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Thread started 09/22/19 7:51pm

TryWhistlingTh
is

Rave Un2 The Joy Fantastic - how was it received?

Just last week, I purchased my copy of the RaveUn2 reissue and it's my first ever experience with the tracks from this album.

I was way too young to have an appreciation of Prince in 1999 (outside of a few select hits that I knew), but how was this album received? I've never heard any of these songs on the radio. I assume, during the era of NuMetal that this album would have been snubbed and forgotten fairly quick?

As for me, it's growing. First couple of listens, it was just ok but i've found some tracks that i'm really loving:

Greatest Romance

Man O War

Baby Knows

I love you but don't trust you

So Far So Pleased

Not sure if i'm sold on the Sheryl Crow cover.....

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Reply #1 posted 09/22/19 8:23pm

rdhull

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It was a big letdown.

c'mon baby, where's ya guts?
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Reply #2 posted 09/23/19 1:13am

dodger

Not very well.

The cons incl:

.

His suit on the cover

Everyday Is A Winding Road

Larry's dulcet tones on above

His Jamaican rap on The Sun, The Moon and Stars

.

Out weigh the pros

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Reply #3 posted 09/23/19 2:16am

EmmaMcG

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I like the album and whereas I'm too young to remember how it was perceived at the time, I've just done a quick Google search and come up with several negative reviews. Also, despite Prince initially seeming willing to promote it, once the album didn't take off sales-wise, he seemed to move on quite quickly.

It very much seems like a project that was doomed to fail from the very beginning. Prince attempting to make a hit record rather than a good one. Clive Davis, the guy responsible for Santana's massive Supernatural album brought in to lend his thoughts on it. But all he did was turn the album into a poor man's version of the Santana record. It was similarly packed with "current" guest stars in an attempt to get an older act over with a younger audience. It was similarly full of radio friendly songs. Unfortunately for Prince, he had burned a lot of bridges by that point and wasn't seen as a bankable star. Plus, the songs weren't all that great and the lead single was completely misjudged.

And as if to put the cherry on top of the complete failure that was Rave, on one of the songs Prince boasts "I don't follow trends, they just follow me". And he says this on a song (and album) that is very much following the trends of the time.


So yeah, Rave Un2 The Joy Fantastic was a bit of a disaster. It's very telling that Prince followed up that album, one where he was trying to appeal to a wide audience and failed, with The Rainbow Children, which is one of his least commercial albums ever. It's almost as if he said "fuck it, I'm just going to do my own thing" after Rave flopped.

He did go back to a commercial sound a few years later but by them he had worked in a bit of the musicality from The Rainbow Children and, combined with a more commercial sound, he put out Musicology, which was the beginning of his comeback. Which I don't think we would have gotten had Rave been a big hit so I suppose it served its purpose.
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Reply #4 posted 09/23/19 2:51am

fabriziovenera
ndi

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It was something like "a good commercial album with no hits inside".

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Reply #5 posted 09/23/19 2:52am

NouveauDance

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doody

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Reply #6 posted 09/23/19 3:08am

OperatingTheta
n

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Commercially, it undelivered and caused a rift between Prince and Clive Davis and Arista. The perception among fans differs, but I think it contains some very strong material.

Prince originally conceived the 1999 'Rave' as a psychedelic rock/pop album, but he was asked to include more r&b songs by Arista and subsequently, some of the songs were removed. I'd certainly like to hear Prince's original configuration.
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Reply #7 posted 09/23/19 3:43am

TryWhistlingTh
is

It does feel like an album intent on cashing in on trends that were popular at the time. But, it also feels like an album where Prince was trying to retain his signature sound and marry it up to what was contemporary at the time. That's why the album lacks a certain sincerity or urgency. Some nice tracks, but the weakest of his 90s output from the albums of that era which I own.

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Reply #8 posted 09/23/19 5:31am

leecaldon

OperatingThetan said:

Commercially, it undelivered and caused a rift between Prince and Clive Davis and Arista. The perception among fans differs, but I think it contains some very strong material. Prince originally conceived the 1999 'Rave' as a psychedelic rock/pop album, but he was asked to include more r&b songs by Arista and subsequently, some of the songs were removed. I'd certainly like to hear Prince's original configuration.

I was under the impression that songs were added, rather than removed.

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Reply #9 posted 09/23/19 5:33am

getwild180

When I bought the album I didn't like it too much. I remember it was supposed to be a big deal because Clive Davis from Arista was this guy who helped Whitney Houston get big. So this album was supposed to be pretty something but ultimately it was a let down. However, Prince had at the time promoted a remix album of rave that was supposed to be better a few months later, but you'd have to be a member of his website in order to order it because it was exclusive. I remember wanting that album because I heard samples of some of those tracks on his website and they did sounded better.
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Reply #10 posted 09/23/19 5:38am

leecaldon

It wasn't received well, and the promotion was completely botched (some kind of giveaway at Tower Records in Piccadilly Circus made sales at the UK's leading store ineligible for the charts, TGRES video wasn't ready in time for the single release in US, the single not released at all in the UK until months later etc etc).

I recall a pretty scathing review in NME. Although it loved Everyday is a Winding Road ("dogshit-to-diamond alchemy"), it was personally hard to read the conclusion, using as it did my favourite movie director to criticise my favourite musician - "To paraphrase Woody Allen, genius is like a shark; it has to move forward or it dies. And what we have here is a patchily impressive, fleetingly satisfying, but very, very dead shark."

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Reply #11 posted 09/23/19 5:50am

TryWhistlingTh
is

Maybe it's the part of his career where Prince's humaity was the most apparent; the moment fatigue entered through the front door.

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Reply #12 posted 09/23/19 5:56am

TheFman

just the title and the 'artwork' alone was sufficient to never listen to this record. Never have listened to it to this day.

[Edited 9/23/19 5:56am]

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Reply #13 posted 09/23/19 6:52am

Poplife88

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This was one if his biggest all around let-downs. It was not well received, got no airplay, and imo was not a good album. It had some good songs, the best being the buried Prettyman.

We're gonna need a bigger boat
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Reply #14 posted 09/23/19 6:53am

maplenpg

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I hated his look, hated the cover, and hated the album. I was not alone at the time.

We are all okay, as long as "we" are the ones living on top of the empire of eternal war. - Jaawwnn
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Reply #15 posted 09/23/19 8:02am

renfield

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Prince allegedly told Santana that he was going to do what Santana did: get Clive Davis and a bunch of guest stars to have a huge hit. But he chose odd guests (Chuck D and Ani DiFranco weren't going to get you big hits in 1999, Eve wasn't a huge star yet, Sheryl Crow was big but he buried her in the mix, and the Gwen Stefani song wasn't able to be released due to No Doubt putting a new record out at the time). TGRES was the first single and managed to get to #63 on the Hot 100, but the video was delayed for months by which time the song had died. Prince became furious at Clive Davis, saying he had promised to deliver some "real hits to the top of the charts", and it became a mini version of the WB battle all over again. What started out with a lot of promise quickly dissolved into a mess all parties involved with wanted to walk away from and never speak of again. It would take Prince 5 years to figure out how to do mainstream success on his own terms.

[Edited 9/23/19 8:03am]

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Reply #16 posted 09/23/19 8:05am

homesquid

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It was considered a flop based on intent and hype. First single stalled at #63, no other singles charted, came and went fast. Album was weak sauce. 4 or 5 keepers buried in mediocrity.

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Reply #17 posted 09/23/19 10:39am

TrivialPursuit

avatar

dodger said:

Not very well.

The cons incl:

.

His suit on the cover

Everyday Is A Winding Road

Larry's dulcet tones on above

His Jamaican rap on The Sun, The Moon and Stars

.

Out weigh the pros


I edited Larry out of that song, and it flows quite nicely without his stupid chant in the middle.

This experience will cover courtship, sex, commitment, fetishes, loneliness, vindication, love, and hate.
http://bit.ly/1D3FG2U
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Reply #18 posted 09/23/19 10:48am

Genesia

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I don't even remember - which tells you all you need to know.

We don’t mourn artists because we knew them. We mourn them because they helped us know ourselves.
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Reply #19 posted 09/23/19 10:53am

TrivialPursuit

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A small bunch of the songs leaked before the album ever came out. I had a good half-dozen months before. So I was sorta already into it. I liked it. But the problems aren't the songs, because many albums have eh-songs.

The problem was the lead single. Prince has a shitty history of picking a lead single from an album sometimes. "TGRES" should never have been a single, evar. The singles, in any order, should have been:

  • So Far, So Pleased
  • Baby Knows
  • Prettyman
  • I Love U But eye Don't Trust U Anymore
  • Wherever U Go, Whatever U Do


Not to say other songs aren't good, but they're not truly radio friendly and single-worthy. Clive & Prince got in a slap fight and the album fell thru the cracks. There was a lot of build-up with no support afterward. (It makes me think about how Island failed on Janet's Discipline for similar differences between artist & record company.)

But I can see where comments by rdhull etc have validity because there was a lot of hype with the then-forthcoming "album by prince, but produced by Prince," and then - nothing. Even a simple video for TGRES was months after the song had been released. I remember some story about the Neptunes having a hard time remixing the song for the single because it was just a shitty song in general. (Didn't someone else decline to do a remix because they didn't like the song?)

Too bad. It could've been a moderate hit album for him, especially with it being 1999. But he refused to do any appearances to play "1999" and simultaneously promote Rave. Oh sure, he was on The View, Today, and TRL, but whoopie.

[Edited 9/23/19 11:55am]

This experience will cover courtship, sex, commitment, fetishes, loneliness, vindication, love, and hate.
http://bit.ly/1D3FG2U
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Reply #20 posted 09/23/19 11:05am

IstenSzek

avatar

quite sure prince's own website at the time compared it to Sign O The Times,
when it was in the early recording stages. also mentioned that he was putting
a song a day down to tape and that he had to pace himself or something like
that.

first dangersign came with the news that he had changed the album since he
had a meeting with clive/arista and they told him they needed more singles
or commercial sounding material on it.

still, he could have released his own intended early version as "In2", which
would have been more interesting than the remix album was. instead those
remixes could have gone on singles as b-sides or been web exclusives etc.

aaanyway, back to the initial reaction to rave. i don't know. i felt so-so. there
are some really great tracks on it but it felt a bit lightweight somehow.

i've never hated it or considered it one of his worst albums ever, although i'm
also not a big fan of it.

it sold decently from what i remember, although nowhere near what they'd
hoped for, as we all know. the marketing of the singles/videos was a mess
and the guest spots were not utilised in any commercial, marketable way.

then prince blamed arista lol and arista kind of went under, iirc? or whatever.
much like emancipation is was sort of dead in the water from the release day,
but it sold a fair amount to his loyal fans.

but going on what they had in mind as a reference point (santana's album) it
was a commercial disaster.

and true love lives on lollipops and crisps
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Reply #21 posted 09/23/19 11:28am

dodger

TrivialPursuit said:

A small bunch of the songs leaked before the album ever came out. I had a good half-dozen months before. So I was sorta already into it. I liked it. But the problems aren't the songs, because many albums have eh-songs.

The problem was the lead single. Prince has a shitty history of picking a lead single from an album sometimes. "TGRES" should never have been a single, evar. The singles, in any order, should have been:


  • So Far, So Pleased

  • Baby Knows

  • Prettyman

  • I Love U But eye Don't Trust U Anymore

  • Wherever U Go, Whatever U Do

  • Prettyman


Not to say other songs aren't good, but they're not truly radio friendly and single-worthy. Clive & Prince got in a slap fight and the album fell thru the cracks. There was a lot of build-up with no support afterward. (It makes me think about how Island failed on Janet's Discipline for similar differences between artist & record company.)

But I can see where comments by rdhull etc have validity because there was a lot of hype with the then-forthcoming "album by prince, but produced by Prince," and then - nothing. Even a simple video for TGRES was months after the song had been released. I remember some story about the Neptunes having a hard time remixing the song for the single because it was just a shitty song in general. (Didn't someone else decline to do a remix because they didn't like the song?)

Too bad. It could've been a moderate hit album for him, especially with it being 1999. But he refused to do any appearances to play "1999" and simultaneously promote Rave. Oh sure, he was on The View, Today, and TRL, but whoopie.



Not sure releasing Prettyman twice would have been a good idea
.
The obvious single choices were So Far, So Pleased and Hot Wit U. Gwen Stefani and Eve surely would have helped them gain traction with videos.
.
I like The Jason Nevins Remix of TGRES and it got a lot of radio play here in Liverpool. I also like The Adam & Eve remix, that guitar man. Again a video with Eve could have helped.
.
His TRL appearance was embarrassing. That shown how desperate he was for a hit. Ananda Lewis was having to explain to the teenagers in the audience how great he was and Carson Daly made a bit of a tit of him.
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Reply #22 posted 09/23/19 11:58am

TrivialPursuit

avatar

dodger said:


Not sure releasing Prettyman twice would have been a good idea . The obvious single choices were So Far, So Pleased and Hot Wit U. Gwen Stefani and Eve surely would have helped them gain traction with videos. . I like The Jason Nevins Remix of TGRES and it got a lot of radio play here in Liverpool. I also like The Adam & Eve remix, that guitar man. Again a video with Eve could have helped. . His TRL appearance was embarrassing. That shown how desperate he was for a hit. Ananda Lewis was having to explain to the teenagers in the audience how great he was and Carson Daly made a bit of a tit of him.


OOPS. Fixed it.

I wasn't ever a huge fan of "Hot Wit U", but on Urban radio it would've played well I bet. The thing is, No Doubt had no album since 1995, and Gwen didn't have a solo album until 2004. Yet she still would have been so relevant on a single. Eve was new, but she was around, and was recognized. So I totally agree w/ those ladies.

This experience will cover courtship, sex, commitment, fetishes, loneliness, vindication, love, and hate.
http://bit.ly/1D3FG2U
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Reply #23 posted 09/23/19 11:59am

KoolEaze

avatar

TrivialPursuit said:

A small bunch of the songs leaked before the album ever came out. I had a good half-dozen months before. So I was sorta already into it. I liked it. But the problems aren't the songs, because many albums have eh-songs.

The problem was the lead single. Prince has a shitty history of picking a lead single from an album sometimes. "TGRES" should never have been a single, evar. The singles, in any order, should have been:

  • So Far, So Pleased
  • Baby Knows
  • Prettyman
  • I Love U But eye Don't Trust U Anymore
  • Wherever U Go, Whatever U Do
  • Prettyman


Not to say other songs aren't good, but they're not truly radio friendly and single-worthy.

Too bad. It could've been a moderate hit album for him, especially with it being 1999. But he refused to do any appearances to play "1999" and simultaneously promote Rave. Oh sure, he was on The View, Today, and TRL, but whoopie.

Good choice of potential hits but I never really liked Baby Knows nor do I think it had any hit potential, especially not in that year, yet Prince seemed to really like that song. I found it a bit corny as far as the music goes and I didn´t like the lyrics at all....especially the part about her making him feel so good that he thinks his shit doesn´t smell. That was, in my opinion, a totally stupid and un-Princely line.

.

Prettyman is a great little Prince song for fans but as much as I like the funny lyrics and the music, it is just one of many paint-by-numbers James Brown-esque sounding songs and is more for the hardcore fans than for the average or casual listeners.

.

But I totally agree with you as far as So Far So Pleased and Wherever U Go are concerned. Those really had some potential, and many of my friends back then who were not Prince fans really liked Wherever U Go, Whatever U Do. I´d say of all the songs on Rave, that song had the biggest hit potential and I´ll never understand why he released TGRES instead. I first heard TGRES while I was shopping in some department store and it felt so weak and cringey to me and when I read that Rolling Stone interview back then where he told the journalist that TGRES had "hit" written all over it I was wondering why and how he could be so utterly wrong, and yet he felt so enthusiastic about that song.

.

Hot Wit U and Manowar are two other songs with some mild hit potential....maybe for the RnB or dance charts, or maybe if the remix had been the album version.

.

The whole Rave era was weird......weird interviews, very strange choices of TV show appearances (at least in Europe), and bad song choices for the TV appearances. And his appearances on American TV shows were a bit strange, too, for example when he was on TRL. Most of his interviews for German TV were particularly bad but that wasn´t necessarily Prince´s fault.

.

This being said, in hindsight I think Rave could´ve been much more successful if the songs had been slightly different or edited a bit...just a few lyric changes here and there, maybe get rid of the fake patois accent in Sun, Moon and the Stars, get rid of the unlistenable Every Day Is A Winding Road, maybe less bragging and it could´ve been much more successful.

It´s one of those many "coulda-woulda-shoulda" albums, and while Rave In2 was a little better, it still had many of the flaws of Rave Un2.

.

" I´d rather be a stank ass hoe because I´m not stupid. Oh my goodness! I got more drugs! I´m always funny dude...I´m hilarious! Are we gonna smoke?"




http://kooleasehvac.com/
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Reply #24 posted 09/23/19 12:01pm

KoolEaze

avatar

TrivialPursuit said:

dodger said:


Not sure releasing Prettyman twice would have been a good idea . The obvious single choices were So Far, So Pleased and Hot Wit U. Gwen Stefani and Eve surely would have helped them gain traction with videos. . I like The Jason Nevins Remix of TGRES and it got a lot of radio play here in Liverpool. I also like The Adam & Eve remix, that guitar man. Again a video with Eve could have helped. . His TRL appearance was embarrassing. That shown how desperate he was for a hit. Ananda Lewis was having to explain to the teenagers in the audience how great he was and Carson Daly made a bit of a tit of him.


OOPS. Fixed it.

I wasn't ever a huge fan of "Hot Wit U", but on Urban radio it would've played well I bet. The thing is, No Doubt had no album since 1995, and Gwen didn't have a solo album until 2004. Yet she still would have been so relevant on a single. Eve was new, but she was around, and was recognized. So I totally agree w/ those ladies.

Oh, I was still typing my reply to your post when you posted this ^ . lol

Yes, Hot Wit U (and Manowar) had some Urban radio or dance charts, RnB charts potential.

" I´d rather be a stank ass hoe because I´m not stupid. Oh my goodness! I got more drugs! I´m always funny dude...I´m hilarious! Are we gonna smoke?"




http://kooleasehvac.com/
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Reply #25 posted 09/23/19 12:03pm

TrivialPursuit

avatar

KoolEaze said:

Good choice of potential hits but I never really liked Baby Knows nor do I think it had any hit potential, especially not in that year, yet Prince seemed to really like that song. I found it a bit corny as far as the music goes and I didn´t like the lyrics at all....especially the part about her making him feel so good that he thinks his shit doesn´t smell. That was, in my opinion, a totally stupid and un-Princely line.

.

Prettyman is a great little Prince song for fans but as much as I like the funny lyrics and the music, it is just one of many paint-by-numbers James Brown-esque sounding songs and is more for the hardcore fans than for the average or casual listeners.

.


"Baby Knows" always reminded me of The Cars's "You Might Think".

"Prettyman" would've been an urban radio song more than Top 40. It wasn't 1984, after all.


This experience will cover courtship, sex, commitment, fetishes, loneliness, vindication, love, and hate.
http://bit.ly/1D3FG2U
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Reply #26 posted 09/23/19 12:04pm

Mikado

Like shit, deservedly if you ask me.
A certain kind of mellow.
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Reply #27 posted 09/23/19 1:42pm

Rimshottbob

Romeblu asked in another thread what the Rave vinyl reissue is like, and his thread was redirected here.

Even though this doesn't really have anything to do with how the album was received on initial release, I'll answer the vinyl reissue question here.

I have both the original vinyl of Rave and the recent Sony vinyl reissue.

The original is actually very good soundwise, but I think the reissue is a little better. It seems a little deeper and richer to me. It's not a huge difference, but it's there.

Also, the biggest difference between the two, is that the original vinyl issue ended with Wherever U Go, Whatever U Do.... it did not contain the 'bonus'/hidden tracks. The recent reissue DOES contain these tracks, finishing with the 1-800 NEW FUNK ad and then Prettyman.... That may be enough to sway you... but I think that in general they did a great job with the recent vinyl issue.

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Reply #28 posted 09/23/19 2:49pm

SoulAlive

I totally agree.Prince should have never released TGRES as the first single.It's an OK song,but it's not exciting enough to be the leadoff single."So Far,So Pleased" and "Baby Knows" should have been the first two singles."Wherever U Go,Whatever U Do" would have made an excellent third single.

TrivialPursuit said:



The problem was the lead single. Prince has a shitty history of picking a lead single from an album sometimes. "TGRES" should never have been a single, evar. The singles, in any order, should have been:

  • So Far, So Pleased
  • Baby Knows
  • Prettyman
  • I Love U But eye Don't Trust U Anymore
  • Wherever U Go, Whatever U Do

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Reply #29 posted 09/23/19 4:22pm

TryWhistlingTh
is

renfield said:

Prince allegedly told Santana that he was going to do what Santana did: get Clive Davis and a bunch of guest stars to have a huge hit. But he chose odd guests (Chuck D and Ani DiFranco weren't going to get you big hits in 1999, Eve wasn't a huge star yet, Sheryl Crow was big but he buried her in the mix, and the Gwen Stefani song wasn't able to be released due to No Doubt putting a new record out at the time). TGRES was the first single and managed to get to #63 on the Hot 100, but the video was delayed for months by which time the song had died. Prince became furious at Clive Davis, saying he had promised to deliver some "real hits to the top of the charts", and it became a mini version of the WB battle all over again. What started out with a lot of promise quickly dissolved into a mess all parties involved with wanted to walk away from and never speak of again. It would take Prince 5 years to figure out how to do mainstream success on his own terms.

[Edited 9/23/19 8:03am]

Prince: Hey, wanna do an album together?

Santana: fuck yeah!

There's a parallel universe where that conversation happened.

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