The Second Disc

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Posts Tagged ‘Prince Week

Friday Feature: “Batman (1989)”

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And one last foray into the Prince catalogue on The Second Disc with what is arguably one of the dopiest entries in his catalogue. To some, it seems like a total work for hire, a hatchet job, a cash-in – and while that may be the case, it’s kind of a fun listen.

That’s right: Prince’s album devoted to the 1989 film Batman.

The story goes that star Jack Nicholson was the one who suggested Prince to director Tim Burton. After editing two scenes to a temp track of Prince tunes (“1999” for the sequence in which the Joker and his goons wreck a museum and “Baby I’m a Star” for the parade sequence), Burton agreed, and asked Warner Bros., the film’s distributor, to make some calls to Warner Bros., Prince’s label.

Get your “Batdance” on after the jump. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Mike Duquette

June 11, 2010 at 11:55

Prince Week Day 7: Crystal Ball

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In the penultimate entry of Prince Week (I know, this is Day 7, but we got one more piece for you tomorrow), The Second Disc turns its attention to one of the most fertile times in Prince’s life. From 1986 to 1987, just two short years, His Royal Badness managed to record enough material for a good four or five albums; it should go without saying that this material would be greatly served in a box set from Rhino at some point in time.
Hit the jump to get your world rocked with a story of lots of unreleased Prince material. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Mike Duquette

June 10, 2010 at 12:06

Prince Week Day 6: Life in the Madhouse

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In determining what was going to make up the contents of Prince Week, a great deal of agonizing was endured over where to place Prince’s many side projects. Prince, ever the purple brain trust, developed a lot of side projects over time, particularly during the beginning of his success as a pop artist. The Time, Sheila E. and Vanity 6 are still the best acts he ever squired in the early Paisley Park years, but there were plenty others that deserve a look back someday – and ultimately, the sheer volume of those acts meant that they’d have to wait for another time.

But one act remained worth discussing because it was a project Prince was more explicitly involved in than the others. This project was a different genre with a great group of musicians involved and a heap of Prince-worthy twists and turns throughout the better part of a decade. The band was Madhouse, and the story is after the jump. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Mike Duquette

June 9, 2010 at 08:33

Prince Week Day 5: Prince in Other Places

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Prince’s influence has been discussed far and wide, from fashion to music videos to the actual, Hendrixian quality of his guitar playing. But it’s always unusual when the mercurial purple genius decides to directly contribute to another artist’s canon, particularly since one really never knows where he’s going to end up next.

What follows is a chronological list of ten of Prince’s most interesting “guest appearances.” Half of them are actual guest appearances, the other half either songs he wrote or covers of his hits (we have disqualified anything Prince produced, as everyone knows as soon as Prince sits in a producer’s chair, it’s essentially his song). Some of these might not be new to you if you’re a die-hard Prince fan, but at least you can reflect on His Royal Badness and the far-flung influence he’s had on pop music for more than a quarter-century. Take a look after the jump. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Mike Duquette

June 8, 2010 at 13:11

Prince Week Day 4: The Reissue Conundrum

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Talking about Prince on a blog devoted to back catalogue music usually results in three considerations: 1) Prince really should allow remasters/reissues of his astounding discography, 2) Prince won’t ever allow remasters/reissues of said discography and 3) why the heck not?

As many of his fellow contemporaries (Madonna, Michael Jackson, Rick James, etc.) and other luminaries (The Rolling Stones, Jimi Hendrix, even The Beatles) have enjoyed remastering and rediscovery on compact disc, Prince has not. Even more disturbing is that he may never – and worse yet, no one quire understands why.

Some artists have their reasons for being reluctant to mine their own back catalogue: they don’t want to revisit that particular time in their lives, they feel the work hasn’t held up over time, they have a particular enmity with the label that controls said recordings and so on. Prince seems to suffer from all of those afflictions at one time or another. He consistently discusses looking forward instead of back and his decade-old conversion to the Jehovah’s Witness faith has curtailed his tolerance of those somewhat raunchy early LPs. Then there’s his ongoing hatred of Warner Bros., which at its apex drove him to unpronounceable madness.

Does Prince have the wrong idea about reissues? Is he waiting for something? How would such reissues even work? Let’s speculate after the jump. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Mike Duquette

June 7, 2010 at 12:37

Prince Week Day 3: He Would Die 4 U

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This particular installment of Prince Week is an unorthodox one. The Second Disc is usually a place for just catalogue type stuff, since that is the gateway to most of our feelings about classic music. But sometimes the feelings themselves are worth writing about, if they’re particularly strong. It’s with this in mind that The Second Disc presents a bit of an emotions-based look at Prince’s music.

The following (admittedly lengthy) essay is something I’ve worked on for a few years in college, and it never particularly had much of an audience there outside of a few writing workshop classes. Perhaps it is still not ready for prime time, as it were; should that be the case, treasured reader, please call me out on it. But writing needs its risks every now and again, and in that spirit I present a glimpse into how art – particularly the music of Prince – can affect something as nuanced a subject as faith, in addition to nourishing our hearts, minds and ears.

Hit the jump to read how Prince changed my view of religion. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Mike Duquette

June 6, 2010 at 20:28

Posted in Features, Prince

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Prince Week Day 2: A Compilation Comparison

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We continue our Prince week with a little something for the fans out there that may have never caught on to His Royal Badness enough to buy any of his music. Often times, in cases where you want to get a firm start on following an artist, a greatest-hits compilation is the way to go. But Prince, like many other rock legends, has more than one such set on the market. And money’s tight for a lot of folks.

So which one do you end up buying? Follow the jump for a detailed breakdown of each one. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Mike Duquette

June 5, 2010 at 12:52

Posted in Compilations, Features, Prince

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Friday Feature: Prince on Film

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The Second Disc reader Robert Altman was predicting the future when he suggested a week devoted to Prince a few days ago. Prince – one of the most polarizing and intriguing figures to ever saunter onto the pop music scene – deserves reams (or gigabytes, in this case) written about his music and its impact, and The Second Disc promises to deliver in that regard. From this Friday to next Friday – going right through Prince’s 52nd birthday on Monday – TSD will present a few features on Prince’s music, impact and relative lack of catalogue presence.

Today, it makes sense to start with a Friday Feature, devoted to the three films Prince starred in and the soundtracks they spawned. Hit the jump to start lookin’ for the purple banana ’til they put U in the truck. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Mike Duquette

June 4, 2010 at 13:19