Prince – The 25 best live bootlegs!

Prince - 25 Beste Live Bootlegs - Header (apoplife.nl)

Introduction

Bootlegs and Prince. An unhappy marriage. Prince is one of the most bootlegged artists of all time. Ample reason to dive into the world of Prince bootlegs and to compile a ‘must have’ list. This article holds the ultimate top 25, based on 5 different lists.

What is a bootleg?

What constitutes a bootleg? Wikipedia states:

A bootleg recording is an audio or video recording of a performance that was not officially released by the artist or under other legal authority. The process of making and distributing such recordings is known as bootlegging. Recordings may be copied and traded among fans of the artist without financial exchange, but some bootleggers have sold recordings for profit, sometimes by adding professional-quality sound engineering and packaging to the raw material. Bootlegs usually consist of either unreleased studio recordings, live performances or interviews with an unpredictable level of quality.

In other words: all recordings not officially released by an artist, or a record company the artist is/was signed to, is a so-called bootleg: a recording of a concert, aftershow, rehearsal or studio recording obtained illegally.

Prince - Lovesexy - Live bootlegs (apoplife.nl/discogs.com)

Prince – Lovesexy – Live bootlegs

In the 1990’s Prince was one of the most bootlegged artists of all time (maybe he still is). The planned, and subsequently retracted, release of The Black Album played a crucial part in that. It became clear that Prince recorded more, much more, music than could ever be released. The quest for Prince material was serious business. Hundreds of thousands copies of The Black Album bootleg were sold before it was officially released in 1994.

Hundreds, if not thousands, Prince bootlegs are in circulation. Most of them are live recordings in varying sound quality, many really good. The so-called soundboard recordings are special, named as such due to the source of the recordings: the central soundboard that passes the sound directly to the speaker(cabinet)s. These recordings are highly sought after. Before audio formats like mp3 existed, physical bootlegs were expensive and changed hands for enormous amounts of money.

On top of that, Prince’s live performances were popular, because he tended to change up his regular shows on a sometimes nightly basis by adding or replacing songs, changing up the arrangements, adding solos or making room for (lengthy) improvisation. This added to the value of those recordings.

Prince - Bootleg labels (apoplife.nl)

Prince – Bootleg labels

To meet the demand real labels were founded, oftentimes exclusively targeted at releasing Prince material. The labels had their own catalogs, release schedules and even remaster and re-release campaigns. One specific bootleg that cannot remain unnamed is the City Lights box: an 11 cd set released in 1995. The set contained recordings from every tour Prince had been on dating from 1980 to 1986. The remastered and expanded release in 2010 contained no less than 40 (!) cd’s, and was supplemented with the concert tours in 1987 and 1988 and sounded pristine.

The question has to be raised how these recordings were obtained. At the end of the 1980’s/early 1990’s bootlegs presented an alternative and free way to give attention to artists and their music. The reasoning some record companies had, was that every form of advertising ultimately brings money to the table. The real fans already have all official material and will keep on buying it, even if the music has been previously available on bootlegs. So, the worst case scenario is that people who listen to bootlegs are interested in going to the shows, after which they may visit a record store and spend some money. On the other hand, the existing fanbase is even more invested in the artist, as more and more material finds its way to them, while being part of a ‘secret’ group of people with more insight in and access to rare material.

Prince - City Lights bootleg (rateyourmusic.com)

Prince – City Lights – Bootleg (1995)

In the early days Prince himself was the main source for escaping studio recordings. After a day in the studio Prince made a copy of the music he’d recorded that day so he could listen to it in his car. A lot of those cassettes ended up in the backseat of his car. Upon cleaning the car those cassettes vanished from the car and started appearing on bootlegs.

The source of the (soundboard) live recordings is less clear. When the City Lights box set was released in 1995, it was rumored that Bobby Z. (Prince’s drummer from 1978 to 1986) was the source. To this day it’s unclear where the enormous amount of recordings stem from. The fact is, that a lot of fans are highly appreciative they exist.

Prince - Open letter to bootleggers 1996-1997 (apoplife.nl)

Prince – Open letter to bootleggers 1996-1997

Prince vs bootlegs

What was Prince’s stance? Answering the question why he still hadn’t released a live album (his first album was released in 2002), knowing there were so many available, he said:

I’ve never released an official live album. The bootlegs – some of these guys are making more off my music than I am … I understand a fan’s need: I wanted every note James Brown ever sung. But a live album is such definitive statement.

He was very aware of the many bootlegs of his work and was often angry and pissed about it, particularly by the fact that bootleggers made money off them. See the letter above, to which the Sabotage label reacted:

Dear O(+> – we at SABOTAGE really dig your music, but wouldn’t you agree that our work was unnecessary if you really made everything available? Please open up your vault to the ears of the world! Peace

NPGMC Logo (princevault.com)

To Prince, bootlegging was one of the reasons to start his NPG Music Club, an on-line Prince community, that was active from 2001 to 2006, where Prince communicated directly with his fans and released music. To an annual fee of $100.- (lowered to $25.- from year 4 onwards) members received (new) music every month, physical cd’s and access to exclusive pre-sales of concert tickets, guaranteeing seats in front of the stage.

It worked like a charm, fans were happy, especially in the beginning when music was released in vast amounts, yet it ended abruptly:

The NPG Music Club was a first step; the lessons learned will last 4ever. Now comes a time of great reflection and restructuring. The future holds nothing but endless opportunity and we plan on seizing it wholeheartedly.

Other Prince sites followed, but the main effort was focused on an all out war against bootleggers. Bootleggers in the broadest sense, meaning everybody working with Prince material. Music wasn’t the only commodity that was targeted, photo’s and even the use of his name, , everyone was at risk. Many sites were targeted and many fans turned their back on Prince, disillusioned by his antics.

Prince - Uptown magazine Bootleg issues (apoplife.nl)

Prince – Uptown magazine Bootleg issues

It seemed to signal the beginning of the end for the Sweden based Uptown magazine, which published Prince news and provided much background stories 4 times a year. They also tried to catalog all Prince bootlegs. A brave attempt, that eventually had to be stopped, probably due to the immeasurable amount of releases.

Recently I published the story on PLECTRUMELECTRUM and ART OFFICIAL AGE, that also handled the lawsuit Prince started against 22 websites/fansites in January 2014, because of bootlegs (also read Prince releases 2 albums in one day: PLECTRUMELECTRUM and ART OFFICIAL AGE). Due to bad press Prince quickly retracted the lawsuits. In an interview shortly after the affair, he stated:

Nobody sues fans. It’s just a poor way to phrase it. A bootlegger is a bootlegger, a scalper is a scalper. They know what time it is. Just sharing music with each other — that’s cool. It’s the selling that becomes the problem.

Even though Prince seemed to loosen up somewhat, especially to the individual Prince music lovers (he even stated he owned bootlegs himself), it does seem fair to state that Prince wasn’t ‘overly excited’, a feeling shared by many artists with him.

However, there are plenty who encourage(d) it (U2, Pearl Jam) or even facilitate(d) it (Arcade Fire). At the time of the NPG Music Club Pearl Jam was on tour. Every concert of the tour was immediately released on cd and made available to their fans. A master stroke that gained the band a lot of goodwill. At the time I e-mailed the NPG Music Club posing the question why Prince wouldn’t consider such a strategy. I received a nice reply stating the proposal would be proposed to Prince. Of course nothing came of it.

My personal bootlegs

Prince - Small Club 2nd show that night - bootleg (yup-yup-mark.blogspot.com)

My first bootleg of the ‘Paard van Troje’ aftershow

What’s my position then? Personally, I don’t have any problem with bootlegs at all. I received my first bootleg on November 17th, 1986. It contained the (cassette) recordings of my very first Prince show at the Rotterdam Ahoy (also read 30 years ago, the best show I ever witnessed). I was addicted to the recording and played it so much the tape wore too thin to play it. One year later the next one: again cassettes and again recordings of a show I witnessed (June 20th, 1987).

On January 9th, 1989, I visited my first record fair and came home with a huge amount of lp’s and maxi singles. One month later, on February 7th, 1989, I bought my first bootleg cd’s: The Black Album and Love Sexy Live In Germany (recordings of the famous Dortmund show on September 9th, 1988). Seven months later Small Club, 2nd Show That Night came with the mail. Things went very quickly after that. Hundreds of bootlegs found their way into my home and cd-player. What a treat!

My reasoning has always been: if I buy everything that is released officially and visit as many shows as I possibly can, the financial downside to the artist is non-existent. I know the reasoning is somewhat shaky, because using it enables a system’s survival, in this case the sytem being the bootleg “industry”.

Why a top 25?

Hamish Whitta - Prince 50 Essential Bootlegs (amazon.com)

Hamish Whitta – Prince 50 Essential Bootlegs

While on summer holiday this year I was reading Hamish Whitta’s great book Prince 50 Essential Bootlegs (recommended reading!) and wondered what my list would be like. So I went to work. I thought it would be a great idea for my blog as well. However, I also thought I shouldn’t do this alone, to give more body to the actual list. After e-mailing some Prince friends, enthusiasm was high for compiling a combined list.

Bram, Edward, Leon, Vincent and me went to work with great zeal and compiled our own personal top 25 (Leon came to 15). Based on everyone’s contribution all the dates/shows were assembled, rated and sorted. The final result is listed below.

Before going to the list, some remarks:

  • The contributors were asked for live bootlegs, so recordings of a concert and/or aftershow. Rehearsals at the One Nite Alone… Live Tour are also valid, as they were visited by members of the NPG Music Club.
  • The title/date with the highest score won and so on. The points were calculated as follows:
    • Number 1: 25 points
    • Number 2: 24 points
    • Etc.

    All points are added up, which results in the definitive list.

  • If several performances have the same number of points, the sorting order is expanded with the date of the performance (old to new).
  • The pictures used in the definitive list were made available by Edward. The pictures are used as a reference to one of the releases the recording was released on. This isn’t necessarily the best or final version.
  • As the individual top 25’s were coming in, the lists seemed to lean more towards actual performances and less so at bootlegs themselves, which oftentimes contain a number of shows (like the City Lights box set.

Does this introduction ever end? Yep. With pride and sincere gratitude to Bram, Edward, Leon and Vincent, I give you the 25 best Prince live bootlegs!

 

Prince - Trojan Horse - Bootleg (apoplife.nl)

Prince – Trojan Horse – Bootleg

1. 08/19/1988, The Hague, Paard van Troje

Songs

Instrumental Jam / D.M.S.R. / Just My Imagination / People Without / Housequake / Down Home Blues / Cold Sweat / Forever In My Life / Still Would Stand All Time / I’ll Take You There / Rave Until The Joy Fantastic / It’s Gonna Be A Beautiful Night

Remarks

Bram There I was at the crush barriers in front of ‘t Paard. I’m about to witness my first ever aftershow ever (a term I had never even heard of at the time). Satisfied by my very first Prince show ever at the Rotterdam Stadium just a few hours before. Man, I was pumped! Nice spot in the front of the row, so everything would turn out great. And then… then I woke up.
Edward Do we really need any explanation here? Alright, one more time: religiously quoted by fans and fanatics alike as the greatest nightly show Prince ever played. So, why is that? This show has everything in the can: funk (Housequake, D.M.S.R.), ballad-gospel style (I’ll Take You There), rock (Rave Un2 The Joy Fantastic) …. you name it. Absolute highlights: the unknown People Without, with a touch of drama at the beginning. The magical Just My Imagination, phenomenal guitar work. Insane vocals by Boni Boyer on Down Home Blues, Kansas City, Cold Sweat and Still Would Stand All Time (which would only surface 2 years later on Graffiti Bridge). And to top it all off: a prehistoric yet the best version ever of Rave Un2 The Joy Fantastic especially with that absolute genius Hendrix-esque climax. And then, after this unforgettable experience of two hours, Prince is exhausted. This show is so unbelievable relaxed and without a vibe like ‘oh-damn-having-to-do-another-aftershow’, it all goes down like a sweet cake …. probably because your mouth is so wide open from the sheer amazement you’re experiencing. The real fun part of these adventures until the early morning hours -in comparison to the regular concerts-: there is no frills here, no upschmuck. And a minimum of hits played to please the average concert visitor. Just tracks played at random or surprisingly inspirational covers here. Side note: all release of this particular boot are just fine, but still having a strong preference for the Sabotage remaster called Trojan Horse, as this one has the least amount of hiss in the background and the most beautiful design on the artwork.
Erwin The mother of all aftershows. Perfect recording that captures Prince at his zenith, who relaxes during this two hours long aftershow. With arguably his best guitar solo: Just My Imagination.
Leon Well….what can I say that hasn’t been said before. But still: relaxed show, good sound quality, Just My Imagination: his entire heart and soul translated into sound…electrically magnified, that is. Prince shows off (almost) all of his versatility: blues, funk, rock, ballad, soul. Glorious! Knock…knock…who’s there! Unfortunately not me!
Vincent The ultimate bootleg for every fan! Excellent recording straight from the soundboard. Particularly Prince’s solos during Just My Imagination and Down Home Blues are world class. The solo in Just My Imagination is continually built from a quiet to a roaring guitar at the end.
Prince - From Dusk Till Dawn - Bootleg (apoplife.nl)

Prince – From Dusk Till Dawn – Bootleg

2. 07/18/2009, Montreux, Auditorium Stravinski

Songs

Show 1: When Lay My Hands On U / Little Red Corvette / Somewhere Here On Earth / When The Lights Go Down / Love U, But Don’t Trust U Anymore / She Spoke 2 Me / Love Like Jazz / All This Love // Empty Room / Elixer / In A Large Room With No Light // Insatiable – Scandalous – The Beautiful Ones – Nothing Compares 2 U
Show 2: When Lay My Hands On U / Stratus / All Shook Up / Peach / Spanish Castle Magic / When You Were Mine / Little Red Corvette / Somewhere Here On Earth / She Spoke 2 Me / Love U, But Don’t Trust U Anymore / Love Like Jazz / All The Critics Love U In Montreux // In A Large Room With No Light / Purple Rain

Remarks

Bram Technically the real number 1. Not one single flaw! Two great shows in one evening! What isn’t … good, brilliant, exceptional? The band, the vocals, the guitar solos, the setlist. Goosebumps from start to finish!
Edward Insane versions of Little Red Corvette, Stratus, Spanish Castle Magic, In A Large Room With No Light, She Spoke To Me, Empty Room. Mighty beautiful styled show. The magnificent designed 3-CD set of EYE Records, including purple inner sleeves, is an absolute must for any eye. In addition, available on DVD, as well.
Erwin Scary perfection during both shows played on that one day. A super band (with master drummer John Blackwell) that plays with the upmost concentration, and audible fun. Two incredibly exciting sets.
Leon The way I like to see Prince, primarily playing his guitar! Tough solos, piercing high notes and 1 of my favorite covers: Stratus!!
Vincent Once again, one of the best shows Prince ever did. A great version of Litte Red Corvette, lots of guitar and a band leader who is into it! A small highlight is the great drum solo by John Blackwell.
Prince - Livesexy Dortmund - Bootleg (apoplife.nl)

Prince – Livesexy Dortmund – Bootleg

3. 09/09/1988, Dortmund, Westfalenhalle

Songs

Erotic City / Housequake / Slow Love / Adore / Delirious / Jack U Off / Sister / Adore / I Wanna Be Your Lover / Head / A Love Bizarre / When You Were Mine / Blues In C (If I Had A Harem) / When You Were Mine / Little Red Corvette / Controversy / Dirty Mind / Superfunkycalifragisexy / Bob George / Anna Stesia / Eye No / Lovesexy / Glam Slam / The Cross / I Wish U Heaven / Kiss / Dance On / When 2 R In Love / Venus De Milo / Starfish And Coffee / Raspberry Beret / Condition Of The Heart / Strange Relationship / Let’s Go Crazy / When Doves Cry / Purple Rain / 1999 // Alphabet St.

Remarks

Bram Well, this one has had a lot of coverage already here. See en.apoplife.nl of May 10th, 2018, and September 9th, 2018. We could go on forever. Okay then, one more thing: ‘Snare drum pounds on the 2 and 4…’ And off we go!
Edward  
Erwin Well, the fantastic fabulous Lovesexy Tour. What’s more to be said? If you don’t like this one, just give it up. Prince at his best? Most likely, yes. Perfect registration, perfect sound. And… I was there (also read 30 years ago, the most special show I ever witnessed).
Leon This Lovesexy concert is super tight from start to finish! I played this show to death! It almost seems he has too little time to show what he’s capable of, too much energy that has to be let go. Favo moment…piano medley: strange relationship…ship…ship!
Vincent The concert that intrigues from start to finish. The Netherlands had just won the European championship football and that’s clearly audible. The only letdown is the Anna Stesia solo, when Prince’s guitar malfunctions and he whispers what to do next in his band members’ ears.
Prince - Rainmaker - Bootleg (apoplife.nl)

Prince – Rainmaker – Bootleg

4. 08/03/1983, Minneapolis, First Avenue

Songs

Let’s Go Crazy / When You Were Mine / A Case Of You / Computer Blue / Delirious / Electric Intercourse / Automatic / I Would Die 4 U / Baby I’m A Star / Little Red Corvette / Purple Rain / D.M.S.R.

Remarks

Bram History in the making, that’s what they say. Contains the beautiful Electric Intercourse.
Edward History in the making, and therefor essential. The first ever live takes on Let’s Go Crazy, Computer Blue and the basis for Baby I’m A Star and Purple Rain, last mentioned here in its original uncut eclectic 13 minute version, the very original version for the soon to be released album, with extra (later deleted) verse. An emotional Electric Intercourse, only played during this show. And the not often played Automatic while on the 1999 Tour ….. simply a formidable set.
Erwin The most important show of Prince’s career? Probably. The base for no less than 3 songs that ended up on the Purple Rain album were played and recorded on this very night. Magical evening.
Leon If Syracuse is at number 1, this one has to be part of this list as well! The early beginnings on the way to mega stardom! Electric Intercourse makes quite an impression, the sorrow of an unrequited love, with Prince trying to persuade in Technicolor Climax! Sensitive singing kind of mystifies it, but how great it is due to the sordidness.
Vincent The concert where a number of songs for Purple Rain were recorded. The Purple Rain solo on the album is a note by note rendition of the way it was played this night. The bootleg contains another jewel that is one of the most beautiful songs Prince has ever written… Electric Intercourse.
Prince - Flesh For Fantasy - Bootleg (twitter.com)

Prince – Flesh For Fantasy – Bootleg

5. 03/30/1985, Syracuse, Carrier Dome

Songs

Let’s Go Crazy / Delirious / 1999 / Little Red Corvette / Take Me With U / Do Me, Baby / Irresistible Bitch / Possessed / How Come U Don’t Call Me Anymore? / Let’s Pretend We’re Married / International Lover / God / Computer Blue / Darling Nikki / The Beautiful Ones / When Doves Cry / I Would Die 4 U / Baby I’m A Star / Purple Rain

Remarks

Bram  
Edward My very first introduction with Prince live. There Eddy was, in the middle of the night at 03:00 …… waiting for New York, @ 21:00 hours. I had to see this live, no not taping, just live! Word had just got out that he wasn’t coming to Europe with this tour. Besides, the new record was all ready and coming to the shops a week later: Around The World In A Day. Part of the phenomenal Temptation of that album was already played during this very show. Yummy! marvelous tour @ which all tracks of the Purple Rain LP were played. Plus a sensual Do Me, Baby and the sexual tinted How Come U Don’t Call Me Anymore? Take notice btw of the already present dichotomy here, later used again in the Lovesexy shows; he is talking to God halfway into the spectacle: OK, I’ll be good ….. but (in this tour) carries on playing the rude boy with Darling Nikki and the ego-trotting Baby I’m A Star. While during Lovesexy it’s more evident: first the evil & sexual, then the good & the sacred. If I can name a disadvantage of Syracuse: It’s a pretty styled show, I think it lacks a bit more raunchiness. And yet, just as well I was watching my eyeballs out for an hour and a half. It ends with over 30 minutes of highlights: Baby I’m A Star (11 minutes) and a whopping 20 minutes of the Purple Rain apotheosis.
Erwin  
Leon My first enchantment, what a show. A virtually non-stop explosion of energy on the stage, a modern day Mozart who shows he’s in full control of his music and band. The most important: Purple Rain, so much passion and emotion in his guitar playing. I was 19 years old and hooked for life.
Vincent A live version of the Purple Rain concert in Syracuse which was broadcast on TV. As a young Prince fan, I was up all night (bringing my mattress to the living room) for “Rockpalast” that broadcast the show live, including the support act, Sheila E. I think it’s one of his very best shows ever. The energy Prince uses to entertain his audience and earns his place among the greats, is impressive.
Prince - Stripped Down - Bootleg (apoplife.nl)

Prince – Stripped Down – Bootleg

6. 08/31/1990, Tokyo, Tokyo Dome

Songs

‘DAT’ Intro / The Future / 1999 / Housequake / Sexy Dancer / Kiss / Purple Rain / Take Me With U / Bambi / Alphabet St. / The Question Of U (instrumental) / Venus De Milo / Under The Cherry Moon (instrumental) / The Question Of U / When Doves Cry Do Me, Baby / Ain’t No Way / Little Red Corvette / Batdance / Partyman // Baby I’m A Star

Remarks

Bram What a great tour. Many hits, all in great arrangements. Masterly version of When Doves Cry (with bass!). ‘Ahhhh, Do Me, Baby…’
Edward  
Erwin The ridiculously tight (and sparse) Nude Tour; a phenomenal performance. The new The Question Of U, followed by the best version of When Doves Cry ever. The moment the bass enters the mix…
Leon  
Vincent Once again a show that was broadcast on TV. The version of Bambi is sublime and shows, once again, how good Prince actually is on the guitar.
Prince - R U Experienced - Bootleg (apoplife.nl)

Prince – R U Experienced – Bootleg

7. 02/13/1994, Minneapolis, Paisley Park

Songs

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

Remarks

Bram A great compact set. Days Of Wild, Now, Peak The Technique. Pure bliss.
Edward Its title R U Xperienced? says it all. Again, Hendrix. Could it serve as an inspiration? U better believe it! Another delightful show with a leading roll for the guitar. With the Warners disagreement in full swing, resulting in new material only. No acid colored rain or doves crying, only mere Now, Days Of Wild, The Ride, Interactive, The Jam, Shhh, a playful improv on Peak The Technique (Eric B & Rakim). Deliciously fierce!
Erwin This show signaled the end of the meager years. When this was played on the Dutch radio at the time, I was blown away. The new direction was very, very good indeed. Songs like Days Of Wild and Now are still part of my favorite songs ever.
Leon  
Vincent I stumbled upon this great concert while on holiday in Germany. At that time Prince is also experimenting with multimedia and internet and releases a game that contains the opening song: Interactive. My favorite is the Shhh solo.
Prince - Night Before The Reign - Bootleg (apoplife.nl)

Prince – Night Before The Reign – Bootleg

8. 06/07/1984, Minneapolis, First Avenue

Songs

17 Days / Our Destiny / Roadhouse Garden / All Day, All Night / Free / Noon Rendezvous / Erotic City / Something In The Water (Does Not Compute) / When Doves Cry // Irresistible Bitch / Possessed

Remarks

Bram Roadhouse Garden, 17 Days, All Day All Night. And then some. Unique show. ‘Sitting in this cafe, waiting for my baby…’ Sweet.
Edward The prequel to Syracuse? Not quite. With wonderfully spunky versions of extremely unusual trax: 17 Days, Irresistible Bitch, All Day All Night, Noon Rendezvous, Possessed, even Something In he Water (Does Not Compute) is a remarkable version. And then as an extra treat the unknown and otherwise never used Roadhouse Garden & Our Destiny. Great show, beautifully designed bootleg from EYE with the complete show of 85 minutes.
Erwin Prince turns 26 years old that day. What else is there to do than do a show on your birthday? Beautiful document of that space in time. When Doves Cry has just been released, the album and the movie Purple Rain are just around the corner. Prince is at the abyss of super stardom and plays a beautiful set containing a number of songs that would never be released (during his lifetime).
Leon  
Vincent  
Prince - Sign O' The Times Live (movie) - Bootleg (apoplife.nl)

Prince – Sign O’ The Times Live (movie) – Bootleg

9. 11/20/1987, Sign O’ The Times, The Movie

Songs

Sign O’ The Times / Play In The Sunshine / Little Red Corvette / Housequake / Slow Love / I Could Never Take The Place Of Your Man / Hot Thing / Now’s The Time / If I Was Your Girlfriend / Forever In My Life / It / It’s Gonna Be A Beautiful Night / The Cross

Remarks

Bram  
Edward After disappointing record sales on Sign O’ The Times in the USA, Prince felt no need to do an American leg of the tour. Yet his star was rising to unprecedented heights in Europe. So, what does one do? You make a concert movie! Quite easy to produce, but what a product! A real classic. Cannot be absent in any list, in my opinion. Filmed during the concerts Rotterdam and Antwerp (!), and naturally substantially tweaked @ Paisley Park, though not spoiling the sheer fun. Phenomenal versions on the überfunky Hot Thing and Forever In My Life in particular, together representing 20 minutes like Prince never sounded before. Seriously, if you don’t have this one ….. just saying: major flaw.
Erwin  
Leon Yes it is tightly directed and mixed, but it still is a beautiful show. The joy is all over the place. Sheila E in optima forma….not bad for girl!
Vincent  
Prince - He's Got The Look - Bootleg (apoplife.nl)

Prince – He’s Got The Look – Bootleg

10. 06/15/1987, Paris, New Morning

Songs

Purple House / I Got My Mind Made Up (You Can Get It Girl) / Instrumental / Just My Imagination (Running Away With Me) / What Did I Do? / Mutiny / Get Up (I Feel Like Being A) Sex Machine

Remarks

Bram Paisley Park, pay attention! Open up the vaults and release this. Some aftershow! If he had only played Wasn’t My Faith that night, it would have been sufficient. But then, the finale is about to start…
Edward Should this one be at an even higher spot, you ask yourself? A frenzied ecstatic show, this one. Already quite the credit, if one dares to include a Jimi Hendrix track (Red House) in one’s set. It shows courage. Looking further into the show, it contains improvised bits ‘n pieces of less familiar trax on Prince and Madhouse, which is excelling at (this boot mentioned) Charlie Parker and Wasn’t My Faith. Also available as Peach & Black with extra one-off show @ Rupert’s/MPLS (Sept 5, 1987).
Erwin  
Leon  
Vincent  
Prince - Starlight Lounge - Bootleg (apoplife.nl)

Prince – Starlight Lounge – Bootleg

11. 04/12/1993, San Fransisco, DNA Lounge

Songs

The Sacrifice Of Victor / Race / Come / Peach / Goldnigga / Black M.F. In The House / ‘Starlight Lounge’ improvisation / I’ll Take You There / Sexy Dancer / Get Satisfied / Papa / Hair / What Is Hip? / When You Were Mine / Sexy M.F. / Love 2 The 9’s

Remarks

Bram C.O.M.E.
Edward  
Erwin The Come aftershow, the most horny and exciting performance of that song ever. C O M E, now what’s that spell?. Holy f#@k.
Leon  
Vincent  
Prince - R U Gonna Go My Way? - Bootleg (apoplife.nl)

Prince – R U Gonna Go My Way? – Bootleg

12. 12/24/1998, Utrecht, Tivoli

Songs

Cissy Strut / Superstition / Chameleon / Asswoop / The Undertaker / Joy And Pain / I Know You Got Soul / (I Got My Groove On) Baby Let’s Go / Hair / Love And Happiness / Are You Gonna Go My Way? / The Jam / Mad / I Want To Take You Higher / Days Of Wild / Thank You (Falletinme Be Mice Elf Agin) / You Can Sing It If You Try / Forever In My Life / Everyday People / Guitar Jam / Santana Medley / The Question Of U / Gett Off / When You Were Mine / 2001: Also Sprach Zarathustra

Remarks

Bram  
Edward Strange days indeed. In the context of nice anecdotes ….. the 23rd. of December 1998 …. 6:30 in the morning at the Oranjehal in Utrecht, we were nrs. 3 and 4 to arrive, according to the sequence numbers that were distributed to the first 1.000 visitors. So, that meant a guaranteed spot in the front of the box near the stage. It was freezing winter so by the time the doors opened (@ 6 p.m.) we now had purple legs. No longer remembering what happened exactly, but a really good place close to the stage? Nope. The concert was not one would pronounce: unforgettable. Although The Christ (new version The Cross) was certainly impressive. Larry Graham stole the show again, not at all to my interest, always the same trick, plucking his bass, yes we know it already. And the sound wasn’t too good either. Alas, it was just not my day, I guess. All this led to the legendary statement: well, what am I worried about? The bootleg sounds better anyway! ……. we thought to be smart, leaving a little earlier so that we would arrive @ Tivoli on time. Because the aftershow would be at that location, we had already heard during the day. Because of this, we missed out on the finale with Kravitz ….. …… once we arrived on the canals, we no longer knew where we were exactly, so we hailed the first taxi near us. We settled very comfortably in the back seat. Where to? said the taxi driver, relieved and cheerful, probably his first ride that evening. We said: quickly, to Tivoli. Yes, he says, you mean: there? Pointing at a little over 200 meters away. Oh …. OK, thank you so much ….. so, out on the other side of the taxi. Duuuuuh!! Waiting at the immensely long line outside on the canal, Prince suddenly appeared in a living room above the Tivoli for a little dance, a very special moment: Prince in a canal house in Utrecht. And God, were we tired ….. so doubting ….. can we still make it? ….. almost running away ….. no, back again …… and (without exaggeration) we were among the last 10 visitors that went inside, locking the door behind us. The entrance fee was then 70 guilders (after all, it was 1998, there was no € yet). At the aftershow we were, oddly enough, almost at the front, despite the fact we came in last. With greats by the likes of Lenny Kravitz, Candy and Hans Dulfer, Larry Graham and the master himself in a beautiful purple 70’s trenchcoat, I still remember. I guess, to please Kravitz, no doubt. An amazing and relaxed show followed, with trax being played such as Superstition, The Undertaker, Chameleon, Mad and Kravitz’ Are You Gonna Go My Way? Towards the end when Gett Off started, about 5 o’clock in the morning, I think I was sleeping against the wall. I was really exhausted. However, a final characteristic event would take place (yes, indeed …. we really heard it!) ….. Prince was playing the last track 2001 Also Sprach Zarathustra (van A Space Odyssey) and spoke the illustrious words: Osama Bin Laden getting ready to bomb ….. better watch out USA ….. 2001. We’re talking Christmas 1998 here ….. no 9/11 had happened yet! That was only 3 years later. Naturally fueling wild speculations after September 11: did Prince already know about it? Did Prince have connections with Osama? Yeah right! Whateva ……
Erwin  
Leon Oh yes…the 3rd time in 1 year seeing Prince live and this time my first aftershow! Party like it’s 1998!
Vincent The best aftershow I personally witnessed. Prince, Lenny Kravitz, Hans and Candy Dulfer, they were all on stage. At one time Hans Dulfer balanced his saxophone on his chin all around the stage, Prince following him with a big smile on his face…. I acquired 5 plectrums that night as I had seen Prince place them on his keyboard. A simple question to a roadie after the show and they were mine . Remarkable detail is that there’s a theory about the announcement of the September 11 terrorist attacks. In one of his songs Prince sings Osama Bin Laden get ready to bomb!
Prince - Rock Over Germany - Bootleg (apoplife.nl)

Prince – Rock Over Germany – Bootleg

13. 09/05/1993, Lüneburg, Flugplatz Lüneburg

Songs

My Name Is Prince / Sexy MF / The Beautiful Ones / Let’s Go Crazy / Kiss / Irresistible Bitch / She’s Always In My Hair / Raspberry Beret / The Cross / Sign O’ The Times / Purple Rain / Thunder / When Doves Cry / Nothing Compares 2 U / And God Created Woman / Diamonds And Pearls / Piano Instrumental / Venus De Milo / I Love U In Me / Strollin’ / Scandalous / Girls And Boys / 7 // 1999 / Baby I’m A Star / America / D.M.S.R. / Gett Off / The Pope / It’s Gonna Be A Beautiful Night / Peach

Remarks

Bram Another exciting era. What was he doing? No name, new, incredible songs. Great versions of Girls & Boys, She’s Always In My Hair, Irresistible Bitch and… The Beautiful Ones!
Edward What a wonderful tour. The show @ the Brabanthallen (Peach, Act 2) could also have been a possibility here. But he is clearly doing his better best with the world listening in for Lüneburg, as the concert was broadcasted live on radio. The Act 1 (tour USA) focused on the Symbol album from 1992 ….. terrible! With one of the worst trax Prince ever entrusted on record: Blue Light. What a horror. Fortunately Act 2 (Europe) was a greatest hits tour, so all the classics are served: 1999, When Doves Cry, Purple Rain, Let’s Go Crazy, Kiss, Girls & Boys, Sign O’ The Times, Diamonds And Pearls, Sexy MF. Shortly after, he would make a major change, turning himself into an unpronounceable symbol. No more old hits. So enjoy it once more! Great ending in this show with AmericaGett OffThe Pope – and yes, another unparalleled Peach.
Erwin  
Leon  
Vincent Nice bootleg with live hits. My personal highlight is the solo during She’s Always In My Hair. At the time the show was partially broadcast on MTV as part of the Coca Cola Report.
Prince - Jack U Off - Bootleg (apoplife.nl)

Prince – Jack U Off – Bootleg

14. 02/28/1982, New Orleans, Saenger Performing Arts Center

Songs

Uptown / Why You Wanna Treat Me So Bad / When You Were Mine / I Wanna Be Your Lover / Head / Annie Christian / Dirty Mind / Do Me, Baby / Controversy / Let’s Work / Jack U Off

Remarks

Bram Choices, choices. Changed my mind, and ultimately picked this classic release Jack U Off. Despite the lesser quality in sound than on Just A Freak, this show is tighter.
Edward One of the first boots, available at WOM in Berlin in 1990. And even on marvelous colored vinyl. What a show! Sentiments running through my veins. Unfathomable and limitless interpretations of Head and Dirty Mind. Take the bite!
Erwin A great night on the Controversy Tour. Steaming and rocking versions of a great selection of songs. Prince and band are tight, focused and exciting.
Leon  
Vincent  
Prince - Paradiso - Bootleg (apoplife.nl)

Prince – Paradiso – Bootleg

15. 25 & 03/26/1995, Amsterdam, Paradiso

Songs

Show 1: Funky / 18 And Over / Now / I Believe In You / Proud Mary / The Ride / Glam Slam Boogie / Days Of Wild / Get Wild / Sex Machine Jam
Show 2: People Get Ready / The Jam / Get Wild / Jailhouse Rock / Zannalee / The Undertaker / Funky Design / P Control / Funky Stuff / Johnny / Endorphine Mahcine / Peach

Remarks

Bram  
Edward The second show @ Paradiso which I thought to be better than the first. Certainly more entertaining. With a leading role for Peach, I just like this song when played live. The night before was resting on somewhat more funk while at this second night, the guitar was pulled again. Amazing versions of The Jam, Zannalee, The Undertaker, Endorphinmachine and Peach naturally.
Erwin  
Leon  
Vincent The first aftershow I witnessed. Prince announced the show during the regular concert. The next day I was he only one in front of the local VVV to buy tickets. Even the cashier, who was a fan herself, was oblivious. After some persuasion she logged in and there they were, tickets in abundance. That night, many fans tried in vain to get tickets by the door. The Leidseplein square was packed.
Prince - Purple Rain Tour Finale - Bootleg (apoplife.nl)

Prince – Purple Rain Tour Finale – Bootleg

16. 04/07/1985, Miami, Orange Bowl

Songs

Let’s Go Crazy / Delirious / 1999 / Little Red Corvette / Take Me With U / Do Me, Baby / Irresistible Bitch / Possessed / How Come U Don’t Call Me Anymore? / Temptation / Let’s Pretend We’re Married / International Lover / God / Computer Blue / Darling Nikki / The Beautiful Ones / When Doves Cry / I Would Die 4 U / Baby I’m A Star / Purple Rain

Remarks

Bram  
Edward  
Erwin Last show of the huge Purple Rain Tour. Prince and band are in rare form, probably happy that it’s finished, but they still give it their all for the last time and it shows. Fantastic show!
Leon  
Vincent The last Purple Rain concert where Prince breaks his high E string during the solo of Purple Rain and keeps on playing as if nothing had happened. It is audible on the bootleg
Prince - 4 Those On U On Valium - Bootleg (apoplife.nl)

Prince – 4 Those On U On Valium – Bootleg

17. 03/21/1987, Minneapolis, First Avenue

Songs

Housequake / Girls And Boys / Slow Love / Hot Thing / Now’s The Time / /Strange Relationship / Forever In My Life / Kiss / It’s Gonna Be A Beautiful Night

Remarks

Bram How great all those perform… ‘Shut up allready!’
Edward  
Erwin The masterpiece Sign O’ The Times was about to be released, Prince had a new band and wanted to see how it all would play out in a real live setting. Well: perfectly. Energetic set that primarily focused on new songs, which were unbeknownst to the audience in the venue.
Leon  
Vincent  
Prince bootleg Manic Monday (Rotterdam, 18 augustus 1986) (apoplife.nl)

Prince – Manic Monday – Bootleg

18. 08/18/1986, Rotterdam, Ahoy

Songs

Around The World In A Day / Christopher Tracy’s Parade / New Position / Manic Monday ¹ / I Wonder U / Raspberry Beret / Delirious / Controversy / A Love Bizarre / Do Me, Baby / (How Much Is) That Doggie In The Window? / Lady Cab Driver (instrumental) / Automatic / D.M.S.R. / When Doves Cry / Little Red Corvette / Under The Cherry Moon / Anotherloverholenyohead / 17 Days / Head / Pop Life / Girls & Boys / Life Can Be So Nice / 1999 // America / Kiss // Purple Rain

Remarks

Bram  
Edward Although, unfortunately I never got to see it live: great tour, tight band. This particular evening, the setting is @ Rotterdam. Prince is even playing Manic Monday, hence the title of this boat, which at the time only appeared in a limited edition of 500. Great elongated versions of America and Purple Rain. Then why on #21 and not any higher? In 1986, my Prince fandom was in quite a dip, was not too crazy about Parade. The bald arrangements, I wasn’t sure how to digest it all. Predecessor Around The World In A Day: fantastico. Mountains: deliciously! Parade: mwoah. …. and so I didn’t worry too much when it was mentioned that Prince was coming over for concerts. It took a long time before I started to appreciate the album, a very long time. It was Girls & Boys, I think, years later when I finally saw that ‘worthless’ movie Under The Cherry Moon on TV, oeh, that was funky and fun … and gradually started listening to the rest of the LP. Still not my favorite, but this boot has had a lot of good influence. In 2016, a beautiful remaster was released, with better sound, only available in Japan.
Erwin My very first ever Prince show, with The Revolution. The sound quality isn’t 100%, but I played this to death. I know every shout, yelp, remark by heart. The superb Parade Tour came to The Netherlands. I was there and my life would never be the same again (also read 30 years ago, the best show I ever witnessed).
Leon  
Vincent  
Prince - Rock In Rio 2 - Bootleg (apoplife.nl)

Prince – Rock In Rio 2 – Bootleg

19. 01/19/1991, Rio De Janeiro, Estádio Jornalista Mário Filho / Estádio do Maracana

Songs

Something Funky (This House Comes) / Let’s Go Crazy / Horny Pony / Kiss / Purple Rain / Bambi / Take Me With U / Shake! / Dr. Feelgood / Venus De Milo / The Question Of U (instrumental) / Instrumental / Ain’t No Way / Nothing Compares 2 U // Baby I’m A Star

Remarks

Bram Another playful performance. There’s just no stopping it. Contains a Baby I’m A Star finale that lasts almost 30 minutes. Great. ‘There you go, there you go, it’s the…!’
Edward  
Erwin Tight, fast and exciting. This show even entertains the chairs in your living room. I would have loved to have been there.
Leon  
Vincent  
Prince - The Ultimate Wild Experience - Bootleg (apoplife.nl)

Prince – The Ultimate Wild Experience – Bootleg

20. 03/25/1995, Den Bosch, Brabanthallen

Songs

Endorphinmachine / The Jam / Shhh / Days Of Wild / Now / Johnny / Glam Slam Boogie / The Most Beautiful Girl In The World / P. Control / Letitgo / Pink Cashmere / (Lemme See Your Body) Get Loose! / A Case Of You / I Love U In Me / The Ride / Peach / 7 // Get Wild / Race / Super Hero / Billy Jack Bitch – Hate U – 319 / Gold

Remarks

Bram  
Edward My favorite tour of all times. Prince was angry (@ WB) and it showed. Absolute no old Prince trax, only mere new material of the Gold era. His displeasure was not only showcased while ‘Slave’ written on his cheek, also the fierce guitar work was blissful: Endorphinmachine, The Jam, The Ride, Peach ….. what a delicious concert. Nice memories! Friday, the 24th of March I was already on my way to Den Bosch, a quick check-in at the hotel and off to the Brabanthallen where Prince is playing the first concert (and having no ticket for that one). But one could hear it well, just standing outside. But then ….. the doors opened at the sideway, visitors leaving angry …. at first, I didn’t understand. What’s happening here? Upon inquiry, it became obvious that they were leaving as Prince was not playing the familiar hits …… eeeh, yeah duuuuh! But for every concertgoer that left, one was admitted entrance for free. But I didn’t want to spoil my pleasures of the following day with a concert that I had already seen. Besides, I have the conviction that I only want to visit one concert every tour, otherwise it wouldn’t be special to me anymore. That said, one could hear it very well outside as the doors stayed open the whole time after that. With a small group, we had decided we would await for Prince and Mayte to come outside, behind the venue, where the limousine was at the ready. After the final track Gold, they came outside very quickly, where a handful of fans were waving at them. He gently waved back at us …… So, the next day getting up before the dawn and arriving at the venue at about 6:30h. Some fanatics were still there from the night before. Oh well, as long as I am in the front-box near the stage, I am OK. And it worked! Conveniently standing in the back of the box, while nearly everybody is trying to urge themselves for a spot near the front of the stage and getting crushed, I had several feet of space in front of me. OK ….. let the games begin.
Erwin  
Leon  
Vincent  
Prince - New York / Paris - Bootleg (apoplife.nl)

Prince – New York / Paris – Bootleg

21. 03/22/1981, New York, The Ritz

Songs

Do It All Night / Why You Wanna Treat Me So Bad? / Gotta Broken Heart Again / Broken / When You Were Mine / Gotta Stop (Messin’ About) / Sexy Dancer / Sister / I Wanna Be Your Lover / Head / Still Waiting / Partyup / Uptown / Crazy You / Dirty Mind // Everybody Dance / Bambi

Remarks

Bram Gotta Stop (Messin’ About). The unique Broken. Nice drained sound as well. Yet, I have to ask: Is everybody wet?
Edward  
Erwin The Dirty Mind Tour visits New York for the second time. The feel is there: we see and hear a super star in the rough, playing an exciting, sexually and musically challenging show. Raw, funky, punky and original.
Leon  
Vincent  
Prince - Miles 2 Nowhere - Bootleg (apoplife.nl)

Prince – Miles 2 Nowhere – Bootleg

22. 12/31/1987, Minneapolis, Paisley Park

Songs

(Sign O’ The Times / Play In The Sunshine / Little Red Corvette / Housequake / Girls & Boys / Slow Love / I Could Never Take The Place Of Your Man / Jack U Off) / Now’s The Time / Hot Thing / If I Was Your Girlfriend / Let’s Go Crazy / When Doves Cry / Purple Rain (incl. Auld Lang Syne) / 1999 // U Got The Look / It’s Gonna Be A Beautiful Night

Remarks

Bram  
Edward  
Erwin Tickets were $ 200 a piece for this benefit show for the Minnesota Coalition for the Homeless. A tight show that was largely based on the Sign O’ The Times Tour. During the long exciting finale Miles Daves joins Prince and his band.
Leon Prince & Miles Davis….need I say more?
Vincent  
Prince - City Lights Remastered & Extended Vol. 2 - Bootleg (bootlegzone.com)

Prince – City Lights Remastered & Extended Vol. 2 – Bootleg

23. 12/20/1981, Houston, The Summit

Songs

Uptown / Why You Wanna Treat Me So Bad? / I Wanna Be Your Lover / Head / Dirty Mind / Do Me, Baby / Controversy // Let’s Work / Private Joy / Jack U Off

Remarks

Bram  
Edward  
Erwin  
Leon  
Vincent A perfect recording of a young Prince who plays the older stuff with abandon. For me, the version of Do Me, Baby is the highlight.
Prince - Fine Line Cafe - Bootleg (apoplife.nl)

Prince – Fine Line Cafe – Bootleg

24. 12/05/1987, Minneapolis, Fine Line Music Cafe

Songs

Instrumental Jam / Eleven / Villanova Junction / Just My Imagination / Freddie Freeloader / Jack U Off / Chain Of Fools / Housequake

Remarks

Bram  
Edward Picture this: Prince just decided to cancel the infamous Black Album, with CD’s already pressed in the USA (though only present in the corridors of Warners) and half a million (!) LP’s at Alsdorf/Germany, all ready to be shipped to record stores. And then this decision! Followed by this show the very next day ….. I mean, just mind boggling ….. astonishing awesome, to say the least. For that reason only, this show is already magnificent, leaning entirely on jazz. With Dr Fink, Eric Leeds and Sheila E. Very rare show, as it deviates so wonderfully, even from the standard aftershow. With tracks like -there he is again- Villanova Junction (Jimi Hendrix) and Freddy Freeloader (Miles Davis, A Kind Of Blue 1959).
Erwin  
Leon  
Vincent  
Prince - City Lights Remastered & Extended Vol. 2 - Bootleg (bootlegzone.com)

Prince – City Lights Remastered & Extended Vol. 2 – Bootleg

25. 12/12/1981, Columbia, Carolina Coliseum

Songs

Uptown / Why You Wanna Treat Me So Bad? / Sexy Dancer / I Wanna Be Your Lover / Head / Dirty Mind / Do Me, Baby / Controversy // Let’s Work / Private Joy / Jack U Off

Remarks

Bram  
Edward  
Erwin  
Leon Early Prince, vulgar…playful…very bashful and a huge show-off! Why You Wanna Treat Me So Bad… Bitch! You’d better get that off your chest!
Vincent  

 

Interpretation and justification

So, there it is: the 25 best live Prince bootlegs according to the A Pop Life panel. Of course, there are things to be said about the list. First off a remark about the addition of the concerts of March 30th, 1985, September 9th, 1988, and November 22nd, 1987 (the release date of the movie Sign O’ The Times). All were officially released as video and/or movie. When they are played, the audio is audible, right? Can they still be called a bootleg then? It’s debatable, but since this list, without it specifically being the intention, geared itself towards audio bootlegs, they have been added to the top 25. The individual lists do contain titles that are against the ‘rules’, but they didn’t make it to the top 25.

Prince - 25 Best Live Bootlegs - Graph - Total by decade (apoplife.nl)

Graph – Total by decade

Numbers

The total amount of 66 different bootlegs/dates were selected:

  • 32 of those bootlegs/dates are recordings dating from the 1980’s
  • 17 from the 1990’s
  • 10 from the 2000’s
  • 7 from the 2010’s

Arguably, those numbers correlate with Prince’s artistic development. The main focus, 48.5%, lies with the 1980’s, when he released one brilliant album after another, starting with Dirty Mind all the way up to Lovesexy and was highly innovative on stage. That doesn’t mean nothing interesting happened afterwards. The period 1994/1995 was a particularly exciting and thrilling time, just like 2001/2002, when Prince ‘just played’ around the world with the stunningly perfect band he had at the time. Shows played as part of the Prince Live 2010 and Welcome 2 America Euro Tour were phenomenal.

Prince - 25 Best Live Bootlegs - Graph - Top 25 by decade (apoplife.nl)

Graph – Top 25 by decade

Top 25

In the top 25 the emphasis on the decades is even more poignant. A striking 64% of the recordings stem from the 1980’s.

Prince - 25 Best Live Bootlegs - Graph - Top 25 1980's (apoplife.nl)

Graph – Top 25 1980’s

Upon closer inspection it seems that 50% of that stem from 1981 and 1987. 1981 was the year Prince was on the Dirty Mind Tour as well as the Controversy Tour. 1987 is the year of the fabulous Sign O’ The Times Tour and multiple very interesting one-off shows.

Prince - 25 Best Live Bootlegs - Graph - Total (non) regular (apoplife.nl)

Graph – Total regular vs one-off

Regular vs one-off

Of all the dates 38% is made up of regular shows, the rest goes to one-off shows. One-off shows are shows that weren’t part of the official tour itinerary, like aftershows, try-outs, television shows, etc. It’s fairly logical the balance is in favor of the one-off shows. It was then that Prince deviated from his usual setlists, took his time to improvise and played without his (regular) instrument configuration (or a stripped down version of it). The result was that those shows were truly exciting where anything could happen and Prince just played for the joy of playing. It’s telling that the number 1 of this list is an aftershow.

Prince - 25 Best Live Bootlegs - Graph - Total by tour (apoplife.nl)

Graph – Total by tour

Tours

In the top 25 the Controversy Tour is well represented, because 3 different shows are selected, which all ended up rather high on the individual lists. It’s remarkable that the One Nite Alone… Tour contributes the most dates.

Geography

I wondered if geography had played any part when compiling the list. All the participants hail from The Netherlands, the country Prince clearly had a weak spot for and where he performed regularly (especially considering the size of the country):

  • 36 regular concerts
  • 13 aftershows
  • 1 television performance
Prince - 25 Best Live Bootlegs - Graph - Total by country (apoplife.nl)

Graph – Total by country

The Dutch part for the dates/shows is 20%. Not bad for such a small country. The question is whether it’s fair or not and whether or not chauvinism plays a part? I don’t think it’s that, but a major factor is that the Dutch shows were visited by the contributors and memories have played a role in compiling the individual lists.

On the other hand, the shows he played in The Netherlands were pretty awesome. The number 1 position for the Dutch aftershow at The Hague is generally accepted by Prince fans and rightly so.

Points

As can be seen in the complete list below, the number 1 really is undisputed with a stunning 118 points. The difference with number 2 is 24 (!) points. After the top 5 titles are mentioned with less than half of the points of the number 1.

Of all the 66 selected shows/dates, just 3 were mentioned by all list providers. These are all part of the top 4 of the combined list. Four shows/dates ended up in the combined list that are selected by only 1 list provider, with Edward having two and Leon and Vincent each having one..

Edward, Erwin and Leon see 60% of their nominations ending up in the final list, followed by Bram (56%) and Vincent (48%).

The complete list

For everyone that just can’t get enough, below the complete list can be viewed. Click the text below to show the complete list.

The individual lists

All lists come with personal commentary, remarks and memories. All lists are enclosed below. Click on one or more lines below.

In closing

Prince - Piano & A Microphone 1983 - Bootleg releases (discogs.com/apoplife.nl)

Prince – Piano & A Microphone 1983 – Bootleg releases

We had a great time compiling this list. Of course we are curious about reactions, remarks, compliments and the inevitable insults . Use the comment form at the bottom of this article and get in touch. It truly is highly appreciated!

We have plans to publish more of this kind of articles in the future. Should you have wishes or suggestions, we’d love to hear them. Please be so kind as to report them by clicking the mail icon on the A Pop Life Panel page.

Video/Spotify
This story contains an accompanying video. Click on the following link to see it: Video: Prince – The 25 best live bootlegs!. The A Pop Life playlist on Spotify has been updated as well.

 

Disclaimer:
A Pop Life does not sell or distribute bootlegs and in no way advertises them. A Pop Life has no information regarding the availability of the named titles. Also, A Pop Life does not deliver music coming from these bootlegs.
A Pop Life has no relationship to Prince and/or the Prince Estate and its companies.
Requests for information about acquiring the titles mentioned and/or to make them available will be ignored.

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2 comments

  1. Great description and info! Thanks!

    1. Thank you for your reply! Very much appreciated!!

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