited, so this idea of it just didn’t feel right to me.

[Ok, enough of that…]

He did write one comment that made me think “hmm… you might have a point”…[had to happen sometime, I guess]
he was writing about Tambourine and said it was “the worst song on any Prince album up to this point.”

to say that about any Prince song kinda seems harsh, but taking everything into account… if any song warranted this comment, this won’t certainly be the worst choice.
Tambourine isn’t great… might be the one song that keeps this album from scoring an 8.
I really don’t know what to expect from a rating. This has always been an odd one for me.
Most times when I listen to it, it’s the first time in a while and it feels like a refreshing change in direction. I think I might have even felt that way when I listened to it the first time… just because I’d spent a couple months with 4 Prince albums, one being a greatest hits album. I was at college without a car [that wasn’t really important to me] so I didn’t have the luxury to go out when I wanted to buy more music.

it’s interesting to hear how these songs were written even while Purple Rain was in the final stages before the theatrical release… yet the feel of it is so different. Maybe it wouldn’t be so much if the title track wasn’t there. I might try that sometime…


maybe it’s because I hadn’t heard Prince in a couple days [and I’d had one of those bad days at work where I’m busy but my mind is buzzing with all the negativity in the world at the current time]… but I came into the title track and felt completely refreshed.

I know this is technically Prince doing a cover of a song written by Lisa’s brother. But he did those random Prince things that made it his own. The drum pattern for starters. The loudest beat on the four. and of course that killer synth solo towards the end.
then “Paisley Park” took on a completely new meaning… it’s the state of mind or place I reach when I listen to Prince in general. I’ve had several moments (not just recently, but the first couple years- when I was still in college) where simply listening to him takes me somewhere else and whatever is bugging me or making me feel bad, it goes away and I feel better.

yeah, Prince is good therapy- who knew?

I was getting through these first few songs and getting this feeling- “this doesn’t feel like the album that came after Purple Rain”- there’s no connection to it at all- unless you look at the screams and the Linn-drum… the fact the third song is a ballad… a power ballad towards the end of the album… the final track has elements of Darling Nikki…
some similarities, but the overall packaging just feels so different and it hurts my head too much (and detracts from the overall experience) to think of it that way.

so instead, it feels more like Prince took a year-long hiatus from Purple Rain and came back with something completely new. at least on the surface… it’s closer to Parade, but even then, those albums are far apart too.
I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it.

Condition of the Heart- I can hear the comments now πŸ˜› Captain saying its the most skippable on the album. a) because it’s a ballad and b) it takes 2 minutes until the actual song starts.
Toejam might call this the dream song of the album… it’s very atmospheric. It could divide the panel.
I mean, it’s not “The Beautiful Ones” and maybe a little too long and too theatrical at times, but I’ve always kinda liked it. Just not enough where I’d skip to listen to it.
I find it interesting now- looking at the Clara Bow reference and Matt Thorne writing how it could have been a reference to his upcoming movie project, which was might have been his tribute to old movies. Hence the black and white.

Tambourine… whether it’s the worst up to this point, I’m still figuring out. I never hated it, but it’s the most skippable for me.
America… I always kinda liked the third verse about Jimmy Nothing who didn’t want to pledge Allegience. (“Now Jimmy live on a mushroom cloud!”)… that’s even more fun to say because of the Seinfeld episode where Jimmy always referred to himself in the third person. It also made me think about how Colin Kapernick refused to stand for the National Anthem and that’s why nobody wants to hire him anymore. Yeah, some songs just transcend time… although I don’t know whether Prince would have supported him or not. Doesn’t matter anymore now.

Pop Life– I couldn’t listen to the lyrics much because I was concentrating extra hard on driving… but the music always stands out. Love that walking bassline (it’s even better in the extended version) and it’s really minimalistic, but so great.

The Ladder… yeah… the lyrics have come to mind a lot these last few weeks… but hearing the song again, soon enough, my mind drifts off and I just wait for it to end.

Temptation… I read that it was written around the time of Purple Rain (the project, not the actual song) and Prince went back and edited it.
I’m willing to bet he added the epiphany/confrontation section later on- the way he added the backwards gospel to Darling Nikki.
I just love mime-screaming along to this song. The last part of it makes me laugh so much because I have no clue what he’s saying πŸ˜› how authentic the final couple minutes is… it’s hard to know, really. Prince could have been completely serious and people will still think he’s nuts.
***
Day 2

it seems like I tire of these Prince albums kinda quickly… at least the first few tracks…
but the good news was that I was free to listen to “Raspberry Beret” (the other day, I was being overly cautious with my driving so I barely listened)… and it felt like 10 minutes of bliss. Really enjoyed how simple and poppy it is. One of the catchiest choruses Prince ever wrote πŸ˜‰
I think I read somewhere that this was originally written in 1982… I wonder if it had synths and Linn-drum back then and how that would’ve sounded. (I’ll probably ask the same of “New Position” next album).

“Tambourine” isn’t quite a guilty pleasure… but times like this, I oddly enjoy it. The vocal delivery half makes up for the cheesy almost cringe-worthy innuendo-laden lyrics.

“Pop Life” doesn’t feel nearly long enough… but I also have a couple other versions hanging around too.

The third verse of “The Ladder” is probably the most sincere part of the song overall… and I kinda keep missing it- my mind keeps wondering off. But again, it drags.

One day, I think I should listen to “Darling Nikki” and “Temptation” back to back… see if I can find the connection between the two albums. If there’s anywhere I can find it, it’s with these two since they were written, I think, only a couple months apart.

“Paisley Park” overall is great… but I kinda wish it was different… some of the lyrics, I don’t care for. The music has some bits and pieces that just come off weird to me. If it had a different array of instruments (or if it wasn’t trying to keep up the sound from the previous track)… it could have been really amazing. I don’t know what I’d change exactly, but one day, I’ll see if I can express that in writing.

And before ending this day off, I also listened to a couple B-sides.

“She’s always in my hair”… It was maybe around 2pm at work. I hadn’t heard much music that day (the radio was turned down low so I barely heard it). I felt like it woke me up. Prince kinda has that effect. I could listen this jam for 15 minutes and not get tired of it.
Love the main hook on this one and the “splash” effect on the drums… so cool.

Then “Hello”… OMG!! This was one of my early favorite Prince songs. I hadn’t heard it in such a long time. And it’s even cooler now that I know the context and reason it was written. The main hook is… again, cool. I just enjoy it so much.
The lyrics are very specific and tell a story. I love the backing vocals and the rhythm of the vocal delivery.
It’s too damn short… which is why I’m so happy a remix came with the set it came in.

I just thought on the way back home (during that 3rd verse in “The Ladder”)… maybe I should guess what the Peach and Black guys will think of these songs… I mean, it’d be crazy how many I get right. And if I do get a lot right… well, what does that say about me? I’m completely mental, that’s what.
This train of thought became when I thought aloud to myself “is Captain crazy enough to like Tambourine?” because this is the guy known for really oddball favorite Prince songs. I’m sure he’d like “Raspberry Beret”… at least to a degree, because it’s 80’s pop and he’s a sucker for a well-written pop song.
***

I never put that rap sheet together πŸ˜› by this point, I’m 6 songs in.

But I was right about one thing and I was in my driveway at this point, laughing and cheering.
Captain called “Condition of the Heart” most skippable on the album and the 2 minute intro didn’t do it for him… I would have said “Captain, you disappoint me” if he wound up calling this his favorite on the album, but you never know to expect from him.
But it’s also great that despite not liking the song, he can offer up good things to say about it. Things he really likes… notably the lyrics, despite the fact he doesn’t listen to lyrics.

MC talked about how ballsy Prince was to do this type of album after the success of Purple Rain.
Toejam said, on any given day, “Condition of the Heart” could be his favorite Prince song. Or at least it’s in his top 5 (I’ll maintain that “Strange but True” is his favorite and nothing he says will convince me otherwise :P)

Overall, everyone seems to be in agreement on the songs. Classic Prince music is hard to really be overly harsh about. Even the stuff we don’t complete like has good points.

Bringing back the point about “Tambourine”… oh man, the guys had so much fun with this one. None of them were put off by the lyrics.
And listening it to these past few times… it’s not great, but it’s fun and enjoyable. not quite a guilty pleasure like Darling Nikki is, not for me anyway…
I actually typed the quote into Twitter and Captain came back and asked what book I’m reading cuz it sounded so ridiculous to him.

yeah, horribly cheesy lyrics and obvious innuendo… but let’s face it- Prince is the only person who could write a track like this and make it sound great. Or at least not overtly offensive (although that clearly isn’t the case for this guy. And I thought I was bad)…

I’m disappointed that they didn’t talk about my favorite verse during their “America” review.

all this time later, I really don’t remember too much else about the podcast I wanted to bring up.

But I’ll add a few bits about the stuff on my iPod.
I completely forgot that the “Hello (fresh dance mix)” had a different set of lyrics. Next time I listen, it can’t be when I’m driving πŸ˜›
I remembered seeing these lyrics on the border at .org… now I’m having trouble remembering because it mentions shoes and I’m thinking about other Prince songs with shoe lyrics.
“Get your education first then buy a pair of shoes”- Loose!
“if they tell me to walk a straight line, I put on crooked shoes”- The Max (love that lyric!)

he says that words are just like shoes, they’re just something to stand on. I wish you could walk in my shoes, but they’re so high you’d probably fall off and die. (this is paraphrasing of course…)

Anyway, I have an alternate version of the title track… I don’t remember if I’d ever listened to it. But it’s a little more Middle-Eastern and much more filled out musically.
The other day, I heard a longer cut of Paisley Park, but there are some differences too. I think it’s not as sparse. And I love how the guitar is more prevalent.
the long version of America… I’m sorry, my attention span with Prince can only go, at most, 12 minutes for a song (the extended cut of “Mountains” and the album version of “Come” fall into this0. That song is 21 minutes… this is also a song I’m not entirely crazy about. It’s good, but I don’t personally connect with it.

Pop Life… oh man… I freaking love this song so much. I wish there was just one perfect version of it that had all of my favorite quirks from all three version I have.
I don’t like the crowd noise that much.
I’d love to keep the ending of the fresh dance mix. I don’t like how the album version fades out at the end. It just feels too short.
the instrumental break before the third verse- I like the sound effects in the fresh dance mix and want to move them over.
The fourth verse & corresponding 2nd chorus… it doesn’t really fit in with the rest of the song’s message… but I kinda don’t want to take it out entirely if it means the track can run for 9 minutes.

Raspberry Beret, of course I’ll take the long version… something feels missing without that introduction with the guitar scratch.
[going back to the podcast, Captain said he picked up a harpsichord on this track for the first time prior to doing the review… along with 80’s rubbish pop and the top fret on a guitar, Captain is a sucker for harpsichord… one of the first podcasts I listened to it in 2016, he brought that up and I can’t remember which album it was, but I’ll mention it as soon as I get here]

so in addition to the B-sides, I kinda want to put my own playlist for this album together.

it’d go something like this…
1. Around the world in a day (alternate version)
2. Paisley Park (extended)
3. Condition of the Heart
4. She’s Always in My Hair
5. Raspberry Beret (extended)
6. Tambourine
7. Girl
8. America
9. Pop Life (extended)
10.Β 4 theΒ Tears in Your Eyes
11. Hello
12. The Ladder
13. Temptation
14. Pop Life (fresh dance remix)

so I’ll finish the podcast, make some final comments and I’ll rate the album…

I’ve got a little bit left… the guys are giving their scores now and they’re a lot of higher than I figured.
Captain freaking gave it 9.5 because it had Temptation on it πŸ˜› it was so crazy to hear him call that his favorite on the album. So unexpected- I was sure one of its elements would weird him out a bit (my sights were set on the God conversation in the song’s final moments). But it is a good choice for a favorite track. If “Pop Life” wasn’t on this album, it’d be mine.

MC called it his favorite on the album and sang its praises for what felt like 5 minutes. He touched on all the points I would have. There was debate on the bass line and who did it… it’s not marked on the album credits… princevault says its Brown Mark. I was gonna say whoever did it, I don’t care who, they were brilliant at it.
[wow, reading the princevault entry, it says this was recorded feb 19 1984 and the sessions lasted until 6:15 the following morning… that’s got to be a showing of how much he believed in this song… and the much debated crowd noise came “from a sound library set by the company Sound Ideas”- and Delirious, Live 4 Love and Lady Cab Driver also used them]
everyone praised it, but of course Captain has to be the weirdo who says he doesn’t like it. Just doesn’t get it.

I’d have to have my notes all set, but I’d like to explain it πŸ˜›
at least he has that quality about him where he can admit he doesn’t like something but finds good things to highlight. At least if the quality is good or it’s from the 80’s.

Toejam was my saving grace on The Ladder… he didn’t hate the song, but he was the only one who really expressed any dislike for it. Or just saying he didn’t like it as much.
I was practically quoting MC on “Baby I’m a star”… “no… I can’t believe you’re all agreeing.”
Not to say the song is horrible, but it just runs too long, gets too repetitive… and to me, it sounds like Purple Rain part 2 and just isn’t as good.
Nor does it mean I’m not big on Prince gospel. It just needs to catch my attention and hold onto it. I guess Toejam didn’t like it as much because he supposedly (according to him) isn’t big on religion being discussed in music. Which is weird cuz he gave Lovesexy a perfect 10.

Temptation prompted an interesting discussion (how could it not?) about album sequencing and whether this was originally the 2nd to last and The Ladder was the salvation he sought and succeeded in achieving.
Toejam said some days it could be brilliant and others it can get annoying.
Someone said this isn’t a song you can play in the background at a party. I played this album in the car my 3rd or 4th time listening to it… I took it out after The Ladder πŸ˜› there is no way anyone else in the car could have lasted through that song. My mom already thinks Prince is a weirdo and my dad still can’t believe I got so into him when he was the whole reason for it. The Prince stuff that was in the house (the Purple Rain soundtrack and the VHS tape with MTV videos including 1999 on it) came from him and the only reason we sat through Purple Rain when it was on TV mid-progress was because it was his idea… I just took the fandom much further than he did, where he respects the guy, but he’s not super nuts about him beyond a couple songs.

and Captain kept mentioning this person, Novi Novog- who played violin on several of the tracks. Just really liked the name πŸ˜›

Player also talked about the artwork and had a nice lengthy discussion about it.

One of the rare times MC gave a score for the album- saying he couldn’t sleep at night if he gave it less than a 9. He gave it 9.5 (and in the background, Captain says “the same as me” gleefully in the background, lol).
He went into as much detail about why just like he did with his Pop Life review… which is really cool 😎 when he can’t stop talking like this, you know it’s good. You know the passion is there πŸ˜‰

I can’t fit this in a tweet πŸ˜› MC was talking about the album being colorful in his summation. Captains says people get the impression this album is colorful because of the artwork and asks if that would be true if the album cover was black.
My first impression of all Prince albums that I physically own… they come from the artwork. That’s why I want to get them. Not just to be respectful to Prince, but also the album isn’t just about the music with him. And I like to know what to expect before I go in. The visual enhances the experience.
I know that this album got an added impression based on that. I know I felt “Come” to be a dark album based on the cover and how it looks like he’s in front of a gothic church or something. [I might have the architectural style wrong… but you get my point].

…I’d been hanging with the other mixes for so long, I think I might need to hear the album all the way through, untouched, before making my final call.
And I typically wait until 3 listens to the full album before I give my review. I feel bad about waiting, but I also don’t want to rush it.
Which means I gotta hook up my iPod and put the music from iTunes onto the album.


yeah, I used to do this all the time the first couple of years of this new life with Prince music. I’d have my CD player or my iPod. I’d be in my college dorm room or my bedroom when I was home. I’d lay on top of the covers, eyes closed and listen to the album in full.

with the first few tracks, it was great… but around the time I found the harpsichord in “Raspberry Beret,” I was slowly losing traction as the album went on. That’s what I get for having a drink with a movie earlier. I had to keep from falling asleep.

Anyway… this is going to be a tricky one to rate.
Because I need to figure out if I’m going to go from what I’ve heard these past few times or am I going to keep in mind the fact I have several other albums to get through so I can’t score overly high…

AROUND THE WORLD IN A DAY [the song]

The weirdness starts here. Such a strange start to a new Prince album, even stranger coming off the heels of Purple Rain. The whistling flute-like instrument in the background, the Linn-drum clap along with tribal sounding drums on the other beats. The finger cymbals.
The lyrics run a verse and chorus or two. Some thought-provoking lyrics to get your mind going, but the title still feels odd. Like it doesn’t fully cover what the album is about.
We go to the Middle East and Asia here, but other than going to Paris in “Condition of the Heart” and the string arrangements in “Pop Life” keep me in Europe, we get mostly America- both in the song, but the trolley cars in “Tambourine” which makes you automatically think of San Francisco.

Technical score- 4 (a point is deducted because this isn’t 100% a Prince track- written by David Coleman with his father co-credited… plus the lyrics is somewhat unsatisfying compared to how much we get the verses… fair enough, right?)
Components score- 3.5 (I like it a little more than average, but I wouldn’t go out of my way to listen to it by itself)
Total score- 7.5

PAISLEY PARK
…I think this one is starting to sneak up on me a bit. I can’t help but wonder what it’ll be like when I actually go there and see the utopia this song ultimately inspired into being. I don’t think I really connected with it until we lost Prince- as if everything suddenly made sense. Or at least I found a way to make sense of it for myself.
I’m a sucker for the finger cymbals (on this and a song I’ll get to much later… I always tap a finger or clap my hands together in time with them). But the lyrics really make this song what it’s become to me.

Technical score- 4.5 (I love Wendy, but her back-up vocals on the chorus always feel a little too high to me… she’s Prince’s perfect counterpoint, but I always sing his part because hers runs too high for me with the song’s key being where it is. Somewhat distracting…)
Components score- 4 (like I said, sneaking… slowly becoming a favorite on this album, which has some really great songs on it)
Total score- 8.5

CONDITION OF THE HEART
…listening to this on headphones (or in this case my iPod is something else) is something else. The instrumental at the start comes off as if he’s playing alone in a dark room with no light. Well, maybe a candlelight, a piano, a microphone and a soundboard. It has to be one of noted performances recorded alone without any engineers in the studio.

Technical score- 4.5 (the volume regulation required while playing this track on stereo can be a bit of a pan. It starts so low you can barely hear the instrumentals or Prince, but then it gets so high and you have to readjust… takes away from the overall experience).
Components score- 4 (I feel good about this… it’s not up there with his better ballads for me, but the emotion and the overall composition of this is enough to make me admire Prince… just in general)
Total score- 8.5

RASPBERRY BERET
…I found the harpsichord, just like Captain said, and after that, I just got lost in the percussion and all the other instruments. But with songs you hear as much as this one, you kinda need those moments every now and then to keep things from getting repetitive.

Technical score- 5 (finally got a perfect technical score!… it’s perfectly executed, I can’t take away from it)
Components score- 4 (I enjoy this breath of fresh air whenever it comes on, but it doesn’t mean I like when it’s overplayed on the radio… oddly enough, I don’t think I’d heard it so much as I had in the past year. and there are others I like a lot better)
Total score- 9

TAMBOURINE
…yeah, I got nothing for a quip to introduce this song… although the shaking of the tambourine before the final verse before he says “trolley cars…”, these past few times, it made me think of “Fascination” where the chorus ends with a tambourine shake or a maraca or something.

Technical score- 4 (for some weak lyrics, but a little extra credit for Prince being ballsy enough to put something like this out on an album rather than keeping it in the vault… it’s a good breather before the serious tracks, but it isn’t quite up there with some of the other material
Components score- 3.5 (I always kinda have fun with this one, but I don’t go out of my way to listen to it either)
Total score- 7.5

[yeah, this album isn’t getting an 8]

AMERICA
…this track still holds water today… I don’t know if that’s a good or bad thing regarding our country.

Technical score- 5 (This one was always well put together in my view)
Components score- 3.5 (maybe it’s the “Partyup” effect… but I don’t so much like Prince when he gets political. Doesn’t quite hold my interest, even if he’s talking about stuff in the real world, opposed to being self-involved. I love the way the lyrics are written and put together. But I just never got overly excited about this track. Can’t quite explain why…)
Total score- 8.5

POP LIFE

Technical score- 5 (everything is brilliant)
Components score- 4.5 (except I don’t like the crowd noise at the end and how it fades out… I so badly wanted to give this a perfect 10 and I had it typed that way… I just couldn’t do it when there was something I disliked that would’ve gone unsaid otherwise)
Total score- 9.5

THE LADDER
…ok, here we go… if this album is a 7-pointer, this track will decide whether it’ll run high or low on the decimal side of the period.

Technical score- 4 (great music, great vocals overall, great lyrics… just runs a little too long and repetitive. And Prince had executed similar exercises more successfully)
Components score- 2.5 (I really struggled with this one… I give 3’s to average tracks, I don’t like or hate them strongly. But this is a song I’d skip if I didn’t feel compelled to listen to the whole album… much like how it went with “Anna Christian” back on Controversy)
Total score- 6.5 (can’t remember the last time I gave a score this low… but I did spend 2 weeks on Purple Rain…)

TEMPTATION
…I can’t remember what I gave “Darling Nikki,” but this can’t rank higher than it.

Technical score- 5 (forget the unintelligible lyrics… this is brilliantly executed and just plain ballsy to put on an album… I’m willing to bet he added the gospel part in the 2nd half because he thought he went too far
Components score- 4 (yeah, I feel good about this… I like “Pop Life” more than this one, even though this is another one of those guilty pleasure tracks)
Total score- 9

Now time to do math… after sequencing them from highest to lowest:

Pop Life- 9.5
Temptation- 9
Raspberry Beret- 9
Paisley Park- 8.5
Condition of the Heart- 8.5
America- 8.5
Around the World in a Day- 7.5
Tambourine- 7.5
The Ladder- 6.5

…let’s see… 74.5- divide by points possible (90)… whoa… 8.2777
so rounded up, I gave Around the World in a Day 8.3… that’s higher than 1999?! That’s insane… I guess there’s something to be said about Prince’s shorter albums
…makes me worry about O(+> and The Gold Experience further down the road… but at least with one, my score is based on the 12 tracks, not all 18 with the segues.

So the songs I’m taking forward with me automatically to when I start to figure out my list of 100 favorite Prince songs…

Pop Life
Temptation
Raspberry Beret

…I still can’t believe it πŸ˜› and I might as might paste, yet again, the story of Prince’s discography so far following my little system… which continues to surprise me…

For You- 6.2
Prince- 7.6
Dirty Mind- 7.4
Controversy- 7.8
1999- 8
Purple Rain- 9.1

Parade is next and it’s one I consider among my favorites… but now, I’m not so sure how it’ll hope up against my system.
I hope it at least gets an 8. Any less would just feel wrong, considering all much I enjoy listening to it when I put it on.

I’ll end this post by adding comments about “Girl’… which I chose to listen to when I was by myself because I remembered it being kinda explicit and intimate… I thought right.
Those 7 minutes and change felt like an eternity that I kinda didn’t want to leave.

I’d been meaning for ages to put together a mix CD of Prince ballads and love songs and this will have to be among them.
That’s all I’m going to say for that…

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GMA interviews The Revolution

I started watching this and jotting down some of my favorite bits and tidbits. I ended up getting so much on my sticky note thing on my computer… I think I’ll just post it here. Just my favorite moments or stuff I just want to remember for later.

Wendy- it’s like phantom limb syndrome… I wrote that first because that is exactly how I feel it’s hard to feel like he isn’t here anymore. But it’s also because I listen to him a lot so he’s never too far away.

Bobby- I made him laugh and that got me in (the studio was protective of him at first)

Brown Mark- Prince was dating Kim Upsher who was a waitress (was she the dumpster girl in Purple Rain?)- he was a cook at the same pancake house and cooked him pancakes- told him a few years later and he hit the floor laughing

Wendy- heard “Soft & Wet” at a club, and was a fangirl ever since that song πŸ˜› (Lisa had no idea about Prince and Wendy couldn’t believe she got to play for him and maybe Lisa couldn’t understand the fangirling)

Lisa- a childhood friend of hers was a secretary at the record company, heard about auditions and told her to try out

Bobby Z- helped him put the band together. he and Dr. Fink were friends and he played a tape for him and he says you need to get me in
Jimmy Jam had auditioned as a keyboard player- I think I remembered hearing that also, but couldn’t guess why πŸ˜› maybe because he wanted the band to be diverse, so the back line (keyboards and drums) was white and the front men (Prince, guitar and bass) were black- that’s my guess

Dr. Fink- last member to be cast. Prince asked him to do the keyboard from “So Blue,” said he didn’t know he had to learn it, freaking out. Prince joked, “that’s ok, there’s no keyboards on that anyway”

by the time The Revolution toured for Purple Rain, Around the World in a Day was finished… wow… I guess you could say that the two albums are cousins. They were written around the same time, but they’re so different but with some similarities.

and yeah, by the time I started this blog post, I didn’t have a whole lot I wanted to add.

It is such a relief that they didn’t ask them about how he died and the speculation and such… it’s bad enough Dez is being asked by the press about it.
They’re happy that Purple Rain deluxe is getting released first because “that’s us” and they’re playing those songs in concert.
I just hope I don’t regret not getting tickets to go…

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Apollonia 6- the album and the podcast

Yeah, I’m not planning on doing anything major with this post.

Just wanted to write down some random thoughts about the group’s one album and the Peach and Black podcast discussing it.
Considering I’d only heard this music twice before… well, now a 3rd time- my memory of it isn’t great, so it was kinda like a new album.
Listened to the album on the way home from work. All 24 or so minutes of it.

The music of “Happy Birthday Mr. Christian” made me want to get up and dance. It is so much fun to listen to. The lyrics… yeah, this is going to be the theme for this post… great music, passable lyrics…
My issue with this song- I believe it’s a 7-minute jam. To me, it felt like it was ran 2-3 minutes too long for no real reason.

“Sex Shooter” came next and I got way more excited than I should be πŸ˜›
this is a pretty crude edit of it- but I’ve also been spoiled by a 7 minute version (don’t judge- those 7 minutes actually go somewhere and the music keeps me interested the whole time) that it doesn’t do it justice. Plus, after being so used to it in Purple Rain, it’s jarring that to go from the “come and play with my affections” to the 2nd verse. Then it runs the full chorus and the rest kinda goes as normal, but a shorter 3-4 minute version than what I’m used to.

“Blue Limousine”- I didn’t expect to be so early in the album- especially since it’s one of the last in the promo video (go to YouTube and search for Apollonia 6 film- it should be there).
The lead line with those dreamy synths and the drumming in sequence… OMG… I wouldn’t call it an eargasm necessarily, but it gave me all kinds of feels. It’s kind of a sad synth line. It also invokes all the feel-good vibes I get when I listen to Prince in general.
If this song didn’t run 2-3 minutes too long, it’d be heaven. Maybe the best on this album… which isn’t saying a lot because it’s not exactly a masterpiece.

“A Million Miles (Love You)”- I remember hearing the unreleased version of this and not really getting it. I still don’t. Lyrically, it just feels kinda weak to me. Even with the female vocals, I’m still not a fan.

“Oo She She Wa Wa”
this was one of the other songs I remember from the promo movie. Susan singing lead and kinda flirting with the boys at the restaurant while the other two are stuck doing dishes. She’s such a great vocalist, if only for attitude alone.
I’ll have to listen to it again when I’m not half distracted because there were some spoken parts before the actual song. It reminded me of the beginning of the “Drive Me Wild” video where Vanity and Brenda whisk her away from her bedroom to a club for the night.
The actual song is too short for my liking.

“Some Kind of Lover”
a lot of great bass in the music. One of my favorites on the album. although the last part might have been putting it on a little thick.

“In a Spanish Villa”
Susan speaking Spanish for less than 2 minutes. It’s very hot and tantalizing, but I have no idea what she’s saying πŸ˜› but musically, it feels almost like a precursor of the sound for the next few albums

***
I keep saying to people my commute is 40 or 45 minutes, but it might be an hour πŸ˜› I guess I never want to find out, so when a podcast is an hour long, I play it after I get on the 2nd highway route of my trip.
The point of this mini-rant… I still have half a podcast left, practically πŸ˜›
so I might bring Purple Rain with me for the rest of the commute… or I might listen for the last 20-30 minutes of work.

But a lot of great classical moments already happened- I stopped before MC gave his assessment on “Oo She She Wa Wa”… I have a gut feeling he’s going to moan about the title cuz it is kinda in the same vein as the “hippie” bridge in “Let’s Pretend We’re Married”

First off, they spent maybe 10 minutes “setting the scene”– they only got to the track by track when Captain said “this is a great Apollonia 6 review”… I mean if anyone was going to point it out, it’s him. I’m surprised it took me until his comment to pick that out.

Anyway…

it started on a not-so-great note. Everyone pretty much said “Happy Birthday Mr. Christian” was a terrible opener for the album, not memorable, skippable, etc.
Toejam was the only one who had anything creditable or good to say about it. But he said what everyone was thinking– how awkward and uncomfortable (although Player was the one who said “the word you’re looking for is ‘uncomfortable'”) the lyrics and content are.

I looked up some lyrics during my lunch break to see what some of these songs are talking about.
I had a faint suspicion that the girl in the song consummated with Mr. Christian- and sure enough it was in the last lyric. “our son”… yeah, what kind of message are you trying to send with this song? Naughty little school girl gets knocked up by her teacher and because of that, he passes her with flying colors.
Can I say “ew!”

I was thinking after the fact that this music is so great (at least I think so- the guys didn’t care so much for the music… and it certainly isn’t forgettable… I was gearing up to listen to the album and it just kept coming to mind… it’s still there, in fact) that with another set of lyrics, it could be AMAZING

Sex Shooter got a lot of love, obviously.
But MC blew my mind when he said that Prince could have created this title as a pun of “six shooter”… it kinda makes you think about lyrics like “c’mon kiss the gun” a little differently… absolutely nuts!

Blue Limousine split the panel a bit and were comparing it to other Prince tracks. Pretty cool. I’m glad this got some love because it’s one of my favorites.
Captain made an observation about it that had me going “yeah, exactly!”… if you’re listening to this while you’re driving, the car horns throw you off a bit. He actually got in that situation and looked around to see who was honking at him, but of course it’s just the music.
That made me nervous, personally. I don’t even like hearing car horns play on the radio or cell phones for that matter… just makes me jump out of my skin.

A Million Miles… ugh… I’m never going to like this song. And it just bugged me so much that it was getting rave reviews.
Then Captain saved the day by saying “this is just a song”… something he hadn’t said in a long time (at least not the last few podcasts I’d listened to).

Also- Captain mentioned the Apollonia 6 promo film. I don’t know if any of the other guys saw it. I’ll send a tweet out πŸ˜›
But he summed it up pretty well.
Kinda funny Toejam went deep into the first track (MC made a funny comment at the end of Toejam’s review, saying that if anyone on the panel was to be a doctor, might as well be Toejam… Yeah, a purple physiatrist, I can see it now). He mentioned the final lyric and Captain was like “that wasn’t in the film”… but that would have made things just weird. And the girls can’t have their fun if there’s a baby there also.

Oo She She Wa Wa- I think this was splitting the panel by the time I stopped listening. I’m sure that MC is going to hate it.
Toejam said it was a rip-off of Makeup.
Player liked it for the most part… I had to come to a stop sign on my street so I could replay this part… he said he liked one part of the song and in the background you hear Captain exclaiming “Yes! Yes!”… but 2 seconds later, Player said the song was forgettable and Captain just as soon had a meltdown “No… No…”… I was laughing so hard.
Captain said it was the 2nd best song on the album. And he liked the rap part that Susan did halfway through because it came out of nowhere and nobody was expecting. He was so obviously smiling.
He was saying that Susan was the best vocalist of the girls. I totally agree– and I oddly like her tracks the best of the Vanity/Apollonia 6 stuff.

Forgot to mention this was this mind-blowing moment in Blue Limousine. I forgot who said it, but someone said the little red corvette and the blue limousine crashed– and I think MC said “and you got purple rain”…
I just noticed that NOW after they said it… everything makes sense.

The guys didn’t care much for “Some Kind of Lover”- I think Player said that it sounded similar to “Pop Life” and I think Captain looked it up and said they were recorded exactly a month apart and in early 1984… that’s even more mind-blowing. He wrote/recorded Pop Life before the movie was even released.
…Prince really never stopped, did he?
I was thinking as I was listening to it again “Wendy and Lisa had to have been involved” because it reminded me of their stuff on the next two albums. This was all Prince, so it might have been influenced by working with them. Either way, I love it. One of my favorites on the album- if only for the music alone.

And it sounds like Apollonia was the vocalist on the final track… I thought it sounded like Susan personally.
Anyway- they were talking about how odd it was that Apollonia got fewer lead vocals than Brenda who had 4 on this album… kind of odd…

So I’m finishing up all the purple rain stuff (and this blog post) tonight- Friday night- I’ve had enough purple stuff to last me a while.
Listened to Purple Rain on the way home- and sat in the parking lot by our mailboxes to finish the album. I turned off the windshield wipers so I could hear the song properly. And I wasn’t hysterical, but the tears came pouring down during the guitar parts.
The rest of the album- the highlights were Darling Nikki, When Doves Cry and I would Die 4 U. That last song… I think it’s one of my personal favorites. It’s short, but it gives me so much. “Baby I’m a star”– I don’t know, it just doesn’t give me that same excitement unless I’m watching that part of the movie.

So tonight to finish…
Watched the video for “When Doves Cry” (it’s been such a long time, but I don’t think it’s been a whole 10 years like some of these other things)
I hope I’ll find “Ice Cream Castles” (I think MC compared some music in the final Apollonia 6 track to instrumental from the “chili sauce” track… that’s it, the guys HAVE to review that album next. As kinda mediocre it is, I want to hear their thoughts)
And then I’ll end with the Apollonia 6 promo film- listen to those songs one last time and get the visuals to go with them.

wow… I don’t remember the last time I watched Ice Cream Castles… I’m sure I’d seen it once since seeing The Time in concert. They did practically every good song from their catalogue and I was SOOOO happy to hear this one.
I remember him asking someone to invite girls onto the stage and he said “I wanted a couple, not the whole damn audience”… something like that… but yeah, it was awesome.
This was the video that kinda made me “fall in love” with Morris Day for a brief time. Looking at it now, he kinda has an angry look on his face the whole time. But there’s just this hot mojo coming off him that I just get suckered into.
It’s the reason I looked into the albums I have.

I checked my archives- I saw this video first… then I tripped across “The Walk” and “Gigalos Get Lonely Too” on Emancipation Radio… the same day, they also played For You to mark its 30th anniversary. The first time I heard all those songs.
I’d always kinda wondered whether the radio or the video came first in the saga that led to me not just writing a short fanfiction to help me deal with some anxiety about the future (and also to get some separation from Prince), but seeing The Time in concert at an R&B fest where I think I might have been the only white girl in the whole audience. But I had fun all on my own, so that was no big deal.

Now to finish with Apollonia 6…
yeah, that film is so cheesy and so bad, but I almost wish there was more of it πŸ˜›
it’s been a long day, I don’t even know what I’m talking about anymore.

As much as I love the Purple Rain era and really got into all the music, I’m ready to move on and go into the next few albums. Do one a week the way I had before this… but I can make an exception for Purple Rain. It was a pretty big deal…

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Prince album #6: PURPLE RAIN

Considering Prince’s preference for the number 7, it’s kinda surprising that this wasn’t his 7th album…

So, here we are… the most famous Prince album ever. The one that everyone automatically thinks of when they think of Prince.

Now, I’m not saying there isn’t good reason for that. The album is BRILLIANT- I have a very good feeling that it’s getting a high score.
But I just wish people would expand their horizons beyond this album. I posted a video message on YouTube on April 21st and spent some of it randomly namedropping other albums worth looking into. Or just my personal favorites.
But that’s a campaign for another time. I might reserve it for after I watch NightEtheral (a Prince fan I follow on Twitter who also reviews Prince stuff and we’ve commented on each other’s posts) going through a list of underrated Prince songs submitted to him by fellow fans.

For now… I’m here to talk about the Purple Rain album.
I watched the movie on the first anniversary of Prince’s death and blogged about and after THE song left me such a mess, I decided I needed a day to calm things down. And also to say my final goodbyes to the 1999 album by watching the 4 music videos in circulation (well, “Let’s pretend we’re married,” I’ve had on me for maybe 9-10 years and it was so much fun to return to).

I was out on the deck. It was nearly a perfect day. Sun was shining with occasional clouding. Not too hot or cold. Had another Purple Rain martini
(Disclaimer: I didn’t invent it. But here’s how I put it together:
1 shot of vodka
1/2 a shot of triple sec
cranberry juice (as much as I want in the glass)
blue curacao (add enough to get the perfect shade of purple)
served over ice)

Ever since hearing about this drink, I’d been dying to have one while watching the movie or listening to the album. Now, I’ve done both. And it pretty much lasts me for the duration of the movie and the album.


I honestly don’t know how many times I’ll be listening to the Purple Rain album over the next week. Just as I have no idea if I’ll ever be able to hear the title track without crying and being a mess for 5 minutes after the song ends… Needless to say, I’ll listen to this sparingly or whenever I happen to be in the mood.

Another confession: this CD copy of Purple Rain is my dad’s and I hadn’t listened to it in a LONG time. In my first year of Prince back in 2007, I’d burned my own playlist of it- which includes some extended versions of tracks people had sent me as gifts alongside B-sides and songs that were almost used in place of others in the movie’s sequencing. Plus “Moonbeam Levels”- I thought that song fit in well with “destroying the basement” scene- how he’d hit an all-time low with his world crashing in around him. [It was also one of those songs I felt compelled to listen to the day after he died… and it wasn’t easy to get through].

My ultimate point there… I think I’m going to start rating these songs and figuring out where I stand with this album now. Then maybe I’ll add or subtract points as I progress through the week.

Going by the technical merit alone, these tracks are going to score very high.
As for components… let’s just say with a couple of them, it’s going to be tricky to be completely unbiased because I have personal history with them.

Here’s a preview:
At first, it was hard for me to think of these songs without referring back to the movie.
I Would Die 4 U, Baby I’m a Star, When Doves Cry- I was familiar with these before seeing the movie.
Let’s Go Crazy and Purple Rain, I was somewhat familiar with. I saw the music video for “let’s go crazy” (and he did do it at the SuperBowl, but I’d kinda forgotten about it by the time I saw the movie). And Purple Rain, I remember was part of a big moment in the SuperBowl… but again, my memory kinda waned. You never forget the first time you REALLY hear that song, so for me, it’s often hard not to think about the movie with that song. After all, it IS the title of the movie.

But after maybe the third song, my mind started to slip [not because I’m drunk on my cocktail, mind you] but I just slipped back into old habits. I’d played a bunch of these on their own without the rest of the album and love them. Then the last three songs, I was back to the movie with varying levels of enthusiasm and emotion.

Let’s Go Crazy
-it’s been long enough since hearing it as part of a live performance or whatever, so I was free to take the song as it is. Plus, I’d been wanting to hear the single version (the short 4minute version, opposed to the extended 7min mix we hear in the movie) for a while.

Right off the bat, this song gets your blood pumping and excited for whatever is waiting around the bend. The unorthodox opening with the church organ and sermon catches you off guard a bit and you don’t quite know what to expect. The chorus is maybe a little clunky with the lyrics (namely, I NEVER understood that line about the “look for the purple banana before they pull us in the truck” line).
Also- I didn’t realize this until a few months ago when I read that Max Martin interview: Let’s Go Crazy is exactly the same in the verses and the chorus with the melody. You’re just fooled into believing they’re different.
In some ways, it is a perfect pop song, but it has those little details that set it apart. One of which are a couple of monster guitar solos, particularly the last one.

Take Me With U
-yeah, kinda hard to not think about the movie with this one, considering it was written to correspond with that outside scene going to the lake.

Lyrically, it is so simple and almost unimaginative. Vocally, it’s nothing spectacular and Apollonia kinda brings it down a bit. But for me, the overall vibe created by the string arrangement.
It’s also one of those songs I played on my iPod while walking around campus to my classes and it’s on my summer playlist, so I have personal connection with it.
Not going to say it’s one of my all-time favorites, though. But certainly one I’d gotten to personally enjoy more over the years.
Also thought to say that any of those teenage heart throbs would kill to have a song like this for a single. If I didn’t know Prince any better than I do through his other music (many example on this album yet to come), I’d love to spend an afternoon his arms laying on the grassy shore of Lake Minnetonka. Just chilling 😎

The Beautiful Ones
-quite possibly one of his best ballads EVER.

“Do me baby” was the first of his bedroom ballads where he seduces you into spending a night with him- music first, dialogue second.

This is an amazing ballad I almost have no words to describe whenever I listen to it.
The synths create this dreamy atmosphere. I remember being wowed by the passionate performance of this in the movie, foremost because I didn’t know he played piano. And him speaking mid-song to break away from actually singing it- then the pleas and the screams at the end.
I learned so much about Prince’s style just by watching that the first time. Shows you what you can expect. But you can always expect some disappointments because this is, like I said, one of his best.

Computer Blue
-unfortunately, I need to rate this by looking at the album version. That kinda sucks.

A couple months into my time with Prince, someone gifted me The Work, a selection of B-sides, outtakes and alternate versions of songs from Prince’s career. I think at the time I said I was interested in hearing more songs from the Purple Rain era and that private message happened shortly after.
I was introduced to the 12 minute version of “Computer Blue” I’d heard rumors about… and it blew my head off. Every time I listen to it, it still does.
Prince touches on some really deep stuff. It could be argued that this song was cut down for the actual album because it was too revealing and too personal to him. But it also slowed down the pacing of the album (heck, the movie only featured 4 minutes of this song and part of it was in the background during some Morris Day/Apollonia dialogue) and due to the capacity of CD and vinyl at the time, the inclusion of “Take Me With U” made it impossible to include all of Computer Blue.

But for whatever reason, this was one of my favorite live performance scenes.
I mean, I like The Beautiful Ones and of course the last three numbers of the last 15 minutes of the movie.
But this was the one I’d actually looked up on YouTube or online otherwise just to watch by itself. I loved the choreography and overall performance of it. The energy was out of this world.

Darling Nikki
-that girl is a monster…

Before I got a chance to see this movie (had to wait until spring break when I could go home and rent a copy from Blockbuster- which I proceeded to watch 6 times over the course of a week… twice in one day)… my point is that I’d heard rumblings about this song. It was hard not to. One of the most notorious songs ever… not just Prince, but by anyone.
And I was dreading this scene because I had no idea what to expect. I just knew the first verse and that it prompted the creation of the Parental Advisory label. The mere idea of it terrified me.
I honestly can’t say what my thoughts were when the scene finally happened… quite possibly, my jaw dropped and I couldn’t hope to process any of it.
Yet somehow I remembered that bit of dialogue (years earlier, we came across the movie mid-progress on TV and watched it through to the end. the last two performances were what had imprinted Prince on my brain for a number of years before I bought my first album)
“Your music makes sense to no one but yourself”

Within a couple months, this song went from being a source of terror (for someone like me who was very inexperienced and naΓ―ve about these sorts of things) to a guilty pleasure… the rawness of the instrumentals is so tangible that it reinforces the coldness of the vocal and the eeriness of the storyline.
The overall song is an experience in of itself. Into a very off-kilter part of Prince’s brain.
Then there’s that gospel portion at the end… to quote MC “who does that?” [lol- Player actually said something to that effect during one part of the 1999 review]… it kinda makes you think. And it’s a nice Segway (I’m spelling it that way, I don’t care if I’m wrong) to the next song.

When Doves Cry
-I will never stop complaining about the fact the radio never plays the whole song…
seriously, this song is 6 minutes long and has far more variation to it than “Hey Jude” and just about every Paul McCartney/Wings song that runs longer than 5 minutes… and don’t get me started on “Purple Rain” on the radio…

yeah, this song with no bassline (I’m sure people are clamoring for the bassline version to be part of the deluxe edition of Purple Rain in the works)… it is a Prince classic in every sense of the word. The multi-layered vocals, the (again) lack of bass line, the synth hook, the guitar solo…
and the lyrics are straight-forward for the most part, but the whole metaphor of “when doves cry”… you can take that a number of ways. And that’s what makes a good song.

Yeah, it’s hard to really argue with a masterpiece or even rate it.
Likewise, it’s hard to really take apart songs that I go back with a long time.

I Would Die 4 U
…yeah…

This is another one of those tough songs for me. Not just to rate or really discuss. But also, it’s… I have a lot of personal history with this song.
I heard it as part of my dad’s mix CD (Baby I’m a Star immediately followed) and it was musically unlike anything I’ve heard before. Those sharp drums. The chorus opens with fireworks (that’s how the synths sounded to me). The lyrics intrigued me like nothing else. I had no idea who this was at first and there was this great mystery about him. I don’t know if I knew 1999 at the time or, if I had, made the connection Prince was the same artist who did both songs.

…I don’t know what else I can really say about it… one of my earliest Prince-related memories is connected to this song, so I’m always going to be fond of it.
What I don’t like is the 30 minute version where nothing really happens to warrant the long cut. And I also didn’t like how Prince changed the lyrics not even a year after he cut the track. Like he suddenly decided that he didn’t want to be the messiah in the lyric, but to remind us that “He’s your messiah and you’re the reason why”…
I mean, it wouldn’t fit the context of the movie, but I also don’t like lyrics being changed from the original track. I can understand the conscience of his decision. But for me personally, it ruins the flow of the song and infringes on those memories.
I heard it on the radio a few months ago and felt so much in those 3 short minutes. It was like a montage of feelings and emotions and memories about this song, but Prince in general.

So yeah, it’s hard to be objective about this one…
it’s just the right length and a well-written song.
But as much as I don’t like the extended version, something about this song feels.. missing… without the one that directly follows…

Baby I’m a Star
…not sure where to begin with one…

I didn’t like this song quite as much as the previous one. I thought it ran long and I didn’t like how it would stop and then it’d start back up again.
It made no sense without the visual to go along with it.
And it’s also hard for me to separate the two songs πŸ˜›

I think I remember the Peach and Black podcast talking about these two songs and having very different opinions on both. And they were very for one track and not as into the other.
And I think my opinion differed. I think they preferred “Baby I’m a star” to “I would die 4 U” and I didn’t like that.

Anyway- this song is REALLY hard to think about without the movie because it’s what brought this song alive for me.
But times like these where I hadn’t been feeling myself, very down, it was the perfect thing to perk me back up. Prince was just so alive in this song and it felt great to be around that energy.

Purple Rain
…I can’t take anything away from this song. I really can’t. It’s a masterpiece. I know it’s so clichΓ© to say all this, but it’s true. It’s beloved for a reason.

It’s so emotional. It can mean anything you want it to mean. And it can be different every time you listen to it.

For me, it’s just going to be hard to listen to it for a while without coming to pieces. Today, tears were streaming down my face during the guitar solo and I had no idea why. It just happened. I held back sobs during the sing-along chorus and let myself come apart when it all ended.
Great strings by Clare Fisher to play it out those last couple minutes.
I also listen closely to the band. Love Lisa’s keyboard playing, how steady Bobby Z’s drumming is. Everything about it just came together so perfectly in this live performance. Really have to admire Prince for how he led his band to bring the perfect version of this song, as MC would say, “to wax”
I think Lisa or Wendy said in an interview that it was “the perfect song for that band”… that band being The Revolution.
And speaking of them, Wendy & Lisa just followed me on Twitter… I don’t know what I did to deserve that honor, but I’ll do everything I can to earn it. By pouring out my love for Prince as well as their own music.

So this is good for now… I’ll add my comments throughout the week as I listen to Peach and Black’s discussion of this album. It’s a monster- nearly three hours of conversation.
I thought I might rate it today, but it doesn’t look like that’ll be the case.
I also just put a lot of Purple Rain music on my iPod, so I’ll get to much of that era this week as well.

But I have a good feeling this will score very highly. I’m trying not to show this album any preference over any other and take it as any other album. But this material is so good, it’s hard not to award that.

The technical merit will range from 4-5.
The components score will be 3.5-5.
I think there’ll be three perfect scores here as well.

so my game plan to get through the week: I put all this Purple Rain era music on my iPod and I’m going to go through them little by little every day.
And I’ll take Peach & Black with me for the drive home from work- the point at which I have 30-40 minutes left in my ride.
And the music will take me through the last half hour or less of my work day.

Today’s mix was:
Let’s go crazy (extended version)
Erotic City
Jungle Love
Sex Shooter (Vanity 6 version) for some reason this song wouldn’t play on my iPod so I had to postpone it
Take me with U (extended version)

I don’t know what it was about “Let’s go crazy”… maybe I forgot I pressed play, but it felt like a lightning bolt hit and electrified my entire body. And my body was on fire for the entirety of the song and it was an amazing feeling.

“Erotic City” is musically very interesting and it sounds amazing… but I’ve always had a small issue with the lyrics. I thought maybe it was the cussing or how overtly sexual it is.
Hearing it again, the first time in ages, it’s the first part of the chorus:

If we cannot make babies, maybe we can make some time
Thoughts of pretty you and me, Erotic City come alive
We can fuck until the dawn, making love ’til cherry’s gone
Erotic City can’t you see, thoughts of pretty you and me

…I’m sorry, this just rubs me the wrong way. How can you talk about procreation in the same breath as fucking just for kicks?
It just doesn’t make sense to me…

Everything else about the song is awesome. The hook, the shared vocals, the instruments… it’s just that one line that just doesn’t feel right.

but to help make for that, I had Jungle Love on right after it… and it felt like the perfect transition. The vibe rooted in that funk and that funk continues onward. and I love every second of it.
It ALMOST makes up for the fact The Time did not get a cool live cut of “Jungle Love” on their album.
I’m still mad about that… and won’t stop being mad until the deluxe edition of the Purple Rain soundtrack comes out with a live recording of this song…
[And no, seeing Morris Day and The Time perform this song live as the encore number doesn’t entirely make up for it… although it was awesome]

and again, Take Me with U is a breath of fresh air. The extended cut I have isn’t the best quality, but I love how the string arrangement gets more time to shine on this before the song fades out and ends.

but it would have been soo cool if that Vanity 6 track didn’t not work on me… the transition from Jungle Love to it… it would’ve sounded great.
Plus, it’d make for an interesting fake storyline for the movie… like this song was performed with Vanity in the band and Morris did something to piss her off and she left, so they need to find a new singer to fill that void. Enter Apollonia.

Peach and Black so far… I made the perfect transition… I’m 32 minutes in and they were just about to start discussing Take Me with U πŸ˜›
they spent 18 minutes on general discussion and 14 on “Let’s go Crazy”… rightfully so πŸ˜‰
there’s so much history and historical significance to this album, it needs to be talked about.
There was a fun moment where Captain said Player blew his mind by saying how guitar heavy this album is and he got to thinking about how that’s so different from 1999, which is very synth and Linn-drum driven.
I think I may have made that conclusion myself at some point… and if not, I would have for sure πŸ˜‰ and Player’s like “I’m glad I could blow something up for you, Captain”… something like that… boy, I’m gonna have to listen to that again to make sure I don’t misquote and make it sound weird because there was no awkward laughter afterwards, which is the case when an unintentional joke is cracked.
MC was saying how there’s nothing like hearing it live.

…yeah, instead of lamenting about my own circumstance where I won’t get that chance… it made me think about the SuperBowl and that energy when he went into that guitar solo.
although I think “Baby I’m a star” was a bigger moment for me, not just my history with the song, but also to hear him do a song I knew and just rocked it out… phew… that was the biggest highlight for me until Purple Rain itself happened.
[Just thinking about it now is giving me chills- for that performance, not the original version- which has made a mess out of me lately]

Tuesday- I meant to get all the way up to the “God” instrumental… but I ran out of time.
I kinda wanted to get to a more mundane task at work so I could really get into the music. But I wound up cracking up “Modernaire” when, get this, the radio was playing “Purple Rain”… not sure if anyone saw me grab the side of my desk really hard or slap my hand against it, trying to keep it together… but yeah…

I got to “Modernaire”- I hadn’t heard it since taking all the purple music off my iPod, so it’s been ages. It was so cool that the song got an official release a year after I joined the Prince community.
“Possessed” has always been one of my favorite unreleased tracks. Mainly because it was one of my first. So much fun. To me, it sounded like Prince was just letting the creative juices flow and having a lot of fun with himself in his home studio. In a way, it shows his age of 25, more than him being wise beyond his years, as a lot of his music kinda tells me. To me, he’s always been an old soul. But when I first saw him and thought about how he had to have been… I think my mom said he was old enough to be my father πŸ˜›

Then I got to “Chili Sauce”… the music in the background is interesting… it reminds me of something, but I can’t quite pick up what. But as it went on, all of the jokes and lines just came back to me so fast. Morris Day at the most over-the-top he’d ever been… the ego on this guy.
And “Electric Intercourse” was the last song I got to. The only version that’s circulating is live and it sounds pretty amazing. It gives me chills… but “The Beautiful Ones” is another level for me… and I just missed out on getting to it today.

Meanwhile, with Peach and Black, I got to three of the tracks… and I’m an hour and 5 minutes already into it… I’m trying to stretch this to Friday, but I don’t know if I’ll manage. Unless of course I’m inspired over night to listen to a certain album that’ll take most of my commute to get through (I’d been pulling out my spring albums, but nothing I’m super over head over heels for).

I was surprised about all the love “Take Me with U” got… well, everyone but MC. It wasn’t the “Morning After” discussion all over again, but Captain and MC seemed at odds or at least they were teasing that they were.
He just said this song never really did anything for him and he also dislikes it for being the reason “Let’s go crazy” and “computer blue ” got cut down.

But this song has grown on me so much in the past couple years… I mean, I can understand, but I almost wanted to jump to its defense.

“The Beautiful Ones” got so much love… and I completely forgot it was #5 of the Peach & Black “best Prince songs” poll. Rightfully so πŸ˜‰

“Computer Blue” was an interesting discussion for sure…
I actually asked Captain if he’d heard the long version of the song because everyone was talking about it as if they hadn’t. His reply was kinda vague alongside something I kinda expected to see. I mean, this was the one podcast that got Prince’s blessing and that he’d also listened to and enjoyed. Of course they’re not going to talk about bootlegs on the show.
But I was curious- not just because the long version might change some opinions, but also with Captain, you just don’t know what you’ll get.
This is a guy who didn’t like “Automatic” that much because it doesn’t go anywhere and the music is pretty much the same all the way through. For all I know, he could have heard the long version of “Computer Blue” and after getting halfway through, he’d be like “meh, I don’t need to hear anymore”

Speaking of “Automatic,” Toejam raved about that song so much. But “Computer Blue,” he called it the most skippable track on the album. Never really got it.
I have a feeling, if any of these guys have heard the full version, he had and that hasn’t changed much of anything.
Then Captain said to him one of his idioms, I guess you could say… something like “you can say it’s a good song even if you don’t like it that much”… he admires the songwriting of “Little Red Corvette” yet says it’s not a personal favorite.
Either at the beginning of this podcast or the previous one, MC said how Captain doesn’t like it when he says “this sounds like it’s so [insert year here].” I remember that point being made in one of the 1981 album reviews and he’s like “it sounds like 1981 because IT IS”.
So he clarified that he doesn’t mind it being said, but he doesn’t like when it’s meant to make a negative point. Fair enough.

…and here’s another of those moments he’ll read and be thinking I’m absolutely nuts for remembering all this.
But definitely gotta love the guy for keeping you on your toes, not knowing whether he’ll like a song or hate. Makes me think that Crystal Ball is going to have some interesting moments from him because there’s no greater concentration of oddball songs than that set.

As for my thoughts on “Computer Blue,” I found it odd for the longest time… and by longest time, however long I only had the album version to go by.
The long version blows my head off nearly every time. Not just musically or vocally, but the lyrically… it’s completely insane.
Which is why, again, I’ll say the biggest reason why this song was cut down was because it revealed too much.
And I will have to do my rating solely by the album version. The long version, I wouldn’t give it a perfect score or anything because there is no perfect version of it… for obvious reasons. But there’ll be at least a 1 point difference, maybe 2 between the two versions.

This album is still scoring very high, though. So it’s not like that’ll make a huge difference on the final result.

Wednesday- I listened to it today… yeah, it blew my head off… It’s a good thing I saved it towards the end of my work day. It worked my brain over so much that it’s hard to concentrate afterwards.
And “Darling Nikki” right afterwards… forget it… I was done. As soon as the song ended, I wrapped everything up and got the hell out.

Speaking of which… the next part of the Peach & Black podcast revolved around “Darling Nikki”… it was SUCH a good thing I was in the car by myself while listening to this because I just love my freaking mind.
And of all the guys, Captain was the one that triggered the fits of laughter. [I probably should have seen it coming, knowing Captain… but then again, he’s not one for lyrics]
He was asking what that first verse meant- whether the magazine was being used for the act in question or she was reading it during or if she had Uptown or Controversy magazine with him on the cover…
So many questions… me, I always read it as him being with the magazine in the lobby, she sees him and propositions him on site.
I had to give kudos to Captain on Twitter for him being the brave one to ask the question cuz apparently they were all thinking it.

And they did “When Doves Cry” and he echoed my thoughts saying how we get excited to hear it on the radio and fume when they cut off when the guitar solo starts.
I swear, Prince gets no respect on the radio. It’s bad enough they only have 10 songs at most that they play, but they never even play the whole songs. With the exception of “Little Red Corvette” (leave the full version for the album… I find it ironic that the day Prince died, they actually played it in its entirety… since then, I don’t think I have heard the whole song on the radio since).

they were talking about how its a masterpiece and all the usual discussion… I’m probably just wasting my time even bringing it up.

I just know I have a great playlist coming up tomorrow:
G-Spot
When Doves Cry
17 Days
Sex Shooter
Moonbeam Levels (I know it’s a 1999 outtake- but it’s what I’d play to represent the emotional breakdown in the basement scene…)

Which leaves me with all the songs from, what could have possibly been, The Kid’s final night performing at First Avenue:
The Bird
Purple Rain
I would die 4 U
Baby I’m a Star


okay, we’re at Thursday now… this week’s just flying by, which is great.

I have an hour left on the Peach & Black podcast, which means I’ll have them in my ears the whole ride home tomorrow 😎 which is fine by me. But I’ll miss out on playing the rest of the playlist until a later time. Maybe later that night.

Anyway- this stretch of the playlist was as great as I thought it’d be.
G-Spot is a jam more than anything else. The same beat kinda plays throughout, but I enjoy it so much. I can’t even say πŸ˜› the one part I don’t like is when the main hook changes in what I’ll call the “James Brown/Maceo Parker section”

When Doves Cry- I have to recount the fact I did not like this song the first several times I heard it. Perhaps things would have been different if the music video wasn’t the first way I’d heard it. I should have realized that Prince couldn’t have gone full frontal on MTV and had a hit video on his hands, but even though it was from the waist up, that was the least I’d seen him dressed ever. I’d never seen ANY man fully nude before, so yeah, I was intimidate and terrified and my brain couldn’t process much of anything.

If that wasn’t enough, the song was just WEIRD… Little Red Corvette was the perfect pop song so I expected something like that… COMPLETELY different territory.
The song was so mechanical and… to me, it didn’t sound like a song. I heard a very cold drum machine that took it where it needed to go. There was a synth hook. The vocal was nuts and I just didn’t get it- all the layered vocals, I’d heard nothing like this before.

I’m sure it’s documented somewhere on this blog that I’d had for 10 years now when I went from not liking the song at all to being where I am now.
Where I could potentially call this one of my favorite Prince songs of all time. Like top five territory (I know “Gold” is my personal favorite and nothing will change that, but the others that’ll be there up, I’ve yet to figure out).

Yeah, I’d come a long way. But enough of the transcendental discussion… yeah, I’m making a clichΓ©d sequeway here… we’re about to talk about a song written from the POV of Jesus…
well, Peach & Black had a short discussion of “I would die 4 U”… almost as short as the track itself.
But Captain’s head got blown off and he was still picking up the pieces throughout the discussion when Toejam said that this song might be about Jesus. And supposedly Toejam has issues with how religion is sometimes written into music– I guess I don’t know him well enough yet to pick up on that. I just know he rated 1999 and Lovesexy 10/10.

Also, that discussion about the song (not the Jesus talk, but other stuff) is why I had to hurry and get to this post.
This song didn’t get a lot of love… well, not head over heels love. Not the kind of love I’m going to give it. Granted, the song is a little too short and to me, it feels incomplete if I listen to it and there’s no “Baby I’m a Star” to follow.
But it may be my first Prince song ever, so like I said previously I’m sure, I feel protective of it.
Although after the likes of When Doves Cry, Darling Nikki and Computer Blue, plus Purple Rain yet to come, maybe Let’s go crazy and that blow-your-head-off vibe opening it gives to the album… it does slide pretty far down the list on the technical side. But the personal connection I have to it will give it a good boost.
More on that later…

17 Days was the perfect follow-up to When Doves Cry… not just because it’s the B-side.
For me, it felt like it took that initial vibe and just added so much to it, like it explodes.
Whenever I put together my list of favorite Prince songs, I need to add this song somewhere because it’s just as strong as an A-side.
It’s a sad song, but something about the lead line and the chorus… it makes me so happy. I love it so much. It’s the kind of magic that lets me know (as if I can ever be in doubt of this) that I’m listening to Prince.

Sex Shooter starts and I’m already missing the Vanity 6 version… but I get into the song, get taken into that scene of the movie and beyond… I know this got a Razzie and lyrically, it doesn’t paint a pleasant picture. But I love the vibe of it. That sick beat, the choreography. It makes me kinda wish that the movie had more than one song by Apollonia 6. Although I have no idea which of the other ones from that album would fit.
oh yeah, that reminds me that I need to listen to The Time’s album as well as Apollonia 6 (if the album or unreleased movie is still on YouTube, that is) to go along with the newest podcast from Peach & Black.

Moonbeam Levels… again, so glad it was the last song I heard at work because towards the end, I think I felt my right hand start to shake.
The depth of this song and what it means to me now… yeah, I had to get out of there before who knows what could’ve happened.

“I would die 4 U”… this is how I figure it…
it was based off something Prince’s father said when he was a kid. This is according to Al Magnoli on the Purple Rain BTS footage. He said that line in the movie and he had said it in real life.
so he built that song off of that moment and maybe he had planned out that scene for the movie and in the finale as he did on purpose, so this song would highlight all that.
and he isn’t just saying this to Apollonia as his father said it to his mother, although in different circumstances, but he’s saying it and all those lyrics to the crowd as he continues to try winning them back- since he kinda tarnished things with them with that “rare form” night he had previously.

Then Captain was trying to discern the opening lyrics and just say that Prince was trying to be androgynous and weird cuz that’s what he was about at the time.
Seriously- the first time I heard it, I heard him say “I’m not a boy, I’m not a man”… and I still feel like those lyrics make as much sense that way as “I’m not a woman, I’m not a man”… in fact when I found that out, I found that very odd. Why would anyone say that? Knowing Prince now as I do, it makes more sense… but I still like it my way better πŸ˜›

but I think that was what he was going for- trying to add the mystery and the overall “Prince persona”… and as someone who really hadn’t experienced him before, he nailed it.
I think my perception of him may have started with this song and just grew and blossomed into something pretty massive.
And it’s words on these pages for everyone to read πŸ˜›

So… yeah, this will score higher on the components score than technical for me personally.
I am not fond of the long version (I think it’s 30 minutes). As short as this song is and how unsatisfying it can be on its own (without that other song to follow), the long version adds nothing to it.
“America” has a 20 minute version that, by my memory, it just barely held my attention the whole time.
“Mountains” is probably the longest long version of any song (aside from Computer Blue of course) never get sick of no matter how it runs on. Because it has stuff happening every 30-40 seconds to keep it interesting. I just love the overall vibe of it.

…I think I’ll add to the rest of the tracks after hearing the rest of the podcast…

Baby I’m a star
this was an interesting discussion. Captain said it was his favorite on the album and that kinda blew me away. Didn’t expect that.

Then MC says he didn’t like it or I would die 4 U and Captain sounded like he was dying in the background. Toejam also challenged him saying that he said earlier that he wouldn’t go after this song (MC had this negative mini-rant earlier in the review and Toejam is like “you better not be saying that about Baby I’m a Star” and MC didn’t remember. Well it WAS an hour ago…

It’s so strange how sometimes MC takes me by surprise like that and really makes me mad at him for not liking certain songs πŸ˜› Captain I at least expect the more than occasional oddball song choices of favorites or those that make him go “meh.” But MC proves every now and then that he could be the craziest one there.

After the last review of the song captain says “3 to 1, you lose” and I just lost it. πŸ˜›

But to be honest I didn’t like that song much the first time I heard. I would die 4 U, I just loved so much and hated for it to end. This felt like an immediate continuation with the “I would die 4 u” melody in the piano part (or at least to me with those notes, I could sing “I would die 4 u” and it wouldn’t sound/feel out of place). I didn’t know what to think of it other than “bring that other song back”. The lyrics did stick out in my head- bits and pieces. The vocal on the chorus sounds maybe a little strained either because it’s not quite in the pocket or he’s out of breath cuz this was a live performance and he was running around stage so much. (Hearing it again, it only gets kinda hoarse in the last chorus). And I think I mentioned how I hated the stop and restarts in the final minutes. The song just didn’t go anywhere for me and I wanted it to be over.

Well let’s put it this way. I think my love for this song comes purely from the nostalgia of that movie performance and how it stuck in my brain all these years. Not many specifics but just the way I felt when I saw it.
While watching it that first time, my dad said to watch these last two songs and implied I knew them. Or maybe by that point I actually remembered they were in this movie and I couldn’t believe it. That’s a moment or rather feeling I’ll never forget ever. Just being mesmerized by him and all that energy and stuff he was doing.

The nostalgia will boost it a couple points for sure but I don’t think it’ll beat the previous song for me ever.

And I looked it up. The guys spent almost an hour on purple rain- not just the song but the live versions and so on. Captain went on his “Top Fret!!” rant just as I remembered from the first time I listened to this years ago. Kinda funny that was the only thing I remembered about it. [But it is the reason Captain was the first of the guys whose voices I was able to recognize]

On top of that, he was saying it was a weird song for him cuz half the time he’s “meh” and half it blows his head off. (Man Id been writing that a lot lately but Prince pretty much does that for me daily).

But lots of love for it obviously. I know it’s his most well known song for a fact. But I’m willing to bet more people know of the title tiself than they do what the song actually sounds like. Prince and purple rain got hand in hand so well.

Honestly I don’t know what else I can add to this song that I hadn’t already said- on my previous entry, at least I went in great detail about it. It’s a different song for me every time but this last time was the most personal I’d felt it. (Ok maybe not the last- I mean seeing it in the movie last Friday- can’t believe that was a week ago)

and with the Peach & Black poll, every song from the album was in the top 10. And Captain was exasperated that “Baby I’m a Star” was #71, the last of all of them.
When Doves Cry, Purple Rain and The Beautiful Ones was 1, 2 and 3.
I think I would Die 4 U and Computer Blue were in the 20’s, one after the other.

so after typing these last parts of the post on my phone, I listened to the last songs on my playlist in the order they appear in the movie.
It makes sense to have purple rain dead last on the album πŸ˜› but I kinda like putting it this was so it’s chronologically accurate to the movie.

But When Doves Cry, I realized, is the one anomaly I could never move to another spot other than after Computer Blue and Darling Nikki.
To put it after The Beautiful Ones (or in this recent case, “God” the instrumental)… it just doesn’t feel quite right. Very jarring. Plus “17 days” I put after “When Doves Cry”… and it’s even more jarring to put “Father’s Song” and the others afterwards…
I do have a clip of the opening of the hallway speech that I like to put before Computer Blue sometimes.

But I’m getting off track… as usual…

well… The Bird didn’t inspire a lot of energy from me. I mean, I’m practically in bed at this point, under the covers with my earbuds in. So I don’t necessarily need to be energized.
But the song just ran so long for me. In the movie and also seeing it live, it was pretty awesome. [If more people in the audience were doing the dance- more than the dozen or so in the front right side of the audience- I would have done it, lol].
But on album, I’m just “is this over yet, meh…” After a verse and chorus or two, it’s kinda repetitive and not much keeps my attention.
Morris Day wins on charisma alone- otherwise, there is no way that he’d be the headliner at this club with a song like that. Crowd participation or not.

Purple Rain- incredible as always.
At least I was able to keep things together.
But part two of the guitar solo and the sing-along chorus, I got choked up. Not where I’m physically bawling my eyes out. But as the string outro played, I felt wetness and slowly they trickled down my face from both sides.
I don’t even know why I was crying. I wasn’t super emotionally connected to the lyrics or anything. And I wasn’t thinking about how Prince isn’t with us anymore (I still can’t quite say “dead” or “gone”).

I don’t know how it’s going to go the next time I watch the movie and that sinks in again… but I feel like I got that energy and denial complex back where my body and heart forget he’s no longer here.

I felt like his energy was with me again and very strongly.

I would die 4 U, I had to stop halfway through and listen again πŸ˜› cuz I needed to take it all in. The song goes by so fast. And I think I need to play these two songs a bunch more times before I’m done with this album.

Baby I’m a Star- It was supreme bliss!
Prince was very much alive and that energy was with me and I breathed every second of it like it was going to last forever.
I didn’t really even listen to the narcissism of the lyrics. I just felt the energy and the music and everything.

My heart wasn’t beating a million miles an hour or anything… but there were a few reasons why it took a while for me to fall asleep…


and now the moment of truth- what score am I going to give Purple Rain?
The Peach and Black guys… I think Captain gave it a 9, Player gave it 9.8 (noting the “muddy” production), and Toejam said “I gave Lovesexy a 10, so I can’t give this a 10, so 9…”
Like WTF… you can’t give multiple albums 10/10?!

As for me… I think I might have screwed myself a bit on this because I really hadn’t this album on heavy rotation.
Translation: I’m setting myself for extra bias on this album.

But literally, it is so good that I don’t try to play it that much.
Plus there’s the whole “I don’t want to associate Prince only with Purple Rain like everyone else on the planet” thing…
it’s kinda unfair that all these songs have visual representation in a movie.

and this last time around (we just watched it with my aunt, who’d never seen it), I was watching it like a movie and not so much about him in general.
But of course Purple Rain wrecked me… it is going to be a LONG time before that song doesn’t just kill me. I think I was gone from the last note onward.

Okay, time to rate this thing…

I think this reiteration for my rating system is more for me than anyone else reading this, but this, I really need to adhere the criteria.

Technical score is out of 5 and awards a point for solid vocals, great instrumentals, great lyrics, good songwriting and that extra 5 is for the fact it is a Prince classic or simply it has that X-factor that sets it apart.
Components score is my personal bias, how much I personally enjoy the song, nostalgia, etc.

LET’S GO CRAZY
…oh damn… it was so strange watching the credits roll for the movie and this song played and I’m saying to myself “it felt like centuries ago” the last time I heard that song. This movie really felt like it lasted for an eternity and that’s the way it should be.

Technical score- 5 (yeah, it’s as solid as they get… just because I’m sick of hearing it a million times with all those live appearances won’t take away from that)
Components score- 4 (it’s an amazing opening track and I enjoy it when it comes on- but in my mind when I came up with this system, I reserved the 4-point component score for the songs that I liked a lot, but they weren’t among my personal favorites)
Total score- 9 (maybe the most solid 9-point song I’ll ever give)

TAKE ME WITH U

Technical score- 3.5 (it’s not quite a classic or necessarily memorable in Prince’s catalogue- and Apollonia’s vocals kinda take away from it)
Components score- 4.5 (I spent 10 minutes deciding whether to give this 4 or 4.5. Fact is, I like it more than “let’s go crazy”… but I don’t like it enough to give it that perfect score)
Total score- 8

THE BEAUTIFUL ONES
…uh, yeah…

Total score- 10

I can’t dissect this one by splitting it into the two scores. It’s one of Prince’s best vocals ever. The instrumentals have so much dimension and evolve as the song progresses- something that hasn’t happened much with Prince’s music before this point. It’s something only he would wrote and it’s extremely well executed.
And it’s easily one of my favorite ballads by him- maybe even my favorite… I’ll have to find that out later on.

COMPUTER BLUE
…yeah, if this was the 12 minutes version, this would be a completely different story…

Technical score- 4 (With it edited down so much, it doesn’t have the room it needs to really breathe and evolve as a song. It does have that Prince X-factor, but not enough time to properly show it off)
Components score- 4 (again, a song I enjoy, but I can’t give it a high score for this shortened version… it just wouldn’t be fair)
Total score- 8

(if we were talking about the full version… technical would be 4.5, taking into account the production. Components score would 5 cuz it blows my freaking mind every time I listen to it… I hope one day we’ll get to hear a solid version of the 12 minute version of Computer Blue… cuz that’s a 9.5 easy. And if the production is amazing, it’d be a 10 because of its lasting impact several minutes after I finish listening)

DARLING NIKKI

Technical score- 5 (solid instrumentals, vocals have a lot of range and convey the song’s message well, good songwriting and storytelling, and it has that Prince X-factor… only he could pull off something like this and make it work so well)
Components score- 4.5 (yeah, this song grew on me A LOT in a very short time- and it’s a guilty pleasure for sure)
Total score- 9.5

WHEN DOVES CRY
…screw the radio edit…

Total score- 10

Yeah, this is a masterpiece. Classic Prince songwriting in a way only he could do. Make a song with no bassline just sell so well- not to mention having the perception to know how well the song worked without it (I kinda hope I never hear that version cuz there’d be no un-hearing it)
It’s hard to believe how much I didn’t get the song the first couple times and I’d just grown to love it so much.

The radio stations better wise up and play this song IN ITS ENTIRETY from now on… I don’t care if that makes it a 6 minute song, there’s no excuse for it. Especially now.

I WOULD DIE 4 U

Technical score- 4.5 (great lyrics, solid songwriting, commanding vocals with just the right amount of reverb, and that Prince energy is very apparent… it just feels kinda unfinished and incomplete without the other song on the album)
Components score- 4.5 (this song is as nostalgic as it gets for me, I have a lot of history with it. Yet I can’t quite give it that perfect 5-point components score. Maybe if it felt complete as a song by itself, this would be a different story)
Total score- 9

BABY I’M A STAR

Technical score- 4 (great live band performance, solid vocals, catchy lyrics, but it doesn’t have the same staying power of some of the other tracks on the album)
Components score- 4 (I enjoy this song a lot when it comes on the album and the movie. But it’s not one of those songs I remember as easily off this album. Especially not without its predecessor).
Total score- 8

PURPLE RAIN
…who I am freaking kidding with this?

Total score- 10

this song is a classical for a reason… it takes you beyond the actual song itself. It makes you feel things. And for some people, it means more to them than it just being a song.
Plus that guitar work is Prince’s best to date and it’s a testament to the strength of his band and how much they worked to get this song right for its actual recording- which was live at First Avenue August 3rd 1983.
Prince also liked it enough to play it at nearly every concert he did and gave it the same emotion and vigor every time. And it had a solid formula (3 verses, 3 choruses and a massive solo at the end) that he had tried to replicate and create the same magic with. Never quite getting there. (although “Gold” is my personal favorite and it was before I even heard the full version of Purple Rain- before that, it was just the SuperBowl and possibly the Brit Awards appearance)

Yeah… this is going to be a tough album for any other one to beat… especially with three of the most solid 10-point tracks I’ll ever score as such.

[this is really hard to put in order of preference, by the way, a lot of ties, but it’s a testament to the strength of the material]

When Doves Cry- 10
The Beautiful Ones- 10
Purple Rain- 10
Darling Nikki- 9.5
I Would Die 4 U- 9
Let’s Go Crazy- 9
Baby I’m a Star- 8
Take me With U- 8
Computer Blue- 8

Total- 81.5- divide by points possible (90)- 9.05, which will round out to 9.1 out of 10.

Wow… it is pretty much going to be impossible for me to give any Prince album a perfect 10 out of 10 unless I round up a 9.5 or higher.
Even with Prince, I guess I can be a harsh critic. If I was making these rankings on personal bias alone (i.e. the components scores), this would be a completely different ball game. I’d get a couple perfect scored albums easily.
But the technical merit must also be weighed and considered because Prince is just that good. And certain songs I might not like as much- I have to acknowledge where they excel. So I can be like Captain- “I can say a song is great even if I don’t personally like it”

and in the end, it’s only fair.

So… for the time being, I’ll promote the following songs automatically to my favorite Prince songs list:

When Doves Cry
The Beautiful Ones
Purple Rain

and maybe with time, I’ll bring Darling Nikki and I Would Die 4 U as well. I just need to see how things progress from here.

And for those keeping track, my rankings of the other Prince albums so far:

For You- 6.2
Prince- 7.6
Dirty Mind- 7.4
Controversy- 7.8
1999- 8

So pretty much, it’s going to translate as follows-
Any Prince album that scores at least 7 is a solid album.
But any album that scores a minimum of 8 or higher is exceptional.

The question remains whether any of these next few albums can reach the exceptional range… unfortunately it’s going to be a while because when I get to Around the World in a Day, it has to be when I’m ready to leave Purple Rain completely behind.
Otherwise, I probably wouldn’t be able to withstand the shock of how different the two albums are. But we’ll cross that bridge whenever we come to it- even if it’s two weeks from now πŸ˜›

One final Peach & Black comment: Toejam talked about the choreography in Baby I’m a Star and how it trips him out. Prince bending backwards and into the splits. He said something like “I try to do that, I’d probably break my spine”…
that number was pretty spectacular… as if I hadn’t already made it clear enough…

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Bathing in the “Purple Rain”- one year post-mortem

Compared to my last post, I hope to make this a short one. After all, I will be spending time with this album and the Peach and Black podcast discussion.

But I just wanted to post about the movie, Purple Rain, and the first time I’d watched it since Prince’s death.
And by that, I mean I hadn’t seen it since he died.

I knew it was going to have some tricky spots and it’d trigger some emotions that I really needed to feel about Prince.
Earlier today, I was listening to “Something in the Water (Does Not Compute)” the alternate version while driving home from getting my haircut and “Horny Toad” right after… then I listened to “Irresistible Bitch” and kinda danced around the kitchen to the longer cut of “Delirious”…

when I listen to songs like that, it’s impossible to miss Prince or be sad about him no longer being with us.

Then I watched the movie…

The first verse or so of “Let’s Go Crazy,” I was already feeling off balance, the truth kinda sinking in further.
“The Beautiful Ones” almost got a reaction out of me (I think the song only made me cry once ever and it was the 3rd of 4th time I saw that movie scene).

Then I just fell into the pattern of the movie, getting sucked into the plot, enjoying Morris Day’s shenanigans… the list goes on.
I’d seen this movie at least 50 times in the last 10 years… I think at least 17 times that first year. But not quite as much in recent years. The last time I watched was maybe January of last year and I watched to look forward to the Apollonia 6 number and watch the video… kinda researching for something I’m writing, but haven’t gone back to in a while.

It’s hard to believe I still have stuff to say about it. And as much as I say that I hate the Purple Rain clichΓ©, how people automatically associate Prince with this movie and album and song and completely forget about everything else he’d done or are just ignorant to the fact he was releasing albums up until his death last year.
And every album is a different snapshot of who he is as an artist and a person. You just need to experience as much of it as you can to find what your comfort zone is.

Prince stretched my comfort zone further beyond I ever believed it could go, but there’s still work to be done regarding that.

I had a thought during the dramatic [well, first dramatic] scene in the basement where the parents and Prince and Apollonia go through domestic abuse…
just now how my impression of this movie was (I first saw it mid-progress up until the end) and I thought that he was the one being hit by his father because he didn’t want him to be a musician.
But my thought “if Apollonia showed up at 8 o’clock like she said, the fall-out might not have happened as explosively as it did”… but she also could have witnessed the altercation that took place.

Another scene that got me… I mean, the sirens and police showing up at the house after the suicide attempt… that already scared me enough the first time (and it was part of the movie I somehow maintained after all these years- despite not remembering that the suicide attempt happened).
I had the scary thought that this happened to Prince a year ago today… that sirens, paramedics and policemen showed up at Paisley Park in an attempt to save him.

Just to take things back up for a bit… loved getting back to this music. It’s like Prince really pulled out all the stops and polished these works until they sparkled like the diamonds [and pearls] they are.
I forgot just how great “The Beautiful Ones” was… I know it is, but re-experiencing it always something else.
All these years later, I still love “Computer Blue”- that performance scene is supposedly one of his lowest points in the movie and it and “Darling Nikki” aren’t exactly commercially viable (enough adjectives and adverbs, guys?)… but I just love this song. Even in this short album version, it is just so sick! and I love that choreography.

And I sung along to the Razzie winning “Sex Shooter” while not singing to anything else… yeah, I’d played this song so much since I started writing this current book. I have no shame about it whatsoever.

Then it was down to the final three songs… the movie went by SO FAST… I couldn’t believe it.

And I’ll admit- Purple Rain, the song, it is freaking manipulative. It compels you to feel THINGS you never knew you could. But today of all days, I had to be manipulated and I got my wish.

But unlike the first time I watched it… man, I was a mess when the second verse started. I hadn’t really listened to these lyrics in a while and I was referring them to what’s going on at present.

I never meant to cause you any sorrow… any pain… I only wanted one time to see you laughing… laughing in the Purple Rain…

It’s thinking maybe too much out of the box to think he wished this for us when he died. Just because he may have planned “Diamonds and Pearls” years in advance- with it being a lyric in a 1999 track… but that’s a little much.

However… I get to the second verse and I swear it was meant for me to hear these things right now.

I never wanted to be your weekend lover… only wanted to be some kind of friend… just a shame our friendship had to end…

Then third verse…

I know times are changin’… time we all reached out for the new… close it and let me guide you…

You get the gist…

These are deep lyrics and very poignant and honest.
But I never took them to heart like this before.
Prince always has been some kind of friend to me. One of the craziest friends I could ever ask for. And really, I’d been laughing and bathing in the Purple Rain that is his music since he died. Because he would have wanted us to enjoy the music and honor him by listening to it. He wouldn’t want us to be sad about him not being with us anymore.

But it was kinda nuts… crying through his guitar solo, my emotions kinda building as the guitar revved through the melody, and then I caught my breath and calmed down at the ends of the phrases…
Like our spirits came together and breathed as one…

“I would die 4 U” was great as always… my tears were starting to dry up.
Then “Baby I’m a Star” began… and so many emotions went through me.

The last time I heard this song… however long ago it was… he was still alive.
And I don’t think I had listened to him since he died.
And this kinda made things final for me, no coming back from this. I bathed in the pure glee and emotion of the song, again feeling like he was talking to me. Much the way I felt he was the first time I saw this performance… nevermind “I would Die 4 U”- as much as I loved that song the first time I heard it… but the performance of “Baby I’m a Star” left a mark on me…

Nobody would ever thrill me the way Prince did when he performed. And that’s going to be the name of the game for the rest of my life.

Watched the credits as I always do… then I get to Purple Rain and the tears started all over again… and I was shaking and couldn’t move from my seat for a couple minutes afterwards.
That’s the reaction I was meant to have a year ago today and I was free to finally experience it- nobody around to judge me πŸ˜›

So for the rest of the day, I might watch some music videos from him I’d been saving since 1999.
But I’m going to also listen to some tributes from people I follow on Twitter- NightEtheral (who I’d talked to a few times on Twitter, liked an RT’d my stuff- so it’s about time I return the favor) and Captain (one 4th of the Peach & Black podcast… who I’d communicated with over the last few days on Twitter and has been great- he may be notorious on Peach & Black for his oddball favorite Prince song choices, but he is very grounded in real life, which is refreshing).

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Prince album #5: Still partying like it’s “1999”

I’ll say again that I don’t really want to do these write-ups until I listen to these albums at least twice. But there’s some stuff that I just couldn’t help but mention… even though I’m not even halfway through the album.

So… what I wound up doing today, Monday, was playing “What Time is It?” (which I spent last week with)- side A in the morning and side B as I’m leaving work. And I put 1999 in my car so it would immediately follow.
I knew it was going to mind-blowing– but I also didn’t think I wouldn’t want to leave Morris Day behind. The first time I heard the album last week, I was half-on, half-off, not fully investing. Today, I felt like I was… except when 777-9311 ran over with the guitar solo and The Walk didn’t have much going on after “about to walk a hole in my Stacy Adams” up until the spoken section.
But I love those last two songs so much. “Gigalos Get Lonely Too” was the song that solidified my desire to get The Time albums. Heard it on Emancipation Radio and never forgot how great it sounded- how different it is from The Time and what Morris represents.
I deliberately did everything I could to keep 1999 and its songs off my mind during the day because I wanted to arrive back there fresh.

… but before I get to that, a few comments about when the songs were played live.

The first three songs and D.M.S.R. were very regular. (I can’t believe “1999” got a bunch of play even after the year of… Prince swore he’d stop playing that song after the millennium rolled around… kinda funny how his commitment to so many things in his life was never long-term, but the only thing that stuck was being a Jehovah’s Witness- something everyone kinda thought he wouldn’t stick to for long cuz it’s nuts… but I’m getting off track).
“Let’s Pretend We’re Married”- didn’t make it out of the 80’s.
“Automatic” was teased in the 2000’s and even made it into one of his last setlists- February 16- tease or not, that’s insane.
wow… “Something in the Water”… I didn’t expect he did live at all, but he did. Possibly around the same part of the setlist as Automatic- although the February show was the 26th.
The rest, I’m guessing didn’t make it out of the 80’s if they were done live at all.

“Free” was live at Sydney last year. and also in the 2000’s a bit.
“Lady Cab Driver”- only twice since the 1999 tour
“All the critics” I know he brought back for Indigo Nights and did several times in the 2000’s, but just changed the name of the city depending on where he was. [wow, he really did do it a lot in the 2000’s]
“International Lover”- I don’t think that made it past the Purple Rain tour… okay, the last time he performed it live was in Osaka in 1989.

No additional commentary from the Matt Thorne book on Prince I’ve been reading…
although it was interesting to hear that the two lead singles were the last songs recorded for the album… that’s kinda mind-blowing to think of what could have happened if he didn’t have those songs. Those were his tickets to the mainstream white rock audience, that key dynamic for international superstardom… or so I’ve been led to believe.
But there was one thing that bugged me (yeah, there’s always something…)… he mentioned some songs by Prince that had S&M connotations to them… he included “When Doves Cry” alongside “Computer Blue” and “Darling Nikki”…
passive-aggressive maybe in that second verse… if he’s thinking of that line about the “butterflies”- that’s a freaking metaphor… geesh.

I know it’s the wrong album and I’m currently going in order, but that stuff kinda bugs me. Just sayin’…

So… 1999… finally getting around to this…
my gut instinct right now- it’s going to be my first 8.0 or higher album. Aside from DMSR (I’ll explain later, I promise, don’t kill me) and All the Critics, I feel very strongly about the rest of the songs on the album. All the songs are technically brilliant, so nothing will score lower than 7.5… at least I don’t think so. But the rating won’t come until next week.

I spent a week with Vanity 6 (which I did finally get sick of the last two times- “Wet Dream” in particular does little for me, and “He’s so dull” I like more each time when I was so-so on it before) and another with “What Time is it?”
The point being that I spent a lot of time away from Prince. I last listened to Controversy two weeks ago and the last time I heard him on his own was the dance mix of “Let’s Work”… I just can’t remember when that was. Sometime last week, I think.

In other words… I got a lot of separation from Prince before this. The way I had (although not intentionally and not as long…) with Controversy. So I knew this was going to be huge.

—-

I did five songs today and plan to get through the remaining 6 tomorrow… in the afternoon… considering the last time I had 1999 in my car and how much “Little Red Corvette” wrecked me, I didn’t want to start the morning on that note. Certainly not on a Monday after a weekend away at the shorehouse.

Don’t worry, whatever emotion I will have wrought won’t affect the ratings I’ll give.

1999 blew my head off (as Captain would say) because it represents SO MUCH. Not just Prince’s career, how it helped begin that trajectory and how it affected pop culture in general (anyone who tries to use “party like it’s…” with any year BUT 1999… I’m sorry, I hate you. That just should not be touched). Kids today will never understand the “terror” Y2K had for so many people πŸ˜›
but as I was saying (damn, I’m not even into the album fully and sidetracking left and right)… it’s also personal for me too.
I was aware of this song’s existence. My dad showed me the video either in 1998 or 1999- it was my first introduction to Prince in any form. I still remember it being the third video I picked out on February 5th 2007 and feeling a rush of nostalgia come back to me as I remembered so much from that video even though I hadn’t seen it in at least 10 years.
I think the last time I saw it was leap day 2012- we converted that VHS full of MTV videos to DVD and I watched it through.
1999 was a big year for me too- I had my surgery that year. My spine was crooked and titanium rods and screws were placed inside me to straighten it. And during my recovery time, I started writing… and I guess in a way it eventually led me to be here typing this right now.

And to add to all of that… “Little Red Corvette” will have that bad rep of being the song on the radio when I turned the car on and learned the news…
“1999” was the next song that came on- and at that point, I was coming down the parking lot, slowing down by the stop sign to make sure the coast was clear. Then it came on, and I embraced the spirit of it… I practically devoured it and refused to let any other emotion in for those 3-4 minutes. I metaphorically fist-pumped and sang it at the top of my lungs and swore to celebrate Prince as he lived, the way he would have wanted.

Later in the ride, I had a couple moments where I’d remember and fighting with everything in me not to crumble into myself. Like if I started crying, I was never going to stop.
I’ll go through this on April 21st when I do a post and possibly a vlog… but if certain pieces hadn’t been in place in my life, I don’t know what could’ve happened to me.

Man, that went downhill really fast… moving on…

I hear “1999” and after my mind stopped imploding and exploding, I could only think “superstar”… the song is just so well crafted and so amazing in all it represented and its bits and pieces.
It’s always been a favorite, but I didn’t think I’d embrace its message as much as I did last April.
Yeah, this is why I want a minimum of two listens before I do these cuz I’ll become biased with my favorites when I first hear them again.
This song IS Prince- the way it’s structured and the way it sounds, nobody else could do that. It makes it harder to believe he’s human or mortal- that he was anything but a superstar. It has this unbeatable confidence about it.

“Little Red Corvette”- not as much with the confidence. He has this naΓ―ve boyish charm about him, not sure if he’s good enough to be with this girl who’s been around (the second verse and bridge gives me that impression anyway).
The first thing that strikes me is that Linn-drum beat… SO GOOD!
The video was the first I picked out on February 5th 2007- I’d heard rumblings about this song on VH1’s top 100 greatest 80’s songs list- how it’s not about a car :cough cough:
Just the overall vibe of the video, the lyrics, that dance solo… I hope I can find that video again so I can revisit it. It’s so good.
And great storytelling too.
According to Princevault, the source of inspiration recently came forward and talked about how they were together in the late 70’s and stopped seeing each other in 1980. And apparently the jockeys… they were actual jockeys she had pictures of on the walls, that she had been with.
The song only really hits me in that dark place in the extended version- cuz when that came on the radio, I saw the news in a text message and had those early moments of “oh my God…” and “what am I going to do” and “I guess I don’t need to worry about him not coming here for a concert”… all those many thoughts…

I love “Delirious” on any given day- but after those two monsters today chock full of memories… it could only pale in comparison. It’s just a fun song that a bunch of others on the protΓ©gΓ© albums reminded me of. Other than the baby at the end (yeah, Captain, I don’t get it either), I can’t find fault in it… although I do love listening to the extended version I have on one of the earliest bootleg sets given to me by someone on prince.org.

“Let’s Pretend We’re Married”… this was one of the reasons I wanted to start writing tonight… it was the first song to directly connect me back to where he’d been previously. Maybe it’s the smoke in the music videos, but I was reminded of “Sexuality”… maybe it’s the pacing of the bridge, it reminds me of the pacing of the Sexuality chorus. And the drums also have some similar sounds.
I know most of the love it gets is the shock factor… but I don’t care. I love the beat and how it repeats as an instrumental breakdown halfway through… I just love that song. Can’t quite explain why.
I also love that part at the end where he just lets loose a tirade and reveals a couple things about himself. At least I think so.

“Dance Music Sex Romance”… I think I said during Dirty Mind that another song did the same thing “Uptown” was trying to do and this did it better…
I just wasn’t feeling it today. My feelings about this song have always been up and down. I skipped it a lot- especially cuz it broke up that last song and “Automatic”…
then I brought it back in and I get into it.
Today, just didn’t feel it. The only way I could explain it to myself- this song just sounds better live. Here with all the studio fills and stuff… it just feels mechanical. It doesn’t feel organic with all those Linn drum effects. Trust me, I love a good Linn-drum.

I got to “Automatic,” not quite getting into it right away.
I didn’t think I was invested, but it turns out Prince had me hypnotized as only he can do.
I thought more about how some songs connect more to Controversy and others are more in this current direction and others are indications of the future.
Toejam said a couple times in the Peach & Black Controversy review that Prince lives in Prince world… this kinda feels like one of those songs. I’m just along for the ride and… I’m trying to think of a pun using the song’s title, but it just isn’t happening.

I started writing a post on my phone about Prince exploring S&M in his music and asking whether he put any of it to practical use.
Matt Thorne mentioned in a paragraph about how Prince took a submissive position early in his career in the context of his music and later became more comfortable being the dominant force… kinda interesting to think about.

I will skip to this song if I want to trip out [it’s very trippy, especially with those synths that remind me of a creaky swinging chandelier- like it’s on the edge of insanity] or just want to go through all the sexy tracks between this, Computer Blue, G-Spot and Darling Nikki… I like “G-Spot” WAY too much, but it has such a sick beat that gives me a “Sex Shooter” type vibe.

The 2nd half of this album is kinda odd… all that experimental ish Prince was doing at the time. I felt like Controversy had a lot of experimentation to it, but he brings some of that stuff here and realizes it more musically and also from an emotional standpoint. Controversy really stepped up the confidence in him and in 1999, his confidence feels boundless. Confident enough to free himself to be vulnerable.
Between “Something in the Water” and “Free” and even moments in “Lady Cab Driver”… yeah, there’s some great vulnerability he really explores. And it’s nuts to think about when I think of how he was dressed at this time. That long sweeping purple coat just exudes a presence of utmost confidence.
At points, it also seems like he’s pushing the boundaries of his sanity- Prince World fully realized. We’re just visiting… although how long we stay may or may not be entirely up to us :wink wink:

“Free” takes on so many meanings, depending on the mood you’re in and what you’re open to experience. I don’t think I liked it much the first time, but it’s grown on me over time. Just kinda have to be receptive and open to it.
It’s the first step towards “Purple Rain” but the drums remind me more of “The Ladder”… but at least those other two songs go somewhere. Nor does it feels like they take forever to do so. For me anyway.
Some lyrics are generic, but the emotion is what really sells it.

“Lady Cab Driver” is an interesting one… the sex scene in particular makes things a little awkward… for the first time, I listened to Jill to kinda gauge her reaction. She isn’t screaming where it comes off like a rape scene, as a lot of people like to refer to it as. I just know her cries get more pleasurable as it progresses and it reaches a satisfied end.
But before that, while this is like a duet and their voices mesh together perfectly… I think part of its design was to mask some vulnerability on Prince’s part.
“Lately, troubled winds are blowing hard and I don’t know if I can last”
I’m not sure how he felt while recording this or if he feels as down and sad as he’s portraying himself. But that’s how it’s coming off to me at this moment.
After the sex scene, the instrumentals take over for the rest of the song. Something that kinda annoyed and bored me the first time. But by this point, it’s a good breather moment for me, just chilling with the music and seeing where it takes me mentally. Nothing terribly exciting that bears repeating.

“All the Critics Love you in New York”… this is going to be the lowest scoring song on the album for me. I never really “got” it.
There are some great lyrics I love- the part that ends with “4th day of November, we need a purple high” and the part where he says “it ain’t about the trippin’ but the sexuality, turn it up”… maybe cuz I know it could be a reference to one of those unreleased tracks.
It just gets weird after a point to where I’m kinda done with it.

then “International Lover”… that was a controversial part of the Peach and Black podcast cuz it divided the panel… I don’t even know if anyone but Toejam liked it, now that I think about it.
I’ve always liked it… but admittedly, it is EXTREMELY cheesy- all those metaphors.
I also love the diamonds & pearls line… makes me wonder if he knew he’d be naming a song and an entire album with those words.
Kinda funny today that “we made the final approach to satisfaction” as I pulled into my driveway.

okay, listened to the album again today [Thursday].

Mainly- “Prince World” lasted through half of the album.
1999 the song was a massive nostalgia trip. It being my first introduction to Prince, I had the feeling as if this was getting to know him for the first time. If you want to show someone who he was as an artist, that’s a good place to start. If only for the vibe of it.
Not much else new on the other tracks, so not worth repeating myself.
Just that this is a tough album to listen to all at once- especially since not even Prince can hold my attention that long.
Yet somehow the Peach & Black guys often can sustain it for a couple hours.

Listened to the first half of Peach & Black’s podcast Friday afternoon.
It was great to be back with these guys. Love saving them for the end of the week. And I just might do the same for part 2 of their 1999 review next Thursday, since I gave myself the 21st off.

I can’t help but agree that the first two songs are kinda hard to review because of nostalgia and representation and so on. But they got lots of praise.
Captain can appreciate the pop proficiency of “Little Red Corvette” without it being one of his favorites. It just happens to be one of mine due to nostalgia purposes and my fandom of Prince- how it helped begin and solidify my foothold in it.
A few comments said that it was distorted in a couple parts. I can’t hear that at all… is it because I don’t have it on vinyl? In my ears, there’s nothing wrong with it.

Kinda funny during “Let’s Pretend We’re Married” where it sounded like MC was having a meltdown in the background every time someone gave a positive review.
“I can’t believe you’re all agreeing”- he whines.
Captain said how much he liked that instrumental section and I’m like “me too!”… definitely one of my favorite parts.
And of course the baby at the end of “Delirious”… “I just wanna punch it”

They went into DMSR and said how he made it a concert staple around the Musicology era. As long as I’d known of Prince, I was under the impression that’d always been a concert staple. Which is why it sounds perfectly written with that in mind.

maybe it’s cuz I heard their podcast of this album only a few months ago, but I don’t have all that much extra to add.
but the 2nd half does have some great bits. Especially Toejam’s fangasm moments where he gives a play-by-play of what happens in the song. No wonder it’s his favorite Prince album.
Could possibly be mine, who knows?

yeah, I got home and there was less than 2 minutes left… but I gotta go back to five minutes or so left…

omg, these guys are so great. So proud to consider them part of my purple family along with my fellow purple knight, NightEtheral on Twitter (who’d liked some of my tweets and we’d had a few short Twitter conversations about Prince stuff) and a couple people in this Prince fangroup on Facebook.

I’ll end this for now and come back next week… maybe with more thoughts from other album listens, part 2 of Peach and Black and my rating of 1999 as an album.

So the game plan for the week:
Monday- first half of 1999
Tuesday- second half of 1999
Wednesday- related Prince outtakes and half of Peach & Black’s podcast
Thursday- the rest of the podcast
Friday- Purple Rain + a purple cocktail + tissues

I could definitely use all this motivation to get through the week. Not just cuz April 21st will be tough to revisit. When I’m just gonna stop stemming the bleeding and holding back the tears and just LEITGO.
If only for that weekend… the trick will be reverting back as if nothing is wrong by Monday morning. I just need this moment cuz I never allowed myself to have it.
So strange cuz my emotions get the best of me at random moments cuz of random stuff yet I’d held all this back when it’s something very much more important to me.

Anyway… I’m back to the album.
And I’m already kinda over it… which sucks. I hate that feeling when I’m sick of a Prince album.
I don’t typically tire of him that fast πŸ˜› makes me kinda worry about what’ll happen when I get to the last album at the end of all this…

but usually what happens when I tire of some songs, not just by Prince, but anyone… if the material is strong enough, I’m freed up to enjoy others.
I got much more out of DMSR this time than I had the previous two.
Maybe because I was fresh off that high of the previous song.

Damn, I kinda want to give “Let’s Pretend We’re Married” a perfect score and I have no idea why πŸ˜› I love it for the vibe more than anything else.
I heard it through the music video first so I cannot hear it without thinking of the set with all those smoke machines and Prince just having his way with the stage.
Prince really did a great job creating this mysterious sexy persona for himself. I’m not adventurous in any sense of the word, but if that persona was the type of guy who never committed to a relationship, I’d up for a one-night stand.
although if this song is, as I suspect, about oral sex… I’m not entirely sure.

anyway… riding that high so high, I get to DMSR and feel the groove more than I had. I think for the first time I also heard some guitar work, just one note being played over and over, and then came that cool rhythm guitar solo. Or what the Peach & Black guys call “chicken grease guitar”. I hear that part and just picture him doing it.
But like always, my attention span kinda shortens and I just tune out after a while.

I don’t know if I should start giving out scores now or wait until after the Peach & Black podcast… but Thursday is so far from now.

My feeling right now, though… 1999 and Little Red Corvette are getting close to perfect, if not perfect. Delirious is getting around 7.5. Let’s Pretend We’re Married is getting less than perfect [cuz it wouldn’t be fair to everyone else] And DMSR- half a point higher than Uptown.

As for the rest of the album…
I don’t see myself giving “Automatic” a better score than “Let’s Pretend We’re Married.” Granted, it’s an amazing, well-executed piece of work. But maybe I like the vibe of the other one a bit better.

“Something in the Water” is one of those weird songs. Maybe it’s the approach with no bass, all synths with Linn-drum driving the beat and some crazy vocals. Only Prince would think to do something like that and pull it off so well.
But it sounds like a perfect companion, not just to “Automatic” (while flipping who the dominant and submissive in the relationship is) but all those “girl who’d done me wrong” songs. Although if I were to make a playlist of that, I might use the alternate version with the dreamier synths (opposed to these nightmarish ones)… or better yet, I could begin the playlist with one and end with the other.
But with this version, I always kinda thought of it as a precursor to “Computer Blue”… not just the “do not compute” computer theme, but also the coldness of the vocal approach.
I don’t even know where to begin rating this one.

“Free”… for some reason, I KEEP forgetting that it’s here. I’m driving home at this point and in my mind, trying to figure if I have time to get through all the music. I wait until a certain point (mainly where I don’t have to worry as much about merging traffic) to start the music, so in my mind, I’m thinking about how long the songs are and how many of them I can squeeze.
I forget “Free” mainly because it’s so short πŸ˜›
Half the lyrics are great, but the other half… they’re kinda cheesy and generic. “Delirious” is guilty of the same thing, but at least has a catchy beat.
I’m going into my mind and thinking that maybe I didn’t like “Free” for a while. Then there was one day I took the song with me to class (like I was listening to it as I was making the trip) and I just “got” it.
Apparently I lost it again πŸ˜›
I believe “Moonbeam Levels” was considered in its place, but maybe Prince deemed it too heavy to add. Not to mention there’s a lot of heavy stuff on this album already, so that’d just be too much on top of everything else.

“Lady Cab Driver” will be another tricky one to rate… it’s another weird one.
It’s a long jam, but kind of an unorthodox one. But then again, unorthodox is one of the middle names Prince sported over the years πŸ˜‰
I don’t know what it is, but I don’t just get the vibe of being in a busy place like Time Square, but I also think about some boardwalk town. Maybe it’s the guitar or the “horns”. But also the sound effects that precede “Free” with seagulls (I think…) and Prince pacing the shoreline, his heels making tracks in the sand.
Don’t remember what part of my commute I was at at this point. I think I was on the last highway before our main road… I think I was navigating traffic and shifting lanes to get around slow trucks. Either way, I just completely tuned out the sex scene- but I also kinda did the same thing when Lisa and Jill Jones were crying during “Automatic”… I still don’t get that part. Why are THEY crying when Prince is the submissive in that scenario?

I kinda have to be in the mood for the song, I think. Otherwise, I just “nod off” when it just jams out for 5 minutes.

“All the Critics”… I’m never gonna get that one. I mean, I’ll give it a higher grade than “Annie Christian”… but only half a point higher.

I think the cheese of “International Lover” is starting to get to me a bit… but oddly, I don’t have a problem with the spoken section with all those metaphors. The song itself just doesn’t come off as authentic. Maybe it’s the fact this was intended for Morris Day originally that’s distracting me.
But I’m in the last 2 minutes of the song. I’m in my driveway “riding” the rest of it out. Then we get to the big finish at the end and I’m really feeling it. Not like THAT… but my mind felt like it got messed around with a bit. It wasn’t the “hot and heavy” response I had to “Insatiable” a couple times last year.

If the timing and set up is right, Prince really can hit the pleasure points in my brain and it’s an awesome feeling.

What’s not awesome is having the cable randomly having an outage… no storm, no sunspots, no nothing… I don’t have anything I NEED to watch, but it puts a damper on my whole night if I can’t watch anything.
Although that did free me up to watch the 2 Broke Girls finale… it’s getting really good πŸ˜›

Let’s see… tomorrow I’m going through a bunch of unreleased tracks.
They include:
Lisa, Tick Tick Bang (I hadn’t heard this version in ages… it’s also why I hate the “Graffiti Bridge” version cuz it’s not this), Something in the water (alternate), Delirious (extended), DMSR (alternate), Irresistible Bitch (which I played a lot when I first got, but hadn’t in maybe 10 years), Horny Toad and How U Don’t Call Me Anymore.

It was AMAZING getting to hear some of these tracks again. It really has been a long time. When people were gifting me all these tracks, I had no idea how much I’d wind up appreciating them. It’s like mining new treasure.

Lisa, I remember having a sick beat. Very mesmerizing. And it felt like it lasted forever and I didn’t want it to end πŸ˜› I remember playing this a couple times those first couple months.
Tick Tick Bang- it’s hard to forget the old version of this because I HATE the new version. The new music just doesn’t fit the lyrics for me. I feel like I gotta hear this a couple more times. Or better yet, do what Captain mentioned in a podcast and make a rockabilly Prince playlist- and it’d have songs like this, Delirious, Jack U Off and Horny Toad on it. [I don’t care quite as much about Ronnie Talk to Russia].

Speaking of Horny Toad, I don’t remember if I liked this song the first time I heard it… but it doesn’t matter because I REALLY like it now. I had to play it twice. It was near the end of the day at work and I was kinda trying to get stuff done. So I played it a second time on the way home.
Jack U Off is a fully realized version of this song… but Horny Toad has lyrics I don’t feel as self-conscious singing along to πŸ˜›

How Come U Don’t Call me Anymore… I don’t remember all that well. But hearing it again, all those trademark Prince ballad moments came out and I was feeling all kinds of stuff. Like “That’s Prince, that’s really him”- like I knew in my heart without a doubt it was him.
The podcast hit that discussion about whether Prince is putting on the “Prince persona” in a song or being authentic… this is authentic without a doubt.
I still want to hear that podcast πŸ˜› I don’t think the Peach and Black guys go around to it yet, but they should. “Prince Persona vs. Authenticity”- get to work, guys! [although I shouldn’t be too harsh- they already did a Vanity 6 and Apollonia 6 podcast this year]

Irresistible Bitch- I remember loving this track. Especially the lyrics. But it’s been so long that I have to bring them back out again. I just remember the set I received had “Feel U Up” follow it in sequence and I went through a couple days where I really didn’t like Prince because that song didn’t fit my perception of him.
Which is kinda strange, when I add in the fact I liked “Horny Toad” where he says he isn’t in love, he’s just a horny toad. The Camille vocal helps me like that song a bit more, but it’s still not one of my favorites.

Then I had those alternate versions of the album tracks…
I don’t know what is so different about this DMSR (other than the omission of the rhythm guitar solo and the Jamie Starr inside joke), but I just love it so much. Maybe it’s the back it feels more full and there’s a little more going on musically. I’ll have to listen to the two almost simultaneously to figure that out.
Delirious… I think it’s about the same except for it being longer. But I grooved to it so much more than the album version. Again, I can’t explain why. Again, I just love it.

Something in the Water… I love this version so much that I was hearing it play in my head while the guys were doing the play by play in the podcast.
Captain didn’t care for this song or Automatic on the sheer fact they don’t go anywhere musically. I disagree- at least with the album version, Something in the Water does reach a climax and there’s a point at the end of it.
Yet I like the less mechanical version that REALLY doesn’t go anywhere πŸ˜› because it’s more filled out musically and it’s more melodic and Prince’s voice has a little more authenticity to it.

Seriously, this issue of the Peach & Black podcast is worth listening to if ONLY for Toejam’s 5 minute play-by-play of “Automatic.” This time, since the song was so fresh in my mind, I was recalling it as he was. And it was freaking awesome.

I got halfway through, roughly. And halfway through the songs.
The conversation on “Free” was interesting. MC used to skip it and went on to say if it’s just words on a page, it could be really good. Then he loses it when Captain says “Graffiti Bridge” had the same thing happen. More or less, the lyrics are great on a page, but the music ruins it.
I think I’ve heard that song once ever… I don’t mind musicals or anything, but the music was so sugary sweet, I felt like I was getting cavities just listening to it.

And just to sidetrack one last time…
I’d been running this blog under the DreamyPopRoyalty name since April 8 2007.
I completely missed my opportunity to self-indulge and do a blog post on that and how far I’d come and how much has changed since then.
It’s been a LOT of things.
Namely, my writing style. But also- it stopped being exclusive to Prince after a certain point… sometime in 2009, I think, I started to diversify my postings a bit more.
Hitting on a couple random entries… yeah… a lot of missed opportunities.

I had one post about what I’d ask him about if I got to spend 2 hours with him– opposed to spending 2 hours with him ala “Purple Rain”…
but I had one dream about him, the first one, that told me everything I needed to know about him. Everything inspires him and what comes from inside him, his heart, sets him apart from everyone else.
Certainly everyone I was listening to at the time… it’d be a couple years before I found the artists I spent much of the 2000’s waiting for.

And this is just going on too long… I’m going to… I want to watch The Time in concert cuz I did the same with Vanity 6 last night (such a cool experience, really knowing these songs now and how different they sound live)…
but I think I’m better off just getting some sleep.
I gotta make work really count tomorrow because I took Friday off.

And work went well…
I put 1999 on random in my car because I’m not quite ready to say goodbye yet. But also I needed something to take away the blues I was feeling.
Somehow, I kept them at bay all day without once turning on my iPod.

So I got 1999 and Little Red Corvette (yeah, these songs had to go together- the purple magic wouldn’t have it any other way). Then DMSR came on and it was great fun. I think this song is growing on me, but I don’t think I’ll ever LOVE it like my other favorites.
On the way home, I got “Delirious” (which made me happy), “Free” (which had me going meh) and “Automatic” (which I was mentally going in and out of- not wholly focusing, but still into it). I turned it off when “All the Critics” was next.

Can’t believe how much the guys raved about that song… it’s barely even a song. It’s repetitive music throughout with all the bells and whistles and random lyrics attached.

And “International Lover” had one of Captain’s epic “I don’t like this song” rants.
And the classic division of the panel- Captain and Player against, Toejam and MC for.
And the guys gave their ratings, a couple 10’s and Captain gave 8.6.

So I might as well stop making this entry any longer than it already is… and just rate this thing.
When I tweet this out, I should say something like “if you have two hours to kill… it might be better spent listening to 1999 than reading me talk about it”… or whatever 140 characters allows for.

Reminder of my system:
Max score is 10 per track.
Up to 5 is awarded for technical merit- music, vocals, song structure, lyrics, and that Prince X-Factor
And up to 5 for components- which is my personal preference.

1999
…my mind’s boggling already, I don’t wanna do this πŸ˜› but I must

The production value of this song is brilliant! The best he’d done to this point. It’s catchy and memorable. Well-composed.
Technical score- 5
Components score… this is hard… it’s my first Prince song ever, so much nostalgia behind it… I want so badly to give it a 5, but there are plenty songs I like more just personally… 4.5
Total: 9.5

Little Red Corvette
…ah, kill me…

Great technical merit, again… I love that Linn-drum. It’s the perfect pop song. Great storytelling, instrumentals, super catchy and memorable… I can’t fault it
Technical score- 5
Components score… yeah, this is the hard part for me. Nostalgia again. Loved that video- the first one I watched the day I made it official. But it’s hard not to think about a year ago and how that kinda ruined the song for me for a while…
But I also called “When You Were Mine” a perfect pop song… this is at that same level for me… 5
Total score: 10

Delirious

Okay, this is a fun one, but considering all the monsters on this album, it can sometimes get lost in the mix.
For the technical side… the lyrics are very simple but super catchy. They stick with me each time I listen. But by Prince standards, it’s not the best he’s offered, nor is it super unique. It just happens to be the rockabilly track all of Prince’s previous attempts at the genre led up to. And then there’s that random baby at the end…
Technical score- 4
Components- 3.5 (one of the easiest scores to shell out…)
Total score- 7.5

Let’s Pretend We’re Married
…yeah, this is another great one…

Technically, everything feels like it’s in sync. The music conveys the message perfectly. Great lyrics that push the envelope. I really can’t fault, but…
Technical score- 4.5
Components score… it’s not a 5… I’ll give it… 4
Total score- 8.5

Dance Music Sex Romance
…I think I might check on my score of Uptown because I alluded that this song was a better realized version of the same concept.
I think I gave it a 3 for components… so I’ll give 3.5 for components. That’s just me.
Technically, it works better as a live jam rather than something cooked up in a studio… but strong songwriting, great visuals come out in the lyrics… vocally, Prince is capable of better- therefore, this would sound better live. But this is something only he would do and bring to this length without getting too overwrought.
Technical score- 4
Total score- 7.5

A-U-T-O-MATIC
[fun fact- when I listen to this song, I like to sign for those four letters… it was tricky to do it in time with the music]

Technically… the music is great, very hypnotic and dreamy. The lyrics tell an interesting story and it really goes places. Vocally, it’s all over the place, as it should be with this context. Sometimes, it maybe goes on too long…
Technical score- 4.5
Components score- 4
Total score- 8.5

Something in the Water (Does Not Compute)
…this is where the scores get a little trickier to do…

Technically… it’s hard to get that alternate version of my head…
It’s a great concept to start off. The music is cold and doesn’t always have enough variation to keep things interesting. Only Prince could do something like this and do it well… 4
Components score- 3.5
Total score- 7.5

Free
…before I completely forget about it…

Technical score- 4
Components score- 3.5
Total score- 7.5
(I gave it a bit more… maybe because of the company it’s in, but I think there were times I liked the song more than I currently do)

Lady Cab Driver
…another weird one for me…

the music is its strong point because it’s a long jam. the vocals are decent, but there also aren’t many of them. it runs kinda long for me- too long in the instrumental part. Gotta give a little extra for the balls (oh geesh…) Prince had to put a sex scene in the middle of this and it’s an oddly good way of taking out the frustrations of life out.

Technical score- 4
Components- 3.5
Total- 7.5

…oh crap, this is starting to fall apart a bit…

All the Critics Love You in New York
…this isn’t even a song…

I’ll give a point for lyrics, the unique Prince factor (and the fact he’d played this live by changing the title to the town where he’s performing), the overall performance…
Technical score- 3.5
Components score- 2.5
…yeah… I gave this one a 6… so much for my theory that nothing would score less than 7.5.
Toejam was saying how he didn’t know if anyone didn’t like this song… I raised my hand so high.

International Lover
Technical score- 4… it’s a solid ballad, but it’s not nearly as good as Prince’s others. It’s no “Do Me Baby” “Insatiable” or “Beautiful Ones”
Components score- 4… yeah, most days I like this song a lot, but the cheese factor is a lot at times.
Total score- 8

So… let’s see… put them in line from highest to lowest

Little Red Corvette- 10
1999- 9.5
Let’s Pretend We’re Married- 8.5
Automatic- 8.5
International Lover- 8
Delirious- 7.5
DMSR- 7.5
Something in the Water (Does Not Compute)- 7.5
Lady Cab Driver- 7.5
Free- 7.5
All the Critics Love You in New York- 6
88
Divide that by the max total of 110…

wow… So I’m giving 1999 a solid 8.0…

well, I got my wish. I finally gave a Prince album an 8 out of 10… I just didn’t realize how much the second half of the album really brings it down for me.

That’s something it very much had in common with Controversy and Dirty Mind. They both had strong starts and the 2nd half/side B of the vinyl has hits and misses.
Here, there were more misses than hits, it seems like.

Controversy, I gave 7.8… 1999 beats it by production alone

As for the songs I’m taking forward with me to my all-time favorite Prince songs list… I have a tie, so I’ll taking four with me.

Little Red Corvette
1999
Let’s Pretend We’re Married
Automatic

So yeah, this monster of an entry about a monster of an album is finally done…

and I’m going to keep going tomorrow with another post.
Kinda somber, but it’ll also be positive- I’ll try to keep things positive because that’s how he would have wanted it.

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Evgeni Plushenko– **Officially** the End of an Era

I thought I’d be okay enough where I wouldn’t need to do a blog post. Everything’s already been said, etc.

But the news has been pouring out on Twitter all day. And Evgeni himself even confirmed it with a tweet.

As much as I’ve told myself that I’m okay with this, I’d accept whatever he decided to do with his career… I’m sad. I just can’t help myself.
…and there’s no way I can begin to explain this without making it all about me or making it sound like I’m whining about how life isn’t fair.
But Plushenko is one of those guys that are so determined, you believe that they can do anything. I prayed for him and supported him during his surgery in 2014 and he was getting better. He was doing triple axels and even a quadruple toe loop on occasion.
Then the situation in fall 2015 leading up to March 2016 happened– another surgery and another waiting period, waiting to see whether he’d be able to come back.

I never stopped hoping. Even though I could physically see he wasn’t as strong as he was, even at the Sochi Olympics before that injury happened.
It breaks my heart that that was the note his career ended on. An injury that left him unable to even do one last 3 minute short program.
And since seeing him that first time at the Sochi team event free skate, I always imagined there’d be one more time. A competition come around and he’d be in the warm-up. He’d come onto the ice and the stadium would lose its mind cheering so loud for him that nobody could hear themselves think.

I have to admit, though. He’d been slipping from my mind these past several weeks. Not just because Prince has been at the forefront of my mind, going through his albums and reliving his career (which I saw 9 years of, but never got to see him perform in person).
Deep down, I knew and accepted this wasn’t going to happen. And I didn’t want it to. Seeing the members of the Quad Revolution reaching new heights with quad lutzes, flips and loops… the mere thought of him doing those jumps terrified me and I urged him in a tweet not to even try.

It looks, though, that his goals have changed. He doesn’t want personal redemption in the form a 5th figure skating Olympic medal… although I thought his bouts with Russia’s hockey team was maybe his way of getting into the Olympics in another sport…
anyway, the idea sounded crazy in my head as soon as I thought it up a month ago.
Now- he’s finally opening his figure skating academy and perhaps following in the footsteps of beloved coach Alexei Mishin.
Wow… to see him in the kiss and cry alongside Russia’s newest prodigy skater… that’s something to look forward to. Or any time he may be in the audience watching the Cup of Russia Grand Prix competition. And of course there’s his exhibitions whenever they are uploaded to YouTube.

I’ve changed a lot in this time as well… and a lot it is thanks to him. He was the last distraction I needed to get myself through the next couple months before my current job found me.
My self-esteem has always been terrible. And come February 2014, I was at an all-time low. Then whatever happened with him, happened. And he had my heart and my mind and I got away from myself for a while.

And that brings me back to a point I mean to make… all the tweets I sent to him and the videos I posted… they weren’t about him competing again. I just wanted to make sure he was okay. Because he looked pretty bad on February 13th- not just physically, but emotionally as well. I cannot imagine that kind of disappointment. Plus the pressure his country had put on him and how many people turned against him afterwards.

On the plus side, he will be revered and remembered as one of the greatest ever. He may not be able to do all the quads being done now, but for me, he IS the greatest ever.
Nobody’s going to change that. Not even Yuzuru or the next great Russian men’s skater… which I hope they find SOON.

I really hope I said all I wanted to say… knowing me, I’m never going to miss an opportunity to do a Plushenko namedrop in my figure skating blogging. This is his world and the skating world we’re in now, he’s partially to thank for it.

It is because of Plushenko I’ve become an advocate for the Quad Revolution and a quad snob in men’s skating… saying to get a medal, you need two different quads.
The short program, for me, doesn’t need to have two quads or even three. One is fine.
But the free skate– you need 3 or 4 at minimum. You don’t have to go crazy like Nathan Chen and do 5 or 6. But have 3 or 4 to give the program balance. Yuzuru, I think, found the perfect formula for this and artistry is not sacrificed the way he does it.
It is because of Plushenko regained my love of figure skating, that I forgotten I had after all these years. The reason why the men’s event is more exciting to me than the ladies’. Especially when it comes to finding Russia’s new star man in skating.
He’s the reason I learned how to make YouTube montages.
He’s the reason I started learning Russian. I’m not great at it and I’m terribly lazy keeping up with it. But every now and then, what little I’ve learned comes back to me. And I’ll occasionally come back to learn some more.

Yeah, I owe Evgeni Plushenko for a lot… he is an amazing skater, performance and person.
And unless I have a new montage done soon, this will be my last post about him. At least him specifically. The namedropping will still happen.

He never replied to me on Twitter, whether I messaged him in English or Russian. I don’t expect him to, but part of me will never stop hoping πŸ˜‰
I guess that’s the name of the game, isn’t it?
But it was never acknowledgement. This was about him– and just that he was happy with his life whatever direction it took.
And for the moment, it appears that he is doing amazing. And at the end of the day, that’s all I can ask for.

[Which reminds me… I still have a “Snow King” fanfiction and some poetry to finish… those will be posted whenever I get them done. And there’s no way of knowing when that’ll be]

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2017 Worlds [Figure Skating]

I have a gut feeling that I hadn’t seen Worlds live since 2014…
but that doesn’t mean I’m any less pissed about another missed opportunity. Especially this year to possibly see history happen.
Not just a new world record or record for the competition, or the first time an American man has won with who had multiple quads. (Well, more than a couple toe loops anyway).

So as I tend to do this time every year (man, no matter how much I miss from the next Olympics, it’s going to kill me… Sochi spoiled me so much, but on the other hand, the state of my life at that point is nothing to look by on fondly, so I try to live in the present when I can)…. I’m going to make up a list of the people I want to see and I’ll go and YouTube them.

And considering how nervous I was about the grand prix final this year (which I completely missed because I was away), I may have to watch Yuzuru and Nathan Chen first because I get to anyone else. They’re my favorites to win this.
Of course, I’d be happy if Boyang Jin and Shoma did also. Or Javier Fernandez… per the usual, anyone but Patrick Chan unless he skated perfectly clean and everyone else fell at least twice.

But first the junior men… they skated over a week ago and I already tripped across the results. I mean, I am happy Vincent Zhou won this for the US. But I would’ve liked to see it as it happened so it’s even more epic.
I also wished that Dmitri finishing on the podium helped Russia get more seats on the Olympic team, but sadly, that will depend on Maxim Kovtun and… I don’t even know who else is going. Alexander Samarin and Mikhail Kolyada, I think, were the top 3 in Russian Nationals, but I think only 2 men can come to worlds.

The trick is finding these programs on YouTube- most likely, unless it’s the top three, it’s going to be near impossible.

Yeah, I have lists of competitors I wanted to see for 2015 and 2016… so yeah, I haven’t seen Worlds live since 2014. I think Yulia Lipnitskaya and Yuzuru won their respected disciples.

For the junior men, I’d like to see the following:

Vincent Zhou, Dmitri Aliev, Alexander Samarin, Jun Hwan Cha, Alexander Petrov, Kevin Aymoz, Alexei Krasnozhon, Roman Sadovsky, Yaroslav Paniot, Koshiro Shimada, Daniel Samohin (despite the fact I heard he had an epic failure in this competition, which is sad for a last year’s junior world champion), and Sondre Oddvall Boe.

If I can get to see those first 4, that’s fine too.

Okay, so I found a video- only one video… that has an hour or so of footage, but I won’t be watching all of the skaters.
There are 11 and 7 are on my list.
All things considered, those are really good odds. But I feel bad about all the skater I won’t get to see. Roman, Yaroslav, Koshiro and Sondre all have great moments in their performances, but they’re not always consistent (well, Koshiro is maybe the best of those 5).

Jun Hwan Cha is up first, followed by Alexei Krasnozhon
Someone questioned Vincent’s placing and according to the reply comment, quads aren’t allowed in the short program… well… I don’t really know how to feel about that. I know not all juniors can do quads, but still… I kinda want them not to be banned, at least not from the short program.

yeah, Jun Hwan Cha is pretty spectacular to watch. I keep thinking to myself how he’s such a prodigy, how he could be the next Nathan Chen and possibly push the sport even further. And possibly he might be of age to compete at the Olympics next year (wow, can’t believe it’s only next year). the choreography and transitions leaves something to be desired, but otherwise, it looked flawless, him doing all the elements.
82.34- yeah, a massive gap between the two marks. Technical is 8 points higher- but 45 is really good for a junior.

wow, Alexei’s only 16- he seems so much older to me, but then he’s in the junior ranks, so I don’t know what I thought his age was. I hadn’t seen him in a long time, or really any of these guys. Vincent is the most recent one. So much talent.
His jumps didn’t look as crisp or strong as I know he can make them, but he was on his feet and never stepped out. The technique just isn’t there to get +’s on grades of execution. But his skating is still one of my favorites to watch. I just hope he gets that moment to really break through. He got that this season when he got 2nd once and won once to get to the final, which was a great achievement in itself. But then he wound up in 5th place with one too many mistakes.
I love seeing him when he celebrates- love that energy.
76.50- which currently puts him in 2nd. Not as strong as the skater before him, but definitely a step in the right direction.

Ok, Vincent is next.
I completely forgot he skated to “Writing’s on the wall”… based on that comment, he had to have done really well.
I didn’t get as rapt up in it as I usually do. It wasn’t as clean and sharp as I’d seen him skate this program. It has been spectacular and jaw-droppingly amazing. I can see why he only got 5th at this point in the competition.
78.87- yeah, that’s still a good score. Just doesn’t put him in 1st place.

Let’s see… I know he got outranked by the two Russians and Brian Orser’s little Korean prodigy. Maybe Alexander Petrov also outranked him in this round… I’ll soon find out.
He’s up next.

He was very strong. Had one jump where he had to move his hands about a bit to make sure he stayed on his feet. The music sounds very familiar- it’s called “Ritual Dance of Fire”- I think it was the music Mao Asada used for her short and long programs this year, but had two different costumes and sets of choreography.
And I forgot he was one of his Mishin’s students… then I remembered how I really hadn’t watched Plushenko perform since I published my latest YouTube montage (should probably check how many views I’m up to- I think I left it with 33). It’s probably a good thing. Don’t want to have him in mind too much while watching these other skaters.
81.29- which puts him in first currently… that’s really good. Not as strong technically as Jun Hwan Cha, but he got a bit more for his components score. That’s the benefit of working with Alexei Mishin, I think.

Yeah, Dmitri is next πŸ˜€ I think the first time I saw him, I didn’t quite get the hype or really hook onto his artistry. But I know that his 2nd grand prix assignment in 2015 was a game-changer- I gotta revisit “Notre Dame de Paris” one of these days. I just gotta remember which city the competition was in. I think, maybe Riga… that year had a lot of former Soviet states in it- Bratislava, Slovokia; Riga, Lativa;.. yeah, I gotta look…
yeah, it was Linz, Austria. I remember that for sure. I know Dmitri just misses getting first in this current event, so I might follow that up with “Notre Dame de Paris” to really embrace that amazing moment all over again.
Going over my old posts, I said that I had no memory of his short program, but he had that Russian greatness in his free skate. He just needed to work on performance and feeling the music… boy has that improved…
now enough delay…
his second jumping pass is a little suspect, not completely clean. But breathtaking artistry and feeling that music. the surefootedness when he nails his jumps.
yeah, he’s amazing.
83.48- his scores are the closest of anyone else’s- only a 6 point difference. really strong. and it’s nice to see him crack a smile when he sees his high score. he’s so serious when he performs, so it’s nice to see him be human and more importantly be 17. The Russians especially are very mature as skaters that personality doesn’t often come out (if they’re not firecrackers on the ice, that is) until they see they’ve scored well.

Up next, let’s see… oh man, three Russians in a row… Alexander Samarin.
I hope next year his short program has this much energy. So much fun to watch, especially when skated well.
at the end of the season, I should revisit his exhibition of a SP performance in Saransk, Russia.
He looks a bit disappointed with that. He started so strong with his first jump. But after some spins and choreography, he had to fight to hold onto his 2nd jump and his combination was a little rough on the 2nd jump- had to fight again. But he really embraced the audience and tried to get them involved, which is great. I hope he continues to work on that aspect, the crowd-interaction because that really makes the performance better.
And it makes him look like the future star he is πŸ˜‰
I think he’ll be a little behind Dmitri in his scores.
82.23- whoa, he’s in 3rd… just a tad below Jun Hwan Cha. If his jumps were sharper, he’d be in 2nd or 1st.
I really hope “Maybe I Maybe You” is a great performance. The last time at the final was off and it made me sad. Just because his performance of it where he… Oh man, I don’t even know if it was the first or second performance of it that really got me excited. More or less saying that he took that music from Plushenko (who used it for only one exhibition ever) and made it his own and I’m going to forever think of him first when I play it on my iPod.
It was the 2nd performance in Slovenia.

Only two more to go after him… which is good for me because I need to put my attention back on The Voice πŸ˜›

ok, Daniel Samohin
I don’t know what is up with him lately… he was such a rock star last season. but this season, his jumps have been awry. He’ll get really high in the air (amazing air he gets), but his feet don’t come down cleanly on the blade. Like he’s forgotten how to land these jumps or just lots of nerves. particularly since he’s starting to do senior competitions now. definitely will get good marks for his performance to the music, but otherwise…
67 even… yeah, he’s gotten 70’s and 80’s before. definitely has done better.

Which just leaves me with Kevin Aymoz, who I hadn’t seen for a really long time.
he’s so small, but he’s the oldest here- 19
I hope he does well. I think he could be the next big star in France’s men’s skating.
OMG… I don’t remember him skating to “Radioactive”… just checked, he did “Halleujah” the last time.
I wonder who does his choreography because it worked so well to this music. The jumps hit right at the right moments in the lyrics… he spun so fast in the step sequences.
Definitely going to be one of those memorable performances for me.
Dang, he’s emotional when he wins and loses. Wiping away some happy tears while coming off the ice. He’s a great artistic skater, but this hip-hop type choreography worked really well for him too. I don’t care how well he winds up doing for the whole competition- give this kid some senior grand prix assignments!
77.24… boo-hiss, that was an 80 point performance! but he’s happy with that as a season’s best. Currently in 6th.

So… let’s see… the rankings for everyone I watched so far.
1. Dmitri Aliev
2. Jun Hwan Cha
3. Alexander Samarin
4. Alexander Petrov
5. Vincent Zhou
6. Kevin Aymoz
8. Alexei Krasnozhon
…and that’s all the video gave me.

I’ll save the free skate video for tomorrow. And everyone is listed except Alexei… and the video of his free skate is nowhere to be found on YouTube 😦 that makes me sad…

anyway, all this for tomorrow.

…it’s tomorrow…
time for the free skates for the junior men.

unfortunately this part of the post will be opening with the epic failure of Daniel Samohin. He’s so much better than he’s shown this season, I swear…

ok, I feel like an idiot… I’m sorry, I heard he didn’t do all that great in this competition. That was a little more epic than fail, but it wasn’t perfect. Very strong on the first sets of jumps, including his high flying quadruple toe loop combination.
But some jumps were sloppy, had swingy landings and he had one fall.
But at the end, the crowd cheered so much for him and in the kiss and cry, he said thank you for supporting me and next season will be better… I certainly hope so.
Final score was 232.63 with a whopping 90 points for his technical score. the components needs a lot of work, but that’s definitely a step in the right direction.
Currently in 1st.

oh man, Dmitri is going last in this group… that might explain why he doesn’t win. the extra nerves.

Vincent Zhou is up first. This should be good.
skating to music from Casablanca
I kept thinking in my head how I really don’t like the choreography, how it’s kinda meh, a lot of skating from one element to the next. But the jumps were strong, nearly all of them. there were some that he had to fight to save. But that final was everything. He struck the final pose at just the first time and he just broke down, face in his hands. He was so happy and it made me so happy for him.
Can’t believe his technical score is over 100. How many freaking quads did he have? πŸ˜›
although that three jump combination, I think the Rippon lutz with the two hands over the head, half loop, triple salchow had a lot to do with it too.
That reaction with the scores was even better. Can’t believe this was a new season’s best when he did so well at Nationals.
258.11, with a 104.66 technical score… the components score is 74.58 and needs a lot of work. But with the right music and program, that’ll come easily.
Just wow…

Kevin Aymoz
it’s nice to see him come off the ice happy with his performance. especially a free skate.
his technical score doesn’t match up with the guys before him because I don’t think he has any quads yet. but I love the sound of his triple axel. the room is just silent (even with the music playing) except for that take-off and solid landing.
He mispicked a jump and had some pops and under rotations afterwards, but he fought back and hit the rest of his jumps. And that emotion, again, is what really pulls me into the performances he gives. And he hit the final pose so strongly, it had me in awe
sadly it’s not the best score at the end
218.63- 67 technical, 73 components. Both marks need work, but he definitely needs all the confidence and good feedback he can get.
I gotta see if he has a Twitter account…

then the two Alexanders are up next

Alexander Petrov
Now that’s what I call a feel-good performance. The technique on the jumps could improve a bit, not as sharp as they could be. But that was just fun to watch. He skated to something by Frank Sinatra, I think.
243.27- 86 technical, 75 components. That’s really good. Too bad the guys doing quads (although he have had one) will grant better scores. But definitely the best I’d seen him, I think.

Alexander Samarin
he’s probably thinking about all the things he could have done better in that performance… I love how he just gives so much of himself to this. If I didn’t already love the music enough, that adds to that.
So he nailed all his jumps, but he had some sketchy landings he had to hold onto. Otherwise, very strong. If Vincent and Dmitri weren’t at the level they’re at here, he could have won this.
245.53- 88/75… yeah, pretty strong marks. Not sure what more he could do for components because with him and this program, they’re at a high level in my opinion.

Ok, two left. And we have to bring up the streak of Russians with Jun Hwan Cha.
I think he and Dmitri are skating to Josh Groban in the free.
Aside from the fall, that was amazing to watch. His skating has just the right touch to match the music. It made the time pass by so fast.
242.45… yeah, it was a strong skate, really well done. But there is work to be done overall. It was great, but not that super high level.
Brian Orser is talking about a spin, it sounds like maybe he lost levels on a spin and that contributed to the lower score.

Dmitri Aliev πŸ˜€
he slipped off the edge on his opening quad… that’s the one thing that’s making the difference between him winning or not.
I mean, whenever he skates well like this, I want so badly for him to win. I feel that way about a handful of skaters- Yuzuru is definitely among them. But yeah… I’ll have to go back and see if he also got second place last year in worlds.
his coach looked so pumped that he got second place and both were so happy.
247.31- 84/79
yeah, Dmitri had the best components score of anyone, but he needs to hone his technique on the jumps some more. today, they didn’t quite hit as they usually do.

But yeah… he’s amazing. I really hope he’s the future of Russian men’s skating. Him and Alexander Samarin deserve that recognition. And Russia could use some new blood in the senior game.

Oh wow… I just looked at the results of last year’s junior worlds.
Dmitri was in 6th place, Vincent 5th and Alexander Samarin 4th… no wonder Dmitri was so happy with silver. I mean, nothing was like his face when he won gold at the grand prix final. That had to have been his proudest moment in his career so far.

But yeah, times have changed quite a bit.
Interesting discussion in the comments… I know I said I should avoid comments, but I got curious. People asked why Jun Hwan Cha got 5th. To a lesser extent, why Dmitri got 2nd over him with a fall on his only quad when Jun Hwan Cha had 2 where he only fell on one. I think age and experience have a little to do with that.
Plus Dmitri feels his music and other skaters need to hone that more.
Kevin Aymoz is the best at that, I think, but he doesn’t have the technical merit to support that.

Just wanted to add- love how Dmitri is so appreciative of his audience and how supportive of him they are. That makes it all worth it in the end.

Nice little interview with Vincent at the end of the video.
It’s nice learning a little more about my favorite skaters.
He said how he was in shock still about winning and how he loves the food at Taipei (when asked about his impressions of the city) and that his parents put him in sports because they couldn’t “contain” him at home πŸ˜› and he developed a personal connection with skating in particular.

At the end of the day, this sport is the best when I have my favorites and I can be just as happy with any one of them winning because I support them that much.

So… tomorrow, I’ll go to work and when I come home, I’ll try to find the uploads of the ladies’ short programs at Worlds… they air here around noon and I’m still at work.
I may be home to see the free skates on Saturday, which will be nice.

LADIES SHORT PROGRAM

Evgenia Medvedeva was the first video to appear on my “recommended” section on my YouTube page, so I had to start with her.
Another perfect performance I really can’t make any additional comment on πŸ˜› except her first combination was extra stunning this time because her second jump in the combination had both hands over her head to up the difficulty.
And she most likely will be in the lead going into the free skate. With her technique and strategy, nobody can top her unless they’re perfect with a triple axel or she makes a mistake. Which I’ve only seen happen maybe twice ever.
79.01- yeah, it kinda boggles my mind that she didn’t get yet another season’s best. I can’t detract anything πŸ˜›

Next in the right hand column is Ashley, so I gotta go to her next. I have 10 people I want to get around to seeing today. Tomorrow will be a little more difficult cuz I have 18 guys I have my eye on.

From my eyes, Ashley nailed it. If you zoomed in on certain jumps, they could possibly be under rotated. Or they simply won’t get pluses on grades of execution. But for the components score, she has to fetch a good enough score to make up for that. At least to keep her in the running for the podium.
69.04… ok, I am PISSED. That was worth at least 70 something points.
she’s currently in 5th place which worries me even more.
Seriously, what more could she have done?! I don’t understand.

I’d go to the comments to see if anyone agrees with me, but people will likely be talking about the order everyone came in and I don’t want to find that out until the end.
I’m hoping she’s one of the last ones that went and that the scores are close together.

Maria Sotskava
she nailed all the jumps and moved well with the music. I just felt no spark. Or any sense of identity on the ice. Ashley and Evgenia know who they are and are good at performing as a result. To me, this felt flat and uninteresting. Beautiful, but forgettable.
69.76- so yeah, these scores are close together. She won out on technical, but Ashley edged her on components.

Gabrielle Daleman
[makes sense- the next girl on the list I’m following is her fellow Canadian Kaetlyn Osmond]

I don’t think I’d seen her in a short program- if I had, it’s been a long time.
Either way, that was amazing. The jumps were big and strong and the skating skills early in the program were cool to watch [kinda trying to find the right adjective and “cool” was the only one that really work].
She’s a contender for sure. Looking ahead, I hope she’s one of the girls Canada sends to the Olympics because I’ve seen sparks of brilliance in her. [Ok, this is only maybe the 2nd spark of brilliance cuz I’d seen her once or twice before].
and Brian Orser’s her coach πŸ˜› I should’ve known that, that technique.
72.19- whoa! she’s in 3rd place… that means someone else scored in the 70’s… and I’m hoping that’s Anna Pogorilaya… but yeah, really well deserved. 39 is a really impressive technical score

Kaetlyn Osmond
yeah, judging from the scoring in the left hand corner, she’s the one in second…
it’s kinda hard to really get behind that after Gabrielle kinda blew me away. that was a well done program, sharp technique on the jumps. But I didn’t like the program choreography and performance as much.
75.98- whoa, that’s high… then I look at Evgenia’s score and she still has a 3 point advantage. Solid technique on the jumps like I said- 41 technical score, but her components are maybe a point or so ahead of Ashley… which again, I don’t understand.

Yeah, the free skate is going to suck… I’m going to be hope for so many girls to fall so Ashley to get a freaking medal. Dammit, she deserves it. Nobody in the US is as good as her. At least not this year.

Anna Pogorilaya
the last two jumps are questionable. She had to fight to land the first and the second… something just looked off.
But that was GREAT. She was so composed and really embraced the music and the crowd was clapping along with her step sequence (then I remember how close Finland is to Russia… maybe homefield advantage…)
That’s gotta fetch a strong score. On components in particular.
at least 75 points. If not, something’s wrong.
71.52- BOO!! this puts her in 4th place… I mean, she can still medal if she has help. The Canadians are both wild cards- not sure how they’ll do in the free skate, I don’t know them well enough to make any predictions.

yeah… better go onto the next skater before I flip out too much more.

Rika Hongo
I accidentally scrolled past some comments while searching for the next video to watch and someone said something like “31 pcs, you gotta be kidding me”…
yeah, she’s had some brilliant performances, but is almost always underscored. This time, she had some issues with her jumps. A bunch of under rotations or something, they didn’t look clean.
Also was a little distracted by the music. “Carmina Burana” is a great piece I know well. But her version of it sounded like a mess. It was a combination of Enya-type vocals with operatic vocals just all over the place. Just took away from a bit for me.
So yeah- 62.55 is pretty low in this given field (plus at the time of skating she was 11th with this).

Karen Chen
she looked as good as she did at Nationals- wow- that was so nice to watch.
I’m sure there’ll be some comments complaining about Tatiana Tarasova talking through most of her program. I’ve seen it before- she’s quiet for the Russians, but talks during other performances. Actually, this is the most I’d heard her in anyone’s performance.
I don’t know much of what she’s saying, but the tone sounds critical or just disapproving.
69.98- she got a really good technical score of 38… but it’s like “even SHE got higher than Ashley”… although her jumps were sharper and smoother.

I had to do a search to find Carolina Kostner.
She had a hiccup going into her final spin, but had a very solid program. Really great jumps and energy on the ice. The kind of energy in Alexei Mishin’s most experienced students πŸ˜‰
I couldn’t read the score on the video cuz it was shot from a phone. But it looks like 68 or 69.33.
Ouch, 66.33- she was so much better than that.
Mariah Bell is 13th overall, which explains why there’s no video of her performance on YouTube.

So I have my eye on the top 8 here.
Unfortunately, Gabrielle Daleman is in 3rd and with 72.19 as her score, she’s the one Ashley Wagner and Karen Chen have standing between them and a medal.

Anna Pogorilaya, I think has the technique and overall skill level to maybe get second place if she’s at her absolute best. And possibly Kaetlyn Osmond has an epic failure of a performance like she had at Four Continents. I was afraid then she was injured because the falls kept adding up.

Everyone I saw today was so good- the worst they got were under rotations. Nobody really fell.

So I guess it’s just waiting for the guys- and I hope the members of the Quad Revolution bring the goods.

Up first… Javier Fernandez…
not quite a member of the Quad Revolution- his most advanced quad is the salchow (which technically is advanced because Plushenko couldn’t master it- that jump and quad lutz led or at least accelerated his back issues)- and the first year I really paid attention to figure skating (i.e. 2014-2015 season), it was the quad everyone was adding to their programs.

But it’s the lutz, flip and loop that make the Quad Revolution what they are.

Javi first.
…dammit, blocked for copyright…

I’m not waiting all night to watch these, so I’m sinking to the low of DailyMotion.com.
All those damn ads slow the videos down- it makes watching figure skating particularly annoying and difficult.
But from what I could see, he had possibly a personal best in addition to a season’s best.
109.05- that’s a point away from Yuzuru’s personal best, I think.
60.79/48.26- yeah, that’s really good. The jumps I had to scroll back over to see properly.

That’s great.
Makes me wonder how everyone else did. He was chasing down a technical 59 something, I think.

If I can get the site to come up again, Yuzuru was the one up next.
and cuz I’m going through Prince’s music chronologically, I can afford to turn the sound off and not listen. That’s something that’ll make the experience a little easier- but he’s the only skater I can do this with.

even without the music- that felt like pulling out teeth, so painful to watch with the video running SO SLOW…
Anyway… from what I could see, Yuzuru nailed everything but the middle jumping pass. It looked like an under rotation (that’s what it’d be classified as, I guess) on his quad salchow and his triple afterwards (with the two hands over the head- that was something different- it looked suspiciously similar to Evgenia’s- I know the two of them are friends). But everything else that I could make out was good.
Anyway… it’s so weird seeing Yuzuru not make 100 points πŸ˜› because he almost always does.
But it’s pretty damn high for that miss on the quad.
98.39- 52.04/47.35

Ok, that’s kinda nuts… Javi got a higher components score… but then again, I couldn’t really see enough of these videos to judge properly.
God, I hope the rest of this post isn’t like this.

And whatever reason, Patrick Chan is the only person (ok, him and Kevin Reynolds), they’re the only ones with videos uploaded.
What the hell is taking everyone else so long?!

And there’s no way Patrick Chan scored over 100 points and is currently leading.
Not with him having… let’s see… I think he had a quad toe-triple combination, triple axel and a solo quad toe loop. Unless he recently made that one a salchow instead.
Either way, he doesn’t have the technical merit to get him over the top.

yeah, just to cool down a bit, I’ll start with Kevin Reynolds.
I swear he is good, but never gets the high scores to compete with the top skaters. Seems like unfair bias to me.
Yeah, it looked like he had two quads he was attempting, but the second (which was solo- the combination was fantastic!) he didn’t get enough air for, so he had to make it a triple jump and his triple axel solid.
I couldn’t help but think he is a transitional skater- he began the quad revolution before it was cool, but his choreography and style is very old school. Like how Americans before Jason Brown skated.
84.44- 48.48/35.96
yeah, that would’ve been great 10 years ago πŸ˜› as I like to often say when someone scores a really good 80 point program.

there’s a video in the corner asking if Patrick Chan’s style can still win…

NO!!! I’m sorry, but not with skaters doing all this bad-ass shiny new quads.
His style is nailing the jumps he loses and relying on components scores- and to me, components scores are buffed by the judges to favor certain skaters.

All I can say, he better give a better performance than at four continents.
There was no light in his eyes and his face was flat. Tara is a huge fan of his and she even said he looked scared or intimidated.

After dinner then…

they’re finally starting to upload videos, but this guy put the damn score and placing in the video description πŸ™„

But I’ll take care of Patrick Chan first so I can stop complaining about him and also because that video is just sitting in my Internet bar without a good video for me to click on afterwards.

[I mean, I could edit all this negativity out, but I kinda like to leave my mistakes in. If I edit anything out, it’s usually unrelated or I just go too long on something else]

and apparently Boyang Jin is in 4th place… considering that the quad revolution has 4 members… and Javier Fernandez scored over 100 and Yuzuru did not… that doesn’t sound good for somebody…

ok, enough distractions…
so… he nailed all the jumps. his best is a quadruple toe loop-triple combination. I still think 17 points for that is a bit much.
Anyway, he had a triple axel and triple lutz… at least Javi tries two quads in his short program.
And the technical score isn’t quite up there as a result.
…he broke 100… WTF… he’s never broken 100 before
just the way this is shot, though, I can’t really give a good judgement on components scores because it wasn’t close enough to see if his face was engaging with the music or not
102.13- 54.11/48.02
…I’m sorry, but he’s just so boring for me to watch… and with only quad, it’s not just exciting.
He’s in 3rd behind Javi, which means there’s someone else who broke 100.
And it’s GOTTA be Nathan Chen. Just have this gut feeling.

Which means that this is going to come down to the free skate. Yuzuru, Boyang and Nathan all have at least 4 quads in their free skates. Patrick Chan has three- he can’t beat that. There’s just no way.

Yeah… I can hear it now… I’m going to be labeled as the figure skating blogger who hates Patrick Chan πŸ™„ but I made this bed, so I’m sleeping in it.
My point is that the quad revolution by virtue of their added technical difficulty should have a lack on the top 4 spots. Unfortunately Boyang doesn’t that components score yet, but he keeps working on it each time I see him.

So he’ll be next… so far the only video uploaded…
[hate to say it, but Patrick Chan’s score is exactly where it should be. Hit all the jumps and all the elements seemed in place. And admittedly, I don’t care for Javi’s short program either. Especially since it’s the same as last year’s, but with a boring costume].

Boyang Jin [sometimes in my head, I think of him as Jin Boyang… not sure which is the proper way to go about it]

Figure skating really makes me appreciate all the amateur YouTubers out there recording videos on their phones and posting them.
Not always the best quality, but every now and then, they are well done.
This guy had a really good seat from high up so he could see everything. He was really into it, calling out the jumps and cheering him on.
Yeah, the score was 98.64.
Which makes sense considering everything. He started with a whopping quad lutz-triple combination with a solid triple axel, later a quad toe in the 2nd half.
The only criticism I have is his choreography has too many times where he’s running from one element to the next.
So the 4th place makes sense… I don’t like it, but I accept it for sure.

And so far he’s the only other video uploaded… this stinks… what’s taking so damn long?

and Boyang scored higher than Yuzuru… WTF?!

Yeah, this is going to be one of those competitions…
and I hate that. Wanting someone to fail so my favorites can win.

Ultimately, I guess I just don’t want Patrick Chan to win a 4th world title because Plushenko has three and he’s still better than him in every aspect [except the fact he couldn’t do a quad salchow]… I don’t care what anyone says.
Yuzuru and Javier Fernandez… even Shoma actually… are the only skaters able to put together the strong jumps and the entertainment factor the way he did. Nathan Chen and Boyang Jin are still working on that. Still need…
oh…

I wonder if Nathan Chen, possibly, was one of the last to go and maybe he’s leading right now.
Shoma could be the guy between Javi and Patrick Chan for all I know…

I don’t know! YouTube needs to upload these videos before I lose my goddam mind [although some might argue I already lost it]
my gut is that Nathan Chen is sandwiched between the non-members of the revolution… which makes me worry about Shoma. He had such a hard time at Worlds last year and I really want him to get that bit of redemption.

Mikhail Kolyada is the next video uploaded… and he’s in 7th place with 93.28
A really good score (heck, 90+ is the benchmark everyone should be trying to hit)
But then that brings me back to something I really should have been praying for alongside all the members of the Quad Revolution (and Javier Fernandez) being safe in training and not attaining any injuries…

PLEASE let the Russians finish in the top 10- or at least higher than 15 and 17 as what happened before Sochi.
They cannot risk only sending one man to the Olympics again.

Denis Ten just got uploaded, but first things first…

Mikhail did really good… quad toe-triple, triple axel and lutz… same jumps as Patrick Chan. But maybe not to that same technical degree of greatness.
But with his skating skills and performance-wise, I have a good sense of how he is with this program and I’m mildly entertained. Not super memorable, but at least memorable in a good way.

Denis Ten- 90.18… that sounds not so good for him.
and that’s all for now, it looks like, with the uploads.
He did good.
The only thing taking away from his score… two things… he missed the first combination and put it on his second jump, a lutz. Then his triple axel looked like he had to fight for the landing.
He skated to a mixture of some classical pieces, one from the Nutcracker and another I heard Vanessa Mae do a revamped version of. But instead of her take, it started to do a breakdown almost like a dance track and the crowd was clapping along and enjoying it.
Good, but not great in this particular field. He is in 9th place.

After taking a shower, one more showed up- Alexei Bychenko.
He got 85.28… which says to me he tried a quad and fell.
At this point, you get something in the 80’s, something’s not quite right.
…yeah, these judges suck…
ok, seriously- he started with a triple axel, then did a quadruple toe loop. later he did a (if Enrique- the guy uploading these videos- is right) he did a triple flip, toe loop combination in the 2nd half.
And he just sold the program with the footwork. Really entertaining and fun.
But yeah, his jumps aren’t world class on the landings. At least not getting +’s on grade of execution.
Man, I can’t believe how damn tight this sport is now. Your placement isn’t hitting the elements. But if you swing on the landing of a triple axel, you won’t get as much credit.
Alexei’s in 11th place.

Nathan didn’t break 100?! Then who did? Who’s left to break 100 to get in between the two non-quad revolution guys?
I’m searching my memory if Shoma ever scored over 100… I’d go nuts if he did. That’d be really impressive.
Even worse- he’s in 6th place with 97.33… just how?! These judges must be drunk. There’s no way.

…uh… he fell… ok, that’s embarrassing… for me, I mean.
I accuse the judges of being drunk, but apparently I am… I only had one glass of wine with dinner and that was hours ago.
I’m drunk on quad revolution bias. and running on anti-Patrick Chan fumes.

Shoma’s the wild card, then. I can’t think of anyone else who could break 100.
[if it was Maxim Kovtun, I’d have to do something drastic like eat my shoe… I’d be super proud of him of course, but I’d be out of my mind that he chose now to peak… highly unlikely, but of course I can dream]
It’s probably Shoma because he’s mentioned in this video with Javi and Patrick Chan for a press conference…the question is what his score will be.
somewhere between 102 and 106… I know Shoma has a quad flip. I just don’t know off the top of my head what the other two jumps are. maybe a toe loop combination and a triple axel.

Okay, Enrique just uploaded the warm-up of the final group.
And in it are most of the skaters I’d watched already.
ok, half… I need to see Shoma, Jason Brown and Maxim Kovtun

let’s see… just figuring out what the standings are.

1. Javier Fernandez
2. Shoma Uno
3. Patrick Chan
4. Boyang Jin
5. Yuzuru Hanyu
6. Nathan Chen
7. Mikhail Kolyada
9. Denis Ten
11. Alexei Bychenko

…it’d be great if Mikhail stayed in this position after the free skate. Then Russia will have a better chance at getting 2 spots for the Olympics.
Of course it depends on Maxim Kovtun. If he can finish higher than 15th, that’d be a plus. But the goal would be in 11th or higher.
If he wants another chance of being the guy Russia sends to the Olympics, he needs to really fight for it.

Unfortunately I’m going to have to wait a while. Yuzuru is the next that’ll be loaded and I don’t want to watch or listen to that again.
Jason and Max are the last two skaters in the group, which means the videos might not go up until after 11pm. It’s currently 9:15. πŸ™„ this just hasn’t been my night… or my competition for that matter.

The only plus I got out of this- other than Shoma being 2nd… I got to see half of the skaters I wanted to.
unfortunately people like Daniel Samohin and Julian Zhi Jie Vee and Deniss Vasiljevs will get lost because they aren’t in the top 10 or 15 in all likelihood.

I’m still not going to google the results. I want to see them as they come in one video at a time.
…the video of the warm-up went up almost an hour ago… I hope he didn’t get halted in the uploads because Yuzuru had Prince music on his and that immediately hits firewalls on YouTube.

oh… there’s a video under Shoma’s search results. The title’s all in Japanese, but the numbers 104.86 stand out… and that’s exactly where I expected him to be- right between the non-quad revolution guys…
I gotta find a shorter identifier for those guys.

But if the Quad Revolution is to be believed or taken seriously, the medalists need to be Yuzuru, Shoma and Nathan- just as they were at the Grand Prix Final and Four Continents… I don’t care what order as long as they’re skating at their best.

Side-note: my latest Plushenko montage is up to 35 views… I don’t know how many of those were since the last time I checked…
but I really should watch a couple of his videos after I’m done with all this.
I think I’m waiting until my taxes are done. I’d been stressing out over that so much.
I do date entry for a local tax company and tax season still makes me nervous when it comes to doing my own.

I’m convinced that working on that last montage broke me… like I haven’t really watched him since.
Actually I’d barely watched him this winter compared to the last two. But it might be a plus- getting that separation.
Doesn’t mean I still don’t think he’s the best and nobody can touch him.

Ok, so Deniss Vasiljevis got his video uploaded before anyone in the final group… interesting…
guess I’ll watch it. He was in the 18 I wanted to see.

fujitv_official is the bane of my freaking YouTube existence… every one of the videos that didn’t work for me, it’s because of them… all because they’re probably one of the sponsers scrawled on the sides of the ice rink.

I guess I’ll have to call it a night… dammit, I really wanted to see Shoma before the day turned over.
Now I’ve got more to deal with tomorrow. I might have to skip happy hour tomorrow to go through all these videos [and it has nothing to do with my “drunk” commentary earlier]…

I hope the Quad Revolution makes more of a statement in the free skates. It shouldn’t be this way…

it’s free skate day!! Saturday!

and it might be Misha’s last ever performance.

243.45- that’s what Terry said his total score was.
That has to be his best score ever. And he did it, I think, without any quads.
It was a very careful, paced performance. He made sure to hit all his jumps. Then when he hit the last, he fist pumped and let himself loose on the ice. The crowd started to really cheer then.
The emotion was clear when he finished. Hands shaking, cupped together as if to say “thank you God” and he kissed the ice rather enthusiastically.
After this is all over, I’ll have to send him a congratulatory tweet.

I’d feared spoilers so much that I haven’t Googled this competition or gone on Twitter at all.

Maxim Kovtun is up first- and he’s currently in 10th place. That’s really good for him. Even better if he gives a solid performance.
I just want Russia to finish well in this. they don’t have to necessarily win for me to be happy.
He doubled his quad toe and doubled a tripe loop. But one of the best skates I’ve seen him give easily. I mean, I read a press conference Patrick Chan gave before worlds and it made me realize that I don’t like his style, but he is true to it. He’s willing to add quads if that’s what he takes, but I have to respect what he brings to the sport.
Max isn’t great with the artistry or performance. Especially the performance- he always looks scared and out of breath out there.
Then Johnny, Tara and Terry were talking about Plushenko being the last time Russia won this competition- and saying that he’s officially retired and the sport wouldn’t be what it is without him.
Well, the Quad Revolution wouldn’t be here without him. I know that much.
But my whole body was on fire so much when they were talking about him and I was so depressed hearing that (despite the fact I probably knew that and I freaking told him to not compete with these guys anymore because it’ll be too much for his body to take)… I couldn’t focus on the rest of it.
245.84- 77.60/78.86- he’s in 1st place at the moment.

Alexei Bychenko is skating- but there’s too much discussion around me for really focus.
It sounds like Anna Pogorilaya- if my parents’ descriptions were right- had a complete meltdown… that’s going to freaking kill me to watch if it really is her.
But anyway- he had two quads to start- he stepped out of the first and just tacked a single on top of it. Then a solid second. From what I saw, through all the discussion, he was good all-around.

And Terry said that to earn three spots on the Olympic team, the total rankings must be 13 or less.

Yeah, I’d like Mikhail Kolyada to skate well and challenge for a 3rd place podium position- although highly likely at this point… but my goal for Russia is for them to earn 2 spots for the Olympics.

245.96- 84.26/76.42… sounds like he scores 2 spots for Israel at the Olympics with that.
he’s in the top 10 it sounds like… which means Max is in 11th. Way better than 15th or 17th for sure.

Kevin Reynolds
yeah- the guys in the booth were talking about him being the first to do two quads in the short program and quote “he’s responsible for all this”
…well, ok, Plushenko said that an Olympic champion must have a quad and pushed for more quads in the sport- or at least for them to be commonplace and you’re rewarded for attempting them and not penalizing as much for missing them.
But Kevin Reynolds was the first to physically trigger the Quad Revolution.

and speaking for that, I think he hit 3 quads. Maybe had a 4th in the second half. He had scratchy landings on some jumps, so he might get penalizing for that. His components score won’t be as high as Patrick Chan for sure. but it’s good to see his reaction at the end- doing a celebratory uppercut.
253.84- 91.06/78.34
yeah, he did really well. Best I’d seen him maybe ever.

Mikhail Kolyada- the crowd’s prime for him- maybe because Russia is so close to Finland.
Just do a clean skate is all I ask.
It was a very up and down rollercoaster of a program. he tried a quad lutz and fell after three rotations and popped a triple axel into a single. And he hit a chip on the ice during a step sequence that broke it up a bit. He looked nervous.
And Johnny, Tara and Terry were just doing another Plushenko love-fest commentary. Saying how everyone’s trying to live up to that legacy, trying to find that star male skater, the junior men doing well at worlds, etc.

This just makes me wish Plushenko was here in the audience and the camera could cut to him. But I really should find time to just watch him again- it’s been ages.

And also interesting to hear how Mikhail is still with the same coach from back when he skated with a group- whereas most skaters move on to Alexei Mishin or Tatiana Tarasova
257.47- 82.49/82.70- currently 1st… they’re saying how he may possibly earn 3 spots for Russia depending on everyone else.

Jason Brown
His quad was just short of being fully rotated, but a good attempt in my view.
It was a nice skate overall. Very smooth edges and such. I just find that music so boring that I can’t fully get excited about it.
269.57- 88.27/89.20- I think that put him in 1st.
If anyone can reach a 100 point components score, he’s one of them. It’s just a matter of when.

Denis Ten
that was up and down… and Johnny was talking about how his living situation has contributed to that. He’s lived on both coasts of the US, worked with different coaches, so he’s not in a place long enough to really get comfortable.
He’s skating to Tosca- which I completely forgot about- and by the end of it, they were saying how he looks lost and is skating to a style that isn’t his.
I mean, I am pretty critical of anyone when they skate to Tosca, especially when they don’t live up to the majesty of it.
It’s a great arrangement for a free skate- I just didn’t like the middle where the tenor starts singing. If I had my way
231.31- 65.79/80.34- he’s in 10th place
kinda sad… I know he’s better than this. He had two feet on his first quad and had a couple falls and another two foot landing.

Nathan Chen apparently has been having boot issues… maybe that’s why he fell on that triple axel- who knows…

But as it is…
I think Mikhail is currently in 2nd and Maxim Kovtun is 5th…
as it is, the worst combined total possible in this is 8+11= 18… which I think will earn 2 spots for Russia’s men.

It’s hard to judge from the warm-up how well everyone is. Yuzuru had what looked like a bad fall on a triple axel, but I hope that’s just nerves.

Oh god, he’s up first…
HE NAILED EVERY JUMP- 4 quads- loop, salchow (solo and in combination) and toe loop. triple axel with a maybe a double loop, triple axel, half loop and triple salchow, and two other.
very solid all around- as Johnny might say on another day “not an eyelash was out of place”
his technical score was over 125… I was floored, I couldn’t believe it.
And this is going to REALLY put pressure on the skaters to follow.
I know Nathan Chen is pretty good with the nerves- he beat Yuzuru last competition with 6 quads.
Yuzuru has to freaking win this, without question. Nobody should be able to beat that. Not just from points, but for anyone else to win wouldn’t just be fair.
126.12/97.08- 321.59- I think his world record was over 330… but yeah…

Nathan Chen was feeling the pressure… plus the boot issues was clearly weighing on his mind
290.72- 110.61/84.78- he’s in 2nd

yeah, my brain is still fried after what Yuzuru did.

Anyway, Nathan fell twice and had a mixed bag of quads. He had 6, but not all of them were good. It was hard to watch, but he also didn’t let himself get down about it. He just went over through it. But his components side definitely suffered from that inconsistency. He just doesn’t quite hate that yet. Johnny said he’s taken ballet, so he has the artistry, but it doesn’t always come out.

Boyang Jin
and the Quad Revolution is back on track… he nailed all his quad and his jumps were all good. And he gave a good performance. But I couldn’t really get into it because my mind is burning so much for Yuzuru to win
118.94/86- 204.94- 2nd place…

Patrick Chan… ok, here we go… he needs, I think, 20 points over his personal best to be in the lead.
and after falling on his 3rd quad (a toe loop in the 2nd half) and putting a hand down on one jump… yeah, he’s not going to win.
Overall, it was good, though and he moved well to his music- which is an original composition by a pairs skater, I think they said.
Nothing buffed your program quite like skating to an original composition πŸ˜‰
at this point, his technical score is 103… I think he needed to get a 100 point components score to get in the lead.
295.16- 98.11/94.92- he’s currently in 3rd.

Shoma Uno- I didn’t get to see his short program, so I hope this is good enough for a podium position… I’d love a Quad Revolution top three πŸ˜‰
woof… his technical score currently is more than 120
His components score will take a few hits from a silly mistake on a triple lutz and one or two jumps where he had to fight for the landing. But he gave a performance overall he can be proud of and clearly is.
He has a 6 point advantage over Yuzuru going into this… I think this will give him 2nd place.
I imagine he’ll get an 89 point components score… I think he’ll bring 300 at least with this.
319.31- 120.03/94.42- he joined the 300 club πŸ˜› good job, Shoma!

Javier Fernandez- sorry, Javi, I need you to make a couple mistakes πŸ˜›
he needs to score 212, 10 points over his personal best to win
…I’m so sorry, Javi- I said a couple, but that was more than few mistakes. He had a fall or two, a few under rotations and silly mistakes.
And really, I tuned out a bit after a while. He didn’t convince me that he deserved to win.
Terry gave a sick burn-
301.19- 98.62/94.52… ouch, he fell all the way down to 4th place.

They interviewed Nathan Chen afterwards and he said he was in his zone and since he was talking about it being a long season, maybe he just ran out of steam.
I would have liked to see Yuzuru interviewed or at least his reaction when he found out he won… maybe YouTube will have something for me…

but yay! I got my Quad Revolution podium finish
Yuzuru, Shoma and Jin Boyang

Even better, Russia got 2 Olympic spots (YAY!!!) along with Israel, Spain, and Canada. I think because of the 6th and 7th place finishes for the US, they got three spots for the men, which is great.

I got my wish, which makes this even better…

and now a break until the women’s free skate tonight.

It’s tonight.

And Ashley’s up first…. oh man, I hope she does good.
193.54- 56.33/68.17- she’s in 2nd place at the moment…
I mean, her only mistake was her triple-triple combination where she only got a single jump at the end of her triple.
Johnny and Tara were really hard on her, though. Saying how tight she was in her jumps and how she was not invested in this program.
For me, it felt very smooth. Maybe an under rotation or two. But she kept her composure for the whole of it. I liked it a lot, but I’m practically in love with Ashley. One of my favorite female skaters- maybe- my favorite to watch overall.
At the end of the day, three spots for us would be great on the women’s side. But I’d be ok if we only got 2. Anything’s better than one.
Who she’s behind, though- I have no idea…
it sounds like we’ll see the top 8 and the last of them was Carolina Kostner in 8th place.

Karen Chen is up next.
She was so solid until the final two jumps- her triple lutz and double axel… you could argue some rotations on some jumps. But definitely better than Four Continents- but Johnny and Tara were also hard on her towards the end there.
Supposedly she needs to get 5th place to secure 3 places for us for the Olympics.
Everytime I see The Olympics, I can’t believe it πŸ˜› it’s almost here… and Plushenko won’t be there, which makes me sad, because that’s why I’d been looking so forward to the next Olympics. But it’s best that he doesn’t. I mean, he doesn’t even have a consistent quadruple toe loop anymore. And it wouldn’t be right, even for him, to win a competition skating clean against the Quad Revolution who nailed 3-5 quads in a program.
199.29- 69.98/64.33- she’s currently in 1st and we officially have 3 spots- yeah! πŸ˜€

I think they said Evgenia is up next.
I really think she should try to add a triple axel sometime. She’s talking about doing a quad salchow… but I’d like to see her try some harder jumps because I genuinely think she can do them. She’s just so good at this.
Yeah, I really can’t say or add anything about this particular program.
This is the first time I’ll be seeing a back-to-back world champion… Julia and Elizaveta both won the world title, but I hadn’t seen anyone do it back to back in the time I’d seriously been watching this since Sochi.
233.41- 78.27/76.13- she got a record free skate and total score… wow. And she’s so happy. And the first one to win back to back world championships since Irina Slutskaya (#TeamSnowKing πŸ˜‰ still want to see Plushenko’s full “Snow King” show)

Gabrielle Daleman is skating to “Rhapsody in Blue” and wearing a similarly colored costume to what Evgenia had last season with a really beautiful free skate I absolutely loved.
She did so good! πŸ˜€ I’m so happy for her. Only mistake was on the last jumping pass- triple lutz, double axel where the second jump was tough on her. But overall- so strong, fluid and beautiful… she had her face in her hands afterwards, couldn’t believe she did it.
213.52- 71.73/69.60- she’s in 2nd right now- and that’s all I figured she’d get. But really well done. Can’t wait to see her at the next Olympics… hopefully

Kaetlyn Osmond
She had some small mistakes- one combination where she had to fight for the 2nd jump and she doubled a triple jump. Not perfect, but strong overall.

And the way they’re talking, it doesn’t sound like they’ll be showing Anna Pogorilaya’s meltdown… that this will be the last skater we see from the ladies’ tonight.
Just doesn’t seem fair that they’re showing the men’s event twice in the same day. I mean, it’d be great to appreciate some of the post-Yuzuru programs, but I don’t want deja vu the same day only a few hours later. What’s even the point of showing it earlier if you’re just going to repeat it later?
218.13- 70.21/71.94… ah, boo… I liked Gabrielle so much better than her… Gabrielle should have gotten silver.
first time since Michelle Kwan, Evgenia won back-to-back worlds.

Ashley got 7th. She’s being interviewed now.
She sounds so discouraged and saying Karen Chen was awesome for getting us three spots for the Olympics.
I need to send a tweet out to her to say she was awesome anyway.

And this is finally it.

It turned out to be a great competition. Not so much for Team USA, but I’m happy with the results. So happy Yuzuru got back on top and Russia got three spots for the men in the Olympics.
I just hope Nathan Chen and Ashley don’t take this too hard and they’re able to push forward for a great Olympic season in a few months…

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Vanity 6/peach and black review

So yeah, I’m writing this on my phone on my lunch break on a Friday. It’s been a long week. But thanks to all these guys (and girls) this Friday hasn’t been so bad aside from the fact it’s raining.

So I’ll start in saying that I’d heard this album three times this week and this is my second time listening to the podcast.

Work is busy but it’s gotten so monotonous lately I need this just for my sanity. I don’t always have days like this either.

And it may be surprising for me to say I’m not sick of the music yet. It’s thanks to my fellow purple knight I have this music. I expressed interest in it and he sent me mp3s. But it wasn’t because it was just another Prince project. The whole vanity/apollonia 6 thing plus the movie Sucker Punch inspired a story I’m writing about girls who dance at a bar- more like hot sizzling Latin dances to songs by female artists. And it’s set in a poor neighborhood where some have to sell themselves to pay rent and such. It’s all very complex and I don’t have the time to go into it all. But lots of music by Britney Spears and Lady Gaga and one Nelly Furtado album inspired much of it. And I actually had the epiphany for this story while listening to “sex shooter.” I guess there’s also a lot of Purple Rain influence too. Particularly the club setting and how they use the songs and the rivalry aspect.

Now I’m way off track…

I wanted this music for inspirational reasons but it’s all about the vibe and mindset. Nothing specific will come into my story.

Anyway I listened to this music a lot in the first month or so I had it. And then I gave it up for a month along with all my Prince music in January.

Just saying it’s kinda weird I get sick of Prince’s album (I know, god forbid right?) after maybe the 3rd listen in the span of this week but this hasn’t gotten old.

Maybe I’ll figure it out.

I also thought I’d write this to do something positive. My post on the figure skating world championships isn’t going well… I had issues with YouTube not uploading videos fast enough plus the results aren’t exactly in my personal interest.

Anyway great podcast by peach and black yet again. I knew it’d be a good time and everyone would be tripping over lyrics and laughing until they couldn’t breathe. There was a time that captain actually questioned himself “what’s going on in my brain?”
I think it’s become so addled cuz his head isn’t blowing off and with everyone laughing their heads off, all that energy is just backing up and weird shit happens.
It was another classic peach and black moment. (That comment is during “makeup”- a track I actually like but nearly everyone except Toejam is hard on- something about putting on clown makeup to go kill people… like what? I’m at work listening to this in my earbuds and I cover my mouth so tight to keep anything from coming out. Some people here already think I’m kinda weird cuz I don’t say much. I feel self conscious about that but Prince was cool being the silent type- wtf is my problem?)

Another long random rant- my apologies.

There was a crazy moment at the end over the last song.

MC had another “Annie Christian” moment where he said the track was good and they went crazy and everyone cried foul. (Ok maybe not the same thing)

I listened to it today for the first time since the first time- I still don’t like it.

Mostly cuz it bothers me so much that it sounds like the melody from “kiss me deadly” by Lita Ford even though that second song came years later. And the one part of the chorus I can pick out besides the title goes something like “fall for the mailman’s tricks”… what the hell is that supposed to mean? Is it a precursor of that Pop Life lyric “is the mailman jerking you around? Did he put your million dollar check in someone else’s box?”… I don’t know. It’s just meh lyrics.

Captain read off another of his famous rants that he prepared before hearing the song for the first time in years. Saying stuff like “the obligatory sleepy ballad” and “can’t we end the show on a more positive note?”

Then he turned around and said he had trouble getting the melody out of his head and the song did its job to make it memorable- kinda like all those annoying jingles.

It was funny how the guys kept saying the music on some tracks sounded like cheesy 80s game show music or sitcom stuff.

Like “he’s so dull” toejam said something like that would come on when the main character enters a room and this could be the backdrop for a show where vanity is the wife married to some nerdy guy. Captain added to that saying “that’s how all 80s tv shows start- someone walks through a door” and how he wanted toejam’s idea to be real so he could watch it.

Well I know for a fact that captain loves that show “the goldbergs”- I mentioned it on twitter once or twice and he replied to me which is cool. It makes sense now. Plus him liking this album cuz it’s poppy and he loved pop.

Then they got to “(if a girl answers) don’t hang up” and he said it was his favorite on the album, the comedy is even better than the “super-pop”

Yeah that song had a fun discussion. It got kinda controversial when toejam said what I thought all along- that Prince was playing the gay guy lover. Then player and mc challenged him saying how they thought Prince was playing a female role.

When Brenda calls the character “you one ugly cow”- I can see that. But I still picture gay guy. I think in the live concert footage I saw on YouTube Morris day played that part. I gotta watch it again after all this.

They said how it’s good once but the joke stops being funny after several times. Me I still find it funny but I still have to look up the lyrics cuz one or two words are lost to me during the “Brenda intervention” segment.

Toejam also revealed the origin of his name and funny enough it connects to something in this song. The phone that rings in this song- it reminds him of an old video game Toejam and Earl where the phone rings and you have to find the next part of the map.

No joke- I type toejam into google and “toejam and earl” is the first result.

I’m still waiting to hear the origin of captain’s name. I’m betting its from the lyric “this is your captain with no name speaking”.

But it might not be Prince related. Toejam’s certainly wasn’t.

Actually I don’t think any of them has a Prince derived moniker. Mine (DreamyPopRoyalty) is inspired by Prince but not derived from any of his music or quotes.

What else… two songs had captain cringing from the title. Like the song but hate the title.

Bite the beat- the first time I listened this week I started to think about what it could mean. And it is nasty. It’s so playful and tactfully done though that it doesn’t bother me so much.

I’ve said many times how Prince more or less was my sexual education. And 50 shades added to that so now I hear some s&m stuff in his music. Whether or not he practiced bondage and all that- I don’t know. I also wonder but also afraid to say/ask on twitter somewhere if he really made those kinds of sex noises in bed like he did in “do me baby”. Like if he ever went that high in his voice… yeah the vision in my head really starts to blur when I contemplate any of that. But Prince laid so many girls in his life- he HAD to have been good in bed.

Now I’m off topic. I think my point of all that was the guys saying how Prince tested the waters with these side projects about how much he could get away with on the explicit front. It’s an interesting point I may have reached in several years on my own.

What they may have missed- nasty girl was a song along with darling Nikki that was on tipper gore’s hit list of filthy songs.

It was funny how they spent so long on the intro and maybe 15-20 minutes on the first song. It always happens.

But it’s great to have one of those dying laughing moments. Captain has the best laugh (even in the background it’s easy to pick up) but it’s also great hearing the guys crack themselves up so bad that it takes 2 minutes for them regain composure.

This was during “wet dream” and (yeah captain again) says “there’s a hooker in your bed and she’s got no head”… just came out of nowhere like that clown makeup thing.

Toejam had a great moment where he was talking about “he’s so dull” and how the lyrics are about the guy reading science magazines and “sometimes I think they’re talking about me”. Today I actually rewound that song a bit to find the lyric and I somehow got just before it. I never heard that lyric before so when they mentioned it twice in the podcast I’m like I gotta find this.

And mc had this comment that has another hilarious moment. Just the way he phrased it captain called him on it “you sound like you’re going to a commercial break”. And mc ran with it doing his best announcer voice “and after the weather…”

It’s the accent. It’s all about the accent with these guys. That’s what makes listening to them extra entertaining.

Oh and captain said “explain it all, Clarissa” when mc was going to do his discussion on 3×2=6

I didn’t watch that show much (or any non-cartoon nickelodeon shows for that matter) but I’d seen Melissa Joan hart in a couple things because of that nostalgia I never got to really experience. If I saw it all, I don’t remember much.

I guess I should do my own discussion on the album. I can’t rate this on my scale cuz it’s a protege project. But it’s kinda nuts to hear this in the context of Prince’s music. From Controversy it sounds like such a huge leap in that Purple Rain direction. It’s crazy.

Yeah I like all the songs a lot and don’t skip any. I just don’t bother with the last one. I hear nasty girl in Beverly Hills cop and can’t help moving and grooving to it. The music is so great here. I also really like the music in “drive me wild” and “makeup.” It’s that 1999 sound. In “drive me wild” I swear some of the music reminds me of the b-side “girl”- I hadn’t heard it in YEARS. Maybe 10 years actually. It was among the first bootlegs I got. I wonder how it’ll come off to me now. Now that my mind is a little dirtier and not as naive…could be interesting. And I mean that in a good way. Maybe too good that I can’t share it here but also don’t read too much into that.

When it was mentioned that “he’s so dull” was in the Vacation movie- I remember seeing it in the last year and picking it out and being excited at that surprise.

I used that phrase as Phillip Phillips’s identifier on American idol. Zero charisma and he still won. But I take comfort in the fact Colton Dixon is more successful although only in that small circle of Christian artists.

Anyway- cut out a major rant relating to my world championship entry and bringing this to a close.

I think next thing I ought to just do a section under the title “Funny Things Captain Says”…
seriously, it’s gotten to a point where I’m either coming off as an fangirl or a creep… he’s easily the most quotable of the bunch.

I already heard the podcast about The Time’s first albums on Peach and Black, but I’ll go through it again for next week when I go back to “what time is it?”
I like to play that album on the way home from work because they’re just a good way to end the day.
I still can’t believe I picked that album up by chance.
I was with a friend in my animΓ© club and we were on our way to see the “Twilight” midnight showing with our animΓ© club, we had to kill time and we went to Circuit City and I found the album there and bought it.
I haven’t seen this album since then… but easily one of the best purchases I made from them ever.
The second best was getting both Beverly Hills Cop movies (I know they’re three, but I only saw the first two at that point- I saw the third a few years later and it wasn’t great).

Anyway… I may not do a blog for The Time…can’t guarantee it anyway… but definitely will be back for 1999.
That’s going to be mind-blowing, coming back to that after a bunch of months, but it’ll be difficult. One of those albums I listened to after Prince died- and “Little Red Corvette” certainly didn’t make things easier- being the song that was on when I got the news about his death…

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Prince Album #4: Controversy

Some early comments…
I try not to go into doing these entries until I’d listened to the album at least twice.
I listened to it once so far and it was Friday (it’s currently Sunday).
And maybe it’s because I hadn’t listened to Prince at all for about a week and this blizzard we had messed with all our heads and schedules a bit…

What I’m getting at is that listening to “Controversy” felt like a [pardon the language] mindfuck… like he was really messing with my head and I didn’t mind it.
People who’d worked with Prince in the past have said that he creates this whole world around him and sometimes you need to come up for air.

Pretty much my mindset was: with this album, had it been a success, Prince could have become an amazing cult artist or the leader of some weird cult.
Songs like “Controversy,” “Sexuality” and “Annie Christian” in particular… and maybe “Ronnie talk to Russia” to another extent.
They don’t feel like songs written by the Prince who’ve gotten to know over the first three albums. It’s like after the fallout or reaction (however you want to look at it) of “Dirty Mind,” he decided to transform himself into an artist people have no choice but to talk about.

I mean, I could go on about how authentic this album is to him as a person… but at the end of the day, I don’t mind getting lost in the fantasy or whatever you call it that the album presents.

Going through my records, I hadn’t blogged about it since 2011. So I really hadn’t listened to much of it in a REALLY long time. Which would kinda explain why it hit me so hard that it blew my head out of my skull and warped my mind a bit. It’s also best to wait for another listen before I actually do the track by track discussion.

My usual comments before the actual discussion…

Matt Thorne’s book didn’t have a lot about this album as far as revelations, but he did say that while it’s an important album and notable one in his career, it’s not exactly memorable. Which I can understand with some of the tracks. They’re timely, but in the whole “Prince canon” (as some guys at Peach & Black like to say sometimes), most get forgotten about.
That’s certainly not as blasphemous as saying Purple Rain is an overrated album… anyone who says that is crazy (I mean, I don’t want to full out say it’s his best album because it’s what everyone who doesn’t know Prince all that well automatically recalls).
And he also says “Private Joy” strikes him as creepy… which I guess you could pick up from the lyrics… for me, it feels a bit reaching. As does him saying the lyrics “do you want to play” (in “Controversy”) and “Let’s Work” contradict each other… I never thought of “Let’s work” being about “work” as we all assume.

As for the live performances… I know “Controversy” got a lot of play over the years. “Sexuality” did for a time (ok, not as much as I thought) and later got changed to “Spirituality”… meh… he should have just retired the song because the alternative just doesn’t make sense.

“Private Joy” was the last recorded for the album and the first at Sunset Sound- that’s pretty notable.
“Do me baby” was recorded at the home studio (although it says it’s unverified it was there or in California or both… but it definitely sounds like home studio quality with the piano… love that piano). Oh wow… he performed it at one of his last concerts… probably not much of it, but that’s pretty special. Every time I find out he performed certain songs at his last concerts… I have to stop and take pause and take that in for a bit. That got lots of play, this song.
Because Andre Cymone’s name is attached to it, I do wonder how much of the song is his and how much is Prince’s. I’m sure the spoken dialogue is all Prince’s doing- something he did to make the song his own- and it really started a trend with his ballads.

My gut says… most of these other songs (other than “Let’s Work”) didn’t get a lot of play outside of this part of the 80’s.
“Ronnie talk to Russia”- never… “Annie Christian”- a couple times in that part of the 80’s. “Jack U Off” was supposedly part of that set where Prince and his band was booed off the stage when they opened for the Rolling Stones, but oddly was played at this tour and Lovesexy… say what….
“let’s work”- definitely got plenty of play live…

Man, I looked so forward to listening to it again… and I wasn’t disappointed at all… it was just too damn short. So I put the longer version on my iPod to listen to another time.

***4 days later

Some more thoughts before the track by track…
What I didn’t quite get to say previously- even after going through his first three albums, going into “Controversy”- I kinda felt like I didn’t know Prince at all. It was like starting over again at his first album, that mysterious prodigy persona where you couldn’t really see much beyond the surface. Except this was the start of a brand new direction for him.
There are similarities to Dirty Mind in some aspects- mainly both albums being 8 tracks, and the 2nd half has the tracks segue into each other to give a sense of unity to the record.
But as far as the overall sound goes… I mean, this was mixed between the home studio and California this time around… it’s like the Dirty Mind sound got made over and was given a Linn-drum machine. [Although it may have been present in Dirty Mind somewhere, I’m sure someone will correct me on that].

This time around…
I wasn’t quite as invested and my mind didn’t get screwed around with. But there was one moment that was kinda crazy.
You have the first two songs where he’s kinda messing with us a bit, playing up the persona and putting on the mystery. Not sure what to make of him.

Then “Do me, baby” comes on… I didn’t fall head over heels like the last time, but it was a very slow burn. I don’t know the exact moment, but I slowly became spellbound and he had me for the rest of the song.
There’s debate about whether Prince wrote the song or adapted a song Andre Cymone wrote… but the overall performance on its own helps make my point that this is the first time Prince really comes into the brand he made for himself, which is fusing sex with music and lyrics and taking it places nobody had before. Not just explicitly, but the whole vibe and performance of it. You feel like you’re at the receiving end of his affections (at least if your sexuality- gay male or straight female- frees you up to experience that).

And now I’m remembering how inexperienced I was in this subject matter before getting to know Prince… physically, I still have zero experience, but mentally, between his music, reading 50 shades of grey and seeing various R-rated movies that happened to contain sex… I have more of an understanding of it than I did.
And still, nobody can do *that* the way Prince does.

The Weeknd comes closer than anyone I’d heard, but I also hadn’t been looking. With certain songs, I feel like he’s got Michael Jackson’s voice, but he has Prince’s sex appeal. Like his voice oozes sex and I hadn’t felt anything like that since Prince. Which is kinda nuts to think about.

Anyway, moving on…
Before I do any more random comments on the songs, I’ll do the track by track…

CONTROVERSY
What a great jam to start an album with… title tracks tend to set the tone for the overall album and impress on the listener what to expect with the overall sound and theme. But unlike Dirty Mind, the meaning the title track has on the rest of the album is not as in your face or obvious.
Although he does touch on some controversial subjects throughout the tracks.

First off- the sound of this song is amazing. It’s a pretty long jam, possibly the longest song on the album. It’s odd that I don’t get sick of this groove. Enough happens that I don’t get bored and I like just being strung along.
But something about it is so familiar- it reminds of another song- the sound of Prince’s vocals on the verses (everywhere but the lyric “controversy” which is sung in a higher register). The sad part is I don’t know what the song is called or know any lyrics I can use to Google it. But it’s like a song I’d hear around Halloween- it’s spooky and unnerving. A bunch of vocals singing together at once.
The lyrics- they’re an enigma the way Prince is. They’re so great.
Love the different sections in the song.
The one thing I don’t like so much… the back-up vocals (ok, they’re more like grunts) on the beat during the main riff. I find it distracting and kinda annoying.
So many great nuggets in this song. I’ll just stop talking and move onto the next.

Also- that was his first major scream on record.

Then “Sexuality” has his first characteristic scream he’ll forever be known for.
Love the guitar work and the opening instrumental part of this song.
Love how the music builds up in the chorus- or whatever you want to call the part that ends with “sexuality is all we ever need.”
Overall, the song really screws with my head… part of that cult culture I was referring to. Like he sees the world in this weird unorthodox fashion and wants to educate and/or brainwash us to believe as he does.
I mean, you could write a term paper interpreting it and explaining what he means by all this… but I don’t have that kind of time. And I don’t like the song THAT much.
It’s going to be one of the great technical tracks, but the components score will be average.

“Do Me Baby” is going to score very highly on my personal scale.
I love the piano, the use of synths to create atmosphere. The vocal performance… phew… I mean, damn… his best vocal to this point without question.
I have to crank this up to maybe 36 in my car to hear it properly, but the production is very clean on the vocals. The rawness of the piano, the ad-libs and such. That’s part of its charm for me. Everything in this song works together so well.
Sex on a stick.

Then the album just crashes… and takes a while to really come back.

maybe it’s because I was nervous about whether I’d be able to finish the album before I got home (I was running up the hill to my house by the time “Jack U Off” was wrapping up)… but “Private Joy” just didn’t get me revved up or anything.

The music is so different- nothing Prince has done before or since sounds like it. Despite it being the last song recorded for the album, it sounds dated and the production sounds raw the way “Do Me, Baby” does.
The lyrics are kinda meh… the only exciting part for me is the “violent” portion where he strangles Valentino.
Nice to hear the Linn-drum on full display also- that’s another thing that keeps my attention.

“Ronnie talk to Russia”… considering everything going on right now, plus my affinity for someone from Russia… I’m a little conflicted on the lyrics.
I want us to have a good relationship with Russia.
The lyrics here are very dated.
It’s kinda interesting how this and “Jack U Off” both have that rockabilly edge to them. Prince never showed interest in that sub-genre before or after this album.
The guitar solo in the middle kinda reminds me of something out of a Beatles song, but I couldn’t tell you which one.

“Let’s Work” doesn’t have a lot to it. It has one more verse than “Sex Dancer,” which I tore apart for lack of lyrics.
The song’s just too damn short πŸ˜› so I really should listen to the long version before I do Peach and Black tomorrow.
The groove is amazing- all kinds of great instrumentals. Bass line. That synth line that cuts in and out, that’s really cool.
I have a feeling this is one of those songs I didn’t really like at first and suddenly now I do… it’s hard to explain.

“Annie Christian”… uh… what do I do with this one?
It’s completely different from anything else Prince ever did.
The music is the main highlight. The production is interesting- like he was doing this live at a rally or protest or something. It’s back to what I said about “Sexuality”- that mentality about trying to educate or brainwash the listener to see his point of view.
This is another dated track as well with the references to Reagan and John Lennon.
What else can I say- technically brilliant, but it gives me the creeps and I never go out of my way to listen to it.

“Uptown” and “Partyup” really hurt my rating of the Dirty Mind album. I see the same thing happening thanks to the two dated tracks on Controversy… should be interesting to see where they both end up. Probably very close.

“Jack U Off”… yeah, this song’s kinda awkward. Unless you’re personally inclined that way, you really can’t sing it aloud without feeling self-conscious. And it’s so sing-along-y… it’s hard not singing along to it when it so clearly wants you to.
It’s the first band performance to end up on an album. I remember Bobby Z played the Linn-drum… one bit of trivia I picked up somewhere and just found out later on it was a band effort.
Maybe that’s why it comes off so well.
Definitely a controversial track, although not that insane degree of “Sister” or “Head.”
It feels like a jam session, lots of great instrumentals doing solos in the 2nd half of the song.

Seriously, if Controversy winds up scoring higher than Dirty Mind, yeah, that’d be freaking insane.
Because in my head, Dirty Mind is the better album.
I guess it just comes down to the scores of the other tracks I like better than the two I singled out… well, Private Joy also is a so-so track.

Anyway- Peach and Black next… then I’ll start working on my ratings.

Yet another great podcast.
Again, a lot of love for this album. Overall, the scores ran from 8 to 9.
Someone held back on the rating because they wanted to reserve the higher ratings for other albums.
Me, I’m maybe holding back on some songs, but I’m going through the albums chronologically, so I’m just giving the ratings as I go.
And I’m not tweaking that again.
But based on the quality of the material, I’m confident that I’m going to give a higher rating to Purple Rain, 1999, The Gold Experience and Parade than some of these earlier albums. Especially since my components score will give those songs more bonus points.

So yeah… I guess it’s time for me to talk about Captain again πŸ˜›
I still find him the most entertaining of the four guys to listen to, though they all have their moments.
Yet I seem to be the most conflicted with his particular tastes in Prince music.
He called “Do Me, Baby” one of the most skippable tracks on the album and “Ronnie talk to Russia” his favorite. I’m like “WHAT?” I mean, as much as I wanna say I wanna kill him, he does good points.
At least about “Do me, Baby.” That has to be an awkward track for a guy to listen to. At least for that second half of it where it’s basically sex after the foreplay. I get that. But skippable is a bit much for me. This album is so short and so solid, I wouldn’t skip any track. That’s just my opinion.
As for “Ronnie talk to Russia”… well, this is the same weirdo who liked “Wedding Feast” on The Rainbow Children. To a degree, I should’ve seen that coming.

It was so funny to hear him debating the lyrics with the guys. I know he’s right that he’s saying “left-wing gorillas”… yet MC is like “I thought he was saying realists”…
Even more hilarious when you consider Captain doesn’t listen to lyrics.
Yet this is one of his first albums and he’s played it loads of times. The lyrics gotta penetrate after a point, right?
Then there was redemption when he didn’t get “Annie Christian” and put it up there with “most skippable.” I mean, he’s nuts, but he’s not that nuts.

But in the Prince community, weirdness could only be a good thing. And I usually conflict the most with Captain’s opinions on Prince music. But I can accept his explanations for why he doesn’t like certain songs.
For oddball songs he likes… it’s hit and miss for me. Sometimes I don’t get it. Sometimes I do (“Man in a Uniform” is one of those exceptions).

MC really threw me for a loop when he said “Annie Christian” affected him a lot. That song is just so weird and unusual, I didn’t think anyone could feel so strongly about it. But that’s the power of Prince music. It’s powerful stuff and everyone can take from it whatever they want.

On another note, Captain and my fellow purple knight were exchanging some tweets and I got in on the action and we had some interesting conversations. Let’s just say Prince fans have been kinda negative lately about some things and we’d come to agree about certain things.
It’s pretty cool feeling to get likes from fellow Prince fans because they agree with my thoughts. We need that camaraderie to offset the negativity.

It started off on a pretty great note.
A whole lot of talk before the album even started going.
Then Controversy ate up at least 15-20 minutes of the review by itself… and like the song, I didn’t mind it going on so long. I just marveled at the fact they kept having things to say.
Even though Captain went first and said almost everything (so funny the guys were moaning and Captain’s like “you asked me to go first…”), they had a lot to say.
I think Toejam said “if anyone says they don’t like this song, they’re off the show”
I mean, I didn’t believe anyone was going to not like the song, but you never know with the Peach and Black podcast.

Yeah, I love those moments where MC uses “Peach and Black podcast” in a sentence as if breaking the 4th wall πŸ˜› in this case, they were talking about Anna Fantastic covering one of the songs (Ronnie talk to Russia) under a different name and it was done in the late 80’s. Captain mentioned it and MC at the end says “always learning something new on the Peach and Black podcast”

I string this podcast along over the last three days of the workweek to make it go by faster… but at this point I’m not remembering as much I’d like to.
I think I nailed much of the points.
“Jack U Off” brought some interesting commentary and conversations and obviously innuendos could not be avoided and the guys were laughing uncontrollably. Someone said it was the “happy ending” of the track and they all just lost it. I never even realized that πŸ˜›

I got away from this post a bit to brush my teeth and suddenly a lot of stuff came back to me. Funny how the mind clears when there are less distractions.

Toejam said twice “if there is any evidence that Prince lives in ‘Prince world’ this is it”… he said that about “Sexuality” and “Annie Christian.”
I’m not going to argue that. I mean, I started this post saying he could have let a crazy cult or a punk rock revolution or something if this album hit Purple Rain level success.
And this album had some strange lyrics.

Also remembered that despite Captain acknowledging how “Let’s Work” is a good song and it’s loved by many fans, doesn’t mean he has to like it.
Another I can’t really dispute.
I am one of those weirdos or idiots that doesn’t like “Sexy Dancer.”
Heck, I’ll say I don’t like “Erotic City” because of the lyrics and people will think I’m crazy because it’s one of those most beloved B-sides Prince ever produced.

Speaking of B-sides, Player made that comment in “Ronnie talk to Russia” where he’d prefer the song as a B-side because “I don’t know what it’s doing here.”
I mean, the lyrics and the genre are oddly random. But I get that it goes with the “controversial” them of the album.

The consensus was that this album was the origin of Prince’s sound. The sound everyone got to know and love from him in the 80’s over his next two albums.

So here comes my rating… should be interesting… not sure what to expect.
I’m not even looking over my old blog posts or even posts I wrote for the book I was writing about Prince’s music, talking about origins and my interpretations and so on. I’m just going from what I remember and what I currently feel about the songs.

Again, the technical gives a point for good songwriting, vocals, music, lyrics and overall effect- whether or not it’s something special on Prince can accomplish.
Components score is my personal take on it.
1- I absolutely don’t like it
2- I’m not crazy about it, but I won’t skip it either
3- average, could take or leave
4- like it a lot
5- LOVE

CONTROVERSY
…well, of course the song is brilliant.
Technical score- 5 (even though I’m kinda meh about the grunts on the back-up vocals on the main riff- I can’t fault it. It’s so damn good)
Components score- 4
It’s a great title track, way to start the album. I really get it into and don’t get bored of it no matter how long it goes on for. It’s not up there with my personal favorites, but giving it this score is still a pretty big compliment.
9

SEXUALITY
Technical score- 4.5
The lyrics are the only thing I can really take points off for… they’re just weird at some points, the spoken word section (and someone in the podcast said he did an Elvis reference in the vocals… I don’t know if that was intentional or not, but regardless, not going to hear that part the same ever again, lol).
Components score- 3.5
This song’s a little better than average. I like it, but I’m not super crazy about it.
8

DO ME, BABY
…omg…
whether or not Prince wrote any of it or all of it is debatable. Peach and Black teased about asking Andre Cymone about it, but nothing materialized. I wonder if it will now, all things considered.
I’m sorry, I can’t find any fault with it.
It’s such a great ballad. The vocals are SUBLIME- it might be a bit much to say it’s his best vocal performance EVER (MC pretty much said that), but one of his best in his career. Maybe he didn’t write all of the song (Peach and Black mentioned how Pepe Willie testified to hearing Andre playing it and I read that story in the book I have… but they said they didn’t really take his word for anything… makes me kinda wonder what he did to deserve that kind of shade. Not that I know much about the guy to begin with).

Anyway- Do Me, Baby… it’s a 10.
I have to play the song when I’m alone cuz it’s too embarrassing to share it out loud with anyone. And I admit in the car I had it cranked up and I was singing at the top of my lungs to it. I hadn’t heard it in years, but I don’t think I ever got that opportunity before. It was pretty amazing.

PRIVATE JOY
…I actually turned on the album halfway through my trip while listening to Peach and Black and I pushed their “Jack U Off” review until afterwards. I was feeling out of step with the first three songs (even my perfect 10) cuz of it being my 3rd listen in the last week (as in last 7 days). That freed my mind to enjoy this song again. Granted, it isn’t great
Technical score- 4
it’s a nice little song, the music is really different for Prince- unusual, lyrics are simple and to a point- plus that Valentino part was great (Captain liked the song overall but I wanted to high-five him when he said that was his favorite part). The point off is because it’s not super special in Prince’s catalogue. Not to say it’s forgettable or skippable. It’s just not as good as so many other songs he’s done.
Components score- 3.5
7.5

RONNIE TALK TO RUSSIA
…:sigh: now it gets tough… this was the period in Dirty Mind when the album went downhill and it was hard for things to fully recover.
Technical score… GREAT music, weird lyrics, nice structure, the vocals are okay, overall not too special (Captain said in his review that Toejam was probably going to say Prince is being naΓ―ve with this one and of course he nailed it… I think this was also the track where MC said that it sounded like Prince had been listening to Frank Zappa. I kinda forgot he was a big fan of his )
So technically, I’d give it… 3
Components score… if I hadn’t gotten so wrapped up in the Sochi Olympics, I’d have given this a three. But because I’ve gotten to like some Russian figure skaters and I think it’s ridiculous that they’re being blamed for the election results, I’d have to give it 2.5
5.5 overall.
Yeah… that’s just my personal opinion.
A lot’s changed in the 5-6 years since I last heard this album and that’s one of them I really didn’t see coming. I just thought the song was average, but I didn’t hate it before. Now, I’m kinda uncomfortable about it.
Prince would for sure bring this song back if he was still alive- the title could easily be changed to fit the situation. [The other day, I mourned the fact he wouldn’t be alive to cover “Love on the Brain” by Rihanna. I swear, that vocal style is right up his alley and he would have been SO amazing].

Anyway, moving on.

LET’S WORK
I really like this one. I have a feeling I didn’t when I first heard it. Going back to it is great, but I wish it was longer and the extended dance mix version helped satisfy that. I almost wish a 30-minute version of that existed instead of 30 minutes of “I would die 4 U” where nothing interesting really happens in 25 of those minutes.
Technical score- 4.5
Components score- 4.5
(yeah, if it was longer, I’d give it higher… wish I could, but just can’t).
9

ANNIE CHRISTIAN
…ok, here we go… the album could be made or broken at this point
For technical, the vocal is very striking as is the music. More weird lyrics. The songwriting overall… a bit odd.
Technical score- 3
Components score- 2 (when I came up with my system for components, I did so knowing I’d give this song a two- that contributed to my overall thought process)
5

JACK U OFF
It’s a final track that does leave an impression for sure. And it’s a good one. The subject matter is so off and weird, but Partyup on the previous album, I just found a little off-putting and repetitive. This one is done really well overall.
Technical score- 4.5
yeah, again, the one thing off with this song is the lyrics. It’s so damn catchy and fun to listen to… but it’s impossible to sing along with it. It just sounds and feels so wrong πŸ˜›
Components score- 3.5
yeah, I like this song quite a bit, but I don’t go out of my way to listen to it either.
8 (omg- can’t believe that got an 8)

Okay, going through with the math and ranking the tracks top to bottom…
I’m going to lose my mind if this scores 8 out of 10 πŸ˜›

Do me, baby- 10
Controversy- 9
Let’s Work- 9
Jack U Off- 8
Sexuality- 8
Private Joy- 7.5
Ronnie talk to Russia- 5.5
Annie Christian- 5

62/80
7.75, which rounds up to 7.8

so…. let’s see where that stands with the other albums. Still haven’t gotten my first 8 yet…
For You was 6.2
Prince was 7.6
Dirty Mind was 7.4

Well, it’s not an 8… but Controversy is my highest ranking album so far… that’s kinda minding blowing. Not to mention it scored 2.5 points higher than Dirty Mind.

Let me do a side by side to see what “went wrong”… if anything really did…

Dirty Mind- 8.5/Controversy- 9
When you were mine- 10/Sexuality- 8
Do it all night- 6/Do me, baby- 10
Gotta Broken Heart Again- 7/Private Joy- 7.5
Uptown- 7.5/Ronnie talk to Russia- 5.5
Head- 8/Let’s Work- 9
Sister- 7/Annie Christian- 5
Partyup- 5.5/Jack U Off- 8

I think the difference between the two comes down to production. And maybe that’s the difference with all the albums. The vocals are easier to pick out of this album than previously.

Yeah, that’s pretty nuts. I like Controversy more than Dirty Mind. Even with having two songs I gave pretty harsh scores to, the strength of the other material is so up there.

And of these songs… my top three:
Do me, baby
Controversy
Let’s Work

no real surprise there…

most likely I won’t get to 1999 for a while.
I’m going to try aiming for April 21st to watch Purple Rain and to go through the album and such… so I’m really going to going a while with 1999 and the two protΓ©gΓ© albums of this period- What Time is it? and the one album put out by Vanity 6

But both come with a Peach & Black review and one is brand new… the Vanity 6 one came out earlier this year and I’m finally going to listen to it.
Plus, I can’t wait to have their music back on my iPod. I sometimes liked to kill time with it and that’s going to be fun to have them back.

And I’m just finishing this at almost 1am in the morning? What the hell?!

I hope it all went all right. I spent all this time on it and I don’t know if I really said anything good πŸ˜›

today I also designed what may become my new avatar for my DreamyPopRoyalty social media platforming.
As much as I love Sesshomaru, I can’t use him forever. And I want something that’s a little closer to Prince- who is the reason I started this blog nearly 10 years ago.
When I get to that date of the 10th anniversary, I’ll try to get a review posted then and maybe my new logo as well will be at the tail end of my post.

Next, I’ll most likely be posting about the final figure skating competition of the season.

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