Prince releases the fine album Come (and nobody seems to care)

Prince 1993 (from the book Prince Presents The Sacrifice Of Victor) (Paisley Park Enterprises 1994)

Prince 1993 (from the book Prince Presents The Sacrifice Of Victor)

…This is the Dawning of a New Spiritual Revolution

© Prince 1994

Introduction

In 1993 no new Prince album was released. Warner Bros. wanted to release a compilation album, which was available by September of 1993. On June 7th, 1993, Prince changed his name to . The start of a long struggle about rights, contracts and music, which seemed incomprehensible to the general public.

The Hits 1, The Hits 2 en The Hits/The B-Sides

Prince - The Hits/The B-Sides (princevault.com)

The Hits/The B-Sides

In 1993 Warner Bros. released the compilation albums The Hits 1 and The Hits 2. The content was made up of (the best of) Prince’s work dating back to For You up to the last Prince album released one year prior, O(+> (due to legal issues no songs from Batman were added to the compilations).

Prince delivered some songs to the project, of which 4 songs were released: a rather bland live version of Nothing Compares 2 U, the beautiful Pink Cashmere, the single Peach and the nice Pope.

A special version contained both discs and a third disc, The B-Sides, containing B-sides which had only been available on vinyl, along with another 2 previously unreleased songs. The live version of 4 The Tears In Your Eyes, which was aired at Live Aid on July 13th, 1985, and the truly phenomenal Power Fantastic, one of the most beautiful ballads Prince has ever recorded (number 18 in my top 50 Prince songs).

N.B.: At some point Prince expressed an interest to be more involved with the project. Because Warner Bros. was already behind on schedule Prince was paid (!) to back off. The amount of money is not known.

Prince plays guitar 1993 (medium.com)

Prince plays guitar 1993 (from the book Prince Presents The Sacrifice Of Victor)

1993-1994

A lot happened in 1993 up to the release of the Come album. The list of events listed below doesn’t pretend to be complete (yet it does try to be).

The Joffrey Ballet - Billboards (amazon.com)

The Joffrey Ballet – Billboards

Billboards

On January 27th, 1993, the ballet Billbards by the Joffrey Ballet premiered in Iowa. The ballet used existing Prince music (Prince did deliver a special ten minute version of Thunder). Prince wasn’t involved with the ballet’s content, which was performed at various locations throughout 1993. The ballet consisted of 4 acts (Sometimes It Snows In April, Thunder, Slide, Willing & Able).

The performance was released on VHS video in February 1994.

Prince in the studio 1993 (medium.com)

Prince in the studio 1993 (from the book Prince Presents The Sacrifice Of Victor)

To work

Early 1993 Prince was working. He recorded a vast amount of new music, which (luckily) was different from the music (unworthy of Prince) he had released on the albums Diamonds And Pearls and O(+>. It was exciting, innovative and , most importantly, not following current trends. Songs for Prince by Prince without ulterior motives, like sales numbers. The titles to the songs he recorded all consisted of one word, like Come, Endorphinmachine, Space, Pheromone, Loose!, Papa, Dark and Poem.

In the beginning of March 1993 he created the configuration for a new album, which can be regarded as a precursor to Come:

  • Come
  • Endorphinmachine
  • Space
  • Pheromone
  • Loose
  • Papa
  • Dark
  • Dolphin
  • Poem
Paisley Park Studios - Studio A (factmag.com)

Paisley Park Studios – Studio A, where Prince probably recorded the vocals to Solo

Come as musical?

At the end of March Prince met with play writer David Henry Hwang in New York. Prince shared his idea for a musical, in which the songs mentioned above were to play a part. Hwang was interested and wrote a little story containing directional notes titled Come.

At Prince’s request Hwang had written a poem “about loss”, which he faxed to Paisley Park. A few days later Hwang received a cassette in the mail, containing the song Solo, which Prince had recorded using the lyrics of Hwang’s poem.

Act I Tour (princevault.com)

Act I Tour

Act I

From March 8th to April 17th 1993 Prince toured the US, to promote his previous album O(+>. At times he played a piece of Loose. Particularly during aftershows he played several new songs in full, among which Come and Papa and Peach, which was recorded one year earlier.

MTV News logo (mtv.com)

MTV News logo

Papa EP

In April 1993 MTV News announced that Prince considered releasing an EP on the day of his birthday, which was to contain:

  • Papa
  • Come
  • Peach
  • Race
Prince - Billboard magazine 05/08/1993 (prince.org)

Billboard magazine 05/08/1993

Prince to retire?

On April 27th, Prince announced he would stop recording new music and would focus on “alternative media”, explicitly referencing the Joffrey ballet, and would rely on his 500+ song archive for future releases.

Click on the images to enlarge.

Letter to Controversy fanzine

On June 1st a letter by Mayte Garcia (at the time a dancer for Prince & The New Power Generation) was published in the Controversy fanzine, wherein some more new song titles are mentioned: Interactive, Peach, Pope, Solo and Race. All songs were to be part of a new configuration for the Come album.

Prince Registered trademark O(+> (source unknown)

Registered trademark O(+>

Name change: Prince becomes

On June 7th Prince officially changed his name into . It all boiled down to Prince releasing ‘old’ material coming from the Paisley Park Vault and his ‘new’ music as . To read the full story, see the article Prince and the name change.

Prince - The Undertaker (guitarplayer.com)

Prince – The Undertaker

The Undertaker

On June 14th, 1993, , drummer Michael B. and bass player Sonny Thompson recorded a rehearsal for an EP titled The Undertaker. The recordings were filmed as well, and, accompanied by additional scenes with Vanessa Marcil and Nona Gaye, was released as a (VHS) video on March 6th, 1995, accredited to Prince.

Act II Tour (princevault.com)

Act II Tour

Act II

From July 26th to September 7th, 1993, Prince toured through Europe, using the title Act II. More and more new songs were played, among which Come, Endorphinmachine, Peach, Dark and the musical coda of Chaos And Disorder, which would be recorded later in the year. At aftershows and soundchecks Calhoun Square, Race, Pope, What’s My Name and Dolphin were played as well.

During the Act II tour a photographer snapped many pictures, many of them ending up in a book, Prince Presents The Sacrifice Of Victor, which would be published in 1994.

Prince - Glam Slam Ulysses poster (prince.org)

– Glam Slam Ulysses poster

Glam Slam Ulysses

Probably inspired by the relative success of the Billboards ballet, concocted a musical (“interactive musical experience”) entitled Glam Slam Ulysses (initially Glam-O-Rama). The musical premiered on August 21st, 1993, at the Glam Slam club in Los Angeles and contained 13 songs, all of them accredited to :

  • Strays Of The World
  • Dolphin
  • Interactive
  • Pheromone
  • Dark
  • Loose
  • Space
  • What’s My Name
  • Endorpinemachine
  • Race
  • Come
  • Stays Of The World
  • Pope

The musical wasn’t successful and was staged only two weeks, however not before Variety magazine had seen it and had published a scathing review, of which the closing sentence says it all: “It makes one yearn for a return to ‘Controversy’-era Prince. A time when we not only knew what to call him, but had good reason to call him”.

himself wasn’t present, as he was on tour in Europe, but the video images didn’t please him at all, and on September 4th, only 2 weeks after its first performance, the plug was pulled from the project.

New Power Generation - Gold Nigga (discogs.com)

New Power Generation – Gold Nigga

The New Power Generation – Gold Nigga

On August 31st, 1993, the debut album Gold Nigga by The New Power Generation, was available for the first time at the merchandise stand in Paris. At the time I ordered it through The New Power Generation Store in Minneapolis. It was the first release by NPG Records.

Prince - Peach - Single (discogs.com)

Prince – Peach – Single

The Hits / Peach

On September 14th, 1993, the compilation The Hits was released, with the release of the single Peach following on November 18th, 1993 (credited to Prince).

Prince - Gold (bootleg cover) (prince.org)

Prince – Gold (bootleg cover)

Gold

Because kept on recording new songs a new project was devised, which would co-exist with Come: Gold. The first project would be accredited to Prince and the second to .

Prince - The Dawn (bootleg) (prince.org)

– The Dawn (bootleg)

The Dawn

Not much is known about the album project The Dawn which appeared at the end of 1993. It supposedly was a triple album project, containing songs from previous Come, The Undertaker and Gold configurations, supplemented with songs which would later be released on The Gold Experience, Chaos And Disorder and Crystal Ball. Other songs considered for The Dawn were Dance Of Desperation, Dream, Emotional Crucifixion, I Wanna Be Held 2 Night, It’s About That Walk, Laurianne, New World, The Rhythm Of Your ♥, Slave 2 The Funk and Strawberries.

The project was (unfortunately!) discarded, probably due to the realization that Warner Bros. would never consent to such a release. With the vanishing of The Dawn, the idea for the (simultaneous) release of Come and Gold was born.

Paisley Park Records logo (apoplife.nl)

Paisley Park Records

Paisley Park Records / NPG Records

On February 1st, 1994, it was announced that Paisley Park Records would be shut down. The label cost more than it brought in. Almost simultaneously announced the name of his new label: NPG Records.

Prince - The Beautiful Experience - Ticket (unused-prince-tickets.com)

– The Beautiful Experience – Ticket

February 13th, 1994

One of the most important concerts of Prince/‘s career took place at Paisley Park Studios on February 13th, 1994. It was titled A Beautiful Experience, probably referencing the song The Most Beautiful Girl In The World. The performance was geared towards his new music and a couple of covers:

  • Interactive
  • Days Of Wild
  • Now
  • The Ride
  • The Jam
  • I Believe In You
  • Shhh
  • What’d I Say
  • Peep The Technique
  • Martial Law
  • None Of Your Business

The recordings were sold to 4 radio stations in Europe and the film recordings were used for a TV movie. See below.

Prince - The Most Beautiful Girl In The World (bol.com)

– The Most Beautiful Girl In The World

The Most Beautiful Girl In The World

was granted the right to one independent release. He was also permitted to release that one song on his own new label NPG Records. Warner Bros. was convinced the general public had grown tired of and that , as the logical extension to the assumption, would clearly see the wisdom of Warner Bros. once the adventure had miserably failed. Of course, it all turned out quite differently. On February 14th, 1994, the very first release by was available: the single The Most Beautiful Girl In The World. It turned into one of the biggest hits of Prince/‘s entire career! The consequence being that got even more convinced of his ideas and the belief, that he was better off doing things by himself, was confirmed.

Prince - The Beautiful Experience - Signed vinyl (rootsvinylguide.com)

– The Beautiful Experience – Signed vinyl

Because Warner Bros. had clearly stated that was granted the right to one song, he made several remixes, using the moniker The Beautiful Experience. Some songs differed so greatly, that they could be regarded as new songs.

Prince - Love Simple's Interactive Night (bootleg) (discogs.com)

– Love Simple’s Interactive Night (my first bootleg of the Beautiful Experience concert)

Radio-broadcasts

On March 6th, 1994, Dutch radio station Radio Veronica started broadcasting recordings of a concert and previously unreleased songs. The station had bought the recordings. At the time, I listened and was heavily, heavily impressed. The new music was really new, gone was the slick, commercial music on Diamonds And Pearls and O(+>. really sounded free and I gained a lot of admiration and understanding for his choice to change his name and his fight/plight, despite the humongous costs: the decline of his entire career and legacy.

Besides the songs of the February 13th Beautiful Experience show, the following (studio) songs were broadcast:

  • Interactive
  • Days Of Wild
  • The Most Beautiful Girl In The World
  • Now
  • Acknowledge Me
  • 319
  • Poem
  • Pheromone

Two of those songs, Now and Days Of Wild, are part of my all time favorites and are placed on position 14 and 11 in my Prince songs top 50 respectively.

The recordings were not only sold to the Dutch Radio Veronica, but also to the Dutch TROS, the Spanish Los 40 Principales and the Swiss DSR3.

Prince - Come - Original Test Pressing (bootleg) (discogs.com)

Prince – Come – Original Test Pressing (bootleg)

Come offered to Warner Bros.

At the beginning of March 1994 a new configuration of Come was compiled, without the title song:

  • Poem
  • Interactive
  • Endorphinmachine
  • Space
  • Pheromone
  • Loose
  • Papa
  • Dark
  • Solo
  • Strays Of The World

On March 11th, 1994, Warner Bros. received the proposed album. According to Marylou Badeaux, who was Vice President at Warner Bros. at the time, everybody at the company was convinced it was a “piece of shit”. Warner Bros. refused the album. They requested Come (the song) and the big hit The Most Beautiful Girl In The World and some other strong songs.

Prince - The Beautiful Experience Movie (goldiesparade.co.uk)

– The Beautiful Experience Movie

The Beautiful Experience Movie

On April 3rd, 1994, the British Sky One TV broadcast The Beautiful Experience Movie, consisting of live recordings of the February 13th Beautiful Experience concert and video clips:

  • Interactive
  • Days of Wild
  • Come *
  • Race *
  • Acknowledge Me *
  • Pheromone *
  • The Jam
  • Shhh
  • Loose! *
  • Papa *
  • The Most Beautiful Girl In the World *
  • Now
  • Beautiful *

* no live recording

Vibe Magazine - August 1994 (pinterest.com)

Vibe Magazine – August 1994

Come and The Gold Album

On May 2nd, 1994, was in Europe and met with three reporters, one being Alan Light of Vibe magazine. He played them two new albums: Come by Prince and The Gold Album by . He reportedly told one of the reporters: “Now you have two albums from two different artists in your hands”.

Prince - Come - CD booklet backside (discogs.com)

Prince – Come – CD booklet backside

Come, final version

In April the final version of Come was compiled. The recently recorded Letitgo was added to the configuration and Poem was divided into several parts and was partly placed as a segue to a couple of songs. The remaining part was renamed to Orgasm and added to the configuration. refused to place The Most Beautiful Girl In The World on the album, because it wasn’t a Prince, but a song.

Warner Bros. still wasn’t pleased and asked for Shhh, which was part of the The Beautiful Experience Movie, and got a lot of people excited. But the current configuration would not be altered again, this was it.

Simultaneously delivered the configuration to a second album: The Gold Experience, with the proposition to release Come as a Prince album and (a few weeks later?) The Gold Experience as a album. The one condition being that both albums were regarded as fulfilling a part of the required albums Prince/ was to deliver. Warner Bros. refused, Come was to be released and The Gold Experience had to wait.

Prince presents The Sacrifice Of Victor (amazon.com)

Prince presents The Sacrifice Of Victor

Prince Presents The Sacrifice Of Victor

On June 1st, 1994, the book Prince Presents The Sacrifice Of Victor was published. It was the result of the journey photographer Terry Gydesen witnessed while on the Act II tour, that took place in the summer of 1993. All photos on the Come album stem from this book.

Prince - Interactive CD-ROM (discogs.com)

– Interactive CD-ROM

Interactive, CD-ROM

On June 7th, 1994, the CD-ROM Interactive was released. Besides the graphics, which were astoundingly beautiful for its time, and a journey through Paisley Park, the CD-ROM contained video and audio for Interactive and Endorphinmachine. It also contained two different versions of Race.

Prince - The Love Experience (princevault.com)

– The Love Experience

The Love Experience

From May 28th to July 26th, 1994, toured the US. He played a lot of (new) Prince songs, like Space, Papa, Race, Dark and Peach.

Prince - Letitgo (discogs.com)

Prince – Letitgo

First Come single

On August 9th, 1994, Letitgo was released as a single. No video was produced.

1-800 New Funk (discogs.com)

1-800 New Funk

1-800 New Funk

On August 11th, 1994, the compilation 1-800 New Funk was released. It was the first album to be released by the new NPG Records. Given the deal that Prince/ was allowed to release only one song independently, the compilation contains only songs by satellite acts. Six weeks earlier, the song Love Sign (a duet with Nona Gaye and ) was made public as a promo. Even though the single was accredited to Nona Gaye and , Warner Bros. stopped an official release.

The complete route to Come

Based on the data that’s available, the route to Come looks something like this:

Prince route to Come (apoplife.nl)

Prince route to Come

Prince - Come pre-order (apoplife.nl)

Prince – Come pre-order

A new album?

All the events obviously state a lot of new material was created. Also, a new album was underway. Would he really release two albums on one day? Unfortunately, no. The international release date had been established on August 15th, but in The Netherlands it was available 3 days earlier: the new (and last) Prince album: Come.

Prince - Come (discogs.com)

Prince – Come

Come

Come is Prince’s fifteenth studio album. Come would be the last Warner Bros. album for which new material was recorded (until 2014’s Plectrumelectrum and Art Official Age). Most of the songs were new, barring Race which was recorded in 1991. Letitgo is the most recent song: it was recorded in March 1994.

The album was credited to Prince: 1958–1993, conveying the message that Prince had died in 1993, implicitly stating that Prince was reborn as . To Prince/ the logical conclusion was that Prince albums contained old music and albums new.

With the exception of Solo and Letitgo, all songs on the album were used in Glam Slam Ulysses, which was accredited to , and were subsequently part of the The Beautiful Experience Movie, also accredited to . On the Come album all those songs were credited to Prince. The one song which was obviously written and recorded by , Letitgo, was accredited to Prince. To put it mildly, the logic is hard to see, because Prince/ did clearly state that songs like Interactive, Days Of Wild and Now were -songs, yet traveled down the same road as many the Prince-songs ending up on Come.

Prince - WB versus Prince (prince.org)

Warner Bros. versus

Promotion

No tour was done, Prince/ stated in several interviews that the release was a contractual obligation, he tried to get out of by delivering sub-standard material. The fight between Warner Bros. and was played out in public. After Warner Bros. had run a teasing ad, Prince/ reacted with his own ad.

It was his worst selling album since 1980’s Dirty Mind. In Europe the album did relatively well, it even entered at number 1 in the English album charts, but the sales couldn’t even remotely live up the numbers from three years earlier. Yet, given all the commotion, the album did better than was to be expected.

Years later his discography was placed on his own website and community NPG Music Club. Come was a part of it, but the cover was overlayed with the text “Contractual Obligation”.

Prince - Come - Ad (prince.org)

Prince – Come – Ad

To be fair, given the ad seen above, Warner Bros. also did very little to promote the album. Both ads were more harmful than helpful, for Warner Bros., the Come album and Prince/.

Prince - Come inner sleeve (lordashbury.com)

Prince – Come inner sleeve

Cover

The photos of Prince on the cover were made by Terry Gydesen, which were part of the book Prince Presents The Sacrifice Of Victor, which was published in 1994. Rather grim photos were used for the cover, to drive the funeral image even harder home. Many photo’s were situated near the world renowned Basílica i Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Família, in short Sagrada Família, in Barcelona, a design by Antoni Gaudí.

Prince - Come - The singles (princevault.com)

Prince – Come – The singles

Singles

Two singles were culled from the album:

  • Letitgo on August 9th, 1994
  • Space op November 1st, 1994

In Germany a promo single was released entitled Come, containing only the song Poem (see the story on Orgasm below in this article).

Songs

All songs written by Prince, except Solo (music: Prince, lyrics: David Henry Hwang).

Prince 1993 (from the book Prince Presents The Sacrifice Of Victor) (Paisley Park Enterprises 1994)

Prince 1993 (from the book Prince Presents The Sacrifice Of Victor)

Come

The song has several versions, including one for Glam Slam Ulysses and one for The Beautiful Experience Movie. The version on the Come album was recorded mid-April 1994.

When I suck U there
I don’t wanna hear U scream
Don’t talk or breathe
Don’t cough or sneeze
Oh, just dream, dream, dream
Baby, my tongue’s gonna do things that U never seen

Like a splendid, open ended
Celibate friend, pretending
Not 2 know it when I blow it
In your eyes
Like a strawberry, chocolate
Fender jazz, mashed potato, fuzztone
All over your thighs

© Prince 1994

One of the most sexually explicit songs Prince ever recorded, including licking sounds. It is a bit over the top, yet it somehow works. This version is more jazzy, when compared to the previous robotic feel of the song. The horn section works really well within this context.

The following words are repeated more than once (somewhat like a chorus):

U should do that baby
No more will U cry
The spirit is calling
Here’s a reason why
If U had a chance 2 see the future would U try?
If U will, so will I

© Prince 1994

Prince seems to use sex to gain a greater intimacy in order to connect to a (religious?) spiritual feeling/theme.

Even though I like the album version, many fans prefer the previous ones (The Beautiful Experience Movie version in particular), my ultimate version is the live version of April 12th, 1993, at San Fransisco’s DNA Lounge. Prince had a cold that day and his voice is a bit hoarse, but the song is great and really exciting. The ultra tight beat laid out by Michael B. is truly phenomenal and provide the song with an unequalled sex-feel.

Prince 1993 from the book Prince Presents The Sacrifice Of Victor) (Paisley Park Enterprises 1994)

Prince 1993 (from the book Prince Presents The Sacrifice Of Victor)

Space

The first recordings were done at the end of May 1993. On July 7th, 1993, a largely instrumental version was recorded by Madhouse, intended for release on their planned album , titled 24.

If u and I were just ten feet closer
Then I’d make u understand
That everything I wanna do 2 your body, baby
I would do 2 your head
Then u’d be hip 2 the deep rush
Deeper than the boom of the bass
With every other flick of the pink plush
The closer we get 2 the space

© Prince 1994

Sex related, this laid-back song has a gloriously relaxed vibe. Great song.

Prince 1993 (from the book Prince Presents The Sacrifice Of Victor) (Paisley Park Enterprises 1994)

Prince 1993 (from the book Prince Presents The Sacrifice Of Victor)

Pheromone

In April 1993 an instrumental version was used on BET’s Video LP show.

In 1999, during an on-line “? of the week” session love4oneanother.com, someone asked what had inspired the song. replied: “Carmen Electra and The Crazy Horse”.

Pheromone, rush over me like an ocean
Pheromone, controllin’ my every motion
Pheromone, I’m helpless as a pet
Pheromone, when your body’s wet

© Prince 1994

I love this song. The loud robotic beat pounds relentlessly throughout the entire song and the (minimal) instrumentation is just right. Recommended.

Prince 1993 (from the book Prince Presents The Sacrifice Of Victor) (Paisley Park Enterprises 1994)

Prince 1993 (from the book Prince Presents The Sacrifice Of Victor)

Loose!

On earlier configurations the song was called Loose. The reason for adding the ! is not known (at least not by me). In 1995 a remix, (Lemme See Your Body) Get Loose! (accredited to the pseudonym Tora Tora) was placed on the NPG Records Sampler Experience. The complete remix, titled Get Loose, was part of the 3-cd set Crystal Ball, which was released independently in 1998 and was accredited to .

The song starts with Prince hysterically shouting: 1,2,3,4! 1,2,3,4!

Everybody wants 2 know what’s wrong with U
They see U actin’ like a crazy fool
When the music hits U don’t know what 2 do
Push your way up 2 the front and shake your motherfuckin’ ‘do
Loose!

© Prince 1994

The dance-beat on the song is catchy, but not that innovative. A lot of people claim this was an outdated song (even at the time of its initial release), when compared to other music being created with the dance movement. I don’t see that, I really like it.

Prince 1993 (from the book Prince Presents The Sacrifice Of Victor) (Paisley Park Enterprises 1994)

Prince 1993 (from the book Prince Presents The Sacrifice Of Victor)

Papa

A song which explicitly deals with child abuse. The question whether or not this song is autobiographical is hard to answer (besides the fact if it’s really newsworthy to know those kinds of things). In the song the child (called baby) is locked in the closet by his father (“Please don’t lock me up again, without a reason why”), who then shoots himself in the head. The way the father takes his life is remarkable as the father of The Kid in Purple Rain does the same thing.

Still, it is assumed that the violence in the song bears no relationship with Prince/‘s real life, which was sad enough as it was.

Don’t abuse children, or else they turn out like me

Fair 2 partly crazy, deep down we’re all the same
Every single 1 of us knows some kind of pain
In the middle of all that’s crazy, this 1 fact still remains
If u love somebody, your life won’t be in vain
And there’s always a rainbow, at the end of every rain

© Prince 1994

A phenomenal song. The beautiful jazzy musical coda at the beginning is perfect and really sets the mood. The musical part after the declaration of “Don’t abuse children, or else they turn out like me” is hard and wild, ending the song on a positive note (lyrically as well).

Prince 1993 (from the book Prince Presents The Sacrifice Of Victor) (Paisley Park Enterprises 1994)

Prince 1993 (from the book Prince Presents The Sacrifice Of Victor)

Race

The first recordings for this song took place on November 8th, 1991, during a session for the O(+> album. These recordings took place at The Record Plant studio in Hollywood, California. In 1993 the song was re-worked and additional recordings were made.

In 2001 a remix was part of the NPG Ahdio Show # 5, available through the NPG Music Club.

If the air is a little thick in this room 2nite
I reckon it’s the result of an onslaught of separatist rookies
Overcome by this colorful sight
Talkin’ so fast that even they
Don’t know what they mean

Of all the things that base a rhyme
How is it that U everytime
Regurgitate the racist lines that keep us apart?
Thank God this ain’t Monopoly
U’d make us all go back 2 start

© Prince 1994

A song in which Prince speaks up about racism, like he did before in Black M.F. In The House on The New Power Generation’s Gold Nigga. He talks/sings the song, its central theme being “cut me, cut you, both the blood is red”. A fine song with a great message.

Prince 1993 (from the book Prince Presents The Sacrifice Of Victor) (Paisley Park Enterprises 1994)

Prince 1993 (from the book Prince Presents The Sacrifice Of Victor)

Dark

Recorded early 1993. The song feels like it’s a live recording.

A remix of the song, titled So Dark, was part of the 3-cd set Crystal Ball, which was released independently in 1998 and was credited to .

On October 18th, 2012, a rehearsal recording of Dark, performed by Prince And The New Power Generation, was streamed on Andy Allo’s Facebook page. On January 7th, 2014, a live video of So Dark was published using the 3rdEyeGirl YouTube account.

Inside lookin’ out my window
I don’t see nothin’ but rain
Sun up in the sky just a shinin’
Still I’m lost in my shadow of pain

© Prince 1994

A great soul ballad, that I love to hear. Very good! The song seems a bit out of place sonically, particularly by the organic live feel.

Prince 1993 (from the book Prince Presents The Sacrifice Of Victor) (Paisley Park Enterprises 1994)

Prince 1993 (from the book Prince Presents The Sacrifice Of Victor)

Solo

The only physical result of the Come musical was a poem written by David Henry Hwang. When Hwang and Prince talked to each other about the musical and ideas, Prince requested Hwang to write a poem “about loss”, intending to use that as a spoken interlude in the musical. After faxing the text, Hwang received a cassette with Solo a couple of days later. When Solo was released on the album and as the B-side to the Letitgo single, Hwang was notified. He also released a golden reward for the Come album.

Many fans adore this song. I don’t, I really don’t like it, it doesn’t move me in any way. What the song proves though, is the incredible vocal reach Prince had. The song stands as a monument to his vocal ability.

Prince 1993 (from the book Prince Presents The Sacrifice Of Victor) (Paisley Park Enterprises 1994)

Prince 1993 (from the book Prince Presents The Sacrifice Of Victor)

Letitgo

On March 16th, 1994, five days after the initial delivery of Come to Warner Bros., began recordings for Letitgo.

Some remixes were made, which were released on the Letitgo maxi-single. The The Caviar Radio versions were made by Q.D. III, Quincy Jones’ son. Both Sherm Stick versions use samples of the Sign O’ The Times song The Ballad Of Dorothy Parker.

In 2001 a 1995 live version was released as part of the NPG Music Club Edition # 2.

All my life I’ve kept my feelings deep inside
Never was a reason 2 let somebody know
Lover here, lover there – Who cried? Who cared? Foolish pride
Never was a good seat at any of this man’s shows

I’m ready 4 the real
Give me something I can feel

4teen years and tears I’ve longed 2 sing my song
But a horse couldn’t drag your ass 2 put me on
But now I’ve got an army and we’re three million strong
This song will ring in your ears when we are gone

© Prince 1994

A personal favorite. Many fans disagree on this one as the song is oftentimes interpreted as a bland generic &B song, but I really like the song with its great rhythm and simple melodies. The lyrics are clearly about Prince’s view on his relationship with Warner Bros., which was getting worse with every passing day.

Prince 1993 (from the book Prince Presents The Sacrifice Of Victor)

Prince 1993 (from the book Prince Presents The Sacrifice Of Victor) (Paisley Park Enterprises 1994)

Orgasm

The ‘song’ Poem stems from early 1993 and contains a sampled guitar solo lifted from the song Private Joy off 1981’s Controversy album, samples from the unreleased Vanity 6 song Vibrator (in which Vanity reaches an orgasm), multiple quotes from the book Song Of Songs from the Old Testament in the Bible, supplemented with ocean noises.

For this version of the Come album, Poem was divided into several parts. Four parts were used as a segue to the songs Pheromone, Race, Dark and Letitgo. The remainder of Poem was renamed to Orgasm.

I Love U

© Prince 1994

The ‘song’ is a rather uncomfortable listening experience. Vanity’s masturbation noises work really well in Vibrator, because it’s delivered in a kind of tongue-in-cheek way and the sounds of her vibrator remind a vacuum cleaner gone awol. That humor is missing here, making this the ultimate skip moment. Perhaps understandable as a ‘fuck you’ statement to Warner Bros., but to do this to the record buying public is pushing it.

Musicians

Prince - Come - Back cover (discogs.com)

Prince – Come – Back cover

All voices and instruments by Prince, with help from:

  • Michael B. – drums & Sonny T. – bass on Space, Papa, Dark
  • Tommy Barbarella & Mr. Hayes – keyboards on Space, Dark
  • New Power Generation Hornz (Brian Gallagher & Kathy J. – saxophone, Joseph Robinson & Steve Strand & Dave Jensen- trumpet, Michael B. Nelson – trombone) on Come, Race, Dark, Letitgo
  • Ricky Peterson – keyboards on Letitgo
  • Eric Leeds – flute on Letitgo
  • Mayte – background vocals on Race
  • Kathleen Bradford – background vocals on Letitgo
  • Jearlyn Steele Battle – Face the music sample on Race
  • Vanity – orgasm on Orgasm, accredited to ‘she knows’

Recordings

All recordings done at Paisley Park Studios in Minneapolis, The Record Plant and Larrabee Sound Studios, both in Los Angeles.

Reception

After re-reading the Dutch reviews, it really stands out is that the album was rather well received in The Netherlands. Particularly the promise of more from the Paisley Park Vault was met with great anticipation.

Prince - Come - Dutch reviews (apoplife.nl)

Prince – Come – Dutch reviews

(The Dutch article displays the reviews in full.)

The most important remarks are shown below:

It is unknown whether thingy himself regards these songs as inferior left-overs from that era [Diamonds And Pearls and O(+>]. More importantly, they don’t sound that way – not inferior, not a left-over. They are certainly not less than the work he filled those albums with.
(de Volkskrant, 08/12/1994)

…, Come is filled with such masterpieces and once again proves Prince is equal to funk-legends like James Brown, Sly Stone and George Clinton. A mouth-watering legacy. May Prince rest in peace.
(Het Parool, 08/12/1994)

The cd nearly bursts due to all the instruments, weird noises and samples, and, weirdly enough, is till able to steer away from over the top grandeur and is the epitomy of clarity. … Come builds up quite an appetite, and luckily that’s coming, probably in large quantities.
(NRC Handelsblad, 08/15/1994)

Prince still is a musical pervert, but it is one you keep looking for.
(Limburgs Dagblad, 09/01/1994)

Come is a pleasantly easy and swinging album. There has to be many more great stuff over there in Minneapolis.
(Het Parool, 09/08/1994)

The US reviews are remarkable as well. Much more hostile and negative towards everything surrounding Prince/, the explicit sex and the music. The American press seems to have had it with the musical genius from Minneapolis. Rolling Stone magazine is one of those examples. Texts like “Come documents Prince at a surprisingly mediocre point” And the closing “Maybe someone who has contributed so much, whose ideas have broadened the very canvas on which everyone else works, deserves to trash everything while waiting for the next inspiration to arrive. That doesn’t mean we have to suffer patiently beside him” really say it all.

Prince - Come - Back cover (discogs.com)

Prince – Come – Gold record

Sales

As stated above, Come sold poorly in the US. Still the album was certified gold, because it crossed the 500,000 copy barrier (barely). The album sold considerably less in the rest of the world also. The last album that had had low sales rankings was 1988’s Lovesexy, but that album outsold Come three times, which even sold less than 1980’s Dirty Mind. Out of all of Prince/‘s albums released at that time, only his debut album For You sold less.

Prince - Come CD (discogs.com)

Prince – Come CD

Review

Even though there are people that assume there’s a correlation between the number of albums sold and the (musical) quality of an album, obviously sales numbers don’t speak to the actual artistic value of a certain piece of work. Come is hardly the pinnacle of genius, but still, it’s a very good album. Does it contain many Prince classics? No. Do I personally play it a lot? No. Does it meet my criterion for what constitutes Prince-genius? No. It does meet my criterion for Prince outstanding. The album needs to grow on you, and keeps on getting better and better with each time it’s being played.

If you skip the songs Solo and Orgasm, you’re left with a truly magnificent album, that is essential to any Prince collection. Does that mean it’s essential for the casual listener? Let me put it this way: I wouldn’t recommend Come to anyone unfamiliar with Prince. The album’s great strength resides in its atmosphere, which defines it. Songs like Come, Space, Papa and Letitgo are all top notch, which do show a different Prince than before.

But the mirror message on the album’s inner sleeve, “…This is the Dawning of a New Spiritual Revolution”, is not recognizable. Obviously the album covers a lot more ground than just sex. Calling it a ‘sex-album’ is a great disservice to Come, but to paint this out to be the start of a spiritual turnover, is taking it way too far. I don’t see it.

Also, the discussion, started by Prince/ himself, what constitutes Prince music and/or music, is rather messy. Prince uses and changes definitions at will. I can’t seem to find any true consistency anyway.

All in all I rate this album:

A rather high score for an album that’s by and large ignored by the general public. An album that deserves a lot more attention and appreciation than it is bestowed upon today, within as well as outside of Prince/‘s body of work. I sincerely hope a great release will be announced containing all of the music he wrote and recorded over the two years 1993 and 1994. Some release that would be, containing so much stunning music!

N.B.: On August 20th, 1999, I was on holiday in Turkey, visiting family in the heart of Anatolia at the city of Kayseri. On that day I bought a Turkish pressing of Come. To me, it’s a funny little detail, because I don’t care for different pressings from different countries, at all.

N.B.2: See the story Prince, the closing for my definitions of prince-genius and outstanding.

Conclusion

Prince 1993 (from the book Prince Presents The Sacrifice Of Victor) (Paisley Park Enterprises 1994)

Prince 1993 (from the book Prince Presents The Sacrifice Of Victor)

The 1993/1994 era is an extremely interesting and crucial period in Prince/‘s career. Regardless of the name change he created a lot of new music. More importantly, to me, was that the downward sprial that started with the release of Batman and culminated with the release of Diamonds And Pearls and O(+>, was turned upwards. The new music was different, smart and didn’t follow trends. Songs like Days Of Wild, Now, Come and Pheromone sounded fresh and ignited excitement.

But what about Prince/‘s promise to bring his music directly to the fans and try alternative methods to match his release schedule to his creativity? It turned out really well indeed. Fans reaped the rewards, particularly in 1994. By selling recordings of the Beautiful Experience concert, accompanied by studio recordings, the release of The Beautiful Experience Movie, the Interactive CD-ROM and the release of Come and 1-800 New Funk, Prince/ more than made good on his promises. It were thrilling, great times for fans, given the access to new music.

Most of the time. the quality of what was offered was extremely high. In 1993/1994 there was a constant buzz going on, two tours, two movies, multiple album projects and constant writing and recording. Based on what we now know more than 78 (!) songs were recorded from 1993 until the moment of the release of Come, of which, until this day, 29 have never (officially) seen the light of day.

But what Prince/ will be remembered most for will obviously be his name change and the row with Warner Bros. Even though later on his ‘struggle’ was proven to be very legit and all his predictions, including the way people would consume music in the future, turned out to be justified and his early forays into independence through own (internet) sales channels are now common ground, the general public will remember this period as Prince/‘s ‘crazy’ period. More and more, he lost touch with the general public. It would last until 2004 before he would be accepted as a supernatural talent and genius again, with the release of Musicology.

One last observation before this article comes to an end: I find that the years ending in a ‘4’ all were defining years in Prince/‘s career:

  • 1984: the release of his best sold album, Purple Rain
  • 1994: his first independent release (The Most Beautiful Girl In The World), the start of NPG Records and the first release in the post-Prince era
  • 2004: the comeback year with Musicology
  • 2014: the double release of Plectrumelectrum and Art Official Age and the return to Warner Bros.

In closing

Prince - Come inner sleeve (discogs.com)

Prince – Come inner sleeve: … This is the Dawning of a New Spiritual Revolution

I was and am very happy with Come. How was/is that for you? Also happy or was it the other way around? Let me know!

Account for
A part of the information about earlier configurations and radio broadcasts, I initially read on thé on-line Prince source princevault.com and the largest and longest running on-line Prince forum prince.org. Should you want more background information, follow the links.

Video/Spotify
This story contains an accompanying video. Click on the following link to see it: Video: Prince releases the fine album Come (and nobody seems to care). The A Pop Life playlist on Spotify has been updated as well.

45 comments

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    • Angel R. Cortes on 08/12/2019 at 7:41 PM
    • Reply

    Was great as always you should write a Book!!!

    1. Thank you so much Angel! Hope you’ll enjoy future articles as well.

    • Nelson on 08/12/2019 at 7:57 PM
    • Reply

    Such a good album! Space is my favorite from the album! 💜💜💜

    1. Space is really cool indeed!

    • Cynthia on 08/12/2019 at 8:58 PM
    • Reply

    I care. I love this album💜

    1. Me too!

    • Paul on 08/12/2019 at 10:07 PM
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    Loads of people cared – ridiculous. Superb album

    1. Not loads I’m afraid, but it really is a superb album

    • Jason on 08/12/2019 at 10:28 PM
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    Finally! Someone who appreciates the Come album as much as I!

    1. Love it!

    • Julie on 08/13/2019 at 12:45 AM
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    Wow ! What a History lesson. It made me think back to the time of 1993. I never knew all this back then and the radio DJ were not much help back then in understanding Prince. I really appreciate all that you do for the Purple Family. 👏🙏💜

    1. Thank you so much. I really appreciate the kind words. It does help me to continue to write and research.

    • Charles on 08/13/2019 at 3:04 AM
    • Reply

    So dark so dark favorite

    • Sa on 08/13/2019 at 5:34 AM
    • Reply

    I cared. I copped when it came out

    1. Me too!

    • Familia on 08/13/2019 at 3:07 PM
    • Reply

    I’m listening to Come now. It was fantastic then…it’s fantastic now. One of my faves 💜

    1. Agreed!

    • Shawn on 08/13/2019 at 4:49 PM
    • Reply

    Dark👏👏

    1. 👍

    • F Eldred on 08/13/2019 at 7:41 PM
    • Reply

    Thank you, an excellent read.
    However, for me it gets played regularly and has done for the last 25 years.
    If it wasn’t for all the nonsense going on, with a bit of love, patience and care it could and should have been an absolute classic.

    1. Thank you for the kind words, highly appreciated!
      I think you’re right: with more attention it could have turned out to be a Prince classic.

    • Matt on 08/13/2019 at 8:41 PM
    • Reply

    Their loss! Not ours! ☮️

    1. True, so true

        • Matt on 08/13/2019 at 10:43 PM
        • Reply

        I like the Jim Walsh book that also captures the Prince era – his name change antics may have switched off the mainstream and hip hop and grunge distracted the music fans BUT what he was actually doing live continued as good as ever and his experiments were always interesting to say the least

        1. I agree. The public and critics were done with him, but his music continued to be very good to brilliant! Thanks for replying!

    • Gaby on 08/14/2019 at 1:18 PM
    • Reply

    Great review. I loved reading this. My favorite song on that album will always be “Dark” for me. It’s just something about the horns played in it and the screams he lets out just prove the point of what real pain feels like during heartbreak. Second is Papa. I just love the guitar in that song.

    1. Thank you for your reply! Papa is truly wonderful, I agree.

    • Daniele Brunengo on 08/14/2019 at 4:13 PM
    • Reply

    Excellent review, as usual. The only thing I don’t agree with is your dislike of Solo. I’ve always thought of it as the best song he wrote since “becoming human” (which is about 1989).

    1. Thank you Daniele! I know a lot of people like Solo. It just doesn’t work for me. Nice way to put it: ‘since “becoming human” (which is about 1989)’. We agree on the year 😉

    • Charles on 08/14/2019 at 5:49 PM
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    Come, Pheromone and Papa. Best cuts on a fantastic album.

    1. It really is a fantastic album, I agree

    • Nick on 08/15/2019 at 3:37 AM
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    Dark is still a killer tune

    • Dean on 08/16/2019 at 4:26 AM
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    I remember being bored to tears with this album and tossing it aside. Your article has me interested to revisit and hopefully reassess it

    1. Hi Dean, hopefully the album pleases you more after revisiting it! It worked for me 😉

    • Amin on 08/16/2019 at 1:03 PM
    • Reply

    One of Prince better cd, it’s really Dark but was arranged in away that made it an masterpiece. This was really a dark time for him and can feel it in this Cd. People should really give it a listen.

    1. People really should, I agree

    • Kimberley on 08/17/2019 at 6:31 PM
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    A shout out to the track Solo. A brilliantly beautiful, sparse, and angelic piece of music. Also, a lyrical forecast to his name change

    • James Fort on 08/21/2019 at 3:12 PM
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    Excellent review. However I have to agree with Daniele, ‘Solo’ is still one of my favorites. Keep up the great work

    1. Thank you so much. I know there are a lot of ‘Solo’ admirers out there. It just doesn’t work for me…

    • Joseph Alan Wachs on 08/22/2019 at 5:44 AM
    • Reply

    Nicely done. My favorite era. I’m going to steal your playlist and share it with the world this weekend on my birthday. I’ll credit you.

    -j.2u

    1. Thanks so much for your kind words. Please feel free to use my playlist(s).

    • Joseph Alan Wachs on 08/22/2019 at 5:47 AM
    • Reply

    PS: When a girlfriend broke up with me, I slipped a TDK 120 cassette through her open window down an alley in San Francisco with the song DARK repeated over and over to fill the tape. Psycho much? Jeez.

    1. Ha ha ha ha. I can imagine she didn’t take it too well, though!

    • Gary on 08/22/2019 at 10:25 PM
    • Reply

    Excellent read. I didn’t like Come much when it first came out, not in the way I fell in love with The Gold Experience when I first played it. But Come has grown on me and I really think it was musically just way ahead of it’s time.

    1. Thanks so much! I hear you, initially I was underwhelmed with Come, but it definitely grew on me.

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