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Thread started 01/12/20 1:46pm

VaultCurator

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Crystal Ball: Volume II (How badly did we miss out?)

There have been many times throughout Prince’s career when an album didn’t come to fruition. ‘The Rebels’, ‘Dream Factory’, ‘Camille’, ‘Roadhouse Garden’, the various attempts at ‘The Dawn’, the original ‘Crystal Ball’ & ‘Rave Un2 The Joy Fantastic’. Those are just a few examples of which we know. There were probably several others that we don’t.

However there was one occasion that I look back on now and think ‘so close, but yet so far’. A release that would have seen me enjoying several songs I am desperate to get my hands on now for the past 20 years. ‘Crystal Ball: Volume II’


Here’s a quick reminder of the tracks that were confirmed (plus a couple that were semi confirmed):

American Jam (1980)
I can’t really comment on this one because I don’t think it’s leaked. Or if it has I do not remember it. It sounds interesting all the same.

Strange Way Of Saying Eye Love U (1981)
Yummy! Now we’re talking. This is one I doubt we’ll see for a long time. Given that it was released before ‘1999’ and has no affiliation with other artists (other than the fact it was written as a gift for Lisa) it’s unlikely to be released by the estate any time soon. I freaking love this track, and I doubt we’ve even heard it all as the bootleg that’s circulating sounds as if it fades out prematurely (I could be wrong there).

Turn It Up (1982) / You're All I Want (1982)
Yeah, kind of academic now we have ‘1999 Super Deluxe’, but it would have been nice to have owned them earlier.

Extraloveable (1982) / Lust U Always (1982)
Well, had Crystal Ball II been released there would have been significantly less disappointment and arguing within the fandom for the last few months. ‘Extraloveable’ is probably in my top 5 unreleased out-takes, and ‘Lust U Always’ is funky as hell to.

Girl O' My Dreams (1982 / 1986)
It’s unclear whether or not the version that was considered was the original ‘82 recording, or the ‘86 version recorded with the Revolution. Considering Prince edited out some of the Revolution’s involvement on volume I then it’s more likely to have been the ‘82 version or some alternative recording that we’re not aware of.

Wonderful Ass (1983) / Katrina's Paper Dolls (1983) / Love And Sex (1984)
Again, we have Purple Rain Deluxe now, but it would have been nice to have them back in 2000, especially ‘Wonderful Ass’ which is a classic.

Electric Intercourse (1983)
Again, the specific version is unknown, but it would have been lovely to have had the live dub over the studio version. Had it of been the live dub then it would have been the biggest highlight of the whole album.

Others Here With Us (1985)
I really like this track although I do have some reservations about it. The song is great but the musical arrangement sounds more like an experiment with synthesizers rather than something album worthy. If you can look past the slightly ropey use of samples then there is a killer track here. Fortunately a leak from a low generation tape is in circulation so it’s not the most heartbreaking loss, but as always it would have been nice to have a proper release.

Evolsidog (1985)
One of the many Parade era tracks that we have never heard. Hopefully a ‘Parade Super Deluxe’ isn’t too far away to rectify this.

Kiss - Xtended Version (Never released b4) (1985?)
A very interesting addition. ‘Kiss’ is amongst my favourite 12” mixes, so to learn there is an alternate version (whether it be longer, a different attempt at the mix, or something recorded later in his career) is very compelling. Fingers crossed it gets dug up for ‘Parade Super Deluxe’.

Everybody Want What They Don't Got (1986)
An unusual choice given that there were several songs from around this time which I believe are stronger, but it’s not unwelcome all the same.

Adonis & Bathsheba (1986)
A cute little number. Not everyone’s cup of tea but a nice use of acoustic drums and horns.

3 Nigs Watchin' A Kung Fu Movie (1987)
Highly sought after for curiosities sake alone. There are not many Black album related out-takes so it would be brilliant to listen to this and see how it holds up against ‘2 Nigs’.

I Wonder (1990? 1991?)
I’m not as familiar with this one. I’ve heard it a few times and it doesn’t excite me, but again it would have been nicer to have than not.

What Should B Souled (1999)
This one I’m curious about given it was recoded so close to the project’s inception. It may have been especially written for the album and would have been a great way to round off Crystal Ball.


Had this album have been released it would have filled a lot of holes in our collections.

What are your thoughts? Was ‘Crystal Ball II’ a horrible loss for us fans, or could you live without it? Did you miss out on any particular favourites? Where does this album rank for you amongst Prince’s other unreleased projects?

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Reply #1 posted 01/12/20 3:13pm

Phase3

Very good thread! I just realized that most of "Crystal Ball" is already out there.I might just make my own compilation.I think if it were released,it would've easily been better than the previous "Crystal Ball".Although that one is still one of my favorites to this day.
[Edited 1/12/20 15:14pm]
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Reply #2 posted 01/12/20 4:33pm

herb4

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Missed out bad I'd say

I always wanted more vault/bootleg material throughout his career and still do. I like CB a lot but it was dragged down by remixes, stuff we'd already heard before and didn't live up to its promise but the 1,2,3 punch of Da Bang, What's My Name and Calhoun Square still gives me chills and was worth the purchase all by itself.

For whatver reason, Prince never got out in front of the bootleggers and delivered the shit we wanted. He liked to tease us for some reason.

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Reply #3 posted 01/12/20 4:49pm

OperatingTheta
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I would've loved this set even for the songs we now have because they would have been genuine Prince mixes.

There are a few elements in some of the mixes on 'Originals' and '1999 Super-Deluxe' that don't sound in any way similar to how Prince mixed, produced and balanced tracks. The heavy reverb on some of the songs is particularly notable and obtrusive.

So, yes, I'd say it's a pretty major loss all round.
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Reply #4 posted 01/12/20 5:07pm

leadline

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OperatingThetan said:

I would've loved this set even for the songs we now have because they would have been genuine Prince mixes. There are a few elements in some of the mixes on 'Originals' and '1999 Super-Deluxe' that don't sound in any way similar to how Prince mixed, produced and balanced tracks. The heavy reverb on some of the songs is particularly notable and obtrusive. So, yes, I'd say it's a pretty major loss all round.


More than a few elements unfortunately.......

"You always get the dream that you deserve, from what you value the most" -Prince 2013
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Reply #5 posted 01/12/20 7:38pm

rednblue

I Wonder


heart music

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Reply #6 posted 01/13/20 12:47am

andrewm7

This would make a nice release, especially the uncirculating tracks. Come electratuesday should be included too even though it was "voted off the island" because now that we know how good it is we would vote differently biggrin

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Reply #7 posted 01/13/20 6:43am

sulls

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Good call. Hope the Estate is taking note! cool

"I like to watch."
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Reply #8 posted 01/13/20 7:37am

OperatingTheta
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andrewm7 said:

This would make a nice release, especially the uncirculating tracks. Come electratuesday should be included too even though it was "voted off the island" because now that we know how good it is we would vote differently biggrin



Agreed. Effectively, all the songs that Prince allowed fans to vote for possible inclusion on the set could be included as we know Prince considered them worthy of release.

I wonder though, if the Estate even knows of Prince's intention for Cystal Ball 2 at that time or the songs that were listed for fans to vote for?
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Reply #9 posted 01/13/20 7:53am

VaultCurator

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OperatingThetan said:

andrewm7 said:

This would make a nice release, especially the uncirculating tracks. Come electratuesday should be included too even though it was "voted off the island" because now that we know how good it is we would vote differently biggrin

Agreed. Effectively, all the songs that Prince allowed fans to vote for possible inclusion on the set could be included as we know Prince considered them worthy of release. I wonder though, if the Estate even knows of Prince's intention for Cystal Ball 2 at that time or the songs that were listed for fans to vote for?

It would be too perfect to ever happen, but imagine if WB had the foresight to prepare Crystal Ball II and wait for Sony Legacy to announce the re-issue of Crystal Ball. They could have a double release!

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Reply #10 posted 01/13/20 8:48am

TwiliteKid

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VaultCurator said:



What Should B Souled (1999)
This one I’m curious about given it was recoded so close to the project’s inception. It may have been especially written for the album and would have been a great way to round off Crystal Ball.


I believe this was a Rave outtake - certainly it was mentioned on Love4OneAnother repeatedly in the lead up to that album.

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Reply #11 posted 01/13/20 12:28pm

Dandroppedadim
e

Would b interesting to know if he actually worked on any of the songs, then we might know his intentions for the ‘rape section’ of Extralovable! I recall a particular engineer was asked To pull the tapes for cb1 (was it Morris Hayes or Hans Martin Buff?) they would be the best people to ask about it maybe.
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Reply #12 posted 01/13/20 4:27pm

jfenster

not to mention the videos that were to be released

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Reply #13 posted 01/14/20 7:34am

Militant

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Dandroppedadime said:

Would b interesting to know if he actually worked on any of the songs, then we might know his intentions for the ‘rape section’ of Extralovable! I recall a particular engineer was asked To pull the tapes for cb1 (was it Morris Hayes or Hans Martin Buff?) they would be the best people to ask about it maybe.

That was Hans - discussed in our "Uncovering Prince" interview with him on YouTube smile

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Reply #14 posted 01/14/20 7:55am

PurpleColossus

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All of those tracks sound very interesting...I enjoy a lot of the tracks on the first Crystal Ball, so I would have definitely welcomed a Crystal Ball: Volume II.

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Reply #15 posted 01/14/20 11:36am

Strive

VaultCurator said:


Kiss - Xtended Version (Never released b4) (1985?)
A very interesting addition. ‘Kiss’ is amongst my favourite 12” mixes, so to learn there is an alternate version (whether it be longer, a different attempt at the mix, or something recorded later in his career) is very compelling. Fingers crossed it gets dug up for ‘Parade Super Deluxe’.


Is this different than what was released on Ultimate or ???

Free the music, fire Michael Howe
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Reply #16 posted 01/14/20 12:04pm

VaultCurator

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Strive said:



VaultCurator said:



Kiss - Xtended Version (Never released b4) (1985?)
A very interesting addition. ‘Kiss’ is amongst my favourite 12” mixes, so to learn there is an alternate version (whether it be longer, a different attempt at the mix, or something recorded later in his career) is very compelling. Fingers crossed it gets dug up for ‘Parade Super Deluxe’.




Is this different than what was released on Ultimate or ???



Indeed. It's some sort of alternative version. The version on Ultimate is the 12" mix from 1986. Prince claimed in 2000 that this is a previously unreleased version.
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