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Thread started 01/22/12 1:38pm

RRA

Starfish & Coffee - why not a single?

Explain something to me folks that I've never understood.

The first three SOTT singles, which I assume were picked and planned in schedule by Prince himself, were all great singles picks. Maybe or maybe not the best songs on that album, but for radio, they're excellent picks. And they were all hits for him.

So why didn't he follow them up with another radio-friendly-as-hell SOTT track in "S&C"? Such a pleasant memorable melody easy to sing-along to, he could've even won over people who never necessarily were down with him earlier. (As crazy as it may sound, "S&C" always gave me a McCartney-esque vibe if that makes any sense.) A license to print money if you ask me.

But he didn't. He instead picked "If I Was Your Girlfriend," a GREAT track mind you, but it didn't work as a single. In retrospect, maybe it was too slow for radio? Maybe people took the lyrics too literally? who knows. I still think Prince left a whole lot of money on the table with that missed single opportunity. Or maybe he didn't care and was aiming strictly for the R&B market? I don't know.

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Reply #1 posted 01/22/12 1:50pm

mplsmike

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Just my opinion.. Starfish & Coffee is not radio friendly lol

Love Life,
Love God,
And Only Do Drugs You Need
smoker

... wave
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Reply #2 posted 01/22/12 2:46pm

GottaLetitgo

RRA said:

Explain something to me folks that I've never understood.

The first three SOTT singles, which I assume were picked and planned in schedule by Prince himself, were all great singles picks. Maybe or maybe not the best songs on that album, but for radio, they're excellent picks. And they were all hits for him.

So why didn't he follow them up with another radio-friendly-as-hell SOTT track in "S&C"? Such a pleasant memorable melody easy to sing-along to, he could've even won over people who never necessarily were down with him earlier. (As crazy as it may sound, "S&C" always gave me a McCartney-esque vibe if that makes any sense.) A license to print money if you ask me.

But he didn't. He instead picked "If I Was Your Girlfriend," a GREAT track mind you, but it didn't work as a single. In retrospect, maybe it was too slow for radio? Maybe people took the lyrics too literally? who knows. I still think Prince left a whole lot of money on the table with that missed single opportunity. Or maybe he didn't care and was aiming strictly for the R&B market? I don't know.

My recollection is that the single order was:

1) Sign, 2) If I Was Your Girlfriend, 3) U Got the Look, 4) I Could Never Take The Placee of Your Man, and 5) Hot Thing. (Adore was never officially released but got tons and tons of airplay). Girlfriend, as much as a Prince classic as it was, was way too ahead of its time and nearly wrecked the albums momentum but Look and ICNTTHOYM were big hits that both hit the Top 10.

Starfish and Coffee was not released, imo, for the same reason Dorothy Parker wasn't. Great quirky album tracks but not really radio fodder for the masses. Other than Girlfriend, which I think was one of the biggest commercial errors prince made before the name change, the singles were well chosen.

All good things they say never last...
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Reply #3 posted 01/22/12 3:56pm

errant

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eh, it's really not that good. it's cute and all, and I enjoy it while it's playing, but if I had to whittle that album down to a single disc, this would be one of the obvious tracks to remove.

"does my cock look fat in these jeans?"
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Reply #4 posted 01/22/12 4:07pm

RodeoSchro

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Dave1992 ruined that song for future generations.

Second Funkiest White Man in America

P&R's Palladin
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Reply #5 posted 01/22/12 4:58pm

artist76

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Starfish & Coffee was covered by a guy named Matt Nathanson on an album called For the Kids Too - I saw this CD at the library in the kids' music section. So I borrowed it and gave it a listen. I guess this guy is more like a "folk" singer, acoustic guitar, college circuit (any Matt Nathanson fans out there correct me if I'm wrong), and his version really showed how SF&C fits that vibe. Also on the CD - Rainbow Connection sung by Jason Mraz, so that gives you an idea the type of songs SF&C can be grouped with.

Love the song, but yeah, probably not a radio powerhouse.

Btw, my kid didn't like the original, but likes this cover version. She says because the original is "weird" - I guess it's a little more "edgy" and quirky for her and this cover is mellower and, well, kid-friendly.

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Reply #6 posted 01/23/12 1:53am

mysterymum

Really??? this on of my favourite songs. I agree with the poster. This song is really catchy with a great melody and easy lyrics to singalong to. Perfect as a single in my opinion.

It is also one of those songs that I play in my car or at home and when it's on, a lot of friends and family have immediately picked up on it and asked who and what it is.

Great track. Tough album to be on though, all great on sott cool

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Reply #7 posted 01/23/12 1:56am

Dave1992

RodeoSchro said:

Dave1992 ruined that song for future generations.

falloff

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Reply #8 posted 01/23/12 3:43am

Chas

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My recollection is that the single order was:

1) Sign, 2) If I Was Your Girlfriend, 3) U Got the Look, 4) I Could Never Take The Placee of Your Man, and 5) Hot Thing. (Adore was never officially released but got tons and tons of airplay). Girlfriend, as much as a Prince classic as it was, was way too ahead of its time and nearly wrecked the albums momentum but Look and ICNTTHOYM were big hits that both hit the Top 10.

Starfish and Coffee was not released, imo, for the same reason Dorothy Parker wasn't. Great quirky album tracks but not really radio fodder for the masses. Other than Girlfriend, which I think was one of the biggest commercial errors prince made before the name change, the singles were well chosen.

I agree. I also think "If I Was Your Girlfriend" was a terrible choice for a single. I think Prince has songs for the radio, and songs for his fans. "Girlfriend" is the latter, IMHO. I think Glam Slam was also a bad choice for a single. In the grand scheme of things, radio play matters for getting new fans and getting sales. I think if you're a Prince fan that's going to buy all the CDs, 12" and 7" singles, then airplay, sales, and single choice don't really matter, right?

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Reply #9 posted 01/23/12 3:45am

V10LETBLUES

Even if this track may have not been a #1 hit, it would have been great promotion for the record. It appeals to a wider demographic than almost any other track on the album. A video and a single release would have gone a long way. I have seen People who are not Prince fans seem to know the lyrics and sing a long to the damn thing when it is played somewhere. T

Go on YouTube and see if this isn't one of the most covered Prince songs. It was a huge WB mistake no to release this as a SOTT single or at least a B-side.

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Reply #10 posted 01/23/12 3:51am

SoulAlive

This is not a good pick for a single lol the title alone is too odd for pop radio and listeners would have been very confused.Furthermore,the song isn't all that great.

"If I Was Your Girlfriend" wasn't a good choice for a single,either.Not surprisingly,it bombed big time.Notice that the next single (the catchy,radio-friendly "U Got The Look") got all the way to Number Two on the charts.

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Reply #11 posted 01/23/12 3:58am

herrherr

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Gosh, I didn't realize there was such a division on "Starfish & Coffee." I don't know whether or not if it would have made a successful single, but it's a wonderfully crafted pop song.

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Reply #12 posted 01/23/12 5:56am

V10LETBLUES

SoulAlive said:

This is not a good pick for a single lol the title alone is too odd for pop radio and listeners would have been very confused.Furthermore,the song isn't all that great.

"If I Was Your Girlfriend" wasn't a good choice for a single,either.Not surprisingly,it bombed big time.Notice that the next single (the catchy,radio-friendly "U Got The Look") got all the way to Number Two on the charts.

"Dont Worry be Happy" was a hit.

I rest my case. lol

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Reply #13 posted 01/23/12 5:59am

ineedmoney

RRA said:

Explain something to me folks that I've never understood.

The first three SOTT singles, which I assume were picked and planned in schedule by Prince himself, were all great singles picks. Maybe or maybe not the best songs on that album, but for radio, they're excellent picks. And they were all hits for him.

So why didn't he follow them up with another radio-friendly-as-hell SOTT track in "S&C"? Such a pleasant memorable melody easy to sing-along to, he could've even won over people who never necessarily were down with him earlier. (As crazy as it may sound, "S&C" always gave me a McCartney-esque vibe if that makes any sense.) A license to print money if you ask me.

But he didn't. He instead picked "If I Was Your Girlfriend," a GREAT track mind you, but it didn't work as a single. In retrospect, maybe it was too slow for radio? Maybe people took the lyrics too literally? who knows. I still think Prince left a whole lot of money on the table with that missed single opportunity. Or maybe he didn't care and was aiming strictly for the R&B market? I don't know.

you serious????? eek if i was your girlfriend is one of his best singles ever! right up there with

head

take me with u

1999

little red corvette

kiss

raspberry beret

classic prince yall smile

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Reply #14 posted 01/23/12 6:02am

OldFriends4Sal
e

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moderator

herrherr said:

Gosh, I didn't realize there was such a division on "Starfish & Coffee." I don't know whether or not if it would have made a successful single, but it's a wonderfully crafted pop song.

I would say a wonderfully crafted 'folk' song. I don't think thats pop

I love this song

#IDEFINEME #ALBUMSSTILLMATTER

A Liar Shall Not Tarry In My Presence
I will make you cyber shit in your pants!
What's the matter with your life
Is poverty bringing U down?
Is the mailman jerking U 'round?
Did he put your million dollar check
In
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Reply #15 posted 01/23/12 6:06am

OldFriends4Sal
e

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Starfish And Coffee

It was 7:45, we were all in line 2 greet the teacher Miss Kathleen
First was Kevin, then came Lucy, third in line was me
All of us were ordinary compared 2 Cynthia Rose
She always stood at the back of the line, a smile beneath her nose
Her favorite number was 20 and every single day
If U asked her what she had 4 breakfast, this is what she'd say

Starfish and coffee, maple syrup and jam
Butterscotch clouds and a tangerine, a side order of ham
If U set your mind free, baby, maybe U'd understand
Starfish and coffee, maple syrup and jam

Cynthia wore the prettiest dress but different color socks
Sometimes I wondered if the mates were in her lunchbox (Oh ooh oh)
Me and Lucy opened it when Cynthia wasn't around (Oh ooh oh)
Lucy cried, I almost died, U know what we found

CHORUS:
Starfish and coffee, maple syrup and jam
Butterscotch clouds, a tangerine and a side order of ham
If U set your mind free, baby, maybe U'd understand
Starfish and coffee, maple syrup and jam

Starfish and coffee

Cynthia had a happy face, just like the one she draws
On every wall, in every school, but it's alright, it's 4 a worthy cause
Go on, Cynthia!
Keep sayin'...

CHORUS

(La la la la...)
Starfish and coffee, love 4 the soul {x2}

Sign 'O' The Times

#IDEFINEME #ALBUMSSTILLMATTER

A Liar Shall Not Tarry In My Presence
I will make you cyber shit in your pants!
What's the matter with your life
Is poverty bringing U down?
Is the mailman jerking U 'round?
Did he put your million dollar check
In
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Reply #16 posted 01/23/12 6:07am

OldFriends4Sal
e

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Susannah Melvoin: Backing vocals Starfish and Coffee

Lyrics co-written by Susannah Melvoin

Initial tracking took place on 20 April, 1986 at Prince's Galpin Blvd Home Studio, Chanhassen, MN, USA (three days after Crystal Ball), without the school alarm bell sound effect opening the song, which was added later. The track was initially included as the ninth track on the late April configuration of the Dream Factory album. It was kept for inclusion as the eighth track on the first disc on the 3 June, 1986 configuration and the seventh track on the 18 July, 1986 configuration. When the album developed into the triple-album Crystal Ball, the alarm bell opening was added, and the song was included as the sixth track on the first disc on the 30 November, 1986 configuration, which was eventually pared down and became Sign O' The Times. Prince re-recorded the song in Autumn, 1995, at Paisley Park Studios, Chanhassen, MN, USA,

#IDEFINEME #ALBUMSSTILLMATTER

A Liar Shall Not Tarry In My Presence
I will make you cyber shit in your pants!
What's the matter with your life
Is poverty bringing U down?
Is the mailman jerking U 'round?
Did he put your million dollar check
In
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Reply #17 posted 01/23/12 6:21am

BobGeorge909

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It's catchy and wonderful and all, but its just not radio material. It's a tad strange lyricaly and easily dismissive for a typical radio experience. It would taken a lot.of chance and luck for it to be a hit. It also wasn't a fair representation of what was on the album
[Edited 1/23/12 6:22am]
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Reply #18 posted 01/23/12 7:01am

OldFriends4Sal
e

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moderator

BobGeorge909 said:

It's catchy and wonderful and all, but its just not radio material. It's a tad strange lyricaly and easily dismissive for a typical radio experience. It would taken a lot.of chance and luck for it to be a hit. It also wasn't a fair representation of what was on the album [Edited 1/23/12 6:22am]

I don't think anything on the album 'fairly' represented the album -title

Dream Factory or Crystal Ball yes but the title Sign o the Times doesn't represent the album to me at all either

#IDEFINEME #ALBUMSSTILLMATTER

A Liar Shall Not Tarry In My Presence
I will make you cyber shit in your pants!
What's the matter with your life
Is poverty bringing U down?
Is the mailman jerking U 'round?
Did he put your million dollar check
In
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Reply #19 posted 01/23/12 7:12am

WinterIsComing

I LOOOOOVE star fish and coffee. I'm a little divided on its single chances. Sometimes quirky singles work. Starfish has an incredible catchy melody that anyone could sing along to. However, the second verse of the song is where it really gets weird (in terms of pop radio). But it also would have gotten people talking. You would have heard alot of "what the hell is starfish and coffee mean lol.

Most things that I worry about, never happen anyway
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Reply #20 posted 01/23/12 8:27am

Funklov

i would not have ruled out Starfish & Coffee as a single, you just never can tell what the masses would respond to, especially back in 1987.

Maybe the Muppet version would have worked a little better on the radio than the original though, with its "oh uh oh" and all.
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Reply #21 posted 01/23/12 8:46am

thedance

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I agree: great pop song, I love Starfish & Coffee.

It would have been a great single.

This was one of the first songs from The SOTT album, that I loved instantly at first listen back in the early summer of 1987. biggrin

Prince 4Ever. heart
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Reply #22 posted 01/23/12 9:11pm

ludwig

It's a wonderful song, and it would have worked as a single very well here in europe.

I also like the re-recorded 90ies version very much.

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Reply #23 posted 01/23/12 11:47pm

stillwaiting

I think Prince and Warners decided that they had to do whatever was possible to make sure this album did not sell a million copies. It was certified platinum due to the RIAA rule that double albums count as 2 items, but horrible promotion, a weak first video, no tour, no tour, and the fact that he didn't tour, funny how one of the most critically acclaimed works he has done is owned by so few. With better promotion, and maybe including Witness 4 The Prosecution and Old Friends 4 Sale instead of It's Gonna Be A Long Long Night woulda been better, but of all the songs he had in the Vault, the tracklisting was a bit lackluster.

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Reply #24 posted 01/23/12 11:56pm

NouveauDance

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I think it could've worked as a single, it's catchy, pretty instant, sing-songy. Those saying it's not commercial enough, think of it as Prince's 'Dear Jessie' - the Madonna single. It could work on that level as a single.

SOTT has some woulda-shoulda-coulda monster singles, it was a bit of a shambles really in terms of promotion - but it regarded as his crowning masterpiece by most critics and casuals, so he did something right with it I suppose - the material shines regardless of chart positions.

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Reply #25 posted 01/24/12 3:43am

Chas

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Ya think Prince is somewhere giggling that people are arguing over whether a song should've been a single 26 years after he recorded it?

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Reply #26 posted 01/24/12 3:49am

SoulAlive

NouveauDance said:

SOTT has some woulda-shoulda-coulda monster singles, it was a bit of a shambles really in terms of promotion - but it regarded as his crowning masterpiece by most critics and casuals, so he did something right with it I suppose - the material shines regardless of chart positions.

I think "It","Adore" and "Housequake" all could have been singles and would have done extremely well.

I remember a Warner Bros. exec mentioned that she wishes they had more time with the album,to release more singles and do more promotion.The problem is,by late 1987,Prince had already moved on to the next project.

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Reply #27 posted 01/24/12 3:54am

SoulAlive

stillwaiting said:

I think Prince and Warners decided that they had to do whatever was possible to make sure this album did not sell a million copies. It was certified platinum due to the RIAA rule that double albums count as 2 items, but horrible promotion, a weak first video, no tour, no tour, and the fact that he didn't tour, funny how one of the most critically acclaimed works he has done is owned by so few.

I disagree.I think the promotion was very effective,for the most part,and the album did reasonably well.But in the back of my mind,I wonder how things would have turned out if...

***Prince had brought his SOTT tour to States in the fall of 1987,as he originally planned

***If he had chosen a better second single (when IIWYG was released,the album began tumbling down the charts and began losing momentum).

...

[Edited 1/24/12 3:55am]

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Reply #28 posted 01/24/12 5:26am

OldFriends4Sal
e

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stillwaiting said:

I think Prince and Warners decided that they had to do whatever was possible to make sure this album did not sell a million copies. It was certified platinum due to the RIAA rule that double albums count as 2 items, but horrible promotion, a weak first video, no tour, no tour, and the fact that he didn't tour, funny how one of the most critically acclaimed works he has done is owned by so few. With better promotion, and maybe including Witness 4 The Prosecution and Old Friends 4 Sale instead of It's Gonna Be A Long Long Night woulda been better, but of all the songs he had in the Vault, the tracklisting was a bit lackluster.

No Warners wanted to push the promo, it was Prince that was done with it, because he wanted Crystal Ball not SOTT.

And yes he should have toured the States.

There were a LOT of songs created during the Parade/Dream Factory years.

An album like SOTT (with Sign o the Times) as it's leading single album opener and album title, the pick of songs would have to be different. I think almost everything else on the album sounds like a different album. The album does feel like a collage. It doesn't easily have a 'cohesive feel'

the Music on Dream Factory had a more cohesive fit

depending on how each disc for the Crystal Ball were set would depend on it's flow

And of course he wanted to release the Camille project

so there was a lot going on

#IDEFINEME #ALBUMSSTILLMATTER

A Liar Shall Not Tarry In My Presence
I will make you cyber shit in your pants!
What's the matter with your life
Is poverty bringing U down?
Is the mailman jerking U 'round?
Did he put your million dollar check
In
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Reply #29 posted 01/24/12 5:49am

pepper7

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I agree with the poster.

I also think that he should have definitely released Housequake and Beautiful Night, very radio friendly and he would have won over so many people with these - they are absolute classic imo...

Shut up already, damn.
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