The Second Disc

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Archive for June 17th, 2010

The Long and Short of It

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If you haven’t checked out the discussion on this week’s post about single edits/versions on compilations, do so immediately. It’s a fun, thoughtful look at an issue that some of us take for granted every now and again.

It’s inevitably led to a bit of thought given to the opposite consideration, too: what if labels started releasing longer versions of hits everyone knew and loved? What a delightful surprise that would be. And I keep crossing my fingers that it’ll happen every now and then.

We’ve all been there: you hear some delightful little tune on the radio, and you’re really into the groove. And then…slowly, the track starts to fade away. And you panic! Where is that great sound going to? If you’re a kid, you probably stick your head against the speaker or turn the volume up to get the last drops of sonic beauty from your sound system.

Where does that music go when it fades out? Sometimes we get our answer if we buy the album a certain song came from, and discover more of that song we love. (And what a feeling that is, too.) But every now and again, we uncover our answers through other means.

What follows is a list of some of my favorite non-fadeout moments from around the catalogue ways and means. Some of them will probably surprise you, but that’s kind of the whole point about catalogue work: to surprise us when we think we’ve got no surprises left. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Mike Duquette

June 17, 2010 at 11:58

Reissue Theory: The Time, Part I

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After last week’s Prince binge on The Second Disc, it was inevitable that we’d double back to some of The Purple One’s best side projects. One of those great ensembles is The Time, arguably the funkiest band to come out of Minneapolis in the 1980s and a criminally underrated side-project to this day.

The Time was basically Prince’s rearranged version of a similarly named local funk outfit, Flyte Tyme. That band was led by vocalist Alexander O’Neal and featured among its ranks keyboardists Monte Moir and James Harris III, bassist Terry Lewis and drummer Garry “Jellybean” Johnson. Prince intended to use these five with a new guitarist, Jesse Johnson (no relation), but O’Neal asked for too much money and was replaced by a longtime friend and collaborator of Prince’s named Morris Day. Day had drummed in one of Prince’s earliest bands, Grand Central, and was leading another local band named Enterprise. While in that band, he wrote a tune for Prince called “Partyup” that was recorded for Dirty Mind in 1980.

With Day, Jesse, Jellybean, Monte Moir and the inseparable duo of Jimmy Jam (as Harris called himself) and Terry Lewis, the musical ensemble was complete – but one more member was added to the mix. Lewis’ half-brother, a concert promoter named Jerome Benton, was to become a major fixture of The Time’s live sets, hyping the crowd and developing a mock-foil persona for Morris Day’s outsized personality. At an early show, Day famously boasted of his looks and requested that someone bring him a mirror; Benton responded by tearing a bathroom mirror off the wall and bringing it to the stage.

And that music…well, that’s an odd situation. Keep on after the jump. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Mike Duquette

June 17, 2010 at 09:00

Posted in Features, Prince, Reissues, The Time

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