Category: black music

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Miles Ahead


PRINCE 1982-86

In 1982 Prince produced 1999. The disc will sell 4 million copies in the United States. In Italy
only a few private radio stations specializing in the American black scene, broadcast the singles “1999” and “Little Red Corvette”.
For me, as a teenager, it is an enlightenment. The album in its entirety will remain unknown to me for years.
Only a couple of years later with the explosion of “Purple Rain”, Prince’s previous production will come
also explored and widespread in Italy. I will first buy the CD, printed with the omission of the track “D.M.S.R”, and then finally
the double vinyl. The album is a masterpiece, dominated by the characteristic sounds of previous albums.
“Little Red Corvette” is a song that stands out from the atmosphere of the disc; a pop rock song appears, capable
to penetrate even the white audience. It ‘sa small gem, which highlights, perhaps for the first time, the inspiration, the ductility of
Prince, able to go further, to build bridges towards a broader and more creative musical discourse.
11 tracks make up the album, which after many years remains a work full of charm.
Two years later it’s time for “Purple Rain”, the album and the single that will identify Prince from that moment to the
public. Released on June 84, I remember my summer dominated by the first single “When Doves Cry”. A single
which resumed the sounds of “1999” and anticipated an album with more pop-rock content. All the tracks remain
live and present in my heart. I consumed the album, and I still listen to it frequently and always with renewed pleasure.
Masterfully mixed, the pieces follow one another in a perfect way giving the whole a continuity that gives the sensation
of a race, a race that has its goal in the 8 minutes of the title track, which masterfully closes a perfect record.
The following year it was the turn of “Around The World In A Day” and once again Prince amazed the world. The album is not the sequel
of “Purple Pain”, does not resume the sounds of “Controversy” or “1999”. It is a record that will remain unique in the artist’s production
of Minneapolis. Prince’s psychedelic album puzzled me, but it gave me beautiful songs like “Paisley Park”, “Pop Life” and of course
“RaspBerry Beret”.
“Parade” was released the following year,driven by the single “Kiss”; Prince is now a pop star. The album is a solid work, with its precise identity;
leaves the rock soul of “Purple Rain”, resumes the psychedelic style of the previous album integrating it with a more accentuated funk and jazz vein.
It is the soundtrack of the film “Under The Cherry Moon” and therefore there are songs that have precise references to the protagonist: Cristopher Tracy,
played by Prince himself. Years later, a fresh record remains, full of ideas and references.

Excerpt from “Jacksons Live”