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Reply #30 posted 06/22/20 1:26pm

mediumdry

databank said:

What I don't really understand is what P was trying to achieve by releasing DF as The Flesh or CB as Camille.

<...>

Would WB have played ball with this concept beyond a single LP?

.

I think that it was more a mental mode for Prince to work in. Allegedly, it was a somewhat dark time for him with many doubts, both professionally, on the heels of the "failure" of Under The Cherry Moon, and personally, with Brownmark and Wendy&Lisa quitting and coming back before Prince pulled the plug on the Revolution himself, to not even mention his troubled relationship with Susannah. So, he may have needed/wanted a concept around which to build the album, to take the pressure off as thinking about it as a Prince or Prince & the Revolution album. Meaning, he could just be free to imagine it as whatever it grew into being without preconceived notions of what it should be. Once a form had taken shape, it could then move to marketed with whatever label Prince decided on in the end. The big question then becomes wether Prince actually kept the "working title" (for lack of a better name) or make it into a "regular" Prince album.

.

It's impossible to know, but I think there's a good chance that it would have been Prince in the end, regardless (or even Prince & the Revolution even), if WB marketing and Prince could come together, which I think they still could, at the time. Case in point being the SOTT album, which is basically a subset of the Camille Crystal Ball album, but presented as a Prince album.

.

Of course, that's just speculation and with Prince you never knew. razz

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Reply #31 posted 06/22/20 2:20pm

herb4

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databank said:

SquirrelMeat said:

I've chatted with Susannah and Eric about these releases, and athough I think their truth is from a 3rd party perspective, it would seem 'Dream Factory' was a 'Flesh' concept and the three disc album was 'Camille's Crystal Ball'.

My guess is Prince was keen on non identity of his music, but SOTT might have been a blip to satisfy the record label. It would also explain his lack of promotion for the album.

Only months later, he reverted to the hidden concept (The Black Album), and it wasn't until the Lovesexy sessions until he accepted who/what he was.

Oh yeah I had completely forgotten this Flesh DF situation.

.

What I don't really understand is what P was trying to achieve by releasing DF as The Flesh or CB as Camille.


Short answer is simply "art and music" along with "more than WB wanted to deal with or release".

I suspect too that Prince found it both fun and energizing. He was creating new exciting things at a pace that most can't/won't/didn't/don't and was arguably at his creative peak around then. Plus, he knew all of it was good. At least I think it was. He was releasing stuff through the Time, the Family, Madhouse, etc. and seemed to write a new (excellent) track almost daily when it took most artists at least a year to make an album.

Just raw talent for days needing to get out. Somehow. My man was on fucking fire and fires must burn.

And I swear to god, again, those double exposure photos from this time period are just off the fucking chain visually. These days, it'd be really easy to pull off in photoshop but not so much back then and I really dig/dug the real noisy psychadelic effect they were pulling off for these records that seemed to really visualize the sound of it all in proper.

Gorgeous stuff.

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Reply #32 posted 06/22/20 2:51pm

222

databank said:



SquirrelMeat said:


I've chatted with Susannah and Eric about these releases, and athough I think their truth is from a 3rd party perspective, it would seem 'Dream Factory' was a 'Flesh' concept and the three disc album was 'Camille's Crystal Ball'.

My guess is Prince was keen on non identity of his music, but SOTT might have been a blip to satisfy the record label. It would also explain his lack of promotion for the album.

Only months later, he reverted to the hidden concept (The Black Album), and it wasn't until the Lovesexy sessions until he accepted who/what he was.



Oh yeah I had completely forgotten this Flesh DF situation.


.


What I don't really understand is what P was trying to achieve by releasing DF as The Flesh or CB as Camille. We know he was indeed keen on releasing material under pseudonyms or by giving away credits (the songs or whole album he'd write/produce for others) to see how the material would perform by itself. I kind of understand the underlying concept of TBA (release an anonymous, dark, underground record without any promotion and see how people react when they find it and realize it's P) and I'd assume the Camille album concept was relatively similar (except that it would have been credited to Camille instead of anynymous), but I fail to see how this would have been possible with a double album like DF, let alone a triple like CB.


.


Was the plan to release them "anonymously" and without much promo like Camille and TBA? Would WB have played ball with this concept beyond a single LP? Or would these records clearly have been promoted and identified as Prince records from the beginning, as in The Flesh is the new name of Prince And The Revolution (with the new, expanded Counter-Revolution line-up as a justification for the name change), or as in Camille is Prince's new name like prince would later be, only he'd be back to Prince the next year? While I think the single Camille LP had a strong concept with all songs featuring the Camille voice and a particularly dark orientation for the material, while I think TBA was also a strong concept with its overtly provocative lyrical content and infectious dance grooves, I don't see anything in DF or CB that justifies the name change concept, and I don't see either how WB could have released a double or triple album with Prince's "normal" vocals all over it without promoting it as the new Prince album. Indeed, a new Prince album in 1987 was much more of an event as, say, a new Prince album in 2001, and even more if it was a double or triple LP. It would have been hard to conceal its author when P was one of the biggest stars in the world as well as one of the most critically acclaimed, and it would have been even harder given how strong the material on either project.


.


DF may or may not have been welcomed as enthusastically as SOTT, but it's likely it would have been well received no matter what it would have been in the end. And despite the lack of a consensus as to whether CB would have been acclaimed as one of the greatest albums of all time as I think it would have, or labeled as Prince indulging himself with too long a record, I think the strength of the material would have attracted attention. The title track alone, while released in the world's indifference in 1998, would certainly have brought P a lot of praise in 1987 for its conceptual originality. So what was supposed to happen? Critics were supposed to say, "Oh, here's the new Prince album, and it's a 3 LP extravanganza, except you ain't supposed to say it's Prince, because now Prince's name is Camille"? Was WB supposed to send press releases claiming this was the first album by some new dude named Camille, at the risk of being ridiculed? What sense would this have made? I just don't see how this Flesh/Camille thing could possibly have served the records in any way, the material was too evidently Prince and the concept of the alter-ego was not strongly enough suggested by the music for it to make any bloody sense.


.


Hopefully, Duane will address this in the new book, and P's plans will be exposed in more details. I really can't wait for this book to be released nod



Probably simply to escape the pressure & expectation that came with releasing an album as “Prince” after Purple Rain. Anything less than Purple Rain became a failure. He saw that the game had him checkmated & tried to make moves to get around it.
[Edited 6/22/20 14:54pm]
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Reply #33 posted 06/23/20 7:11am

OnlyNDaUsa

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222 said:


Probably simply to escape the pressure & expectation that came with releasing an album as “Prince” after Purple Rain. Anything less than Purple Rain became a failure. He saw that the game had him checkmated & tried to make moves to get around it. [Edited 6/22/20 14:54pm]

And he would address this a few years later in "Don't Play Me".

The Spike is Real Wear a Mask (this is not the 2nd Wave)
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Reply #34 posted 06/23/20 3:46pm

herb4

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OnlyNDaUsa said:

222 said:


Probably simply to escape the pressure & expectation that came with releasing an album as “Prince” after Purple Rain. Anything less than Purple Rain became a failure. He saw that the game had him checkmated & tried to make moves to get around it. [Edited 6/22/20 14:54pm]

And he would address this a few years later in "Don't Play Me".


What a great "fuck all y'all" track that is.

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Reply #35 posted 06/24/20 12:36am

mediumdry

mediumdry said:

to me, it always seemed that the artwork for SOTT had so many see through "crystal" spheres in them, that it was artwork that was, at a minimum, already worked on while the concept was still Crystal Ball.

This image, not made by me, is the one I use for my version of the album.

4KX3dd0.png

[Edited 6/22/20 2:39am]

.

well whadda ya know.. it's superdeluxe! cool

Paisley Park is in your heart - Love Is Here!
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Reply #36 posted 06/24/20 3:02am

SquirrelMeat

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OnlyNDaUsa said:

As to the design for the album "Crystal Ball" it is odd that of the 3 albums that is the only one we've not seen. Also might the cover art for all 3 be part of SOTT SD?


It makes me wonder if it was close nearer to the SOTT concept.

.
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Reply #37 posted 06/24/20 3:03am

SquirrelMeat

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I always felt the deliberate ambiguity of the Cat photo's played into the Camille pseudonym Prince was keen on, so I always imagined Crystal Ball looking something like this.


.
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Reply #38 posted 06/24/20 5:24am

mediumdry

hah.. great idea. I think Cat came in after Crystal Ball was already over, as a concept, but it could be right...

Paisley Park is in your heart - Love Is Here!
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Reply #39 posted 06/24/20 7:28am

Mikado

Damn that really does look like Prince in drag. lol

A certain kind of mellow.
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Reply #40 posted 06/24/20 8:46am

HamsterHuey

Hee hee, someone was ON topic when chosing that Crystal Ball picture...

>>
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Reply #41 posted 06/24/20 12:20pm

ufoclub

avatar

Vannormal said:

It could've looked like this :

c0fba4afc796b1ebe186715001bf8008.jpg

Or this :

db97c89b9391a8059192a0702b0aeeec.jpg

I can easily imagine Prince and his band being dressed like this, but with the Princy edge brought in the fashion, the rock 'n roll part he mastered so well in his outfits :

2019_05_29_73524_1559104862._large.jpg

[Edited 6/20/20 23:17pm]



Madonna done did that: https://www.youtube.com/w...TaXtWWR16A

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Reply #42 posted 06/24/20 2:05pm

EnDoRpHn

Mikado said:

Damn that really does look like Prince in drag. lol


People freaked out back in 1987.

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Reply #43 posted 06/24/20 2:06pm

EnDoRpHn

ufoclub said:

Vannormal said:

It could've looked like this :

c0fba4afc796b1ebe186715001bf8008.jpg

Or this :

db97c89b9391a8059192a0702b0aeeec.jpg

I can easily imagine Prince and his band being dressed like this, but with the Princy edge brought in the fashion, the rock 'n roll part he mastered so well in his outfits :

2019_05_29_73524_1559104862._large.jpg

[Edited 6/20/20 23:17pm]



Madonna done did that: https://www.youtube.com/w...TaXtWWR16A


Why would there be so many white people on the cover of a Prince album?

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Reply #44 posted 06/24/20 3:31pm

Mikado

EnDoRpHn said:



ufoclub said:




Vannormal said:


It could've looked like this :



c0fba4afc796b1ebe186715001bf8008.jpg


Or this :


db97c89b9391a8059192a0702b0aeeec.jpg



I can easily imagine Prince and his band being dressed like this, but with the Princy edge brought in the fashion, the rock 'n roll part he mastered so well in his outfits :



2019_05_29_73524_1559104862._large.jpg


[Edited 6/20/20 23:17pm]





Madonna done did that: https://www.youtube.com/w...TaXtWWR16A




Why would there be so many white people on the cover of a Prince album?




Around the World in a Day?
A certain kind of mellow.
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Reply #45 posted 06/25/20 12:29am

mediumdry

but if you combine different albums of Prince & the Revolution you get a fever dream that will never be....

fever dream

Paisley Park is in your heart - Love Is Here!
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Reply #46 posted 06/25/20 12:39am

mediumdry

or, if you will:

fever dream 2

Paisley Park is in your heart - Love Is Here!
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Reply #47 posted 06/25/20 1:33am

jaawwnn

avatar

BartVanHemelen said:

Mikado said:


I can't think of a triple album that was reviewed positively, truth be told.

.

https://en.wikipedia.org/..._reception

.

https://en.wikipedia.org/...978_album)

.

https://en.wikipedia.org/..._reception

.

https://en.wikipedia.org/..._reception

.

https://en.wikipedia.org/..._reception

.

https://en.wikipedia.org/...#Reception

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https://en.wikipedia.org/..._reception

.

https://en.wikipedia.org/..._reception

.

[Edited 6/22/20 4:22am]

Hmm, need to remove the live albums from that, All Things Must Pass disc 3 isn't really part of the album as reviewed, it's more seen as a fun afterthught of jams, Metal Box isn't really a pop album in the traditional sense where you can compare it to the others... i'll give you 69 Love Songs, Shaking the Habitual and Have One on Me though.

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Reply #48 posted 06/25/20 2:36am

Kares

avatar

jaawwnn said:

BartVanHemelen said:

.

https://en.wikipedia.org/..._reception

.

https://en.wikipedia.org/...978_album)

.

https://en.wikipedia.org/..._reception

.

https://en.wikipedia.org/..._reception

.

https://en.wikipedia.org/..._reception

.

https://en.wikipedia.org/...#Reception

.

https://en.wikipedia.org/..._reception

.

https://en.wikipedia.org/..._reception

.

[Edited 6/22/20 4:22am]

Hmm, need to remove the live albums from that, All Things Must Pass disc 3 isn't really part of the album as reviewed, it's more seen as a fun afterthught of jams, Metal Box isn't really a pop album in the traditional sense where you can compare it to the others... i'll give you 69 Love Songs, Shaking the Habitual and Have One on Me though.

.

Sandinista!
.
Also: Frank Zappa's 'Leather', Tom Waits's 'Orphans' etc.

[Edited 6/25/20 2:41am]

Friends don't let friends clap on 1 and 3.

The Paisley Park Vault spreadsheet: https://goo.gl/zzWHrU
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Reply #49 posted 06/25/20 9:39am

jaawwnn

avatar

Kares said:

jaawwnn said:

Hmm, need to remove the live albums from that, All Things Must Pass disc 3 isn't really part of the album as reviewed, it's more seen as a fun afterthught of jams, Metal Box isn't really a pop album in the traditional sense where you can compare it to the others... i'll give you 69 Love Songs, Shaking the Habitual and Have One on Me though.

.

Sandinista!
.
Also: Frank Zappa's 'Leather', Tom Waits's 'Orphans' etc.

[Edited 6/25/20 2:41am]

Sandinista! is one of my favourite albums of all time, but a critics favourite it is not! "Mixed to good" is probably the summary of the criticial consensus.

[Edited 6/25/20 9:40am]

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Reply #50 posted 06/25/20 12:31pm

Mikado

I do wonder how a triple album by Prince would have sold in 1987. SOTT didn't set the world on fire in that respect, and I doubt an even more expensive set would do any better.

Plus, no U Got The Look.

A certain kind of mellow.
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Reply #51 posted 06/25/20 1:37pm

mediumdry

Mikado said:

I do wonder how a triple album by Prince would have sold in 1987. SOTT didn't set the world on fire in that respect, and I doubt an even more expensive set would do any better.

Plus, no U Got The Look.

.

all positives! cool

Paisley Park is in your heart - Love Is Here!
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Reply #52 posted 06/25/20 2:14pm

herb4

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SquirrelMeat said:

I always felt the deliberate ambiguity of the Cat photo's played into the Camille pseudonym Prince was keen on, so I always imagined Crystal Ball looking something like this.



I remember whe the album dropped ny sophmore in college and some of my fellow fans were trippin over Prince "becoming a drag queen", honestly believeing that this photo and the cover for the single were actually him.

Wouldn't have bothered me either way if it WAS him but the homophobia was odd to hear given what we'd been offered up to that point, especialy since the album was so bad ass. I assumed by 1987 that most fans had accepted the androgyny and playful hinting at bisexuality as part of the package, but I guess I assumed wrong.

And this weird "Im out - too gay" thing went even further when the Lovesexy album dropped next.

I didn't know at the time that I was a bi myself but I still always dug the crazy ways he challenged ideas of sexuality from the start and was baffled by anyone that found it off putting from him.

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Reply #53 posted 06/25/20 4:52pm

databank

avatar

Mikado said:

I do wonder how a triple album by Prince would have sold in 1987. SOTT didn't set the world on fire in that respect, and I doubt an even more expensive set would do any better.

Plus, no U Got The Look.

I'd say it all depends on your expectations. SOTT sold maybe 3.5M/4M copies the first year (not counting singles). If he and WB hadn't been so focused on achieving Beatles sales levels, maybe both parties could have been plenty satisfied with selling 1 or 2M. Many an artist signed on a major at the time would have been very happy with these kind of numbers, and so would have the label.

I do realize that WB gave Prince a phenomenal amount of leeway and bet a lot of money on him at the beginning, so I understand that maybe they felt they had to draw the line somewhere, but they could have gone with CB you know, they wouldn't have finished the year in bankrupcy. It's easy to point fingers at Prince but when it came down to throwing millions of dollars away, WB weren't last in line. Look at what happened with TC Ellis: on a whim, WB decided to give him a 3 record "play or pay" deal (despite Prince having no interest in putting him on his label in the first place!!), then they released only the first album, did nothing to promote it and just gave TC the rest of the money in cash to do whatever he wanted with!! They didn't seem to be worried much about paying the bills then!! And how many times did this happen with WB artists? How about giving one of their most respected act the chance to release his magnum opus instead?

It's all about greed and expectations. If you're Rickie Lee Jones or The B-50's it's fine to sell 500,000 copies, but since Prince is now superstar level, everyone (Prince included) expects Prince to sell as much as Madonna. Prince himself was ridiculous in 1993 when he made a a fuss about WB not selling 5M copies of each record: there was no way he could hit these numbers every year, particularly not with the often risqué and definitely not-so-commercial material he was releasing.

Sometimes I think it would have been better off for everyone involved (Prince himself, WB and the fans) if Prince had had a little less success in the mid 80's. You know, enough to keep on recording and releasing music every year, but not so much that the focus would be on hitting the 5M bar instead of just doing the bloody music.

A COMPREHENSIVE PRINCE DISCOGRAPHY (work in progress ^^): https://sites.google.com/...iscog/home
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Reply #54 posted 06/25/20 4:54pm

databank

avatar

herb4 said:

SquirrelMeat said:

I always felt the deliberate ambiguity of the Cat photo's played into the Camille pseudonym Prince was keen on, so I always imagined Crystal Ball looking something like this.



I remember whe the album dropped ny sophmore in college and some of my fellow fans were trippin over Prince "becoming a drag queen", honestly believeing that this photo and the cover for the single were actually him.

Wouldn't have bothered me either way if it WAS him but the homophobia was odd to hear given what we'd been offered up to that point, especialy since the album was so bad ass. I assumed by 1987 that most fans had accepted the androgyny and playful hinting at bisexuality as part of the package, but I guess I assumed wrong.

And this weird "Im out - too gay" thing went even further when the Lovesexy album dropped next.

I didn't know at the time that I was a bi myself but I still always dug the crazy ways he challenged ideas of sexuality from the start and was baffled by anyone that found it off putting from him.

Funny how things have changed. The way people perceived P when we were teens, the way they perceive him now and everything that happened in between... It's been quite a ride nod

A COMPREHENSIVE PRINCE DISCOGRAPHY (work in progress ^^): https://sites.google.com/...iscog/home
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Reply #55 posted 06/26/20 3:34am

Vannormal

avatar

EnDoRpHn said:



ufoclub said:




Vannormal said:


It could've looked like this :



c0fba4afc796b1ebe186715001bf8008.jpg


Or this :


db97c89b9391a8059192a0702b0aeeec.jpg



I can easily imagine Prince and his band being dressed like this, but with the Princy edge brought in the fashion, the rock 'n roll part he mastered so well in his outfits :



2019_05_29_73524_1559104862._large.jpg


[Edited 6/20/20 23:17pm]





Madonna done did that: https://www.youtube.com/w...TaXtWWR16A




Why would there be so many white people on the cover of a Prince album?



You don’t understand, make m all black ! That’s the thing. wink
"...no matter what, all will be fine, always."
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Reply #56 posted 06/26/20 2:48pm

herb4

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Well...

I guess we know ONE THING for certain 2 pages in and that's there never really was any Official Art created for this planned album.

If there had been, fucking Bart Van Whatever The fuck his Name Is would have been the second or third post in the thread chastising us for using Google wrong or some other dumb shit.

SO that's actually refreshing in its way. Meaning, he's not posting here. Which is always nice.

...

This period was when I first stumbled on the concept of "bootlegs" and I recall it being a ton of fun, even though the sound quality was usually all over the place.

There was an old school record store in my neigborhood (Wilmington, DE at the time) that used to illegally sell these sorts of things. Dude was always getting busted for it too but somehow remained open for a long time. I picked up several live boots and out take stuff that fueled my hunger for everything this man recorded.

And, later, another record store in Philly whose name escapes me that would peddle "the hard stuff" so long as you asked to see "collector's items". It was on South Street east of Broad is all I remember. Sometimes, they'd you listen first - which was always wise -

That was where I picked up Crystal Ball, Camille and and a few other boots of varying sound quality that made me HUNGER for a proper release. I could never figure out why he buried so much of this awesome shit and continued to do so throughout his career (Days of Wild, Wasted Kisses, Old Friends, The Ride, Calhoun Square) and relegating some of his best stuff to b-sides (SAIMH, Erotic City, Alexa De Paris, Girl, 17 Days) but I think it was by design and contributed to his longevity in as much as there was always Something New to discover and find that would blow away non believers.

Same way he SAVED those blistering solos for Joy in Repetition (buried on a fancentric box set), the angry "Pfunk" song and that one off R&RHoF solo or the Super Bowl show. It was kind of smart in its way but also frustrating for the die hards. I think his clever withholding of certain stuff somehow worked to make his career as long as it was and maintained his relevance.




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