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Thread started 03/10/07 9:45am

thievesinthete
mple

Thoughts on an ultimate Prince anthology...

If this subject has come up on these boards before (which it probably has), forgive me if I sound like I'm the only one that's ever thought of this. For some time, I've felt that a truly comprehensive release of Prince's music/catalog cannot be done in a small, cost-effective manner. Of the 3 WB "greatest hits" collections, The Hits/The B-Sides is certainly the most "complete", although that's mainly an overview of the highlights of his released material from 1978-93. In my opinion, a truly thorough collection – one that includes not just released material, but unreleased songs, highlights from cancelled/unreleased albums, live tracks, rehearsals, Internet releases, TV appearances and other miscellaneous items – is long overdue, and would, in all likelihood, take many discs (around 10 or more) to do correctly.

Since the beginning of the year, I've been working on a Prince anthology with all of this in mind. Knowing that assembling 10+ discs would take forever, I sought to do a smaller collection, which would be merely a taste of what a true anthology should be. I planned on 3 discs, but when my list of possible tracks for inclusion reached 180 songs, I had to expand to 4 discs…and every song I had to cut from my initial list was a painful choice. I named my collection Prelude 2 An Anthology, which seems like a pretty fitting title to me.

I want to share my final track list with you, if only to probe some thought and discussion. Feel free to disagree with my choices – in fact, I encourage it – but please spare me the flames if you're upset that "Adore" and "Cream" aren't on here and/or that Dirty Mind and Prince are represented only by live tracks and/or that I chose Sinead's version of "Nothing Compares 2 U" (my reasoning being that her version brought it mass awareness and fame…hell, it was the third biggest song of 1990). Just about every major album/project is represented in some way, although a few things – N.E.W.S., Goldnigga, Xpectation and Madhouse's 16 – fell through the cracks (there's only so much you can do with 4 discs). I also chose to include only 1 Prince-penned song per disc that's performed by/credited to another artist, my reasoning on that being that a through review of Prince material by other artists would encompass several discs, and that the main focus should be on the man himself.

Songs marked " ** " indicate that I had to do some custom editing for time (each disc is just under 80 minutes).

DISC ONE:
1. When Doves Cry
2. Rave Un2 the Joy Fantastic
3. I Like It There
4. Old Friends 4 Sale (1985 version without orchestra)
5. Soft and Wet
6. Loose!
7. Excerpt from Radio WNPG, 7 Apr 95 (Tora Tora talks to Sonny and Mayte; features snippets from "Get Wild", "Get Wild (Money Maker Funky Jazz Mix)", "The Exodus Has Begun" and "The Good Life")
8. Tokyo
9. Alphabet St./It Takes Two/The Latest Fashion (Nude rehearsal at Paisley Park)
10. Uptown (Live in Detroit, 30 Nov 82)
11. Excerpt from Today Show interview, 19 Dec 96 (discussion of Prince's wardrobe)
12. The Glamorous Life (Club Edit) by Sheila E.**
13. Kamasutra/Overture #8
14. Extra Lovable
15. When You Were Mine (from One Nite Alone…Live)
16. Endorphinmachine (Glam Slam Ulysses version)
17. She's Always In My Hair (from the 2002 Celebration)
18. Supercute
19. Thieves In the Temple
20. Anna Stesia

DISC TWO:
1. Interactive (CD-ROM version)
2. Days of Wild (studio edit)
3. Pop Life
4. One Nite Alone…
5. Four (Madhouse)
6. Dolphin
7. Kiss (Acoustic Demo)
8. Kiss (Mazarati version)
9. Kiss
10. Prince talks to the audience (snippet from a ONA soundcheck concert in Lakeland, FL, 6 Apr 02)
11. Bob George
12. Strange Relationship
13. Go Go Dancer by Carmen Electra**
14. Face Down
15. Mellow
16. Undertaker Medley: Honky Tonk Woman/Bambi/Zannalee
17. Movie Star
18. Something In the Water (Does Not Compute) (Unreleased Alt. Version)**
19. Super Bowl XLI Halftime Show
- We Will Rock You
- Let's Go Crazy
- 1999
- Baby, I'm a Star
- Proud Mary
- All Along the Watchtower
- Best of You
- Purple Rain

DISC THREE
1. My Name Is Prince
2. "Glam Slam Wallpaper" snippet
3. Electric Chair
4. Make It Through the Storm
5. 319
6. Slave 2 the System (Prince version)
7. Pink Cashmere
8. Don't Play Me
9. Raspberry Beret
10. What's My Name
11. Venus De Milo
12. Old Friends 4 Sale (Released version)
13. So Far, So Pleased
14. Black Sweat
15. Private Joy
16. Ethereal (Madhouse)
17. Nothing Compares 2 U by Sinead O'Connor
18. Xenophobia (Live in Chicago, March 2002)
19. Dance With the Devil

DISC FOUR:
1. P Control**
2. Sign "O" the Times (single edit)
3. Jerk Out by The Time**
4. The Most Beautiful Girl In the World (single edit)
5. 17 (Penetration)
6. A Million Days
7. Come On**
8. Empty Room (1992 version)
9. Crucial
10. Dream Factory Interlude
11. Fury
12. Piano Medley from ONA…Live:
- I Wanna Be Your Lover
- Do Me, Baby
- Condition of the Heart
- Diamonds and Pearls
- The Beautiful Ones
13. Sexy MF
14. I Could Never Take the Place of Your Man/Jailhouse Rock (Live in San Jose, 1 Jun 04)
15. Chatounette Controle
16. Money Don't Matter 2 Night
17. Anotherloverholenyohead (Live at Le Zenith, 25 Aug 86)
18. Gett Off
19. Little Red Corvette
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Reply #1 posted 03/10/07 10:10am

theodore

neutral

Sounds very hard 2 listen 2

neutral

.
[Edited 3/10/07 10:12am]
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Reply #2 posted 03/10/07 8:02pm

thievesinthete
mple

theodore said:

neutral

Sounds very hard 2 listen 2

neutral

.
[Edited 3/10/07 10:12am]


Please elaborate...
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Reply #3 posted 03/10/07 8:06pm

toddband45

eyepop
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Reply #4 posted 03/10/07 8:23pm

Se7en

avatar

Yeah, this is very hard to listen to . . . it's all over the map.

I'd want an Anthology to be STRICTLY chronological.
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Reply #5 posted 03/10/07 8:28pm

theodore

thievesinthetemple said:

theodore said:

neutral

Sounds very hard 2 listen 2

neutral

.
[Edited 3/10/07 10:12am]


Please elaborate...



All the live versions and medleys
I don't know if I could sit and listen 2 those 4 cds
all the so-so songs
disbelief

biggrin
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Reply #6 posted 03/10/07 8:38pm

toejam

avatar

OMG, this is like deja vu!! Just last night I started thinking about making my own 3CD "retrospective" set (just for fun). My version stuck mainly to hits and major singles etc in chronological order. But I like your idea too. Would be interesting to listen to it to see how it "flows". Definately some interesting choices. I don't think you really need to add 3 versions of "Kiss", maybe just the extended version would be better...
Toejam @ Peach & Black Podcast: http://peachandblack.podbean.com
Toejam's band "Cheap Fakes": http://cheapfakes.com.au, http://www.facebook.com/cheapfakes
Toejam the solo artist: http://www.youtube.com/scottbignell
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Reply #7 posted 03/10/07 8:43pm

thievesinthete
mple

Se7en said:

Yeah, this is very hard to listen to . . . it's all over the map.

I'd want an Anthology to be STRICTLY chronological.


Fair enough. I can see how people might want an anthology to unfold in the same order the music was made, but for me, the "random" chronology (which actually took a lot of careful arranging and planning) is more pleasing to the ear, and gives me a feeling of artistic input: can I make songs from different eras follow each other back to back to back, and make them "flow" naturally, as if they were intended to exist on the same CD? I've always thought that this was well-achieved by Prince himself on The Vault and the first 2 discs of Crystal Ball.

Believe it or not, a lot of these tracks in this order unfold quite nicely...but again, I understand how it might be a distraction to others...
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Reply #8 posted 03/10/07 8:47pm

thievesinthete
mple

toejam said:

I don't think you really need to add 3 versions of "Kiss", maybe just the extended version would be better...


I did this on purpose to illustrate the evolution of the song. I had actually intended to have several songs appear in different versions to show different "sides" to a particular song (Among other things, I wanted a live version of "Days of Wild" to compare to the studio take, as well as the 1986 and 1990 versions of "We Can Funk"), but there just wasn't enough room, and in the end, only "Old Friends 4 Sale" received this honor.
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Reply #9 posted 03/10/07 9:07pm

skywalker

avatar

Yeah, this collection is (although well intentioned) is just mess. I mean, it is ALL over the place. No thought to flow, chronologically or otherwise. I mean, the LAST song on a Prince anthology is "little red corvette".

Here's what I think should be done:

There should be a MAJOR re-release of Prince's albums like there was for Michael Jackson. Use the extra CD space, or make a double disc, to add on outtakes, b-sides, extended versions etc. Surely, Prince's back catalog needs a proper full blown treatment. I still cannot believe that and album as important as Purple Rain still is relegated to 1st generation CD te
chnology.
"New Power slide...."
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Reply #10 posted 03/10/07 9:17pm

TheBigBang

avatar

I won't flame you, but I find it hard to take serious a so called anthology that excludes a classic Prince track like "Adore," yet includes a Carmen Electra song and three versions of "Kiss" back to back. And there's really no point in having P Control AND Chatounette Controle on the same compilation. There's a lot of other inconceivable inclusions and exclusions, but I have a headache now and can't think anymore.
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Reply #11 posted 03/10/07 9:34pm

thievesinthete
mple

TheBigBang said:

I won't flame you, but I find it hard to take serious a so called anthology that excludes a classic Prince track like "Adore," yet includes a Carmen Electra song and three versions of "Kiss" back to back. And there's really no point in having P Control AND Chatounette Controle on the same compilation. There's a lot of other inconceivable inclusions and exclusions, but I have a headache now and can't think anymore.


I'm not going to argue excluding "Adore"..there were SO MANY tough calls when I had to trim my initial list. Again, "Kiss" is such a staple Prince classic, and the story behind it is, in my opinion, worth illustrating, especially to one who might not know it.

While I agree that "Chantounette Controle" might seem redundant in lieu of "P Control", I included it so that I'd have something from The Versace Experience on the anthology.

As for Carmen... yeah, it's not one of the shining chapters in Prince's career. If anything, I think I put it in as the "odd track": the public at large is probably unaware (or has forgotten) that we have Prince to thank for Carmen Electra.

Whether they would want to thank him or punch him is TBD...
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Reply #12 posted 03/10/07 9:52pm

skywalker

avatar

Bottom Line: This is probably best left as a personal mix of songs, and not to be put out to the public, nor presented to a someone as a quintessential Prince collection. It's not just the odd choices of song, it's the lack of logic or flow.

Go to amazon.com and look at well respected anthologies like James Brown StarTime or The Beatles Anthology to get an idea of how to put one together.


[Edited 3/10/07 21:57pm]
"New Power slide...."
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Reply #13 posted 03/10/07 10:04pm

thievesinthete
mple

skywalker said:

Bottom Line: This is probably best left as a personal mix of songs, and not to be put out to the public, nor presented to a someone as a quintessential Prince collection. It's not just the odd choices of song, it's the lack of logic or flow.

Go to amazon.com and look at well respected anthologies like James Brown StarTime or The Beatles Anthology to get an idea of how to put one together.


[Edited 3/10/07 21:57pm]


Again, it's just a personal preference for me. And while I get what you're saying about checking out the Beatles anthologies as a reference, my mind also goes to the The Sounds of Science by the Beastie Boys, which is also a respected anthology, but has a chronology that goes all over the place and a track list that's debatable (too much Hello Nasty in lieu of pre-Check Your Head material).
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Reply #14 posted 03/10/07 10:14pm

skywalker

avatar



Again, it's just a personal preference for me. And while I get what you're saying about checking out the Beatles anthologies as a reference, my mind also goes to the The Sounds of Science by the Beastie Boys, which is also a respected anthology, but has a chronology that goes all over the place and a track list that's debatable (too much Hello Nasty in lieu of pre-Check Your Head material).


I get it. However, splitting hairs between later Beastie Boys vs. early Beastie Boys would be the equivalent to later Prince material vs. early Prince material. That's not what is so confounding about your anthology.

What puts your collection off kilter is the weird add ons of associated artist songs, and the sacrificing of classic tunes for things like Prince talking to the audience, meaningless Today show interviews about clothes, etc.

An anthology should be a quintessential collection with the rare/odd stuff being icing on the cake. Your anthology sacrifices essential and classic Prince songs for fluff. If you dig it it's cool- I'm just giving you my opinion.

[Edited 3/10/07 22:15pm]
"New Power slide...."
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Reply #15 posted 03/10/07 10:22pm

runningbear

Wow, you really put yourself on the line for some roughing up with this anthology, credit to you, I myself like to be contentious on the org from time to time...

Okay my beef: Did not look too hard, but as far as I can tell , you have included one track from Chaos and Disorder. I would say forget about the run of the mill rocker "I Like It There" (hello tune written in the Bryan Adams vein) and instead include the much more Princely "Dinner With Delores", an underated gem which references his heydays of 1984.
merf
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Reply #16 posted 03/10/07 10:30pm

thievesinthete
mple

skywalker said:



Again, it's just a personal preference for me. And while I get what you're saying about checking out the Beatles anthologies as a reference, my mind also goes to the The Sounds of Science by the Beastie Boys, which is also a respected anthology, but has a chronology that goes all over the place and a track list that's debatable (too much Hello Nasty in lieu of pre-Check Your Head material).


I get it. However, splitting hairs between later Beastie Boys vs. early Beastie Boys would be the equivalent to later Prince material vs. early Prince material. That's not what is so confounding about your anthology.

What puts your collection off kilter is the weird add ons of associated artist songs, and the sacrificing of classic tunes for things like Prince talking to the audience, meaningless Today show interviews about clothes, etc.

An anthology should be a quintessential collection with the rare/odd stuff being icing on the cake. Your anthology sacrifices essential and classic Prince songs for fluff. If you dig it it's cool- I'm just giving you my opinion.



...and whether I agree or not, I appreciate your time and thoughts; I posted my track list for the very reason of sparking thought and debate.

The "dialogue" clips (Today Show, ONA in Lakeland, Glam Slam Wallpaper) add up to about 2 1/2 minutes, so even if I lost them all, I still couldn't fit a song like "Adore" in its place. I chose to include them because they reveal more layers of The Man Behind the Music: The Today Show clip is purely humor, which is not an emotion he puts on prominent display; the Glam Slam Wallpaper, while somewhat redundant in lieu of the "WNPG" clip on disc one, is only 10 seconds and provides a good lead-in to the pounding opening of "Electric Chair"; and I thought the ONA sound check clip was worth including if only to represent an important chapter in Prince's career: getting up close and personal with his fans at every stop of a big tour.
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Reply #17 posted 03/10/07 10:35pm

thievesinthete
mple

runningbear said:

Wow, you really put yourself on the line for some roughing up with this anthology, credit to you, I myself like to be contentious on the org from time to time...

Okay my beef: Did not look too hard, but as far as I can tell , you have included one track from Chaos and Disorder. I would say forget about the run of the mill rocker "I Like It There" (hello tune written in the Bryan Adams vein) and instead include the much more Princely "Dinner With Delores", an underated gem which references his heydays of 1984.


I can't argue this one, either. I was actually flip-flopping between "I Like It There" and "Dinner With Delores" for C&D representation, and while I totally agree that "I Like It There" is not a groundbreaking track, I still dig it, and chose to lose "Delores" in lieu of the song that rocked harder.
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Reply #18 posted 03/11/07 6:37am

Se7en

avatar

skywalker said:

There should be a MAJOR re-release of Prince's albums like there was for Michael Jackson. Use the extra CD space, or make a double disc, to add on outtakes, b-sides, extended versions etc. Surely, Prince's back catalog needs a proper full blown treatment. I still cannot believe that and album as important as Purple Rain still is relegated to 1st generation CD te[/b]chnology.


This is exactly what needs to happen. All I can say is that when it does happen, I will be re-buying all of his remastered CDs.
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Reply #19 posted 03/11/07 6:39am

Se7en

avatar

thievesinthetemple said:

Se7en said:

Yeah, this is very hard to listen to . . . it's all over the map.

I'd want an Anthology to be STRICTLY chronological.


Fair enough. I can see how people might want an anthology to unfold in the same order the music was made, but for me, the "random" chronology (which actually took a lot of careful arranging and planning) is more pleasing to the ear, and gives me a feeling of artistic input: can I make songs from different eras follow each other back to back to back, and make them "flow" naturally, as if they were intended to exist on the same CD? I've always thought that this was well-achieved by Prince himself on The Vault and the first 2 discs of Crystal Ball.

Believe it or not, a lot of these tracks in this order unfold quite nicely...but again, I understand how it might be a distraction to others...


I do appreciate the planning and time spent on this compilation . . . at the very least it would make an interesting playlist in iTunes. I just don't think it would be a viable tracklisting for commercial sale.
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