Let the Prince project begin

Posted: June 8, 2014 in music, Record reviews
Tags: , , , , , , ,

For You
Prince
1978

Prince Rogers Nelson had already consolidated his name to Prince by the time he released his debut in 1978. The only reason to listen to this album is that Prince was only 19 when he recorded it in 1977. Much of it sounds like second-string disco; “Just As Long As We’re Together” made me think of Tavares and Ohio Players. “Soft & Wet” tries to be sexy, but the most daring thing about it is the title.

The only song that hints at what lies ahead is the closer, “I’m Yours,” a rock/dance hybrid, and even that one didn’t exactly challenge Hall & Oates for radio domination. At this point, Prince can’t even out-punch KC & The Sunshine Band. But that day is fast approaching.

What I was doing at 19: Living in Boston, attending Boston University as a journalism major, writing bad science fiction. I read 53 books, my second-highest season total, though I might’ve done better in grade school when I raced through all the Peanuts collections. I don’t know – I didn’t start my lifetime reading list until the summer I turned 16.

Rolling Stone’s best albums of 1978:

Winner:
Some Girls – The Rolling Stones

Runners-Up:
Darkness on the Edge of Town* – Bruce Springsteen
Running on Empty – Jackson Browne
This Year’s Model – Elvis Costello
Road to Ruin – The Ramones
Misfits – The Kinks

* My friend Andy Krikun bought this one when it was released, took it home, played it, memorized it, and told me the next day it was “a Faulkner novel.”

Random Pick of the Day
Salvatore Bonafede Trio, Sicilian Opening (2010)
Italian jazz pianist who occupies the sonic terrain between the hard bop of Horace Silver and the Peanuts playfulness of Vince Guaraldi. His free-style version of The Beatles’ “Blackbird” is the highlight. He also covers “She’s Leaving Home,” and improves on it by simply omitting the lyrics.

For Salvatore, The Beatles “have got in my life tiptoe.” Hat tip to Loyal Reader Laurel for unearthing this delightful quote.

Random Pan of the Day
Röyksopp & Robyn, Do It Again (2014)
Röyksopp is two guys from Norway. Robyn is a gal from Sweden. Together they make dance grooves from a deep freeze. The synthesizers will take you back to the 1980s; Robyn’s voice will jerk you back to today. There are only six tracks on this release and most of them run on too long and are not actually danceable.

If you listen to a lot of electronic dance music, you’ll recognize many of the effects. “Do It Again” is the main attraction, but Robyn, who has a global following, has done far better (“Dancing on My Own” and “Get Myself Together”).

 

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