Reply #210 posted 09/16/15 9:09am
One of the songs Prince wrote in 1979 was actually inspired by, and intended as a demo for, Patrice Rushen. Despite a serious crush on the singer/keyboardist, he didn’t get the song on her album. But he did gain a friend and his first Gold record. While I WANNA BE YOUR LOVER was atop the R&B charts and threatening the pop Top Ten, Warner Bros. shipped PRINCE. Sometimes criticized for being too slick, or even derivative, in retrospect there is something decent that can be said for all of the nine songs on Prince’s sophomore album. For the purpose of this collection we will limit our focus to its other R&B hit, WHY YOU WANNA TREAT ME SO BAD? and another detoured Rushen demo, I FEEL FOR YOU. The latter is significant in suggesting how commercially Prince could discipline himself to write when the song was aimed at an artist other than himself. Ironically, it was still another female vocalist, Chaka Khan, who finally placed the song on the charts in 1984.
Profound or not, a hit record is one of the few phenomena in this world that can immediately and dramatically alter lives and expectations – expectations of a record company hungry for more of the same and a media who suddenly thrust inordinate importance on everything an artist says or does. In the case of Prince, it meant a debut tour with brilliant reviews for his shockingly innovative band and continued work towards an album that he felt might better capture his true statement.
– Alan Leeds, 1993
(Alan Leeds worked as Prince’s tour manager and Vice President at Paisley Park Records from 1982 to 1992. He won a Grammy award in 1991 for his liner notes to James Brown’s STARTIME).
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