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Thread started 10/03/12 11:03am

OldFriends4Sal
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Musicology era 2003 - 2005

Don't U miss the feeling music gave ya back in the day?



Don't U miss the feeling music gave ya back in the day?

Now, dance
Dance

But U're the perfect picture of what love should look like
All the purple hippies bang your heads on the one

Never seen the moon look so lovely as the night I saw it with U
I'd never heard a prayer like this one
Master of the soft, not 2 loud
She's gonna need a pillow case — something 2 put those tears on
And Sunday chocolate on the roof right after his game
Confess, U tease, unless U please (Confess, tease, please, please)
Listen, ain't no sense in voting — same song with a different name
I don't know, I was just thinking bout my... mother

#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 #1 posted 10/03/12 11:04am

OldFriends4Sal
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#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 #2 posted 10/03/12 11:44am

OldFriends4Sal
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released on April 20, 2004

partially recorded in Mississauga, Ontario, was his first to be recorded outside Minneapolis in many years.

At the end of the song "Musicology" snippets of "Kiss", "Little Red Corvette", "Sign o' the Times", "17 Days" and "If I Was Your Girlfriend" can be heard. At the time of release Prince was quoted as saying he wished the album to provide musical education to listeners.

  1. Musicology – 4:26
  2. Illusion, Coma, Pimp & Circumstance – 4:46
  3. A Million Days – 3:50
  4. Life o' the Party – 4:29
  5. Call My Name – 5:15
  6. Cinnamon Girl – 3:56
  7. What Do U Want Me 2 Do? – 4:15
  8. The Marrying Kind – 2:49
  9. If Eye Was the Man in Ur Life – 3:09
  10. On the Couch – 3:33
  11. Dear Mr. Man – 4:14
  12. Reflection – 3:04

#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 #3 posted 10/03/12 12:54pm

OldFriends4Sal
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#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 #4 posted 10/03/12 12:57pm

OldFriends4Sal
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#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 #5 posted 10/03/12 1:01pm

OldFriends4Sal
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Musicology - at Madison Square Garden, 2004:


July 13 , 2004
Madison Square Garden NYC

1.Musicology
2.Let's Go Crazy

3.I Would Die 4 U
4.When Doves Cry
5.Baby, I'm A Star
6.Shhh!
7.D,M,S,R
/Pass The Peas
/The Glamourous Life/D,M,S,R
8.I Feel 4 U
(Chaka Khan-vo)
9.Controversy Jam
10.Georgia On My Mind

(Acoustic Set)
11.Little Red Corvette
12.Cream
13.On The Couch
14.Raspberry Beret
15.Dear Mr.Man
16.Telemarketer's Blues
17.
I Could Never Take PlaceOf Your Man
18.Sweet Thing

19.Adore


20.7

21.Sign O' The Times
19.Bambi
20.Whole Lotta Love
21.Let't Work
22.U Got The Look
(Prince& Sheila E)
23.Life O'The Party
24.Knock On Wood
25.Kiss
26.Take Me With U
27.Call My Name
28.Purple Rai
n

#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 #6 posted 10/03/12 2:26pm

Toofunkyinhere

OldFriends4Sale said:

What a great pic!

We're here, might as well get into it.
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Reply #7 posted 10/04/12 5:15am

OldFriends4Sal
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Burning Down the House
Prince has still got that red-hot magic

By Anthony DeCurtis

"Hammering! That's the word. That's it!" Prince folds over in laughter and stamps his high-heel boots on the floor. Those heels, as it happens, are clear plastic, and lights twinkle within them. It's a perfect metaphor for the electricity that seems to be coursing through the singer at the moment.

Prince is responding to a description of the torrid version of "D.M.S.R." -- a jam from 1999 touting the virtues of "dance, music, sex, romance" -- that he and his backing band, the New Power Generation, unleashed earlier that evening at the sold-out Gund Arena in Cleveland. It was a full-on funk stomp that got the house up and shaking. Hammering only begins to convey the performance's pulverizing rhythmic assault. "Pulverizing! That's good, too," Prince says, laughing again. "What you see is people responding to what this band is -- and what we're doing."

It's just twenty minutes after the show, and, at a time when most performers would be just beginning to cool down, Prince is utterly composed. He's crisply dressed in a purple tunic and black pants and looks as if he has spent the evening relaxing in his living room rather than burning down a 20,000-seat house. But that's how effortless things seem to be of late for the forty-five-year-old musician. Everybody in the Prince camp -- most definitely beginning with Prince himself -- bristles when anyone suggests that the current wave of Princemania constitutes a "comeback." The official line is that he never went away. From a strictly literal standpoint, of course, that's true. He's been as busy as ever, using his own label and his Web site, the New Power Generation Music Club, to release CDs such as The Rainbow Children (2001) and N.E.W.S. (2003), as well as the DVD Prince: Live at the Aladdin Las Vegas.

But whether or not you buy the message that Prince never left, it's clear that many of his millions of fans had gone somewhere in recent years, and now many of them are staging a comeback of their own. Suddenly, liking Prince doesn't feel like such a chore; in fact, it's fun. His stripped-down, pleasingly straightforward new album, Musicology, delivers on the promise of his spellbinding performances earlier this year on the Grammy Awards broadcast and at his induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. His live shows have become ecstatic parties, sweaty, two-hour romps through the likes of "Controversy," "U Got the Look," "Take Me With U" and a sizzling version of Sam and Dave's classic "Soul Man." Nearly a recluse before, Prince is now all over the media, chatting on talk shows, posing for photographers, being interviewed by reporters.

It's like an old friend has returned. Indeed, the spring of 2004 is beginning to feel like the summer of 1984, when Purple Rain made Prince one of the biggest rock stars in the world. When he sings, "Don't you miss the feeling that music gave you back in the day?" in "Musicology," he might as well be speaking about his own music. After abandoning his name for an unpronounceable symbol, after painting the word "slave" on his face as part of a battle with his record label, after disowning decades of his own work, Prince is enjoying himself again. And, as always, his enthusiasm is irresistible.


I had an epiphany last night," Prince says about his appearance in Columbus, Ohio. He's sitting on a couch in his dressing room, shortly before taking the stage in Cleveland. The room is warm and humid, to keep his throat and nasal passages clear and his vocal cords supple. Candles burn on every available surface.

"I was offstage, listening to Michael Phillips take his solo," he continues, alluding to the instrumental portion of the show in which the saxophonist takes a long, atmospheric excursion during "God" while Prince changes clothes and takes a break. "I was thinking, 'Wow, listen to those people responding, and all he's doing is playing a saxophone.' They can feel that what he's doing is real. So many shows now, they have pyrotechnics, pre-taped vocals and musical parts, and it's so dead. But here's one man breathing into an instrument, and the whole room feels alive. It made me want to rise up to that level when I came back onstage."

Part of the goal of the Musicology album and tour is to connect audiences once again to the power of live music. "Take your pick -- turntable or a band?" Prince challenges on the album, and his concerts are like a clinic in inciting the sort of pandemonium that only a band can create. That's true even for the players themselves. "This is school for me," says Phillips, 27. "Every night I watch how he connects his gift to the crowd. I've spoken to him about it. He told me that playing a solo is like making love. You have to pay attention to the things that make your partner respond -- and space them out so they come at exactly the right time. It's one big, long orgasm."

Prince's deal with Columbia: Because "Musicology" is so listener-friendly, Prince overcame his near pathological wariness about record companies and agreed to allow his lawyer to work out a deal with Columbia Records. Columbia, which is part of Sony Music, will distribute and help the market the album domestically ( and be reimbursed for the costs of doing so) and license it for sale in the rest of the world. It's an arrangement that essentially requires no upfront costs on the label's part, while providing a strong profit incentive for the company to sell as many copies as possible. On his end, Prince gets the enormous reach of an international corporate powerhouse.

According to Sony's president, Don Ienner, the label has filled orders for upward of a million copies of the album worldwide. "And with the first copy shipped, we started making money," he adds. "We have really high expectations for this, and, though there are no guarantees, we hope to remain in business with Prince for a long time. How often does an artist of his stature become available on any terms?"

Prince receives no payment from the label. But retains complete ownership of the album. He also gets a much higher percentage of sales than he would under a more traditional arrangement. "One advantage of writing "slave' on my face back then was that when I meet with a label now, they already know they're not going to be owning anything", Prince says wryly. "Maybe at one time they could get Little Richard for a new car and a bucket of chicken. We don't roll like that no more.

Being at Peace: "I feel at peace. I knew it would take time, and I had to deal with a lot of ridicule. But this feels like peace right now. Spiritually I feel very different from the way I used to, but physically? Not at all. I don't look at time that way, and I don't believe in age. When you wake up, each days looks the same, so each day should be a new beginning. I don't have an expiration date."

About Tom Petty: "It was an honor to play with Tom Petty (at the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame ceremony). "Free Fallin'" is one of my favorite songs. I used to love whenever he would come on MTV, because you knew you were going to get a great tune. MTV isn't like that anymore."

"Kiss" Highlight: For a tumultous run of songs at the end of the Cleveland show, Prince invites perhaps two dozen women in the audience onto the stage to dance. One willowy girl wears a purple two-piece bathing suit festooned with the gylph that had become the singer's name for a time. Prince struts over to her, and she becomes his dance partner during "Kiss". After the line "Act your age, not your shoe size", he holds the mike out for her, and right in tune, she sings, "And maybe we can do the twirl!" Prince's eyes widen and he yowls, "Wooo!"

"The security guard wasn't going to let her get onstage", Prince says backstage after the show. " I said, "You can't send that girl home dressed like that!"

#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 #8 posted 10/04/12 8:59am

OldFriends4Sal
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#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 #9 posted 10/04/12 11:39am

Wall

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An era of absolute shit music that's still going strong today.

No hard feelings.
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Reply #10 posted 10/04/12 12:24pm

OldFriends4Sal
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German CD single

The B-side of the single is the Musicology track On the Couch, a seductive ballad with a gospel flavor. In addition, Prince released a song on his website titled Magnificent, which was listed as the virtual B-side to Musicology.

Heard about the party now
Just east o' Harlem
Dougie's gonna b there
But u got 2 call him

Even the soldiers
Need a break sometimes
Listen 2 the groove ya'll
Let it unwind ur mind

No intoxication
Unless u c what eye c
Dancin hot n' sweaty
Right in font of me

Call it what u like
I'm gonna call it how it b
This is just another one
Of God's gifts
Musicology

Keep that party movin
Just like eye told you
Kick the old school joint
4 the true funk soldiers
Musicology

Wish eye had a dollar
4 everytime u say
Don't u miss the feeling
Music gave ya
Back in the day?

Let's Groove
September
Earth, Wind and Fire
Hot Pants by James
Sly's gonna take u higher

Minor keys and drugs
Don't make a rollerskate jam
Take ur pick - turntable or a band?

If it ain't Chuck D
or Jam Master Jay
Know what?
They're losin'
'Cause we got a PhD in
Advanced Body Movin'

Keep the party movin'
Just like eye told u
Kick the old school joint
4 the true funk soldiers
Musicology

Initial recording dates are unknown, but it is likely that the track was recorded in early 2003 at Paisley Park Studios, Chanhassen, MN, USA.

The album version of the track includes a segue at the end of the track involving a radio changing between stations (similar to a Segue on Carmen Electra's album Carmen Electra). Each station is playing a Prince song, and included are snippets of If I Was Your Girlfriend, 17 Days, Kiss, Sign O' The Times and Little Red Corvette. Spoken over it are lyrics to Illusion, Coma, Pimp & Circumstance, the following track on the album. -Prince Vault

#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 #11 posted 10/04/12 3:40pm

controversy99

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OldFriends4Sale said:

Burning Down the House
Prince has still got that red-hot magic

By Anthony DeCurtis

...

About Tom Petty: "It was an honor to play with Tom Petty (at the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame ceremony). "Free Fallin'" is one of my favorite songs. I used to love whenever he would come on MTV, because you knew you were going to get a great tune. MTV isn't like that anymore."

Wow. I never heard that quote from Prince about Tom Petty. I wouldn't have expected it. Kind of cool. I has mixed feelings about Petty, but Free Fallin is definitely a jam.

"Love & honesty, peace & harmony"
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Reply #12 posted 10/04/12 9:52pm

versiongirl

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As usual, Oldfriends4sale, I love your posts. You are the real deal Prince fan!

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Reply #13 posted 10/04/12 11:42pm

toejam

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Great times! The peak years of my Princely obsession!

[Edited 10/5/12 6:47am]

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 #14 posted 10/05/12 1:23am

mostbeautifulb
oy

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I wasn't a fan at the time, but this era has really grown on me.

I think its underrated by alot of fans.

My name is Naz!!! and I have a windmill where my brain is supposed to be.....

ديفيد باوي إلى الأبد
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Reply #15 posted 10/05/12 1:28am

Paris9748430

This began probably the 2nd most successful period in Prince's career.

JERKIN' EVERYTHING IN SIGHT!!!!!
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Reply #16 posted 10/05/12 1:39am

Timmy84

The comeback period...

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Reply #17 posted 10/05/12 2:30am

thecloud

mostbeautifulboy said:

I wasn't a fan at the time, but this era has really grown on me.

I think its underrated by alot of fans.

Great thread as usual. Yes these were great times, I mean you couldn't move without bumping into Prince at some point. Wish he could get back to that level awareness amongst the world, but I understand he is getting older & will do what makes em' at the begininng & end of the day!!!!

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Reply #18 posted 10/05/12 11:26am

OldFriends4Sal
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#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 10/05/12 11:35am

OldFriends4Sal
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October 10. 2003
The Tower Theatre-

802 S. Broadway Los Angeles

1927 by architect S. Charles Lee |

Musicology Video Shoot


http://towertheatrela.com/

I arrived exactly at 3:00pm, right behind what I'm guessing was Prince's black Mercedes limo, and immediately met up with some of the usual suspects (Jeremy-J7, Tamiko, Chris, and Karrie). I had come with hair and make-up "camera-ready" as per the instructions, but had my various "costume" pieces in a bag. At the base camp, however, I noticed that most people were already dressed, and I was still in my work-out pants and chanclas (to'-up slippers for the non-Spanish speakers). Since we were informed that the "fan background" would not be checked in for another hour, I went back to the parking lot w/J7, and with him and Monique as look-outs, I changed out of my grubbies and into a cocktail dress (what an odd sense of deja vu swept over me as I struggled into my clothes in the backseat of a car...j/k!)

We went back to camp and looked for a spot to sit for what would turn out to be quite a long wait.}}} But for the most part, people seemed to make the most of it, socializing and people-watching. Eventually, we were lined up to go into the wardrobe tents and have our 'costumes' approved or, if necessary, changed. Wardrobe was satisfied with the dress and strappy heels I had on, so I took my bag back to the car and then it was back to the wait. Some beautiful Bumpsquad-ettes (sounds like a drill team) representing were Tamiko, Monique, Karrie (what a trouper!), Ruth, Krystina, Sylvia, Dee Dee, Lyn, and Dara, all looking very lovely, and the guys J7, Alan, Chris G, Edgar, Kevin and Lawrence all very "fly," as the kids say, in their suits and ties.

Finally, we were called, and we trotted across Spring Street to the Tower Theatre (one of the old, semi-abandoned movie palaces that one can still find in downtown Los Angeles). As we filed down the alley behind the theatre, we passed Maceo noodling around a bit on his sax, and Blackwell was in the back of the truck that probably transports the instruments. We could hear some of "Musicology" playing as we walked past the open back entrance of the theatre. But just as our group was about to go into the theatre and after a few of us were picked out of the line to go inside (J7 said it was like standing behind the velvet rope at SkyBar), the rest of us were sent back to camp to be fed (Domino's cheese pizza, and believe me, after 6 hours of Cheetos and water, it was the most delicious pizza EVER!)

Some of us were starting to worry that we were literally all dressed up with nowhere to go. Were they really going to use us in the video, or had we just wasted an entire Saturday sitting in a parking lot in downtown L.A.? Aside from being a "seat-filler" once at the Emmys, I had never done anything like this before, and though I knew that filming anything involves a lot of waiting around for the actors and extras, this seemed to be wearing on for too long, and the paid extras had already been called for what seemed like hours. We were assured, though, that we were going to be used, and as a matter of fact, could we please call others to come down? They needed all the extras they could get. Eventually, the 'chosen few' (Tamiko, Edgar, and Alan) came back and reported that they'd been used in a scene where a crowd stood in a circle as a couple of guys danced, as well as in a scene where the club-goers are hanging in the club, enjoying the music. They also reported that they liked what they heard of the song.

About five minutes after an eternity, we were finally called again. As we stood outside the front entrance of the theatre, we were warned not to bring anything inside that was not part of our costume (you know the drill - no cells, cameras, or recording devices of any kind), and we were wanded before being let in. By then, we had been joined by Angie, Matt (good to see you again, Sarge!), and James, thanks to Krystina's phone calls.

We were led upstairs to the balcony. I could see that the small theatre had also probably been a club for live music, because there was a good size dance floor in front of the stage. The theatre had a really cool, faded beauty. You could see that back in the day when going out to the movies was really an event, it was a beautiful place with the the ornate moldings, banisters, and balconies, the mural medallion in the ceiling, etc. It was a perfect setting for the retro feel of the video

We lined up along the banisters on each side of the second level of the theatre and had a good view of the stage. Once again, the director's assistants started picking people to position them in certain spots. Chris G, Karrie, Tamiko, Sylvia, Kevin, Matt, Dara, Oscar, Lyn, and J7 and I were some of the people sent downstairs to fill in the audience, and I saw Alan, Ruth, Edgar, Krystina, and Monique in the balconies on either side of the stage. The dancers and the band (Rhonda, Rad - both gorgeous, Renato, Maceo, Blackwell, and Greg Boyer) took the stage. We got our directions to be really hyped, and excited, and respond to whatever happens on stage as if it was a live peformance. Like they had to tell us! Some of us were already cheering before the cameras were rolling just because Prince strode toward the stage to take his position.

The music started and Prince bounded onto the stage. We in the audience were going nuts and dancing to the music, and I can tell you, at least on my part, it wasn't all acting. Even lip-synching, Prince is immensely fun to watch, especially in an energetic and funky performance like that. Not to mention, I thought he looked hot as ever. He's got a little 'fro going on, and I'm liking the suits he's been favoring lately. And those eyes...(ahem!) moving along now...

Oscar did a good job of describing the music and the vibe as reminiscent of "Rock n' Roll is Alive," but perhaps with an extra edge of funkiness. As for the video, as Oscar again well described, there were parts where dancers make their way onto the stage and dance a bit before police in riot gear shove them off. There was some realistic shoving going on. I had anti-war protest flashbacks for a second there. But the whole thing looked great from where I stood - very high energy, very fun.

They did about three or four takes, and I was really feeling the song. It's much different than what was played at BB King's before the aftershow at the Aladdin DVD screening. After the last take with the band, we did three more takes of a shot of the little boy being carried to the stage by his dad to dance. While we were postioning up for the shot, the band was watching us from the side. I saw Prince walk up to them hand in hand with Mani (she is so petite! She's barely his height with very high heels on, though to be honest, I didn't check to see how high his his heels were!)

Alright, I've gone on enough. The night finally ended at about 1:30. My feet were killing me, and I still can't get the feeling back in some of my toes. But all in all, it was a fun experience, and I look forward (fingers crossed) to the day the video makes it's debut.

One last thing - much, much love to those of you I mentioned, and also those of you I may not have mentioned due to my poor memory and fatigue. Once again, you've made this experience even more fun and special because you were all there and we shared it together. Peace!
#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 #20 posted 10/09/12 10:06am

OldFriends4Sal
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Magnificent

Magnificent was released as a "virtual b-side" to Musicology, the first single fromPrince's 28th album Musicology. The single itself did not receive a retail or download release as a single in North America.

While specific recording dates are not known, it is likely that the track was recorded in early 2004, at Paisley Park Studios, Chanhassen, MN, USA.


Yeah

So much anticipation
4 this conversation
Such a long time

Life a meeting of two nations
This special occasion
Got us both tongue tied

Let me just say that Eye've respected U
From a distance
Eye've been watching U, sho' been watching you
In the time it took the others 2 say Ur name
We became magnificence

Chorus:
What Eye'm about 2 say will astound U
But Eye can only say it when no one's around U

Magnificent
Magnificent, when it pounds you
Magnificent
The voice that U hear is the alchemy of Ur mind

The two of us like stardust
We go back, yeah we must
To the dawning of all time
To the nuclear reaction
The only present satisfaction
The sweet and sticky kind

Regardless of what they say 2 U
The moment U hear me speak they're through

Like paradise Eye'm so nice
Eye never lose my effect on U

Chorus

The voice that U hear is the alchemy of Ur mind

Counting backwards, a thousand 2 one
Everything we do is so much fun
To our time before time began
Before Eye was a woman, before U were a man

Before sex and race ever mattered
Tell me now do U understand?

#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 #21 posted 10/09/12 1:38pm

jackmitz

I absolutely adore the 2nd half of Musicology. The entire album is a gem, but the 2nd half is shockingly good. 'Marrying Kind', 'If I Was the Man in Your Life', and 'Reflection' are all just plain brilliant.

Occupy Alphabet Street!




facebook.com/jackmitz

twitter.com/jackmitz
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Reply #22 posted 10/11/12 1:34pm

OldFriends4Sal
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Entertainment Weekly
April 23rd 2004


The Weird, Wonderful Return Of Prince


Prince, in an unusually revealing interview, talks about his wild and wicked past, holding hands with Stevie Wonder, and why the music biz deserves William Hung.
BY JEFF JENSEN

THEY'VE BEEN ROCKED. THEY'VE BEEN FUNKED. THEY'VE BEEN WOOED. Now it's time to show him the love. It's a manic Monday night in late March, and 19,000 men, women and even children -- the largest crowd ever to see a concert at Los Angeles' Staples Center -- are giving it up for Prince. He has plied them with hits -- from "Let's Go Crazy" to "Kiss" to "U Got The Look" -- but one song in particular has brought them thunderously to their feet: an unplugged, stripped-down rendition of "Little Red Corvette." It is the centerpiece of a solo acoustic set by turns warm, funny, and riveting, and it earns him a standing ovation that goes on and on and on...

Prince beams. He covers his me-so-pretty face with his hands, and the applause only gets louder. It's a big, messy, wet kiss and it clearly means a whole lot to him. More than his fans might have considered possible. More, perhaps, than he's willing to admit.

The last time we paid attention to Prince, it was as much for his increasingly bizarre behavior as for the brilliant rock/funk/R&B fusion that made him one of the greatest artists of modern pop. Changing his name to an unpronounceable symbol. Scrawling the word slave on his cheek. Releasing half-assed albums like Come to burn off his contract with Warner Bros. His most notable cultural contribution of the past decade? Carmen Electra. Thanks, Prince. Thanks a lot.

Yet through it all, there still existed the hope that a talent called ''genius'' time and again could return to form. That moment finally seems to have arrived. In February, his electrifying Grammy duet with Beyoncé opened the show, and stole it. That was followed by Prince's induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame; his guitar heroics were the highlight of the ceremony. His current tour -- on which he's allegedly playing his hits for the last time -- is selling out across the country. Critics are calling his new CD, Musicology (in stores April 20), his best in years. It's the kind of thing we media types like to call a comeback, though according to Prince, we media types, as usual, are mistaken.

Two nights after playing to an ecstatic L.A. crowd, Prince is backstage before a sound check at the Glendale Arena outside Phoenix, a city named, appropriately enough, after the fiery, feathered avatar of resurrection. Clad in a black sleeveless tunic and cranberry pants, Prince takes a plate from his bodyguard and loads it up with fruit, pasta slathered in cream sauce, and salad. Yes, Prince eats. He also goes to the multiplex. Last night, after his show in Bakersfield, Calif., he and his band unwound by checking out Kevin Smith's latest flick, Jersey Girl, a so-so departure from his usual lewd-and-crude comedies. Prince was unimpressed. Not that the 45-year-old, happily married, devout Jehovah's Witness can't appreciate a cleaner act; he himself has scrubbed from his set list staples like "Head" and "Jack U Off." It's just that according to Prince, Smith didn't replace it with nothing interesting. "We walked out after an hour," he sniffs. "Guess that's what happens when the potty mouth doesn't work for you anymore."

Though 5 foot 2, Prince does not radiate ''short.'' From his complicated poodle haircut, to his dark doe eyes and the geometrically groomed stubble along his razor-sharp features, to his toned arms and quirky, customized attire, Prince's carefully considered visage is a superconductor for his considerable charm, and it tricks the eye. He even has a scent, though an elusive one. Not a perfume but a powder, like he's been dusted with incense. Prince in the flesh is pop evanescence incarnate. It's only when he opens his mouth that he resembles the rest of us mortals.

Hearing him talk about ordinary things is almost a shock. He speaks in hushed-voice gushes -- megabyte downloads of wit, logic, and Christian evangelism. In one rant about the nature of democracy, how the media shape perception, and the decline of morality in America, Prince links terrorism-induced regime change in Spain, Bowling for Columbine, The Matrix, Adam and Eve and the Fall of Man, the Jayson Blair/New York Times scandal, Mariah Carey, MTV's Jackass, and Santa Claus. (We were discussing whether he thinks he's misunderstood.) Strangely, the whole thing makes sense.

Of course, he does have his obsessions. Or perhaps obsession would be more accurate. Nearly every answer to questions about Musicology or his career is colored by his battle with Warner Bros. over ownership of his master recordings and the pace of his output (beginning with 1978's For You, Warner released 20 albums in 21 years). Talking to him can be like chatting with a flashback-racked war veteran, or a heartbroken ex dumped for no good reason.

Prince's attitude about the music industry in a nutshell: He wishes it would go away. He hates how labels have exploited our warp-speed culture at the expense of nurturing long-term careers. ''It took me four albums to get on the cover of Rolling Stone. Now it takes new artists only one. There should be rules for that kind of thing!''

His rhetoric is either deeply cynical or worldly-wise, depending on your point of view; he is convinced record labels conspire to phase out their most successful artists at their peak in order to avoid getting locked into cash-rich deals. But occasionally, some grace breaks through. His beef is with "the system," not the people who run it. "When I realized that, that's when I took the word slave off my face," he says. "I realized that they are as much slaves as I am."

That's why in 2001 Prince created the NPG Music Club, an online service that is now the official outlet for most of his music. He's giving Musicology away to everyone who attends his concerts, an experiment he's been itching to try since 1994 (the cost -- about $9.99 -- is included in the ticket price). With its focused songcraft and shout-outs to James Brown, Earth, Wind & Fire, and Sly & the Family Stone, ''Musicology'' has an old-school vibe that reflects Prince's belief in old-fashioned musicianship. If today's young artists just knew their stuff, Prince suggests, they could have greater control over their careers and gain the clout to transform the industry.

"I think of the music business as a city," he says. "You tear one down, another whole city starts developing. But a city needs human beings to run it. My whole point is that if the music came first, if the city was run by musicians instead of people with MBAs, everything would flip. This is what we need today. This is what I want to be -- a musical mentor. To pass on the knowledge."

He doesn't find the current system completely useless: Columbia Records is handling the traditional retail distribution of Musicology. "I expect people will respond to it as a 21st-century Prince record," says Sony Music U.S. president Don Ienner, who likens Musicology to Bruce Springsteen's The Rising and Bob Dylan's Time Out of Mind: urgent (and commercially successful) statements from supposedly dusty maestros. As for Prince's desire for music-industry regime change, Ienner says: "There are certain things we don't talk about. Obviously, he doesn't feel the same way about us as he does about [his old label]. I hear what he's saying. I don't necessarily have to agree with everything he's saying, but I hear him.

Prince does see a place in his new world order for the current power players. ''You know that guy who dances funny on American Idol? The Asian-American kid?'' He means William Hung. ''That works for the record industry,'' he says with a laugh. ''We need somebody to release those kind of records.'' Does his implied critique include packaged popsters like Britney Spears, too? Prince begs off, not wanting to name names. Kinda. ''I mean no disrespect,'' he says. ''But I see it as my duty to school young people coming up. Lip-synchers? What does a kid -- what do other artists get out of that? I don't mind if Mariah Carey hits bad notes.''

Being a role model doesn't mean Prince lacks mentors of his own, like Stevie Wonder. "His insight is priceless," says Prince. It's easy to see why he would connect with Wonder. Both are undisputed musical geniuses who fought for -- and got -- total creative control over their music. Prince Rogers Nelson was just 19 when he signed a multimillion-dollar, three-album deal with Warner Bros. in 1977. A wunderkind from Minneapolis who could play a dozen instruments by ear and wanted to combine James, Jimi, and Sly into a single, idiosyncratic sound, Prince used his freedom to create three albums of mounting brilliance that set the stage for his '80s reign -- and, perhaps, for a profound sense of entitlement.

So what is he learning from Stevie these days? "I just learn by watching him," he says. "One day, he wanted to show me what it's like for him to experience the world, to actually feel a piece of music, so he held my hand. Here, hold my hand." Prince extends his palm, and I take it. It's warm and dry, and his nails are exquisitely manicured. "Now at first, it's like 'Whoa, I'm holding hands with a man!'" He quickly released his grip and throws his hands up. "Now, those thoughts and feelings are mine, and we all have to work those things out for ourselves. But then I started thinking what it means for Stevie to be able to hold someone's hand -- anyone's hand, even a man's. He's telling me he respects me. And by extension, he's teaching me that I have to have that same respect for everybody in life."

THERE ARE TWO THINGS PRINCE DOESN'T TALK ABOUT. The first is his personal life, which means that we won't be chatting about his wife, Manuela Testolini, whom I meet briefly in Prince's candlelit dressing room after the sound check. She shakes my hand and tells me it's a pleasure, all without breaking stride as she leaves the room. Her husband looks longingly toward the door, then invites me to sit on a small sofa. Musicology is steeped in the pining of a man not only in love but in love with fidelity. Yet when I ask him about this seemingly more mature Prince -- a man almost as infamous for his romantic conquests as his music -- he shuts me down. ''That's for all of you to decide. I don't intellectualize my music.''

The second off-limits topic is Prince's past...which rules out almost everything else you'd want to discuss with him. ''I've changed. I'm a different person. I'm about the present and moving forward. New joke, new anecdote, new lesson to be discovered,'' he says. ''You know that old lady in Sunset Boulevard, trapped in her mansion and past glories? Getting ready for her close-up? I don't run with that.'' Even so, Prince begins concerts with a self-venerating video quoting extensively from a speech by Alicia Keys at his Hall induction.

Much of what has changed in Prince's life has occurred in the several years since he committed to the Jehovah's Witness faith. His music has always wrestled with Christian-tinged spirituality, but Prince says he didn't start reading the Bible until he'd become a Witness. His religious fervor was evident in the 2001 concept album The Rainbow Children, which was roundly knocked by critics. (Prince also attempted to produce an evangelical video based on the album directed by...Kevin Smith, whose surreal tale of working with Prince can be found on the DVD An Evening With Kevin Smith. "I'm cool with him not liking Jersey Girl," says Smith. "I f---ing hated his album Crystal Ball, so now we're even.")

As a result of his faith, Prince has developed an uncharacteristic modesty. In concert, he's taken to changing ''I'm your messiah and you're the reason why'' in ''I Would Die 4 U'' to ''He's your messiah...'' Still, it appears he has some kinks to work out in squaring his dogma with his golden-god persona. Asked if he feels he's alienated his fans over the years, Prince says: ''No. The love has never left. I've always felt that there were people in my corner. It's a gift, that God gives us the chance to feel such love. And it's all for His glory: I don't believe in idol worship. That's why I don't sign autographs. When I get asked for my autograph, I say no and tell them why, because I'm giving them something to think about.'' This from a man who often prompts his concert audiences to scream his name. Ironies, contradictions, and exceptions escape Prince like doves from a cage.

There is also the predicament of his own potty-mouthed past -- the one where he sang of erotic cities and a love that is soft and wet. But Prince has this problem solved as well. He doesn't perform those songs anymore. The founding father of the warning label freely concedes he's come full circle since he scandalized Tipper Gore with the word ''masturbating'' in ''Darling Nikki.'' ''Look at this situation with the FCC after Janet: We've gone too far now. We've pushed the envelope off the table and forgotten there was a table. You can't push the envelope any further than I pushed it. So stop! What's the point?''

But the more Prince talks about the sign of the times, the more he ends up talking about his past -- and defending it. ''We've all used shock value to sell things,'' he says. ''I used shock to get attention. But back when I was doing the freaky songs in the freaky outfits, we were exploring ideas. I wanted my band to be multiracial, male and female, to reflect society. The song 'Sexuality' was about education and literacy. 'P Control' and 'Sexy MF' were about respect for women. Go and listen to the verses. All people focus on is the hooks.''

Of Prince's many contradictions, perhaps the strangest is this: Here at the white-hot moment of his revival, the singer still simmers over small flash points of insult. By and large, he's flattered when told that his influence can be seen in everyone from Beck to OutKast, whose Andre 3000 describes Prince as "the total package. To me, he's the best of our generation -- a total musician making almost otherworldly music."

But ask him if he's heard the Foo Fighters' version of "Darling Nikki" and Prince, who a minute earlier said he never listens to the radio ("When I want to hear new music, I go make some"), replies by describing a Hawaii DJ's response to the Foos' cover. The DJ wondered if Prince had heard it -- then said he couldn't care less if he had. "Just no respect," says Prince. "I wonder if that's the kind of thing the FCC would like to clean up, too."

So...does he like the cover? "No! I don't like anyone covering my work. Write your own tunes!" He says he got up in R&B singer Ginuwine's face for bungling the lyrics in a 1996 version of "When Doves Cry." "I was just busting on him to bust him, but I was a little serious: Have some respect, man. If anyone tried to cover 'Respect,' by Aretha? I would shoot them myself!"

Of course, the Queen of Soul was herself covering an Otis Redding tune, but his point is clear: Young artists, respect your elder betters. Which is a savvy position for Prince to adopt in our '80s-crazed moment. It's the kind of thing a marketer might call "repositioning your brand" -- as in angling for renewed relevancy while never admitting you lost it in the first place. Whatever you call Prince's resurging popularity, don't use the C-word. ''People are calling this my comeback. Comeback? I never went anywhere!'' Prince, in fact, denies that his Grammy appearance, his oldies-packed tour, and the nationwide movie-theater simulcast of his Staples Center concert were part of an orchestrated effort to kick-start his career. ''I never stopped playing and recording. Never had a problem filling arenas. My appearance on Ellen wasn't part of some master strategy. She asked if I would perform; I said yes.'' Then, quoting from another man's song, Prince says, "Don't call it a comeback. I've been here for years."

When I joke that he'd better be careful or LL Cool J may come looking for him, Prince smirks: "I was about to say the same thing."

THE PHOENIX CONCERT STARTS AN HOUR LATE, due, perhaps, to a certain interview ending right at showtime. As a result, Prince has to cut the acoustic set, which means no ''Little Red Corvette'' -- the song that brought the Staples Center crowd to its feet. But don't worry, Phoenix: You should take the whole last-time-for-the-hits thing with a grain of salt. ''Well, it is called the 2004ever tour,'' says Prince when pressed on the subject. ''And time is forever.'' So...probably not the last time? ''Probably not.''

Earlier, I asked Prince what the ''Little Red Corvette'' ovation at Staples meant to him. ''What I was thinking in that moment was, Without any real sacrifice, there's no reward. The affirmation of the Staples show was a blessing from God. You've read the magazines, the gossips. I'm not supposed to be here. But here I am.'' Guess that's what happens when the potty mouth don't work for you anymore.

#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 #23 posted 10/11/12 1:37pm

OldFriends4Sal
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#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 #24 posted 10/11/12 1:37pm

OldFriends4Sal
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August 13. 2004
MCI Center Washington

1.Musicology
2.Let's Go Crazy

3.I Would Die 4 U
4.When Doves Cry
5.Baby, I'm A Star
6.Shhh!
7.D.M.S.R.
8.Bustin' Loose
9.Pass The Peas
10.I Feel For You
11.Controvery
12.What A Wonderful World
13.Sometimes It Snows In April

(Acoustic Set)
14.Little Red Corvette
15.Cream
16.I Wanna Be Your Lover
17.Alphabet St.
18.Prince & The Band
19.12:01
20.Raspberry Beret
21.Sweet Thing
22.Adore
23.7

24.Pop Life
25.Sign O' The Times
26.Whole Lotta Love
27.U Got The Look
28.Life O'The Party
29.Soul Man
30.Kiss
31.Take Me With U
32.Call My Name
33.The Beautiful Ones
34.Nothing Compares 2 U
35.Purple Rain

#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 #25 posted 10/11/12 3:19pm

chellemac

Toofunkyinhere said:

OldFriends4Sale said:

What a great pic!

This is one of my favorite pictures. He looks relaxed and in a loving environment. But........for all I know it could be staged. I'm not in the business and who knows what lenghts the industry and artist go to to sell music. I would love to spend the day with him and see how "normal" he really is.

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Reply #26 posted 10/11/12 6:50pm

maja2405

heart accoustic version of Reflection with Wendy on the Tavis Smiley Show

and yes i know, i'm being captain obvious now wink

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Reply #27 posted 10/12/12 4:37am

Girl

2003 is my fav Prince year! I think Prince was really connecting with the fans during this time with the npg music club priority seating, sound check and after show access. Also as an added bonus only in Australia the meet and greets!
Did the Musicology tour have sound check access too?
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Reply #28 posted 10/12/12 6:04am

OldFriends4Sal
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Price Musicology Tour Poster by Hatch Show Print.

#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 10/12/12 6:13am

OldFriends4Sal
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#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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