independent and unofficial
Prince fan community site
Mon 19th Nov 2018 11:26am
Welcome! Sign up or enter username and password to remember me

Pop Life (song)

From Princepedia

Jump to: navigation, search

Information found on :


"Pop Life" was recorded on February 19, 1984 at Sunset Sound. He also recorded great songs like "Erotic City", "17 Days", "She's Always In My Hair", "Another Lonely Christmas", and "Paisley Park" during those sessions (which lasted from very late December 1983-late April 1984).

It was just Prince in the studio, so it was him on bass. It's really a reflection of a later track, "La La La, He He Hee", where Prince's incredible bass playing really shines.

In fact, the only number the band really plays on in full is "The Ladder", which was recorded at a December 23 soundcheck at the St. Paul Civic Center on the Purple Rain tour. He was to play five concerts at that venue. It also featured Eddie M. on sax, and Susannah Melvoin & Taja Sevelle on background vocals; and "America".


It should be noted that Sheila E played drums on Pop Life, though as Ernest said, it was pretty much Prince on his own in the studio. Wendy and Lisa also contributed an interlude between Pop Life and The Ladder. Pop Life, Paisley Park and Temptation (as well as the early version of Raspberry Beret) were recorded prior to the completion of the Purple Rain LP.

OT, but interesting - the songs Around The World In A Day and Paisley Park have no bass line - ala When Doves Cry and Kiss.

yankem said:

Since we are taliking about Pop Life, can someone tell me what really are those crowd and other noises that we can hear in the song during the break ? I recently heard that it was the sound of the crowd at the Rolling Stones concert that boo him of stage...anyone ?


To my knowledge, that is what those sounds are, but for years I had no idea. That piece became even more interesting when Lisa compiled interviews she conducted w/ Matt, and Bobby about that gig, and she put it into a 30 minute segment on a radio show. I have it. It's very interesting to hear everyone's take on it.


Sessions for POP LIFE began early in the afternoon on Sunday, February 19, 1984 in Studio 2 at Sunset Sound. After doing some overdubbing on ANOTHER LONELY CHRISTMAS, Prince had his engineer Peggy McCreary (Peggy Mac) set up for a jam session. Peggy spent an hour getting the room ready for recording and at 7:30 PM, Prince started recording. From my understanding, Prince did the basic tracks himself. The session ended at 6:15 AM on Monday morning.

Less than 12 hours later, Prince and Peggy were back in the studio working on overdubs for POP LIFE. That is supposedly when Tim Barr and Annette Atkinson added Bass, and Wendy and Lisa added their background vocals. The overdub session finished at 10PM and Prince spent 3 and a half hours creating a rough mix and playing it back before he left around 1:30 AM.

It was put to cassette tape the following day (Feb. 21) along with many of the tracks Prince was working on at that time (God, Another Lonely Christmas, and Sheila's album). He did some additional work on it in mid April, but then it went untouched for several months.

On Friday, September, 28, 1984 Lisa and Wendy had Sid Page, Marcy Dicterow, Vaj, Denyse Buffum, Suzi Katayama and David Coleman record the strings that would eventually become part of the song. Prince was not at this session.

More edits of the song were done in late May 1985 and Sheila worked on her remix of the song on the 22nd and 23rd of June.

The crowd sound is from a sound effects library and not (as legend has stated) from the Rolling Stones concert.

(this is taken from an early draft of "Prince: The Studio Sessions").