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Digital Subscriptions > Classic Pop > Jun 2019 - Album Exclusive: Prince Originals > NEW ALBUMS




When Prince passed, one of the few – albeit tantalising – upsides was that his legendary vault, said to contain a wealth of unreleased recordings, would surely be opened.

The choice of emerging material so far, though, might not have been anticipated.

2018’s Piano And A Microphone 1983 presented a stripped-back selection of demos mostly of interest to die-hard fans.

This second collection, meanwhile, consists of tracks he later donated to others, having first taped them – save for Love… Thy Will Be Done, which arrived in 1991 – in the early 1980s.

Its greatest revelation is how few artists strayed far from the Prince template of these Originals.

Sex Shooter, for instance, which is full of typically dirty innuendoes – “I need you to pull my trigger, baby”– suggests Apollonia 6’s vocals were merely switched with Prince’s, and operates otherwise much as Purple Rain-era B-side Erotic City did.

1983’s Jungle Love, recorded that year by The Time, matches Baby I’m A Star’s urgency with New Position’s melody, while Noon Rendezvous and Holly Rock – covered by Sheila E in 1984 and 1986 – deliver, respectively, Sometimes It Snows In April’s intimacy and chaos worthy of Sign O’The Times.

There’s also appealingly laidback funk in 1982’s Gigolos Get Lonely Too, recorded by The Time that year, while 100 MPH is gratifyingly inseparable from Mazarati’s undeservedly overlooked 1986 version.

Some of these are of course enlightening, but the greatest surprise – a track donated to Kenny Rogers – isn’t especially rewarding. 1982’s middle-of-theroad You’re My Love is packed with lazy sentiments that, one suspects, only surfaced because Rogers dared request something for his They Don’t Make Them Like They Used To album. If Rogers’interpretation, credited to Joey Coco, was inessential, Prince’s is hardly more vital.

Original versions of The Bangles’Manic Monday and Sinéad O’Connor’s Nothing Compares 2 U are rather intriguing, if ultimately improved upon by their more famous incarnations. The LA quartet added essential joie de vivre while remaining faithful to the former’s arrangement, and O’Connor supplied almost unbearable pathos, elaborating successfully, if subtly, on Prince’s melody.

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About Classic Pop

In our latest issue, we take an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at the latest archive release from Prince. Originals gathers together tantalising demos from the iconic songwriter that became hits in the hands of other artists, from The Bangles and Martika to Kenny Rogers. We talk to those who knew Prince best for the inside track on this fascinating new album. So much more than just a founder member of Duran Duran, Stephen Duffy returns with a new Lilac Time album and a reissue of his superb solo LP I Love My Friends. Classic Pop shares a pint with him for an entertaining chat. Elsewhere, we find out if the B52s are serious about hanging up their microphones as they return to the UK for a farewell tour. Is this really the last goodbye from the art-pop party starters? We meet the band to get the definitive answer. In our new album-by-album feature, we take an in-depth look at the recording career of Talk Talk, from reluctant New Romantic poster boys to an outfit that explored the furthest reaches of art-rock. Legendary producer Trevor Horn talks us through his life in vinyl and we catch up with Colin Hay to delve into the troubled history of Men At Work. Our classic album is OMD’s career pinnacle Architecture & Morality and we also look at the 80s British reggae scene including chats with the key players from the era. Our packed new album reviews section includes Prince, Mark Ronson, The Divine Comedy, Hot Chip and more. On the reissues front, we serve up a tasty selection including Depeche Mode, Blancmange, Ian Dury & The Blockheads and a five-star review of Abba. In our live reviews section, we check out gigs by ABC, Wet Wet Wet, Suede, Bananarama and more.