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Thread started 08/19/19 5:07am

BartVanHemelen

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Article on upcoming archive release of Miles Davis' "Rubberband" album references Prince

From "This Is It", an article in the October 2019 ("Take 269") issue of UK music monthly Uncut:

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In 1986, MILES DAVIS recorded a full studio album, Rubberband, that has languished unreleased in the vaults - until now. Here, the album's key personnel reveal all about Davis's remarkable working practices, including heavy metal guitar solos, cosmic shifts and flamboyant costume changes. "He chose to embrace the new, right to the end," John Lewis hears. "Apart from Miles and Bowie, how many guys have ever done that?"

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[...]

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Miles always had an ear for pop’s cutting edge. His experiments in jazz rock in the late 1960s came after exposure to the music of Sly Stone, James Brown and Jimi Hendrix and, by the early ’80s, he was embracing a new wave in R&B – the so-called “post disco” club music of Prince, Patrice Rushen, Evelyn “Champagne” King, Rick James and Teena Maria, as well as the “go-go” sound coming out of Washington DC. He was also fascinated by the dazzling, digital soundscapes being created by producers like Marcus Miller (with Aretha Franklin), Quincy Jones (with Michael Jackson), Bill Laswell (with Herbie Hancock) and Jam & Lewis (with the likes of Alexander O’Neal and Janet Jackson).

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Rubberband was supposed to be Miles' first album for Warners, but it was rejected. It is now being released.

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The article also has a sidebar, "Miles Davis and Prince: The Prince of darkness meets His Purpleness", which features Eric Leeds talking about the track Prince sent Miles in late 1985:

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“Prince came to me and our trumpeter Matt Blistan and asked our opinion of it,” says Leeds. “If Prince was going to ask me that, it meant he wasn’t 100 per cent sure it was great. I said, ‘If you’re going to do something with Miles, this shouldn’t be it.’ And he agreed. ”You can find “Can I Play With U” online, but it was never planned to be included on Rubberband. It did, however, influence several tracks on the album, most obviously “Give It Up”.

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Leeds also talks about what happened on New Year's Eve 1987 and beyond:

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“Miles played with us onstage for one of the songs. To the best of my knowledge, that is the only time they were in a space together, performing. They became friendly and certainly stayed in communication with each other.” Leeds even confirms that other tracks were later sent to Miles to be used. “But I have no idea whether Miles ever heard them!”

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Perhaps someone should direct him to http://www.princevault.co...netration) and to the various (soundboard) bootlegs of Miles and band performing these tracks live.

© Bart Van Hemelen
This posting is provided AS IS with no warranties, and confers no rights.
It is not authorized by Prince or the NPG Music Club. You assume all risk for
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Reply #1 posted 08/19/19 9:21am

yello1

BartVanHemelen said:

From "This Is It", an article in the October 2019 ("Take 269") issue of UK music monthly Uncut:

.

In 1986, MILES DAVIS recorded a full studio album, Rubberband, that has languished unreleased in the vaults - until now. Here, the album's key personnel reveal all about Davis's remarkable working practices, including heavy metal guitar solos, cosmic shifts and flamboyant costume changes. "He chose to embrace the new, right to the end," John Lewis hears. "Apart from Miles and Bowie, how many guys have ever done that?"

.

[...]

.

Miles always had an ear for pop’s cutting edge. His experiments in jazz rock in the late 1960s came after exposure to the music of Sly Stone, James Brown and Jimi Hendrix and, by the early ’80s, he was embracing a new wave in R&B – the so-called “post disco” club music of Prince, Patrice Rushen, Evelyn “Champagne” King, Rick James and Teena Maria, as well as the “go-go” sound coming out of Washington DC. He was also fascinated by the dazzling, digital soundscapes being created by producers like Marcus Miller (with Aretha Franklin), Quincy Jones (with Michael Jackson), Bill Laswell (with Herbie Hancock) and Jam & Lewis (with the likes of Alexander O’Neal and Janet Jackson).

.

Rubberband was supposed to be Miles' first album for Warners, but it was rejected. It is now being released.

.

The article also has a sidebar, "Miles Davis and Prince: The Prince of darkness meets His Purpleness", which features Eric Leeds talking about the track Prince sent Miles in late 1985:

.

.

Leeds also talks about what happened on New Year's Eve 1987 and beyond:

.

“Miles played with us onstage for one of the songs. To the best of my knowledge, that is the only time they were in a space together, performing. They became friendly and certainly stayed in communication with each other.” Leeds even confirms that other tracks were later sent to Miles to be used. “But I have no idea whether Miles ever heard them!”

.

Perhaps someone should direct him to http://www.princevault.co...netration) and to the various (soundboard) bootlegs of Miles and band performing these tracks live.

Thanks Bart!

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Reply #2 posted 08/19/19 10:47am

Vannormal

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-

What wonderful news !

A Miles Davis fan as I am and looking very much forward to this.

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Last year they already did release a 4 tracks 'Rubber Band EP' for Record Store Day 2018.

The new album will be released on (double) vinyl and CD and digital next September 6th, and will also have the original cover art - painted by Liles Davis himself.

One track on the new album will have Ledisi on vocals.

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find more info here :

https://www.frontview-magazine.be/en/news/miles-david-album-rubberband-out-on-6-september

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And here you can listen to the Rubberband EP online :

http://www.openculture.com/2019/06/lost-miles-davis-album-rubberband-will-finally-be-released-this-fall-hear-the-title-track-rubberband-in-five-different-versions.html

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"...no matter what, all will be fine, always."
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Reply #3 posted 08/19/19 10:50am

Vannormal

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-

Another article from Pitchfork :

https://pitchfork.com/news/miles-davis-lost-album-rubberband-set-for-release/

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"...no matter what, all will be fine, always."
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Reply #4 posted 09/09/19 8:07am

olb99

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To answer Butterscotch's question on another thread: no, the "Rubberband" sessions have nothing to do with Prince. "Give It Up" (originally remixed and released as "High Speed Chase" on "Doo-Bop" in 1992) sounds like it's vaguely inspired by Prince, but as the track was remixed again in 2018/2019, I guess we'll never know what the original track from 1985 sounds like. The production on the released version might be very different from the production on the 1985 version.

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Reply #5 posted 09/09/19 10:06pm

toejam

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olb99 said:

To answer Butterscotch's question on another thread: no, the "Rubberband" sessions have nothing to do with Prince. "Give It Up" (originally remixed and released as "High Speed Chase" on "Doo-Bop" in 1992) sounds like it's vaguely inspired by Prince, but as the track was remixed again in 2018/2019, I guess we'll never know what the original track from 1985 sounds like. The production on the released version might be very different from the production on the 1985 version.

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And that's the pain in the ass about this Rubberband release. I want to know how much of it is actually from 1985 and what has been recorded later. And of the stuff that has been recorded later, how faithfully have they stuck to the original grooves, chords, and rhythms, etc.? Despite sharing the same Miles trumpet lines, "High Speed Chase" and "Give It Up" are very different indeed. But which, if any, is a genuine resemblance to what Miles originally recorded? Is any of the 2019 Rubberband material (aside from Miles' trumpet lines) from 1985? Have they faithfully re-created it? Or are they completely different? I guess we will never know unless some bootleg surfaces...

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[Edited 9/9/19 22:11pm]

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Reply #6 posted 09/10/19 4:19am

Wolfie87

toejam said:



olb99 said:


To answer Butterscotch's question on another thread: no, the "Rubberband" sessions have nothing to do with Prince. "Give It Up" (originally remixed and released as "High Speed Chase" on "Doo-Bop" in 1992) sounds like it's vaguely inspired by Prince, but as the track was remixed again in 2018/2019, I guess we'll never know what the original track from 1985 sounds like. The production on the released version might be very different from the production on the 1985 version.



.


And that's the pain in the ass about this Rubberband release. I want to know how much of it is actually from 1985 and what has been recorded later. And of the stuff that has been recorded later, how faithfully have they stuck to the original grooves, chords, and rhythms, etc.? Despite sharing the same Miles trumpet lines, "High Speed Chase" and "Give It Up" are very different indeed. But which, if any, is a genuine resemblance to what Miles originally recorded? Is any of the 2019 Rubberband material (aside from Miles' trumpet lines) from 1985? Have they faithfully re-created it? Or are they completely different? I guess we will never know unless some bootleg surfaces...


.



[Edited 9/9/19 22:11pm]



When listening to the Titletrack "Rubberband of Life" it sounds soooo different when comparing anything on Tutu.

Rubberband of Life sounds like a track from 2008-2010. Anything on Tutu sounds exactly how most things (thankfully excluding Prince) sounded in 1986. I can't imagine the Rubberband sessions sounding more modern than Tutu since it was recorded in 1985.
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Reply #7 posted 09/10/19 4:27am

Wolfie87

toejam said:



olb99 said:


To answer Butterscotch's question on another thread: no, the "Rubberband" sessions have nothing to do with Prince. "Give It Up" (originally remixed and released as "High Speed Chase" on "Doo-Bop" in 1992) sounds like it's vaguely inspired by Prince, but as the track was remixed again in 2018/2019, I guess we'll never know what the original track from 1985 sounds like. The production on the released version might be very different from the production on the 1985 version.



.


And that's the pain in the ass about this Rubberband release. I want to know how much of it is actually from 1985 and what has been recorded later. And of the stuff that has been recorded later, how faithfully have they stuck to the original grooves, chords, and rhythms, etc.? Despite sharing the same Miles trumpet lines, "High Speed Chase" and "Give It Up" are very different indeed. But which, if any, is a genuine resemblance to what Miles originally recorded? Is any of the 2019 Rubberband material (aside from Miles' trumpet lines) from 1985? Have they faithfully re-created it? Or are they completely different? I guess we will never know unless some bootleg surfaces...


.



[Edited 9/9/19 22:11pm]



When listening to the Titletrack "Rubberband of Life" it sounds soooo different when comparing anything on Tutu.

Rubberband of Life sounds like a track from 2008-2010. Anything on Tutu sounds exactly how most things (thankfully excluding Prince) sounded in 1986. I can't imagine the Rubberband sessions sounding more modern than Tutu since it was recorded in 1985.
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Reply #8 posted 09/10/19 5:09am

olb99

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toejam said:

olb99 said:

To answer Butterscotch's question on another thread: no, the "Rubberband" sessions have nothing to do with Prince. "Give It Up" (originally remixed and released as "High Speed Chase" on "Doo-Bop" in 1992) sounds like it's vaguely inspired by Prince, but as the track was remixed again in 2018/2019, I guess we'll never know what the original track from 1985 sounds like. The production on the released version might be very different from the production on the 1985 version.

.

And that's the pain in the ass about this Rubberband release. I want to know how much of it is actually from 1985 and what has been recorded later. And of the stuff that has been recorded later, how faithfully have they stuck to the original grooves, chords, and rhythms, etc.? Despite sharing the same Miles trumpet lines, "High Speed Chase" and "Give It Up" are very different indeed. But which, if any, is a genuine resemblance to what Miles originally recorded? Is any of the 2019 Rubberband material (aside from Miles' trumpet lines) from 1985? Have they faithfully re-created it? Or are they completely different? I guess we will never know unless some bootleg surfaces...

.

[Edited 9/9/19 22:11pm]

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I absolutely agree. Earlier this year I told George Cole (who wrote the liner notes) that I was hoping they would include the original mixes in addition to the remixes. They didn't, obviously, and that's a shame.

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For three of the tracks that were previously released "as-is" in 2011, we have a pretty good idea of what the original 1985 mixes sound like: "Maze" (unedited, non-remixed), "See I See" (non-remixed), and "Rubberband" (non-remixed). The remixes are clearly different, but not that different.

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At the other end of the spectrum, "So Emotional" is probably nothing like the original recording.

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Vince Wilburn, Randy Hall & co. took this approach because the original recordings sounded "dated". That's a very bad reason, IMO. Some of the tracks were probably incomplete, so it kind of makes sense to complete them, but the original demos should have been included.

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Now that the original multitracks have been digitized, there's still hope that the original versions will be released. Someday.

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Reply #9 posted 09/10/19 7:19pm

databank

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I so totally not understand the point of "finishing" the tracks. IDK but i don't think this record is aimed at teenagers, its core audience is, well, Miles Davis listeners, so one would assume the MD crowds would be happier buying a record documenting the sessions as Miles left them no matter how demoish it may sound, than getting a radio friendly 2019 update. Or am i totally out of tune with what audiences demand?
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Reply #10 posted 09/10/19 11:28pm

Sydney

Listening to "Rubberband" I would much prefer to hear the orignal 1985 production only, not the recently updated production. Reason being is that it fascinates me the sounds and feels of that period and I love the fact that Miles Davis wanted an album that reflected what was current in those times ie Prince! While Prince did not contribute to this album some of the tracks are clearly influenced by him and his MPLS sound. My overall feeling listening to it was that if Miles got Prince to produce his album in 1985 it would have been amazing! Miles's horn sounds great on these grooves but they lack the power of Prince playing them. Imagine if he was playing the drums, rhythm and bass guitars on "Rubberband" - it would be far more hard hitting and convincing imo.

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Reply #11 posted 09/11/19 12:12am

Rimshottbob

I'm a massive Miles fan and I wasn't expecting much from Rubberband, but having listened to it, I think it works really well as it is. My first reaction is always 'leave it as it was, don't touch it', and the idea that it had been finished now put me off.... however, it has been finished by the original producers of the album from the 80s....

Also, Miles wasn't that precious. He would give his tapes to Teo Macero and let him edit them... he would, certainly by the 80s, let someone else produce a track and just play trumpet over it... and he was always looking for new talent, new sounds, new directions, for better or worse... also Rubberband was going to feature young soul/r'n'b vocalists on one of his records for the first time when it was originally planned, so the fact that they have done that now kind of makes sense to me.

Once I ditched my expecations and purist snob-nose, there were a lot of things to like about this album.

No, we'll never know if Miles would have liked it - he's gone, that's the way it is, just like with Prince now - but there's no real reason to think he wouldn't have liked it, either.

Would I like to hear the original versions? I guess, out of curiosity, but I'm happy the record label finished the record to a professional standard and put it out. It's a decent fusion/soul/r'n'b album as released now.

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Reply #12 posted 09/11/19 2:12am

olb99

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I also enjoy this album very much. Even "Paradise". The only song that does nothing to me is "So Emotional" (ironically). And I could do without Randy Hall's vocals on "I Love What We Make Together". Other than that, it's a fun, funky album. Featuring Miles. Just like "Evolution of the Groove", the remix EP from 2007, which I also enjoy a lot. I actually don't have any problem with remixes. They can be fun. And they can be a way for a younger audience to discover Miles (?).

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But the archivist/completist in me still wants the original mixes.

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databank: I'm also not sure what the target audience is. Miles' fans who don't like the 80s/90s period won't like "Rubberband", remixed or not. Fans of the 80s/90s period won't need remixes and will be completely fine with original mixes. I mean, "Tutu" sounds "dated" and it's perfect as it is. So, yeah, maybe the Miles Davis Estate is trying to introduce a new generation to Miles. Which Miles himself would maybe approve. As Rimshottbob said, Miles didn't care too much about what happened after he left the studio. He trusted people like Teo, Marcus, and others.

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Reply #13 posted 09/11/19 3:39am

toejam

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olb99 said:

But the archivist/completist in me still wants the original mixes

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My sentiments too. I'm fine with the idea of Randy Hall etc. "finishing" the album. But I also want to know what they had to work with originally just to satisfy my own decades long historical curiosity about Miles' always evolving sound.

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Reply #14 posted 09/11/19 6:25am

olb99

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An excellent review can be found here:

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http://artsfuse.org/18822...Pankq6tYgE

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It mentions Prince several times.

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"Is Rubberband a worthy Miles Davis record? I don’t mean to be evasive or ontological, but the answer depends upon what you think a “Miles Davis record” is. [...]"

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