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Thread started 06/09/19 1:55am

BartVanHemelen

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"Prince and the B-Sides: a love story"

http://spokesman-recorder...ove-story/

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Yet by this time, the songs that graced each Prince album — as good as they were — did not always fully satiate the most hardcore fans who knew there was more to be heard. That’s because Prince started to employ what noted author Michaelangelo Matos adroitly refers to as a “Prince’s B-side strategy.”

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Instead of delivering singles that contained an additional album track as its B-side, Prince would offer a brand new song to accompany most of the singles he released.

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Granted, Prince was not the first artist to do such a thing. However, unlike other artists, the songs that Prince chose as B-sides were almost never deemed “throwaways” or “filler;” these tracks were gems, some of which are now considered all-time fan favorites.

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© Bart Van Hemelen
This posting is provided AS IS with no warranties, and confers no rights.
It is not authorized by Prince or the NPG Music Club. You assume all risk for
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Reply #1 posted 06/09/19 6:46am

feeluupp

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It's funny, 17 Days, Erotic City, She's Always In My Hair, and even The Dance Electric would've been all #1 hits if he had released these as singles...

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Reply #2 posted 06/09/19 6:56am

billymeade

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feeluupp said:

It's funny, 17 Days, Erotic City, She's Always In My Hair, and even The Dance Electric would've been all #1 hits if he had released these as singles...

.

You could argue that 17 Days and Erotic City did propel their respective A-side to #1 status. Same with She's Always in My Hair helping Raspberry Beret do very very well.

.

.

And to be nitpicky, The Dance Electric was a single biggrin

.

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Reply #3 posted 06/09/19 10:33am

TrivialPursuit

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billymeade said:

feeluupp said:

It's funny, 17 Days, Erotic City, She's Always In My Hair, and even The Dance Electric would've been all #1 hits if he had released these as singles...

.

You could argue that 17 Days and Erotic City did propel their respective A-side to #1 status. Same with She's Always in My Hair helping Raspberry Beret do very very well.

.

.

And to be nitpicky, The Dance Electric was a single biggrin

.


You're correct on all fronts. Although I think "Erotic City" was the surprise 'hit' here. I remember even in Oklahoma they were playing an edited version on radio all the time. "17 Days" was a slow warmer, but it found its place. I'm not sure the general public gave a crap about "She's Always In My Hair". But among Prince fans, any b-side propelled the sales of a single. When the singles market changed, Prince stopped putting out b-sides. Sorta sucks for us fans.

And yeah, "The Dance Electric" was a single and a killer fun video.

This experience will cover courtship, sex, commitment, fetishes, loneliness, vindication, love, and hate.
http://bit.ly/1D3FG2U
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Reply #4 posted 06/09/19 12:08pm

rusty1

the best single release front to back ever.
With his best A side & B side.
BOB4theFUNK
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Reply #5 posted 06/09/19 1:15pm

feeluupp

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TrivialPursuit said:

billymeade said:

.

You could argue that 17 Days and Erotic City did propel their respective A-side to #1 status. Same with She's Always in My Hair helping Raspberry Beret do very very well.

.

.

And to be nitpicky, The Dance Electric was a single biggrin

.


You're correct on all fronts. Although I think "Erotic City" was the surprise 'hit' here. I remember even in Oklahoma they were playing an edited version on radio all the time. "17 Days" was a slow warmer, but it found its place. I'm not sure the general public gave a crap about "She's Always In My Hair". But among Prince fans, any b-side propelled the sales of a single. When the singles market changed, Prince stopped putting out b-sides. Sorta sucks for us fans.

And yeah, "The Dance Electric" was a single and a killer fun video.

If Prince released The Dance Electric as his own single, it would've been a Top 5 hit for sure... Tbh if he rode that momentum after Purple Rain in a more commerciall manner...

Prince is such a paradox, had so much great material but it seems just to be sitting in the Vault and released so randomly.

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Reply #6 posted 06/09/19 9:01pm

Gustavm

TrivialPursuit said:

billymeade said:

.

You could argue that 17 Days and Erotic City did propel their respective A-side to #1 status. Same with She's Always in My Hair helping Raspberry Beret do very very well.

.

.

And to be nitpicky, The Dance Electric was a single biggrin

.


You're correct on all fronts. Although I think "Erotic City" was the surprise 'hit' here. I remember even in Oklahoma they were playing an edited version on radio all the time. "17 Days" was a slow warmer, but it found its place. I'm not sure the general public gave a crap about "She's Always In My Hair". But among Prince fans, any b-side propelled the sales of a single. When the singles market changed, Prince stopped putting out b-sides. Sorta sucks for us fans.

And yeah, "The Dance Electric" was a single and a killer fun video.

Maybe not but that is one of my all time favorites.

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Reply #7 posted 06/09/19 11:53pm

TrivialPursuit

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feeluupp said:

If Prince released The Dance Electric as his own single, it would've been a Top 5 hit for sure... Tbh if he rode that momentum after Purple Rain in a more commerciall manner...

Prince is such a paradox, had so much great material but it seems just to be sitting in the Vault and released so randomly.


It would have been a fun one-off single, maybe somehow coupled with USA for Africa or something. Or hell - just a b-side in general! "Baby I'm A Star" needed a b-side. It could've been another double shot like LGC/Erotic City.

This experience will cover courtship, sex, commitment, fetishes, loneliness, vindication, love, and hate.
http://bit.ly/1D3FG2U
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Reply #8 posted 06/10/19 5:41am

HatrinaHaterwi
tz

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TrivialPursuit said:

billymeade said:

.

You could argue that 17 Days and Erotic City did propel their respective A-side to #1 status. Same with She's Always in My Hair helping Raspberry Beret do very very well.

.

.

And to be nitpicky, The Dance Electric was a single biggrin

.


You're correct on all fronts. Although I think "Erotic City" was the surprise 'hit' here. I remember even in Oklahoma they were playing an edited version on radio all the time. "17 Days" was a slow warmer, but it found its place. I'm not sure the general public gave a crap about "She's Always In My Hair". But among Prince fans, any b-side propelled the sales of a single. When the singles market changed, Prince stopped putting out b-sides. Sorta sucks for us fans.

And yeah, "The Dance Electric" was a single and a killer fun video.

I was about to ask, "a surprise to who" but I see you were in Oklahoma. I was going to ask because I was in Detroit and it was certainly no surprise there. cool

"Those that KNEW the number and didn't call...FUCK ALL Y'ALL!"
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Reply #9 posted 06/10/19 11:36am

databank

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feeluupp said:

TrivialPursuit said:


You're correct on all fronts. Although I think "Erotic City" was the surprise 'hit' here. I remember even in Oklahoma they were playing an edited version on radio all the time. "17 Days" was a slow warmer, but it found its place. I'm not sure the general public gave a crap about "She's Always In My Hair". But among Prince fans, any b-side propelled the sales of a single. When the singles market changed, Prince stopped putting out b-sides. Sorta sucks for us fans.

And yeah, "The Dance Electric" was a single and a killer fun video.

If Prince released The Dance Electric as his own single, it would've been a Top 5 hit for sure... Tbh if he rode that momentum after Purple Rain in a more commerciall manner...

Prince is such a paradox, had so much great material but it seems just to be sitting in the Vault and released so randomly.

Interestingly, that's apparently (according to Duane's book) what everyone told P back then about TDE, and he replied (to Alan IIRC, but not sure), "that one's not for me" and never provided an explaination, but clearly he had some strong reason not to want to release it himself (maybe because it was too purplerainish and he wanted to go in a different direction with ATWIAD, maybe for some other reason). It was not so random IMHO. Yet of course there are things I'll never understand, like why not release Computer Blue Hallway Speech as a PR b-side, All My Dreams as a Parade b-side or Crystal Ball as a SOTT b-side if they couldn't find a room in the albums (and they couldn't). Those 3 tracks would have made such a strong impression on critics that his genius would have been even more impressive to the world. But often I feel it was far from being random.

A COMPREHENSIVE PRINCE DISCOGRAPHY (work in progress ^^): https://sites.google.com/...iscog/home
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Reply #10 posted 06/10/19 11:11pm

TrivialPursuit

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HatrinaHaterwitz said:

I was about to ask, "a surprise to who" but I see you were in Oklahoma. I was going to ask because I was in Detroit and it was certainly no surprise there. cool


I meant that most times a b-side, from anyone, doesn't really get any attention. So it was surprising that one came out like gangbusters, whether from Prince or otherwise. It was pretty undeniable once it started circulating more. And honestly, I think a lot of the popularity of it wasn't only the duet factor, but the cursing in it. It was the Reagan 80s in the US, and people loved them some fucking rebellion.

This experience will cover courtship, sex, commitment, fetishes, loneliness, vindication, love, and hate.
http://bit.ly/1D3FG2U
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Reply #11 posted 06/11/19 12:19am

WhisperingDand
elions

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I think Prince more or less worked with an "opposite day"-type of philosophy within a certain framework as it relates to what he did or did not release.

Every one in his inner circle loving a song unanimously and declaring it to be a sure fire #1 hit that would cement his legacy with both critics and audiences alike probably had him running home to scratch the track off all future album configurations like the speed of light.

[Edited 6/11/19 0:19am]

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Reply #12 posted 06/11/19 2:43am

jaawwnn

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I'm wondering, was Prince the first big R'n'B act to release b-sides of this calibre? I know a lot of stuff before would be Part 1 and part 2 James Brown style releases.

Quality b-sides have a long history in British pop starting with at least the Beatles and moving all the way through punk and onto indie pop in the 80's and at the very least as far as the late 90's until the internet kind of did away with the single release, but maybe outside of punk in America it didn't have such a history?

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Reply #13 posted 06/11/19 7:54am

Genesia

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TrivialPursuit said:

HatrinaHaterwitz said:

I was about to ask, "a surprise to who" but I see you were in Oklahoma. I was going to ask because I was in Detroit and it was certainly no surprise there. cool


I meant that most times a b-side, from anyone, doesn't really get any attention. So it was surprising that one came out like gangbusters, whether from Prince or otherwise. It was pretty undeniable once it started circulating more. And honestly, I think a lot of the popularity of it wasn't only the duet factor, but the cursing in it. It was the Reagan 80s in the US, and people loved them some fucking rebellion.

Nope. What really propelled Erotic City is that it became a HUGE hit in clubs. People didn't care about the language, they cared that it was an amazing song to dance to. In fact, I hunted down the Let's Go Crazy (Extended)/Erotic City 12" after I heard Erotic City in a club.

We don’t mourn artists because we knew them. We mourn them because they helped us know ourselves.
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Reply #14 posted 06/12/19 6:50am

sulls

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I LOVED the non-album b's and would only buy the single for these. Those singles released without a non-album b, I did not purchase. I did not even care to bother with the remixed A's until recently.

"I like to watch."
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Reply #15 posted 06/12/19 3:51pm

herb4

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Prince is the last artist I can remember where the B-sides made noise.

17 Days and Erotic City blew up in summer of 84 and got a lot of radio play.

I always bought the singles and the 12-inchers all the way up through Batman. Wish I still had them

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Reply #16 posted 06/17/19 7:10pm

violetcrush

Genesia said:

TrivialPursuit said:


I meant that most times a b-side, from anyone, doesn't really get any attention. So it was surprising that one came out like gangbusters, whether from Prince or otherwise. It was pretty undeniable once it started circulating more. And honestly, I think a lot of the popularity of it wasn't only the duet factor, but the cursing in it. It was the Reagan 80s in the US, and people loved them some fucking rebellion.

Nope. What really propelled Erotic City is that it became a HUGE hit in clubs. People didn't care about the language, they cared that it was an amazing song to dance to. In fact, I hunted down the Let's Go Crazy (Extended)/Erotic City 12" after I heard Erotic City in a club.

Am I the ONLY one who has just made the connection (thanks to an IG post by Susannah Melvoin) that Erotic City was directly influenced by Laid Back's 1983 song White Pony??!! Holy crap, I just listened to the original song on YT, and it was clearly a blatant influence for Prince with Erotic City. music

*

Laid Back's 1983 video:

*

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mlYJf6CJXV8

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Reply #17 posted 06/17/19 7:34pm

Mikado

feeluupp said:

It's funny, 17 Days, Erotic City, She's Always In My Hair, and even The Dance Electric would've been all #1 hits if he had released these as singles...


Erotic City would have bagged an easy #1 on the R&B charts, but I'm not sure about the others. What we love about Prince, the general music buying public might find to be too strange - and the The Dance Electric is very unique.

A certain kind of mellow.
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