When contemplating the musical output of Prince, who has sold in excess of 100 million records, it’s easy to forget that he gave away nearly as many hits to other artists as he kept for himself. You’d be hard-pressed to name an artist who produced more critical music in the 1980’s than His Purpleness.
“Originals” compiles fifteen tracks that were given to other acts, eventually striking gold. These are not merely demos, though, they are nearly-finished masters that differ from their children very little. All Morris Day had to do to strike paydirt was follow Prince’s version of “Jungle Love” as a blueprint. Likewise for The Bangles’ “Manic Monday” and Sheile E’s “The Glamorous Life.” The crucial elements are all there, born from one mind, proving genius. Wow, did this bowl me over.
Sammy Hagar & The Circle
Space Between (BMG)
If you’re among the crowd that decries the death of the rock Lp, then I’m about to make your day. Hagar and his pals have cooked up a good’n, with enough anthemic super choruses to make Mutt Lange blush. This ain’t no twee hipster band dressed like turn-of-the-century farmers, this is a legit rock band.
Fortunately, Hagar has written a swell batch of tunes, varied enough to keep every segment of his fanbase happy. “Full Circle Jam” is a Zep-type bluesy shuffle, “Can’t Hang” is swampy Southern stuff, and “Affirmation” might’ve found a place on any Van Hagar record. Sammy’s voice is in phenomenal form (can you believe he’s 71?!) and The Circle absolutely smoke.
Which One Am I? (HowieDoItMusic)
Though this isn’t Howie D’s first step away from the Backstreet Boys, it is his first foray into the family music genre. Growing up a shy, uncertain kid, this project really hit home with me. Howie D explains; “The goal…is to remind people that no matter what they’re going through, they can emerge victorious.”
“Shy,” sung in doo-wop style, will strike a chord with many. Describing the terror of being called on to read aloud in class, Howie D assures us that it’s something we all contend with. He also turns the worries of “Worry” into a springy reggae tune, offering a positive outlook, which is what this whole project is about. This’ll be a nice one to take along on car trips this summer.
Various Artists/Stranger Things Soundtrack (Sony)
Various Artists/1977: The Year That Punk Broke (Cherry Red)
Deep Purple/Live In Newcastle 2001 (Ear Music)
Donnie Vie/Beautiful Things (Deko)
CD’s Provided By CD-DVD-Games Warehouse, 3717 80th Street, Kenosha, Wi, 53142,