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- Jakob Olsen.
The Black Album.
Artists name: Prince
Album title: The Black Album
Release date: December 7, 1987 (Finally in November 1994)
No. of tracks: 8
Top chart position: 18
- Le Grind
- Cindy C.
- Dead On It
- When 2 R in Love
- Bob George
- 2 Nigs United 4 West Compton
- Rock Hard in a Funky Place
A lot of things could be said about this album. It has become very famous because it was actually cancelled a few days before it was set to be released. There are some rumors around that some people actually managed to get a copy of the original batch, but they are unverified, to me anyway. After the cancellation Prince put together Lovesexy that was released 6 months later in May 1988. As an effect of this remake "When 2 Are In Love" is on both of these two albums. The only song Prince ever released twice.
The result of this cancellation has been that The Black Album has become the most famous and sought after bootleg around. It has been estimated that anywhere between 200000 and 5 million copies of this album is in circulation as bootlegs. To bad for the ones that paid a lot of money for a copy that it was officially released in 1994.
When it was released in 1994 it became obvious why Warner didn't want it to be released in 1987. It is a very hard record that sometimes has the feel of a demo rather than a finished record. I don't mind this at all, I like it a lot in fact as it amplifies the tightness and James Brownian simplicity of the funk that Prince does better than anyone. This is a very good record, make no mistake about that.
Apart from "When 2 Are In Love", that somehow doesn't fit on this album, it is only hard and simple funky tunes, that have a very basic and spontaneous feel to them. Listen to "Bob George" and try imagining a simpler and more spontaneous feel; It just isn't possible.
It is very hard to figure out who is actually on this album since Prince decided not to have any sleeve notes on here. The most probable thing is that the band is more or less the same as on the Sign 'O' The Times album and tour, since they were released only 9 months apart.
This means that this should be the band:
Prince : Whatever
Matt Fink : Keyboards
Sheila E. : Drums and voice
Eric Leeds and Atlanta Bliss on horns.
Susannah Melvoin, Wendy and Lisa and Sheena Easton : Various positions.
The Black Album reached no. 18 on the R&B-chart and no.47 on the Pop-chart in 1994. No singles were released. On the whole the release of "The Legendary Black Album" wasn't as big a success as the number of bootlegs could have suggested, but it had probably lost some of its controversy during the seven years since its planned release.
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