Purplelectricity

Prince Around World 05

Before he seemingly mislaid his knack of writing a good tune* I was quite a Prince fan, buying a shed load of singles and loving Parade and Sign “☮” the Times.  Without invoking the sacred names of Lennon and McCartney I still can’t think of anyone who was capable of mashing together so many different types of music to such great effect whilst creating something utterly and indelibly his own and playing most of it brilliantly himself AND being so prolific, Purple Rain, Around The World In A Day, Parade, Sign “☮” the Times all knocked out in 36 months, which just beggars belief; definition of the phrase ‘a purple period’?  The word genius gets thrown around far too much in popular music** but when he was in his pomp Prince pretty much qualified for the title.

Prince Around World 01

I bought Around The World In A Day as my first Prince album in vinyl back on 30 June 1994. I last listened to this LP in, ooh, let me see, I’m guessing about 10 July 1994.  You see, it just isn’t very good.  Yup, you guessed it when faced with such a smorgasbord of cosmic, funky delights I plumped for the weakest of the lot, by far. Typical! Why? I was led astray by fond memories of the single ‘Raspberry Beret’, which was sassy, catchy, clever and much more importantly for 14 year-old me, rude.  Straight up, it is by far the best track on this LP and would have held it’s own easily on the better LPs that bracketed this one.  It’s the age old story, guy has pants job, guy meets hot chick, guy takes her for a ride down to old man Johnson’s farm and (look away now, lady readers^) bones her and, well, that’s about it really! Romantic little sexist that he is, Prince even finds time to pay Ms Beret the ultimate compliment,

She wasn’t 2 bright, but I could tell when she kissed me
She knew how 2 get her kicks

Aah, those 19 words every girl longs to hear.  Still at least he confirms that he ‘wouldn’t change a stroke’!  Okay, okay slightly dubious sexual politics aside^^ it is just a brilliant track… unlike everything else on Side A.  It comes over as all a bit self-consciously psychedelic, as though Prince decided to write a psychedelic-flavoured album and then fitted the songs he had at the time around that goal.  To be fair ‘Condition of the Heart’ is a deliriously over the top soul ballad that could have been saved by being a lot less overblown but I wouldn’t give a flying one for anything else on that side.

Made by my daughter - she's way better than me
Made by my daughter – she’s way better than me

Luckily Side B of Around the World in a Day is better, not brilliant but better.  I really rate the heavy political funk of ‘America’ and it’s dissing of mindless patriotism/ anti-communism,

Little sister making minimum wage
Living in a 1-room jungle-monkey cage
Can’t get over, she’s almost dead
She may not be in the black
But she’s happy she ain’t in the red

I love that.  Then we have ‘Pop Life’ an empty, sarcastic song about empty, sarcastic celebrity life.  For the sake of accord and harmony let’s gloss over the Liberace-meets-George Clinton ‘The Ladder’ and skip straight to the heavy guitar, heavily-treated guitar freak out of ‘Temptation’.  Again this is about you know, that.  Yes you do know, umm, downstairs activity.  Honestly, the man was obsessed!

Pop go mama when daddy gets a little 2 much
You know what I’m talkin’ ’bout?
Purplelectricity whenever our bodies touch
Ooh baby, I love it when our bodies touch

Prince Around World 02

Yet again, I’m afraid Flight of the Conchords have just slain this sort of thing for me – when Prince sings this all I can see before me is Brett and Jermaine, they nailed the silliness of it all far too well.  But anyway, one great track and two okay ones does not make this an album I can see myself returning too any time soon – knew I should have bought Parade instead! Still as a certain mini-Lothario would have it,

I’ll tell ya, if I had the chance 2 do it all again, oh
I wouldn’t change a stroke

Prince Around World 08
I like this one

 

366 Down.

Prince Around World 07

*1993, since you ask.

**okay, mostly by me, nightly.

^maybe even return to your knitting and/or whatever lady activities you do when not tending to your husband’s every need and reading 1537!

^^and this from a Nashville Pussy fan!

Prince Around World 03

21 thoughts on “Purplelectricity

      1. Yes, and I am male enough to read about ahem, “downstairs activity”…lol

        Mike talked about Prince living in Ajax (stone’s throw from where I live) but before that, Prince owned a house in Markham, ON – also a stone’s throw from me. We’re spending the day in Ajax tomorrow…maybe we’ll catch ol’ Symbol doing his JW thang?

        Like

      2. That would just be incredible – I’m afraid in that scenario I’d be very worried that I’d just flip, succumb to my darkest instincts and kidnap him, forcing him to live in my basement for a year and perform medleys of all my favourite singles at my slightest whim.

        Apart from the JW thing, does he actually mingle and do normal stuff I wonder? or does he go from being a heavily entouraged up hermit in Minneapolis, to being one in Ajax?

        Like

      3. I haven’t seen hide or hair of him…besides, we’re too g-d polite and respectful as Ontarians to find out. I didn’t know he was in Ajax, frankly. Only knew about the Markham house that he sold following his split from his wife.
        He’d be easy to kidnap…he’s so tiny, I think I could even “grab an end”. lol

        Like

      4. Yup and wouldn’t take up too much room at home either!

        Dear NSA, I would like to distance myself from this conversation and cite the fact that my house doesn’t have a basement as proof – I’m not so sure about the Canadians though, you might be best checking them out!

        Like

  1. I’m thinking if Prince Rogers Nelson came to my door to tell me about Jehova I’d probably invite him in and offer him some coffee. Maybe I’d even go to to their temple or whatever they go to with the small chance(hope) that we could jam on “Purple Rain”, “Little Red Corvette”, or “Let’s Pretend We’re Married” during the Sunday church service. Hell, I’d take the sacred vow of the Jehova Witness if he’d let me pick him up and snuggle with him on my recliner as we watched ‘Under The Cherry Moon'(personally, “Christopher Tracy’s Parade” still makes me tear up a bit when I hear it.)

    My best friend actually changed his name to Christopher(his real first name is Tyson)in the 7th grade because of Prince’s character Christopher Tracy in ‘Under The Cherry Moon’. The yearbook even states “Christopher” that year. True story.

    I personally have enjoyed this album over the years. It’s not great, but there’s enough nostalgia involved here to keep me a fan of it. But in comparison to the albums surrounding it, well it’s definitely the low point between 1984 and 1987. But yeah, prolific is putting it mildly with this guy. Hell, I still quite like “Alphabet Street”.

    Like

    1. Awww, that’s sweet. I have a little image of you giving Prince a nice, gentle hug.

      It is amazing, I do remember though there was always a new Prince record out. It just all seemed to burst out of him. Could definitely have done with someone who said ‘no’ to him occasionally though.

      Like

  2. Wonderful Lego work! Sorry your first Prince wasn’t a good Prince. But glad you didn’t give up just because of that.

    True story — we all know Prince is a Jehova’s Witness. He has a residence in Ajax, Ontario Canada. One of our record stores (now closed) was in Ajax. The owner tells me that Prince has been seen going door to door! I briefly considered moving to Ajax.

    Like

    1. Wow, believe it or not I didn’t know that. Imagine hearing the bell, peeking out through the curtains and going, ‘Oh bloody hell – it’s Prince again, you go this time, I was stuck with him for hours last time!’ and quick, get Lovesexy off the stereo!

      Like

      1. Here’s the thing — I understand he’s quite short. You’d look through the window, see nobody, and assume it’s just a kid pranking you!

        Did you know about the movie Kevin Smith was hired to direct, about Prince and his faith? Smith goes into it in a 30 minute story on one of his DVDs. It’s really, really, messed up!

        One cool thing, if you consider it such — every room in Prince’s (US residence) house is wired for sound, meaning he can record himself in any room no matter what he’s doing. Even the bathrooms, if the urge overtook him.

        Like

      2. That is a cool concept – when I make the big time I’ll have a full cabinet of Lego Minifigs in each room in case the genius strikes.

        Like

      3. I must get an office sorted out so they can ‘phone people and tell them how long it will be before I can phone them. Genius idea.

        Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s