Prince’s second soundtrack, the sublime Parade

Prince - Live 1986 (

Prince – Live 1986


As the Purple Rain Tour neared its end Prince announced to stop touring indefinitely. Coupled with the release of Around The World In A Day it left the impression that Prince would take some time off for a ‘sabbatical leave’. Nothing could be further from the truth.


Over the course of 1985 no less than 31 new Prince songs had been released. More were to follow in 1986:

  • 02/05/1986: Prince And The Revolution – Kiss single (B-side ♥ Or $)
  • 03/04/1986: Mazarati – Mazarati album (1 song)
  • 03/31/1986: Prince And The Revolution – Parade album
  • 05/07/1986: Prince And The Revolution – Mountains single (B-side Alexa De Paris)
  • 05/30/1986: Sheila E. – Holly Rock single (1 song)
  • 10/23/1986: Kenny Rogers – They Don’t Make Them Like They Used To album (1 song)

Only the releases containing new material have been listed above. In 1986 a total of ‘just’ 17 new Prince songs were released.

Also in 1986, the album Minneapolis Genius by 94 East was released. The album contained recordings dating from 1977 with Prince playing along. He has a co-writer credit on one song.

Prince - Jumping off drum riser - Parade Tour 1986 (

Prince – Jumping off drum riser – Parade Tour 1986


A number of the subjects mentioned in this article are elaborated on and interpreted some more in sub-articles. These have all been published prior to this article:

The links above are also mentioned in the paragraphs containing the respective subjects.

Prince - Parade announcement - OOR 4, 26-02-1986 (

Prince – Parade announcement – OOR 4, 26-02-1986

The way to Parade

The route to Parade starts on April 17th, 1985, 5 days prior to the release of Around The World In A Day. On that day Prince entered Sunset Sound Studios, told his regular engineer Susan Rogers she should keep on recording, even if he stopped, taped a piece of paper containing lyrics on the drum stand, sat behind the drums and played the drum tracks to four (!) consecutive songs. Next he took up the bass and played the parts, followed by guitar, synthesizer, piano, etc. The first four songs for the next album, Parade, were done: Wendy’s Parade (later rechristened to Christopher Tracy’s Parade), New Position, I Wonder U and Under The Cherry Moon were basically finished on that very day. It’s a spine tingling feat that pretty much sums up Prince’s genius.

The subsequent recordings all went very smoothly as well, so much so that as early as May 1st (just 8 days after the release of Around The World In A Day) a first configuration for a completely new album was compiled:

  • Wendy’s Parade
  • New Position
  • I Wonder U
  • Under The Cherry Moon
  • Others Here With Us
  • Life Can Be So Nice
  • Sometimes It Snows In April
  • Old Friends 4 Sale
  • All My Dreams

History repeated itself, ideas and plans just poured out of Prince.

Prince - Under The Cherry Moon - Promo (

Prince – Under The Cherry Moon – Promo

A movie?

One of those plans was a new movie. Following the unbelievable (and improbable) success of Purple Rain Prince could literally get away with anything. If prince wanted a movie, he got a movie. The story wasn’t done yet? No problem. The script was to be written by Becky Johnson, who didn’t have any experience at all with writing scripts? No problem. Filming needed to start very soon? No problem? Money? No problem.

And so Prince left for France in mid-June of 1985 in search of suitable locations. He chose Nice as his base of operation. Much of the filming would take place there or in the immediate vicinity. Actors were auditioned, a director was found and on September 16th, 1985, Prince and his entourage settled into Nice, to start filming his second movie, Under The Cherry Moon. By the end of November 1985 shooting was finished upon which Prince immediately returned to the US, where ‘normal’ life resumed.

Read (and see) more in the sub-articles Prince – Under The Cherry Moon trailer & Wrecka Stow scene and Prince’s second movie: Under The Cherry Moon.

Prince - Too much output? - February/March 1986 (

Prince – Too much output? – February/March 1986

The way to Parade, Music from the motion picture Under The Cherry Moon

The next album was going to be another soundtrack. As the movie’s main character, Christopher Tracy (played by Prince), is only mentioned in a couple of songs, the album can be listened to without (knowledge of) the movie’s narrative.

In 1984/1985 Prince had worked with orchestra leader and arranger Clare Fischer for the first time. He had composed and recorded some orchestral music for The Family‘s debut album. Prince was so pleased with the results that he asked Fischer to do the same for the songs on Parade. Fischer obliged and wrote and recorded orchestral music for the songs that would end up on Parade, with the exception of Kiss. Prince ended up using a lot of Fischer’s work, but not all.

On February 5th, 1986, the first taste of the new album was released: funk classic Kiss. The song exploded all around the world and effortlessly reached the top position on the charts worldwide.

But, there were also concerns and doubts, especially amongst the ranks of the men in the suits at the record companies. See the article above this paragraph; even though Warner Bros. stated that they didn’t worry, they actually did. Prince’s sales were declining, costs were up. Within a period of less than 2 years Prince released his third album. Wasn’t the market being flooded with Prince product? Why not release an album, followed by an elaborate tour and some time off, and then do it again? One album in three years, instead of three albums in two? For now Prince got his way, but the first signs were there. It would stand in Prince’s way with his next project.

Prince And The Revolution - Parade (

Prince And The Revolution – Parade


On March 31st, 1986 (March 28th in The Netherlands, April 1st in the UK), the eighth studio album by Prince was released, the third and last album to be accredited to Prince And The Revolution. The album was released on Paisley Park Records in cooperation with Warner Bros. Records.

All songs were recorded at the Washington Avenue Warehouse in Edina, Minnesota and Sunset Sound in Hollywood.

On the album a couple of new things were introduced on a Prince album: the use of the Fairlight sampler, Clare Fischer’s orchestrations, the frequent use of horns, the introduction of Miko Weaver, Eric Leeds and Atlanta Bliss and lead vocals on a song by somebody else than Prince.


Wendy Melvoin and Lisa Coleman’s influence on Around The World In A Day was big, but on Parade it seemed even bigger. They sang on almost every track, were given a lot of room by Prince to come up with ideas and played on many of the songs as well. The band, The Revolution, played on just three of the album’s songs. The others are essentially solo recordings by Prince.

All songs written by Prince, unless stated otherwise.

Prince - Parade - Side A (

Prince – Parade – Side A

Christopher Tracy’s Parade

(accredited to Prince and his father John L. Nelson, probably written by Prince alone)

The song’s base was recorded on April 17th, 1985, entitled Wendy’s Parade, a reference to Revolution guitar player Wendy Melvoin. After the contours of the Under The Cherry Moon movie were getting clearer, the song was renamed to Christopher Tracy’s Parade, referencing the movie’s main character.

Musically it’s a kind of march, with wide fanning instrumentation, echo and psychedelic references (“unless it should rain strawberry lemonade”). A promising, different and divergent start.

The announcement of the solo in Kiss, the phrase “Little girl Wendy’s parade” points to the original title of this song. The solo is played by Prince (of course).

N.B. 2:
The “Bizarre!” sample in the song stems from Frank Zappa’s 1969 Our Bizarre Relationship. The sample was part of the Fairlight sampler’s stock sounds.

New Position

Funk and Caribbean steel drums. The song was first recorded in 1982 at Prince’s Kiowa Trail Home Studio in Chanhassen, Minnesota. Clare Fischer recorded orchestrations, but Prince chose not to use them.

A glorious song, great rhythm, fantastic bass. Sex is the main theme.

I want, I want 2 do ya, do ya
I can make u happy
I can make it real good
Honey, I won’t be your pappy (P.U.S.S.Y.)

© Prince, 1986

New Position is placed at position 34 in my Prince songs top 50.

I Wonder U

The first song on a Prince album that isn’t sung by Prince himself. Originally it was meant to be a duet between Wendy and Prince, but at the very last minute Prince decided to delete his part.

I Wonder U holds a special place in Prince’s body of work. With its 1:39 it’s very short and the music is a combination of musique concrète and/or minimal music. It makes use of woodwinds, a funky and hypnotizing guitar riff and some spectacular bass playing. An intriguing song.

Under The Cherry Moon

(accredited to Prince and his father John L. Nelson, probably written by Prince alone)

The song’s music had already premiered during the Purple Rain Tour, as it was played as a musical intermezzo at some of the shows. The song lends its title to the movie that Prince filmed in the second half of 1985 in France.

Clare Fischer’s orchestration wasn’t used on the released version of the song.

A beautiful ballad, foreboding the unfortunate ending of the movie’s main character.

I want to live life to the ultimate high
Maybe I’ll die young like heroes die
Maybe I’ll kiss u some wild special way
If nobody kills me or thrills me soon
I’ll die in your arms under the cherry moon

© Prince, 1986

Prince - Girls & Boys - Video (

Prince – Girls & Boys – Video

Girls & Boys

Most of the song was recorded on July 8th, 1985, at the Washington Avenue Warehouse. The first song on the album that utilizes The Revolution. It’s also the first song on a Prince album to feature Eric Leeds.

Girls & Boys is a superb funk song, with a highly distinctive saxophone and synthesizer riff and fun lyrics.

I love u baby, I love u so much,
maybe we can stay in touch
Meet me in another world, space and joy,
vous êtes très belle, mama, girls and boys

© Prince, 1986

Girls & Boys was released as a single in the UK on August 4th, 1986. The accompanying (black and white) video provides a good impression of the Under The Cherry Moon movie.

Girls & Boys is placed at position 48 in my Prince songs top 50.

Life Can Be So Nice

The song was recorded by Prince on April 21st, 1985, the same day Sometimes It Snows In April was recorded.

Clare Fischer’s orchestration wasn’t used.

Many feel Life Can Be So Nice is too busy and without direction. Not me, I love the song, which was one of the definite highlights during the Parade Tour shows. A busy, dense song, with a happy childlike lyric.

Life can be so nice
It’s a wonderful world, sweet paradise
Kiss me once, kiss me twice
Life can be so nice, so nice

© Prince, 1986

Life Can Be So Nice is placed at position 40 in my Prince songs top 50.

Venus De Milo

The contrast between the previous song and this beautiful instrumental can’t be any bigger. I think Venus De Milo is too short (it clocks in at just 01:55 minutes) and deserved more attention. Its melody is lush and romantic.

Prince - Parade - Side B (

Prince – Parade – Side B


(accredited to Prince, music is composed by Wendy Melvoin en Lisa Coleman)

Wendy Melvoin and Lisa Coleman recorded the song’s demo at the Advision Studios in London a few days after the (live) video recordings for America. On November 30th, 1985, the song was recorded at the Washington Avenue Warehouse with the full ‘extended Revolution’. It’s the first song to feature that particular line-up and introduces Miko Weaver and Atlanta Bliss on a Prince album.

Mountains is a fabulous, driving song with beautiful instrumentation, melodies, polyrhythms, harmonizing and horns. A definite highlight in Prince’s body of work.

Prince - Mountains - Video (

Prince – Mountains – Video

Mountains was released as the second single on May 7th, 1986. The maxi-single contains a phenomenal 10 minute long extended version of Mountains, one of the very best remixes.

Mountains is placed at position 6 in my Prince songs top 50, the remix is placed at position 4 of the 15 best Prince remixes.

Do U Lie?

Recorded on July 14th, 1985, at the Washington Avenue Warehouse. The song has a vaudeville like quality to it and introduced the accordion in Prince’s music.

Do U Lie? is emblematic for Prince’s versatility. Even though the song deviates from everything he had even done before, it still works out perfectly.

Prince - Kiss - Video (

Prince – Kiss – Video


For the story of Kiss, which delves into the origin of the song and the giving away and subsequently taking back of it, see the article on Mazarati.

The rest is history. Kiss became a global hit and is one of the songs Prince will always be remembered for. A true classic, from the first day of its release.

Kiss was the first single off the album and was released on February 5th, 1986. Initially, Warner Bros. refused to release it as a single due to its ‘demo like character’, but Prince insisted and got his way. The maxi-single contains an extended version of Kiss. The video is just as minimalistic as the song and is probably one of the best known Prince clips.

Women not girls rule my world
I said they rule my world
Act your age, mama
Not your shoe size
Maybe we could do the twirl
U don’t have 2 watch Dynasty
2 have an attitude
U just leave it all up 2 me
My love will be your food

© Prince, 1986

Kiss is placed at position 27 in my Prince songs top 50.

Prince - Anotherloverholenyohead - Video (

Prince – Anotherloverholenyohead – Video


The third song on the album to feature The Revolution. It was recorded on December 16th, 1985, at Sunset Sound.

The title is a concatenation of the chorus’s lines:

U need another lover like u need a hole in yo head
U know there ain’t no other
that can do the duty in your bed

© Prince, 1986

The song was released as the third single in the US on July 2nd, 1986, in the US and as the fourth single in Europe on October 20th, 1986. The maxi-single contains an extended version of Anotherloverholenyohead. The video is a live recording of Prince And The Revolution shot in Detroit on June 7th, 1986, Prince’s 28th birthday.

Anotherloverholenyohead is a phenomenal, funky song, with clear production and heavy guitars. Many name this song as the best one on Parade.

Sometimes It Snows In April

The album’s closer was recorded at Sunset Sound by Prince, Lisa Coleman (piano) and Wendy Melvoin (guitar) on April 21st, 1985. The song was played live in the studio and some unintentional background noises are audible, but Prince decided upon the first (and only) take.

Sometimes it snows in April
Sometimes I feel so bad, so bad
Sometimes I wish life was never ending
But all good things, they say, never last

© Prince, 1986

Sometimes It Snows In April is a beautiful, moving song, with Prince showing his immense vocal abilities. At the start Prince sings/hums a melody that could easily pass for a trumpet. Prince gives his all vocally and gives a chilling performance, particularly at the second part of the second verse.

After Prince’s unfortunate passing in 2016, the song got global attention: not only did he pass in April, but it actually did snow that month in large parts of the world (including The Netherlands).

Sometimes It Snows In April is placed at position 15 in my Prince songs top 50.

The Revolution 1986 (

The Revolution 1986

Contributions by others

Vocals and instruments by Prince, with the following exceptions:

  • Lisa Coleman – background vocals on Christopher Tracy’s Parade, New Position, I Wonder U, Life Can Be So Nice, keyboards and vocals on Girls & Boys, Mountains, Anotherloverholenyohead and Sometimes It Snows In April
  • Wendy Melvoin – background vocals on Christopher Tracy’s Parade, New Position, Life Can Be So Nice, vocals on I Wonder U, guitar and vocals on Girls & Boys, Mountains, Anotherloverholenyohead and Sometimes It Snows In April
  • Susannah Melvoin – background vocals on Christopher Tracy’s Parade, Girls & Boys and Anotherloverholenyohead
  • Bobby Z. – drums and percussion on Girls & Boys, Mountains and Anotherloverholenyohead
  • Brown Mark – bass and vocals on Girls & Boys, Mountains and Anotherloverholenyohead
  • Dr. Fink – keyboards on Girls & Boys, Mountains and Anotherloverholenyohead
  • Sheila E. – background vocals on Girls & Boys, cowbell on Life Can Be So Nice and drums on Venus De Milo
  • Eric Leeds – horns on Girls & Boys and Mountains
  • Atlanta Bliss – trumpet on Girls & Boys and Mountains
  • Marie France – French text on Girls & Boys
  • Miko Weaver – guitar on Mountains
  • Jonathan Melvoin – drums on Do U Lie?
  • Sandra Francisco – French intro on Do U Lie?
  • Mazarati
    • Tony Christian – background vocals and guitar on Kiss
    • Craig “Screamer” Powell – background vocals and guitar on Kiss
    • Jerome “Romeo” Cox – background vocals on Kiss
    • Marr Starr – background vocals and keyboards on Kiss
    • Aaron Paul “Ace” Keith – background vocals and keyboards on Kiss
    • Kevin “Blondie” Patricks – drums on Kiss
  • Orchestra members
    • Isabelle Daskoff, Francine Walsh, Mari Botnik, Pam Gates, Janice Gower, Karen Jones, Betty Moor, Irma Neumann, Assa Drori, Bill Hymanson, Oscar Chasow, Ron Clark, Henry Ferber, Erne Granat, Ed Green, Bill Hybel, Reggie Hill, Pat Johnson, Don Palmer, Sheldon Sanov, Joe Schonbrun, Terry Schonbrun, Harold Wolf – violin
    • Pam Goldsmith, Margot Maclaine, Carol Mukagawa, Myer Bello, Alan Deverich, Norman Forrest, Alan Harshman, Jorge Moraga, David Stock – viola
    • Jim Arkatoff, Ray Kelley, Ray Kramer, Fred Seykora – cello
    • Chuck Dominico, Arni Egilsson – basses
    • Gene Cipriano, Don Ashworth, John Clarke, Dave Edwards, Gary Foster, Jim Kanter, John Lowe, Dick Mitchell, Jack Nimitz, Joe Soldo, Bob Tricarico – woodwinds
    • Ray Brown, Rich Cooper, Bob Findley, Larry Ford, Bob O’Donnell, Al Vizutti – trumpet
    • Garnett Brown, Charles Loper, Morris Repass, Bill Watrous – trombone
    • Marni Johnson, David Duke, Joe Myer, Brian O’Connor, Calvin Smith, Jim Thatcher – French horn
    • Tommy Johnson – tuba
    • Brent Fischer – tympani and percussion
Prince - Parade - Back cover (

Prince – Parade – Back cover


All production and arrangements by Prince, unless stated otherwise.

  • David Z. – arrangement on Kiss
  • Susan Rogers, Peggy McCreary (“Peggy Mac”), Coke Johnson, David Z., David Tickle, David Leonard – engineer
  • Arne Frager – orchestra recordings (Monterey Sound Studios)
  • Bernie Grundman – mastering
  • Jeff Katz – photography
  • Laura LiPuma, Jeffrey Kent Ayeroff – art direction
  • Ann Field – collage
  • Cavallo, Ruffalo and Fargnoli – personal management
  • Fred Moultrie – business management
  • Lee Phillips – legal representation


Special thanks 2 Clare Fischer 4 making brighter the colors black and white. “Love God” – Prince and the Revolution ’86

Extra songs

Two extra songs were released as B-sides to the singles Kiss and Mountains.

Prince And The Revolution - Kiss & Love Or Money (

Prince And The Revolution – Kiss & Love Or Money

♥ Or $

(also known as Love Or $ or Love Or Money)

Released as the B-side to Kiss. It was recorded on July 9th, 1985, at the Washington Avenue Warehouse with The Revolution. A video was planned, but never materialized. ♥ Or $ is a monotonous, yet great funk song, with sped-up Prince vocals. A precursor to Camille?

♥ Or $ is placed at position 12 of the 15 best Prince B-sides.

Prince And The Revolution - Mountains & Alexa De Paris (

Prince And The Revolution – Mountains & Alexa De Paris

Alexa De Paris

Released as the B-side to Mountains. It was recorded in July of 1985 with Sheila E. on drums. The song title references dancer Alexa Fioroni, who is named as ‘The Dancer’ in the Under The Cherry Moon credits. The song is a symphonic instrumental, with some great guitars by Prince.

Alexa De Paris is placed at position 8 of the 15 best Prince B-sides.

Prince - Parade - Ad (

Prince – Parade – Ad

Album cover

In the autumn of 1985 Jeff Katz was asked to come over to France to be Prince’s personal photographer on the new movie Prince was filming.

Katz had already done some work for Prince, mainly satellite acts, but never for him personally. After a few days of hanging around a photo shoot was organized on a huge stage. A white background was used, Prince wore black and white clothing. The photos were used for the covers of Parade, the singles Kiss and Mountains and Prince’s passport.

Prince - Parade - The reviews (

Prince – Parade – The reviews


The reactions in the press were diverse. The general tenure in the US was much more negative than it was in Europe. In Europe the album was hailed as a genius work of art made by an artist who dared to be different, wasn’t afraid of experiments and had just delivered a masterpiece based on his indescribable talent.

The most important remarks in the reviews were:

The new record by the American singer Prince , Parade, contains enough surprises to throw off even the most loyal fan.
(Dutch newspaper Algemeen Dagblad, 03/29/1986)

Still, the bulk of “Parade” is listenable and enjoyable, a confirmation of Prince’s place as a superior melodist, arranger and player as well as a celebration of his creativity.
(Detroit Free Press, 03/30/1986)

Prince may turn out to be a latter-day Elvis in more ways than one, renouncing the sexual flamboyance that won him his first success.
(New York Times, 03/30/1986)

Despite its fun and funk, “Parade,” in the end, comes across as a very solitary album.
(Star Tribune, 03/30/1986)

After Around The World In A Day, (La Grande) Parade by Prince And The Revolution is a true rehabilitation.
(Dutch magazine OOR 7, 04/05/1986)

Parade is a brilliant record that keeps on growing and gains in depth even after many turns. A masterpiece.
(Dutch newspaper de Volkskrant, 04/11/1986)

I find this record laboured and trite and self-satisfied and won’t be listening to it again.
(New Musical Express, 04/12/1986)

But the introductory “Parade” now marching through for “Under the Cherry Moon” is a different, vague and ultimately unsatisfying work, that doesn’t stand nearly so well by itself.
(Philadelphia Daily News, 04/15/1986)

Who but Prince fills us today with the kind of anticipation we once reserved for new work by Bob Dylan, the Beatles and the Rolling Stones?
(Rolling Stone, 04/24/1986)

A classic album by the most important rock artist of the eighties – capricious, overwhelming and without precedent.
(Dutch newspaper NRC Handelsblad, 05/02/1986)

Prince is no longer making records for a potential audience or even for himself, he’s making them to express one genuinely inquisitive person’s possibilities – and that’s the beginning of truly torrid inspiration.
(SPIN magazine, May 86)

Well, despite the atrocities, there’s actually more great stuff here than on the last two albums.
(Creem, 1986)

I just wish the thing weren’t such a damn kaleidoscope: far from unifying its multifarious parts, its soundtrack function destroys what little chance the lyrics have of bringing it together.
(The Village Voice, 1986)

‘Parade’ may not break any new ground, but it is further confirmation of Prince’s position as a magical pop producer.
(?, 1986)

Read the full reviews in the sub-article Prince – Parade – The reviews.

Many European music magazines (including New Musical Express!) named Parade album of the year in December of 1986.

Prince - Parade - Platinum (

Prince – Parade – Platinum


Sales were disappointing. At least, they were in the US, where the album didn’t reach the top position in the charts and sold ‘just’ 1 million copies, which was a fraction of the numbers both preceding albums had sold.

In other markets, especially Europe, the numbers were up, quite substantially as well. Helped by rave reviews, word of mouth and the singles, Parade was Prince’s bestselling album to date in foreign markets.

Prince - Parade - End of year list OOR 1986 (

Prince – Parade – End of year list OOR 1986


I have mentioned it before on this site, but if I have to pick a favorite Prince album, I always end up choosing between Parade, Sign O’ The Times and Lovesexy. If I were to choose now the balance would shift in favor of Parade, a flawless, timeless, completely unique, bold and inventive masterpiece that will never be repeated. Everything is top-notch, the accompanying tour was fantastic, the image was great and, last but not least, it was my starting point for the uncontrollable hunger for more music, bootlegs, concert recordings, records fairs and many, many, Prince shows. Parade is the album that changed it all and symbolizes a pivotal moment in my musical life.

At the time I bought the album on cd. My player followed a bit later that same year.

After Parade

After Parade the machine didn’t stop. New music was constantly being recorded. The Revolution was well underway with their follow-up, the Dream Factory album, on which Wendy & Lisa’s influence seemed to be even greater than ever before.

Prince - Wendy & Lisa - The Rolling Stone interview 1986 (

Prince – Wendy & Lisa – The Rolling Stone interview 1986

Rolling Stone

Wendy & Lisa got their own interview in Rolling Stone magazine. Wendy’s remark “All I know is that this band is going to be together a long, long time” stands out, especially when realizing that sentiment would change dramatically in the next six months. The interview was held in March 1986 and also addresses the expansion of The Revolution. Lisa: “We’ve got a much bigger sound now and we’re a lot more funk oriented, that’s for sure.”.

Read the full interview in the sub-article Wendy & Lisa, the Rolling Stone interview, 1986. It also contains a funny anecdote about the photo shoot for the article.

Prince - Under The Cherry Moon - Flyer handed out at the Ahoy shows (

Prince – Under The Cherry Moon – Flyer handed out at the Ahoy shows

Under The Cherry Moon

And then there was the movie, the black and white romantic comedy, that was premiered on July 1st, 1986. The movie was a huge flop and was (universally) lauded. Contrary to popular belief, Under The Cherry Moon provides a nice view into Prince’s psyche. Yes, he is vain. Yes, he’s not an actor. But he does have a good sense of humor and seems to take things far less seriously than one was led to believe.

Read (and see) more in the sub-articles Prince – Under The Cherry Moon trailer & Wrecka Stow scene and Prince’s second movie: Under The Cherry Moon.

Prince - Parade Tour - The reviews (

Prince – Parade Tour – The reviews

Hit N Run / Parade Tour

Contradicting his statement made on April 7th, 1985, that he would retire from performing live indefinitely, Prince started rehearsals on February 3rd, 1986. Exactly one month later Prince And The Revolution performed at First Avenue in hometown Minneapolis and gave their first concert of the year. It would signal the start of Hit N Run and the Parade Tour, which would finally bring Prince back to Europe after five long years. He and the band swept Europe off its feet. It was the starting point of a long and intense love affair between Prince and Europe.

For me personally it was my Prince live baptism, my life would never be the same again.

Read more on the Parade Tour in the sub-articles Prince and the fantastic Parade Tour, Prince – Parade Tour – The reviews and Prince And The Revolution – Parade Tour Book.

Prince - Revolution sacked - OOR 22 01-11-1986 (

Prince – Revolution sacked – OOR 22 11/01/1986


But, beneath the surface things were brewing. At the end of 1985 and the beginning of 1986 Prince held three sessions at Sunset Sound, the so-called Paisley Jam and The Flesh sessions. He played with drummer Sheila E., bass player Levi Seacer, Jr. and saxophone player Eric Leeds, among others. At one of those sessions Wendy & Lisa were present. The music was jazzy and more complex. Prince was starting to look beyond the parameters of The Revolution for inspiration.

After the disbanding of The Family, Prince added a part of the live band to The Revolution, including Eric Leeds (saxophone), Miko Weaver (guitar), dancers Jerome Benton, Greg Brooks and Wally Safford and Eric Leeds brought along his friend Atlanta Bliss (trumpet). During the US shows Susannah Melvoin was also on stage (vocals).

In the meantime Prince started recording songs all by himself again, like Sign O’ The Times, for which he didn’t want or need input by Wendy & Lisa.

It all led to resentment with multiple people, especially Wendy & Lisa. They were unhappy with the additions to The Revolution, the minimal recognition for their input in credits on albums and singles and their wages. At the same time the relationship between Prince and Susannah Melvoin was falling apart and Prince wasn’t very gentleman like in his behavior towards Wendy’s sister.

Apparently, tensions erupted right before the start of the Parade Tour when Brown Mark, Wendy & Lisa threatened to quit on the spot. Bobby Z. mediated and convinced them to stay on for the tour. They relented, but it was over, The Revolution was finished. On September 9th, 1986, Prince And The Revolution played their very last show in Japan.

Op October 7th, 1986, Wendy Melvoin and Lisa Coleman were invited for dinner with Prince and he told them that The Revolution was done and they were let go. Next he called Bobby Z. and he was let go as well. Dr. Fink and Brown Mark were given the option to stay, but Brown Mark chose to leave. Ten days later the news was announced to the world.

Prince - Parade era bootlegs (

Prince – Parade era bootlegs

Start of the madness

November 17th, 1986, was the official start of the Prince frenzy in my life. On that day I received my first ever Prince bootleg, containing the recording of the first Prince show I ever witnessed: August 18th, 1986. One year later I started working at the Amsterdam record store Concerto and I was able to buy (almost) all the Prince vinyl in the world. Every rare single, maxi-single and promo I could get my hands on, I bought it.

Bootlegs entered my life as well, at first only vinyl, but it quickly turned into cd’s, hundreds and hundreds of them. I wanted it all. But, the real pearls in the collection remained the recordings from 1986, the outtakes recorded between 1985 and 1987, an indescribable treasure of music, that proves without a shadow of doubt that there was just one true genius at the time: Prince Rogers Nelson from Minneapolis.

In closing

This is the story of Parade, the astounding and unique Prince (And The Revolution) album from 1986. What are your memoires, opinions? Let me know, it truly is highly appreciated!

This story contains an accompanying video. Click on the following link to see it: Video: Prince’s second soundtrack, the sublime Parade. The A Pop Life playlist on Spotify has been updated as well.


More Prince?

Compliments/remarks? Yes, please!