Thursday, 2 May 2013

Cassette experiment day 68 - Prince and the Revolution 'Parade'

Music films are a mixed bag. Top of the heap as far as I’m concerned is probably ‘Walk the line’, but there are some other fine ones too. ‘Still famous’ pushes my buttons. So does the under-rated ‘Empire Records’. And ‘La vie en rose’ is, in the words of Barry Norman, ‘an absolute corker, and no mistake’.
Some, however, are not quite so accomplished. Today I listened to a cassette that is actually the soundtrack to a film that many who’ve seen it (yours-truly included) would like to forget, ‘Under the Cherry Moon’. The album, of course, is ‘Parade’ by Prince and The Revolution.
‘Under the Cherry Moon’ stars Prince as Christopher Tracy. It also stars Kristin Scott Thomas, Francesca Annis and with a number of others who, quite frankly, were old enough to know better.
While the album does reference the film’s story line in places, it is also very capable of standing up on its own – which is quite fortunate because it has now had to do so for 27 years.
Suffering slightly from an early onset of Prince’s now well-known quality control problems, the album opens with the poorest three tracks, before hitting its stride at track 4 with the film’s title track. The chirpy ‘Girls & Boys’ follows at track 5 before the quality tails off considerably towards the end of side one with the repetitive ‘Life can be so nice’ and the unremarkable instrumental ‘Venus de Milo’.
Side 2 is typically more consistent, containing three singles typical of Prince’s output. The first, ‘Mountains’ has to be the drabbest single that Prince released while still in his creative hey-day, the second, ‘Kiss’ towers head and shoulders above the rest of the album. While in its single form ‘Kiss’ ends abruptly and imaginatively, here it melts nicely into the third of side 2’s singles, one of Prince’s most under-appreciated tunes, ‘Anotherloverholenyohead’. Side 2’s final track is the slow but lovely ‘Sometimes it snows in April’ (but of course it will only be newsworthy if it happens in London).
Anyone want to watch ‘Purple Rain’ with me?
Label – Paisley Park
Year – 1986
Don't forget you can get 'The great cassette experiment - The first 40 days' on your kindle by following the link below;

But only if you want to!

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