Prince Charles And The City Beat Band were an American synth-funk band active in the early 1980s.
Charles Alexander, using the alias Prince Charles, and his band The City Beat Band released three albums in the beginning of the 1980’s:
- Gang War (1981);
- Stone Killers (1982);
- Combat Zone (1984).
The albums were fairly successful around Europe and did next to nothing in the US. They were the support act for Duran Duran in 1983 and 1984.
The music by Prince Charles And The City Beat Band can be characterized as synth-funk, electro-funk or (next-generation) p-funk and features the use of a unique wind synthesizer called the Lyricon.
Charles Alexander was the main composer, lead singer and multi instrumentalist. The group’s sound contained multiple elements of the sound of the future, rap.
This year marks the 35th anniversary of the release of the best Prince Charles And The City Beat Band album, Stone Killers. The album contains their strongest set of songs, as well as some of the finest examples of new-wave electro-funk, like Don’t Fake The Funk and Cash (Cash Money).
Should you come across this album, buy it, listen to it and enjoy. It is one of those unknown masterpieces.
All songs written by Charles Alexander.
- Don’t Fake The Funk
- Cash (Cash Money)
- Big Chested Girls
- Cold As Ice (NYC Blues)
- I’m A Fool For Love
- Jungle Stomp
- Bush Beat
- Video Freak (Defend It!)
After Prince Charles
As rap became more and more the new sound of the 1980’s, Alexander disbanded his funk group and focused on (audio) engineering. He turned into a multi-platinum recording/mixing engineer and producer. From the 1980’s to early 1990’s he worked on albums by the likes of Kashif and Jodeci . When he started to work together with (and for) the Bad Boy label, his career really took off. He worked on almost every label release, like Mary J. Blige’s My Life, Notorious B.I.G’s Ready to Die and Puff Daddy’s No Way Out. He also worked with Destiny’s Child, Angie Stone and Alicia Keys, among (many) others. Alexander has more than 40 Platinum and Gold certifications to his name, won 3 Grammy awards (and 7 nominations) and the French Victoire de la Musique.
He is also Professor in the Music Production & Engineering Department at Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts.
Do you know this album? What’s your opinion? let me know!
Prince Charles image: beatpix.co.uk
Prince Charles & The City Beat Band – Stone Killers image: amazon.com
Charles Alexander image: wikipedia.org