The Dance Electric

I like the Purple Rain Deluxe release. It collects many b-sides, extended mixes, and other oddities in one place. But, sadly, I think it is a missed opportunity.

The set contains three compact discs and on DVD of a March 1985 performance at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse. CD #1 is the original soundtrack album. CDs #2 and #3 contain extended mixes and B-sides.

But they’re completely unproduced. No attempt was made to craft this material into a coherent album. I think CD #2 should be the original soundtrack with the extended mixes included and that CD #3 could be a produced, coherent album on its own.

And, why still are some of the most prominent songs from the film not included? “Sex Shooter” isn’t a Faulkner novel, but it is the only song we hear performed TWICE in the film. And even this expanded collection pretends that The Time doesn’t exist in the Kid’s universe. Meanwhile, Dez Dickerson’s “Modernaire” has essentially fallen off the planet. You can’t buy it, you can’t beg for it. It may be the most out of print music recording to have ever existed.

Here’s my mix:

    Disc One
  1. Let’s Go Crazy (Special Dance Mix)
  2. Take Me With U
  3. The Beautiful Ones
  4. Computer Blue (Hallway Speech Version) / Darling Nikki (Aaron’s Edit)
  5. When Doves Cry
  6. I Would Die 4U
  7. Baby I’m a Star
  8. Purple Rain

    Disk Two
  1. Our Destiny / Roadhouse Garden
  2. Wonderful Ass
  3. Father’s Song
  4. Velvet Kitty Cat
  5. The Dance Electric (André Cymone)
  6. Katrina’s Paper Dolls
  7. Jungle Love (The Time)
  8. Erotic City (Extended)
  9. God (Love Theme from Purple Rain)
  10. Sex Shooter (Apollonia 6)
  11. 17 Days
  12. Electric Intercourse
  13. The Bird (The Time)
  14. Love and Sex

A few notes. On Disc One, I actually edited the Hallway Speech version to run into Darling Nikki as it does on the album. This way, you get the extended mix but the cohesion present on the album. This was astonishingly easy to do in Audacity. Or maybe I just got lucky.

My original mix of Disc Two started with the “extended version” of “I Would Die 4U.” I figured we’d start with an extension from the soundtrack and then lead to the new mix. But I couldn’t. It’s so bad. I have a problem with Eddie M’s improv skills. Always have. I’m like I improvised better than that when I was 16. Dude. Take some composition classes. Take some theory. Toot toot toot tee toot is not good solo. Sheila deserved a better sax player. Sorry, Eddie.

By the way, do not go on Amazon or eMusic or whatever looking for “Sex Shooter.” I had to order the vinyl from eBay and record the song from there (this is sad because I previously owned the album and got rid of it prior to the day that Prince stopped refusing to die). Worth it. Completely worth it.

I left off several other songs, too, including “We Can Fuck,” largely because I identify this song with the later masterpiece Graffiti Bridge (with the more finished “We Can Funk” featuring George Clinton). Also left behind, “Possessed,” which sounds like bad demo, and “Another Lonely Christmas,” which is not horrible but just feels irrelevant.

And, I’m sorry, but Andre’s version of “The Dance Electric” is just better. It’s more abbreviated. And he actually released it. Made a video for it, even. And why in the wide wide world of sports doesn’t this “deluxe edition” contain “Jungle Love,” “The Bird,” and “Sex Shooter?”

And, as noted, man, Dez Dickerson is the Rodney Dangerfield of this thing and of the world of recorded music generally. Not that “Modernaire” was Mozart, but it was * in the movie. * And this is the * deluxe * edition. Allegedly.

So that’s my mix of CD2 of Purple Rain. I don’t know what to call it. I’m thinking That’s Not Lake Minnetonka or Songs From The Dumpster. AAAFNRAA


2016 sucked.

At least, that was the general consensus on the Internets.

I mean, throw a dart at any year and you will come up with a long list of musical notables who had stopped refusing to die. But 2016, for some reason, seemed particularly heinous.

David Bowie (January 10). Glenn Frey (January 18). Paul Kantner (January 28). Maurice White (Feb. 4). Vanity (Feb. 15). Keith Emerson (March 10). Merle Haggard (April 6). Jimmie Van Zant (April 7). Leon Russell (Nov. 13).

But for me, it didn’t get any worse than April 21. (Or so I thought, but that’s a different story…) Respect to every other musical mind we lost in 2016, but in April 2016, it just went from bad to worse. To the worst. The worst.

I was at work. I emptied myself into the hallway to stretch my legs and view social media. There was this weird news story on my phone about them finding a body at Paisley Park.

Calm down, says me to myself. They didn’t say it was him. Yet.

Four minutes later they’re saying it was him. It was him. It was him.

Prince Rogers Nelson had stopped refusing to die at age 57. It was not the most devastating loss I would face to Grim the Reaper in 2016. But it sure felt like it was.

As I left the office, I told my boss I was “going to go home and watch Purple Rain.” And I did. Twice. And several times after that. And once when it played at the Little Theater. I even watched Graffiti Bridge.

Man, he made horrible films.

But, so did Elvis. And Elvis was still Elvis.

Except for me.

Prince was my Elvis.

I was thinking of about when Prince came into my conciousness. I think I kept seeing the “Controversy” album for sale via some record club I was in. Then I think I heard “Delerious” on the radio one morning. Then there was the video for “1999.” Then I ended up with the 1999 album via another record club. And I didn’t listen to it for a while. And then when I did listen to it, really listened to it, I was blown away by the attention to detail. To the chiming clock and the flute orchestration during “Lady Cab Driver.” To the weird whirring baseline during “All The Critics Love U (In New York).” To the weird inneuendo in “Little Red Corvette.”

(Shortly after his death I could not help but joke:

“Little Red Corvette
This song is not actually about a car
Little Red Corvette
This song is about sexual intercourse actually.”
–Prince’s original draft


Everything. In total. About the album 1999 is great. Still is. That’s the lovely thing about it. It still stands up. Solidly. Even now, 17 years after the arrival of the title’s indicated year.

Yeah, I mean at 1999, I thought I was fairly hooked on Prince and probably had by that time even bought Controversy.

I could not have prepared myself at that time for Purple Rain.

Welcome to Zappadan. It’s purple.