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Thread started 11/17/21 10:39am

skywalker

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Emancipation - 25th Anniversary

Well, that was a fast quarter century. One of my all time favorites. No, I would never whittle it down to a single disc. Part of my big love for Emancipation is the sprawlingness of it all. Share your love here!!!

-

Emancipation 1996 Commercial

[Edited 11/17/21 10:39am]

"New Power slide...."
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Reply #1 posted 11/17/21 10:48am

LoveGalore

I have really distinct memories of the Emancipation era. I was in my teens and Prince was no longer "cool" to the general public but it was still a major event for me.

I was surprised to not see any of the unreleased stuff I had heard around that time that didn't make it to Gold Experience or Chaos & Disorder.

I love the album - there's issues I have with the dated production, I don't know what a rubberbaby is, and I still think the tapdancing on the album is fine. Yes, tons of Prince-esque cheeseball camp to go around, but also some incredible hidden treasures. I too would never want it whittled down at all (though I don't mind it being squished onto the 2 discs it could maybe fit on).

My favs:

Saviour

Holy River

Joint 2 Joint

Da Da Da (minus Scrap D)

Soul Sanctuary

Dreamin About U

Courtin Time

Love We Make

Slave

Let's Have A Baby

Somebody's Somebody

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Reply #2 posted 11/17/21 12:33pm

LILpoundCAKE

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I want an SDE with 3 extra discs of unreleased songs smile

If U're lookin 4 dirt look in Ur own back yard - Plant some Peace Flowers in Ur warzone so I can fire my bodyguards.
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Reply #3 posted 11/17/21 12:43pm

TrivialPursuit

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I've said it before and I'll say it again. There are good and bad moments about this album.

Good:

The cover songs are a nice change for him, and done well. Although the "bedroom slash church" thing is cringy.

There are some really strong songs on there.

Each disk sort of has its own feel and journey.

The promotion for the album was great. TV appearances, singles, radio play, videos.

I loved the aesthetic of the record. The big sweaters, the hair, the moon ear cuffs, his overall happiness (despite losing Amiir, which sorta makes me wonder if he was faking it sometimes, too).


Bad:

It's too damn long. Each disk is 60 minutes by reworking the songs. Some are obviously longer than they need to be or were originally intended. That leaves 20 minutes per disk of empty space, which - times 3 disks - is another whole hour of unfilled music.

With a little whittling down, that 180 minutes could've been shaved to 159 minutes and filled up just two disks.

It's the beginning of his acrylic production phase. Drums are compressed to shit, dried out, even his vocals are treated differently in production.

He worked fast with drum programming and it sucked the soul right out of the whole record. He should've used the band. (Notice the juxtaposition of the album version vs the livestudio take on "Somebody's Somebody" or the live performance audio of "Face Down" they lip synced to on Chris Rock vs the album version.)

Too much falsetto. It feels lazy after a while and makes the album feel rushed.

No lyric pages, and the one book we got is still up for debate with its "rubber baby" or whatthefuckever that is.

Even if two disks weren't filled to the gills, there is enough that can be cut or chopped to take this sprawling spacey set down to a dual disk set. I think prince jumped the shark a little bit on this one. But it's still something I put on. Disk 1 on shuffle is as good as listening to it front to back.

Strong songs:

Damned If eye Do

The Love We Make

Saviour

White Mansion

One Kiss At A Time

Soul Sanctuary

Somebody's Somebody

Right Back Here In My Arms

Emale

The Holy River

My Computer

Sleep Around

One Of Us

Style

In This Bed eye Scream

Songs like "We Gets Up," "Get Yo Groove On," "New World," "Human Body," and "Jam of the Year" need his regular register, not a falsetto. How you gonna write a hype song like "We Gets Up" and want the Bulls to use it, then sing it in a falsetto? Girl, no. When he sang, "Jam of the Year" and "Get Yo Groove On" during the live TV special, those songs were a thousand times better.

"eye don’t really care so much what people say about me because it is a reflection of who they r."
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Reply #4 posted 11/17/21 3:39pm

kingricefan

Love this album! Every song showcases the JOY he felt after finally getting out of his WB CONtract. Even the worst songs aren't as awful as some of the crap that's played on the radio now. Soul Sanctuary is my absolute favorite song from this album.

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Reply #5 posted 11/17/21 3:54pm

Hamad

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skywalker said:

Well, that was a fast quarter century. One of my all time favorites. No, I would never whittle it down to a single disc. Part of my big love for Emancipation is the sprawlingness of it all. Share your love here!!!


-


Emancipation 1996 Commercial


[Edited 11/17/21 10:39am]



Heeeey! razz didn’t know there was a TV commercial for it, so cool. Thanks for sharing.

I love the project, it’s not without its flaws, but it’s many charming qualities outweigh the rest. I’ll leave the music discussion for the more articulate orgers in here, but I’ll say this about the album, that album booklet art is an amazing easter egg hunt (even if it looks corny & dated), it’s still taking me all this time to dissect the all the clues and little intricate hidden messages. It’s testimonial to how intentional & thoughtful Prince was when it came to presenting the music to his audience, one of the many reasons why I love his music, he made the liner notes to be amazingly fun experience for listeners like myself smile
Every saint has a past, and every sinner has a future...

Twitter: https://twitter.com/QLH82
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Reply #6 posted 11/17/21 7:09pm

billymeade

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"We Gets Up" isn't in falsetto.
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Reply #7 posted 11/17/21 7:18pm

SchlomoThaHomo

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TrivialPursuit said:

How you gonna write a hype song like "We Gets Up" and want the Bulls to use it, then sing it in a falsetto?


The lead vocals are mostly chest voice, except for a few notes. Maybe you're thinking of a different song.

"That's when stars collide. When there's space for what u want, and ur heart is open wide."
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Reply #8 posted 11/17/21 7:42pm

SchlomoThaHomo

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I remember being a little disappointed when it came out because it seemed very conventional for Prince. I always appreciated Prince's weirdness, and it seems he shied away from that on this record. I remember a magazine interview from around this time, and he was talking about John Lennon and Yoko, and talking about when John's music became more domesticated. I can't remember if that's the word he used, but something to that effect. And then he mentioned that he hoped people thought the same thing about his music on Emancipation, because marriage had changed him.

I remember another interview where he mentioned how much easier songs come to him now, and I remember thinking, "Yea, sounds like it." Songs like Human Body, Style, Emale, Da Da Da, Slave, New World, Right Back Here In My Arms, Damned If I Do, White Mansion, We Gets Up, Courtin' Time, FLSMW - I wouldn't say these are songs that sound like a lot of effort went into them. They're a fine listen, but none of them really made me feel.

I had to try listen to it with different ears and just try to apprecate the songwriting from the perspective of a married man who was excited to start a family with his new wife. The Holy River was an instant favorite, and I think is among his very best. He very rarely was that honest in a song. It's too bad it didn't get more attention. In This Bed Eye Scream is classic Prince. Again, deserved more attention. Joint 2 Joint is a beast. Sleep Around could have been a hit. I think Disc 2 is the most satisfying listening experience from front to back. The rest is hit or miss for me. I wouldn't cut it down though. I love to hear it all.

"That's when stars collide. When there's space for what u want, and ur heart is open wide."
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Reply #9 posted 11/17/21 10:42pm

TrivialPursuit

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SchlomoThaHomo said:

TrivialPursuit said:

How you gonna write a hype song like "We Gets Up" and want the Bulls to use it, then sing it in a falsetto?


The lead vocals are mostly chest voice, except for a few notes. Maybe you're thinking of a different song.


Show's ya how long since I've listened to it. Hmmm, maybe I'm crossing wires with "Get Yo Groove On."

"eye don’t really care so much what people say about me because it is a reflection of who they r."
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Reply #10 posted 11/17/21 11:29pm

jdcxc

SchlomoThaHomo said:

I remember being a little disappointed when it came out because it seemed very conventional for Prince. I always appreciated Prince's weirdness, and it seems he shied away from that on this record. I remember a magazine interview from around this time, and he was talking about John Lennon and Yoko, and talking about when John's music became more domesticated. I can't remember if that's the word he used, but something to that effect. And then he mentioned that he hoped people thought the same thing about his music on Emancipation, because marriage had changed him.

I remember another interview where he mentioned how much easier songs come to him now, and I remember thinking, "Yea, sounds like it." Songs like Human Body, Style, Emale, Da Da Da, Slave, New World, Right Back Here In My Arms, Damned If I Do, White Mansion, We Gets Up, Courtin' Time, FLSMW - I wouldn't say these are songs that sound like a lot of effort went into them. They're a fine listen, but none of them really made me feel.

I had to try listen to it with different ears and just try to apprecate the songwriting from the perspective of a married man who was excited to start a family with his new wife. The Holy River was an instant favorite, and I think is among his very best. He very rarely was that honest in a song. It's too bad it didn't get more attention. In This Bed Eye Scream is classic Prince. Again, deserved more attention. Joint 2 Joint is a beast. Sleep Around could have been a hit. I think Disc 2 is the most satisfying listening experience from front to back. The rest is hit or miss for me. I wouldn't cut it down though. I love to hear it all.

Good Points. I also thought that much of it was too conventional, but I still love about half of the album...and I wud cut it down. I dont listen to any of the covers anymore. Some of the ballads are pure brilliance and really stand the test of time.

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Reply #11 posted 11/18/21 12:35am

TrivialPursuit

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SchlomoThaHomo said:

I remember being a little disappointed when it came out because it seemed very conventional for Prince. I always appreciated Prince's weirdness, and it seems he shied away from that on this record. I remember a magazine interview from around this time, and he was talking about John Lennon and Yoko, and talking about when John's music became more domesticated. I can't remember if that's the word he used, but something to that effect. And then he mentioned that he hoped people thought the same thing about his music on Emancipation, because marriage had changed him.


Very good points. The idea of his music becoming domesticated feels very correct for this. It certainly remained that way through the remainder of his career.

"eye don’t really care so much what people say about me because it is a reflection of who they r."
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Reply #12 posted 11/18/21 2:48am

leecaldon

LILpoundCAKE said:

I want an SDE with 3 extra discs of unreleased songs smile

There are a bunch of good songs that didn't make the final cut. I believe at a Paisley Park party he said it was going to be a 50 track set.

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Reply #13 posted 11/18/21 3:58am

antonb

I bought the vinyl of this hoping it would make ne like it more. It didnt!

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Reply #14 posted 11/18/21 4:54am

TheEclecticEle
ctric

I love it, but it helps that it was an exciting time for me.

I remember thinking it was a strong return to form after the random half-jams he'd been throwing out over the previous couple of years.

+e
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Reply #15 posted 11/18/21 6:36am

LoveGalore

TheEclecticElectric said:

I love it, but it helps that it was an exciting time for me.



I remember thinking it was a strong return to form after the random half-jams he'd been throwing out over the previous couple of years.



Half jams? It came out in 1996, after consecutive releases of full albums like Come, Gold, and Chaos.
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Reply #16 posted 11/18/21 7:19am

homesquid

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Have a love/hate relationship with the album. Was tremendously disappointed when it dropped because of the bland production and just too many songs. Made my own one and two discs versions, etc...blah blah

>>>BUT I GREW TO LIKE IT THE WAY IT WAS. It has grown in stature with me. Top 15 Prince albums

1. SOTT

2. 1999

3. Dirty Mind

4. Purple Rain

5. Lovesexy

6. Parade

7. ATWIAD

8. Symbol

9. Controversy

10. God Exp

11. Emancipation

12. 3121

13. HITNRun Part 2

14. Crystal Ball

15. Planet Earth

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Reply #17 posted 11/18/21 7:22am

rlittler81

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Fond memories of this era, I remember being so excited that he was going to release a triple album. I think it was a bit over hyped calling it “the album he was born 2 make” as it certainly isn’t one of his best albums, I was hoping for more Gold Experience era song quality but it felt like a step back production wise. Certainly the band he put together was a such a let down compared to the 94-95 NPG. Still a great but flawed album that I probably enjoy more for nostalgia reasons than anything.
3121... Don't U Wanna Come?
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Reply #18 posted 11/18/21 7:28am

Se7en

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I remember going to get it on my lunch break the day it came out. I had just started the job a few weeks prior, and I rushed to Best Buy and back as to not be late.

I remember listening to it, and it being the first Prince album that did not really wow me at first.

Even now, after 25 years, it's among the Prince albums that I listen to the least. I do enjoy it though.


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Reply #19 posted 11/18/21 7:31am

Se7en

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rlittler81 said:

Fond memories of this era, I remember being so excited that he was going to release a triple album. I think it was a bit over hyped calling it “the album he was born 2 make” as it certainly isn’t one of his best albums, I was hoping for more Gold Experience era song quality but it felt like a step back production wise. Certainly the band he put together was a such a let down compared to the 94-95 NPG. Still a great but flawed album that I probably enjoy more for nostalgia reasons than anything.


All great points, and I agree.

I wondered why the 94-95 NPG was replaced (maybe they were still WB employees?).

But yeah, the "album I was born 2 make" -- coming from the guy who made 1999, Purple Rain, SOTT -- it's beyond hyperbole.

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Reply #20 posted 11/18/21 9:15am

Poplife88

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It has grown on me over the years (much like a lot of his 90s material). Now I consider it an enjoyable album.

But like others have said, i do remember being disappointed when it came out. It IS conventional especially paired up with his 80s stuff. I remember making a single disc version and pretty much listened to that all the time back then. Betcha By Golly Wow had to have been his most lackluster first single of his career. Great song, good cover...but NOT lead single material. Sleep Around as 1st single would've been a hit.

We're gonna need a bigger boat
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Reply #21 posted 11/18/21 10:01am

RODSERLING

My first Prince album, so very dear to my heart.
Found it at 10 Euros in 2001 in a wreckastore. It strange because I knew it was a Prince album. I ve heard about the Symbol thing, but never paid any attention to it before.
I just thought, well that s 3 discs for the price of half one, so that was a bargain to me and a way to discover that artist.

Must be a pain in the ass in vinyl though, to change the side every 3 songs. Fucking non sense. It was never intended to be heard like that.

EMI invested a lot of money in this project.
For the record, Betcha by golly Wow was #1 in Europe for a few weeks, including the hyper-competitive christmas week.
Holy River reached #6.
They were both played to death for weeks ( never heard them in France though, I was only ten but still), but never made any impact in the single and album charts.
Emancipation was long gone in the charts when Holy River hit the top ten for a few weeks, but no impact.

It's very unusual to have two mega-hits in a row in airplay, without exploiting another single. All that airplay was just payola, completely disconnecred from the real tastes of the listeners.

I have a question : at the time of the release, did the album cost the price of one, two or three albums? Thanks.
[Edited 11/18/21 10:02am]
[Edited 11/18/21 10:03am]
[Edited 11/18/21 10:03am]
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Reply #22 posted 11/18/21 1:45pm

KoolEaze

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I still like it but still dislike the same songs I disliked back then, such as Courtin Time, Damned If I Do, We Gets Up and so on. Those are songs that I find almost unlistenable.

.

However, I do appreciate some of the songs that most fans love to hate, such as Da Da Da (his rap part and the music are quite enjoyable, Scrap D.....not so much). I met Scrap D around the time Emancipation came out because he used to hang out at my friend´s place and we talked a bit about their collaborations, and in hindsight it all made sense to me. But I still don´t like his collabos with Scrap and Steppa.

.

My favorite songs are Right Back Here In My Arms, Dreamin About U, Soul Sanctuary (sounds nothing like Sandra St.Victor´s original...it´s so drastically rearranged that it´s a whole different song). The Love We Make is a classic. I even like some of the covers , such as La La La La La Means I Love U and Betcha By Golly Wow but I think I Can´t Make U Love Me was a bit over the top, I prefer George Michael´s version over the original and over Prince´s version.

.

It´s amazing how different Betcha By Golly Wow sounds compared to the rest of the album, and that´s because it was recorded with Michael B, Sonny, Tommy and Morris. I think the whole album would´ve benefitted from utilizing them. I have no idea why he replaced them with Kat, Rhonda and Kirk but I assume it was the money since he was going through some serious financial problems in 1995 and 1996.

" I´d rather be a stank ass hoe because I´m not stupid. Oh my goodness! I got more drugs! I´m always funny dude...I´m hilarious! Are we gonna smoke?"
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Reply #23 posted 11/18/21 2:30pm

TrivialPursuit

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rlittler81 said:

Fond memories of this era, I remember being so excited that he was going to release a triple album. I think it was a bit over hyped calling it “the album he was born 2 make” as it certainly isn’t one of his best albums, I was hoping for more Gold Experience era song quality but it felt like a step back production wise. Certainly the band he put together was a such a let down compared to the 94-95 NPG. Still a great but flawed album that I probably enjoy more for nostalgia reasons than anything.


That reminded me of my memories. It was a good time. The price was well under $30 for the set, which is nice. I was about to move from Tulsa to Minneapolis. And MPLS was full of Emancipation vibes. Promos, TV appearances, all that permeated the city. He was on the front of every magazine (and I bought them) at the Barnes and Noble in Calhoun Square (where I worked).

It was a dreamy time for sure. It sorta overrode the fact that I was living with the anti-Christ for a while.

"eye don’t really care so much what people say about me because it is a reflection of who they r."
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Reply #24 posted 11/19/21 12:29am

iveivan

With this album, I didn't find enough engaging songs to warrant repeated listens to the album or any of the individual discs. The better songs aren't that great and not helped by the plastic production. I haven't ever tried to make a single disk version but I'm sure less would be more.

50 unreleased songs? I'm doubtful there are any hidden gems there but, as always, I'd be interested to hear them all.



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Reply #25 posted 11/19/21 1:40am

rlittler81

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Se7en said:

rlittler81 said:

Fond memories of this era, I remember being so excited that he was going to release a triple album. I think it was a bit over hyped calling it “the album he was born 2 make” as it certainly isn’t one of his best albums, I was hoping for more Gold Experience era song quality but it felt like a step back production wise. Certainly the band he put together was a such a let down compared to the 94-95 NPG. Still a great but flawed album that I probably enjoy more for nostalgia reasons than anything.


All great points, and I agree.

I wondered why the 94-95 NPG was replaced (maybe they were still WB employees?).

But yeah, the "album I was born 2 make" -- coming from the guy who made 1999, Purple Rain, SOTT -- it's beyond hyperbole.

I think he just wanted a change, although I recall reading during the Japan tour in early '96, his relationship with the NPG kind of broke down to the point he wouldn't pray with them before the show. Micheal B. also mentioned they weren't getting paid enough which they were going to confront him about but were advides against it and he was tired of being on call all the time. He was done. I think Tommy was asked to stay on? Kinda like what happened with The Revolution break up.

3121... Don't U Wanna Come?
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Reply #26 posted 11/19/21 1:42am

rlittler81

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TrivialPursuit said:

rlittler81 said:

Fond memories of this era, I remember being so excited that he was going to release a triple album. I think it was a bit over hyped calling it “the album he was born 2 make” as it certainly isn’t one of his best albums, I was hoping for more Gold Experience era song quality but it felt like a step back production wise. Certainly the band he put together was a such a let down compared to the 94-95 NPG. Still a great but flawed album that I probably enjoy more for nostalgia reasons than anything.


That reminded me of my memories. It was a good time. The price was well under $30 for the set, which is nice. I was about to move from Tulsa to Minneapolis. And MPLS was full of Emancipation vibes. Promos, TV appearances, all that permeated the city. He was on the front of every magazine (and I bought them) at the Barnes and Noble in Calhoun Square (where I worked).

It was a dreamy time for sure. It sorta overrode the fact that I was living with the anti-Christ for a while.

Yeah, it was an exciting time for us fans but obviously a difficult one for Prince and Mayte. In retrospect, it's hard to not watch performances from that time and feel sad. It was meant to be the happiest time of his life/career but was probably one of the saddest and most difficult.

3121... Don't U Wanna Come?
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Reply #27 posted 11/19/21 6:04pm

dm3857

They shoulda come out with that emancipation era brrr parka jacket for da anniversary.. I’m goin skiing soon I woulda rocked da da da.
.
Emancipation iz that joint (2 joint). Could clock in in my top 5 Prince albums on a good day… ma girlfriend loves it, her fav prince album.
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Reply #28 posted 11/20/21 2:49am

MIRvmn

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I like Emancipation and there's some really good songs on it, especially the ballads. Would love to hear the unreleased songs that didn't make the album
smile
Welcome 2 The Dawn
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Reply #29 posted 11/20/21 6:25am

automatic

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I'm surprised people like Sleep Around. I find it too long of a song. The funny thing is New World and The Human Body are some of my favorites which others hate. Lol Also the 3rd disc is probably my favorite because it's the most unusual and diverse of the 3.
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