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Ocean of Violets: Prince song by song

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Lance LaSalle, Jul 21, 2020.

  1. the real pope ondine

    the real pope ondine Forum Resident

    i think at the time i would've jumped on a 5/5 but now maybe a slight deduction....4.5/5 since i don't love ALL the songs as much as i remember. but the good ones really feel like a new side of Prince that i wish he explored a little more: Paisley Park, Condition of the Heart, Pop Life, the Ladder (not as loved as i thought it would be here) Beret etc. interested in hearing the outakes!
    Lance LaSalle likes this.
  2. thekid87

    thekid87 Forum Resident

    The Netherlands
    Around The World In A Day is a great album!
    After Purple Rain, Prince had the choice what to do. Release Purple Rain part 2 and have similar success for years with that sound and fame until he was copying himself too much, turning into a one-trick pony, or fading away after a couple years because Purple Rain was his best album. Or, follow his own guts, vision, creativity and dreams.
    Lucky for us (and himself) he was bored with Purple Rain pretty soon and wanted to move forward and expand his musical texture (thanks @Piiijiii for the right words :righton: ). In the next years Prince would create exciting new music and surprise year after year with great albums, songs and live shows!
    A big thanks to WB for letting him do whatever he wanted, btw. It must have been extremely hard for them to find out what Prince wanted to release after the massive Purple Rain. I'm sure they wanted to milk the purple cow for the next 5 years and make some more massive amounts of purple money.

    After a year of listening to Purple Rain, I was ready for something new and I loved Around The World In A Day. Is that the same artist who wrote Let's Go Crazy, When Doves Cry and 1999? That's interesting and exciting! At just 15 years old, that was the musicology that I wanted and needed!
    Like I've already mentioned in the song reviews I love most of the songs for their own reason. All of them (except Temptation) are classic Prince songs. Sometimes because the songs are that good, sometimes because it really shows the growth and changed Prince was going through (and being great songs to begin with).
    Like so many of Prince's music, the songs were totally different in a live setting, allowing us to see multiple sides of the songs. Songs like America or The Ladder are actually even better live.

    This is also an album with amazing cover art. Prince isn't known for good taste in cover art, but this one is great. There is a concept known that didn't make it, but it shows the way Prince way thinking:

    Many elements return in the final cover art (except tiger man... from what song is that?). The final cover art is one of the most beautiful ones I've seen with a Prince album. So colorful and you keep looking at it. And great that details from the cover art were used for the singles:

    Purple Rain was a great album, but after Around The World In A Day I became interested in Prince the artist, his enigma and musical path. In that way it just as important to me as Purple Rain. Great songs, great vision, the avant purple (so to speak).

    This is another 5 out of 5!
  3. Arthur Pewty

    Arthur Pewty Forum Resident

    I love this album the way you love a flawed but charming sibling. You can clearly see their faults, but you admire them for their bravery to try new things, even if they don’t always work out.
    I disagree that he was running on fumes, but I do agree that these were conscious choices to put these specific songs on the album. This was the statement he wanted to make.
    I was totally onboard with the change in direction, as well as the visual change. I felt he was incredibly smart to take a page from Bowie’s playbook. Just as the market was starting to be flooded with acts aping the sound of 1999 and Purple Rain, he immediately distances himself from the whole Minneapolis Sound. He probably cost himself some more major hits, but it helped his career longevity.
    There was a whiff of patchouli in the air anyway that year, bubbling up from the underground, and he seemed incredibly prescient to be right in line with that. The whole Paisley Underground was really taking hold for me, and this album fit right in next to my copies of Arrive Without Travelling by The Three O’Clock and All Over The Place by The Bangles. I always imagined it was Wendy and Lisa (and Susannah) that kept his ear close to what was coming up.
    This album was the first (of many) times that I indulged in a bit of fan fiction and mentally constructed an album that I think,if marketed properly with the right singles and videos, would have continued his massive success, while cementing his status as the G.O.A.T.
    If Raspberry Beret had been properly released right before the album release, I’m sure it would have hit Number 1. I would have configured the album this way (while using The Family album as a bridge between this era and the Parade era)
    Side 1: ATWIAD (unreleased full length version)
    Paisley Park
    Nothing Compares 2 U
    Raspberry Beret
    4The Tears In Your Eyes
    Side 2:
    Condition of the Heart
    She’s Always In My Hair
    The Screams of Passion
    Pop Life
    And I would have saved Hello and America for amazing B-sides, thrown Temptation in the trash and donated The Ladder to the We Are The World album.
    But he’s the visionary, not me. I’m sure he knew exactly what he was doing. Anyway, a much needed change of direction: 3.5/5
  4. moople72

    moople72 Forum Resident

    That was my experience too. I was 13 and it wasn't a case of just liking it because it was the Purple Rain guy. It was equally fascinating. I can see it being viewed as a disappointment in hindsight but it wasn't for me. 5150 and Third Stage were massive disappointments for me but not this one.
    Lance LaSalle, thekid87 and EVOLVIST like this.
  5. Gavaxeman

    Gavaxeman Take me back to dear old Blighty...

    West Midlands U.K.
    Around the world ..

    As an album it’s one of my favourites, last two tracks do let it down ..but it’s great up to that point ..it’s highs are superb ..it’s lows just average ..so a solid 4/5
  6. This is pretty cool. I never thought about making an alternate album configuration. This is also a very pop configuration, which obviously Prince was trying to steer away from.

    But let's say if you couldn't use songs from The Family, how else would you configure the album?
    Lance LaSalle likes this.
  7. Arthur Pewty

    Arthur Pewty Forum Resident

    Without the Family material, I probably would have saved The Dance Electric (which I truly love) for this album and possibly Wonderful Ass.
    You’re right, it leans a little more Pop , but it would have been one strong cut after another, and transitioned his fans a little more slowly from Purple Rain to the new era.
    I know it’s contradictory, because I’m championing his FU attitude and doing whatever he wanted; I guess i wanted every song on here to be world class songwriting while still being innovative. And I always imagined my configuration to be just that. All subjective, of course.
    I always did the same thing with Parade and the other Family material too, which I’m sure I’ll mention in a few weeks.
  8. Andrecrabtree

    Andrecrabtree Forum Resident

    A great album

    I even really like The Ladder and Temptation.

    I wouldn't alter it really but if I had to I would make it more of a Purple Rain follow up.

    Something like

    Side 1

    Paisley Park
    Roadhouse Garden
    Pop Life
    Raspberry Beret

    Side 2

    Shes Always In My Hair
    Wonderful Ass
    The Dance Electric
  9. Freek999

    Freek999 Forum Resident

    Around The World In A Day lp 5/5
    it is more of a 4.6 where the other albums between 1982-1988 are 5.0, but nonetheless a 5/5
    thekid87 likes this.
  10. Vagabone

    Vagabone Forum Resident

    Leeds, UK
    So many people singling out Temptation as a bad track makes me realise how much I specifically love that particular song, and how I couldn't imagine the album without it.

    One thing I forgot to say yesterday is how pictorial the music seems at the coda. We're not told what happens between "NOW DIE!" and Prince reappearing to apologize for his laviscious ways and say goodbye, but purely from the music, I hear Prince being dropped into a pit of snakes, wriggling and writhing in there for a while, before finding himself swimming in a lake of sharks, before washing up on a reedy riverbank.
  11. Michael Macrone

    Michael Macrone Forum Resident

    San Francisco, CA
    The problem with Around the World in a Day isn't that Prince failed to produce Purple Rain Pt. II. The problem is that only half of it is any good. So it's more like Controversy Pt. II.

    I'd never ever accuse Prince of slacking off, but AtWiaD sounds pretty uninspired for substantial stretches. Was it bravery or was it more like perversity that prompted him to dump "Girl," "Hello," and "She's Always in My Hair" onto B-sides, in favor of genre exercises that go nowhere? I'd have given a nicely revised tracklist at least a 4, but in the end I'm assigning a generous 3/5.

    I missed grading the tracks on Side 1, which even the record's ardent fans must admit is far superior. I enjoy the title track, "Paisley Park,"" and "Tambourine," plus "Pop Life" from Side 2, and to a lesser extent "Raspberry Beret." I never willing seek out any other track.

    Not even Sign o' the Times?

    A classic and certainly starker example is the drop from Rumours to Tusk.
  12. Greek Nacho

    Greek Nacho Responsible and Well-Adjusted Individual

    United States
    Pop Life 4/5
    The Ladder 3/5
    Temptation 1/5

    The album - 3/5.
    Lance LaSalle and sunspot42 like this.
  13. Summer of Malcontent

    Summer of Malcontent Forum Resident

    This is an album I'm fascinated by, although there are several tracks that do nothing for me. Those last two tracks are (very different) bad ideas poorly executed. 'The Ladder' is unredeemable pap. 'Temptation' might have worked as a wacko b-side ("have you heard the long version of that?"), though most people would have drawn the line at the 7" edit.

    But there are a bunch of great songs here, a bunch of great ideas, and a great new sound that rings through the album, and which Prince never really returned to. So, like other people in this thread, it's an album I have tinkered with repeatedly, and I've found a number of ways to turn it into an essential Prince album. It's pretty easy, because the three b-sides from the album are great, as is the outtake "4 the Tears in Your Eyes", and there are a bunch of superb songs on The Family. And this is leaving aside any yet unreleased outtakes.

    My first attempt at revamping the album was to turn it into a double by drafting in all the extended versions from the singles (the '1999' approach), adding '4 the Tears in Your Eyes' and retaining the title track.

    As I recall, it looked something like this:

    Side One:
    Around the World in a Day
    Paisley Park (extended)
    Hello (extended)

    Side Two:
    Raspberry Beret (extended)
    4 the Tears in Your Eyes
    She's Always in My Hair (extended)

    Side Three:
    America (extended)

    Side Four:
    Girl (extended)
    Pop Life (extended - Prince mix)

    My next attempt was a single album that combined the best tracks from this album and its singles and the highlights from The Family (imagining that they'd ultimately be substituted by those songs with Prince vocals).

    I can't remember the sequencing, but the tracks I used (all standard album versions) were:

    Around the World in a Day
    Paisley Park
    Raspberry Beret
    Pop Life
    She's Always in My Hair
    4 the Tears in your Eyes
    High Fashion
    Nothing Compares 2 U

    It was fantastic, and the inclusion of 'Hello', 'High Fashion' and 'Mutiny' gave it a big injection of funk.

    For my most recent version, I decided to just use released tracks with Prince vocals, and came up with:

    Side One:

    Side Two:
    RASPBERRY BERET (here I replicated the video mix by editing the extended intro of the 12" version onto the 7' / album version)
    NOTHING COMPARES 2 U (I used the "Cinematic Mix" from the Japanese Originals CD, but the standard version would be fine as well.)

    It all goes to show that, whatever flaws you might find in the album as originally released, it definitely wasn't because Prince was short of first-rate material.
  14. alugjk

    alugjk Forum Resident

    Atlanta, GA
    Around The World In A Day

    I love this album, and the whole era for Prince. I like the look, the clothes, the album art (and associated singles), heck even the labels on the vinyl were cool looking! This was the start of his Paisley Park label and I loved that original logo. The Raspberry Beret video is one of his very best.

    I seem to remember at the time that the original plan, or what Prince was originally insisting on, was that there would be NO singles released from this album. (I realize this seems unlikely, but does anyone else remember that?) And when sales were initially low, Prince relented and agreed to release singles.

    I had been a Prince fan for a few years by this point, and was still young (14 when it was released), so to me it was just a great new Prince album, not some startling new direction.

    His weakest of the 80s? Not when Batman exists!

  15. hotstuffmama

    hotstuffmama Forum Resident

    new york, ny

    After revisiting this one for the first time in a few years, I'm reminded of the reason it always collected dust in my collection. I actually listen to his debut album more than this one. 3/5
    sunspot42 likes this.
  16. sunspot42

    sunspot42 Forum Resident

    San Francisco
    I recall this too. The album came out April 22nd of '85 but "Beret" didn't drop until May 15th, which is very unusual.
    alugjk, robcar and croquetlawns like this.
  17. Lance LaSalle

    Lance LaSalle Prince of Swollen Sinus Thread Starter

    Never heard of it.

    No, I'm joking, of course you are right: of course that is basically two album mashed together, unlike this one.
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2021
    Michael Macrone and croquetlawns like this.
  18. Lance LaSalle

    Lance LaSalle Prince of Swollen Sinus Thread Starter

    I like it more than Dirty Mind and Controversy and Lovesexy and Batman! And I love those albums! Including Batman.
    alugjk, Vagabone and croquetlawns like this.
  19. Lance LaSalle

    Lance LaSalle Prince of Swollen Sinus Thread Starter

    Our votes for Around the World In a Day:

    Average: 3.6095
    sunspot42 likes this.
  20. groovelocked

    groovelocked Forum Resident

    Columbus OH (USA)
    ATWIAD album.. 3.75
  21. Lance LaSalle

    Lance LaSalle Prince of Swollen Sinus Thread Starter

    Last edited: Jan 14, 2021
    EVOLVIST likes this.
  22. groovelocked

    groovelocked Forum Resident

    Columbus OH (USA)
    I like all those alternate track lists, people have for ATWIAD, so much he could have used.

    Condition Of The Heart should have been the albums big ballad. Maybe even the closer. No anthemic Purple Rain style, but includes the avant-garde lost by dropping the more-b-side-suited Temptation.
    Lance LaSalle likes this.
  23. Lance LaSalle

    Lance LaSalle Prince of Swollen Sinus Thread Starter

    Jesus Christ. I made two posts about the Family album (very long post) and first song, then realized we hadn't done the B-sides.

    Then I made two posts about today's actual song and then accidentally deleted them instead of deleting the Family stuff, so overall this post has taken me about an hour to write!

    Today's song is "She's Always In My Hair", written and produced by Prince.


    This song was recorded during the Purple Rain era*: on December 28th, with a "new mix" and overdubs being made on January 8th, 1984.
    Another version was recorded on August 15th 1984, but remains unreleased.

    It was released as a B-sides on various singles:
    • Paisley Park (1985)
    • Raspberry Beret (1985(
    • Girls and Boys(1986)
    An extended version (really the original unedited version) was released on the 12 inch single of Raspberry Beret.

    The song was also released on the following collections:
    • The B-sides (1993, 7 inch edit)
    • Ultimate (2006, extended mix)
    *(a uncomfortable blanket term I'm using for the era that started in summer 1983 and ended around March 1984 and includes Purple Rain, Ice Cream Castle, most of Apollonia 6, and part of The Glamorous Life and Around the World in a day albums. It is not a Purple Rain outtake and was never considered for that album.
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2021
  24. Lance LaSalle

    Lance LaSalle Prince of Swollen Sinus Thread Starter

    12 inch extended version:

  25. "High Fashion" ~ I have to say, more than any other Prince related projects, The Family tunes are the ones I'd want to hear Prince singing the most. If Morris Day was kind or Prince-lite, then St. Paul was Morris Day-lite. I didn't hear this song until much, much later in my Prince listening experience, because it simply wasn't on my radar like a Prince album was when it came out. Therefore, yeah, I've always wanted to hear Prince sing these songs.

    I mean, this tune kicks in with everything good about Prince, yet it quickly falls apart when St. Paul sings. Moreover, Eric Leeds isn't his usual restrained self. He's all over the place, getting in the way of the melody. The mix is terrible. With Prince singing, I would hope for a more balanced mix.


    "She's Always In My Hair" ~ Yeah, there aren't enough superlatives. This is Prince at peak power. Beautiful.

    Lance LaSalle likes this.

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