Remember to always listen to something while reading this
column, whether it be the album reviewed or some spoken word by Henry
Rollins. Send all hate mail and C-4 recipes to: Upstarts@hybridmagazine.com
A roving jaunt through the pages of yesteryear...
namely yesteryear 1984. join our heroes, Skid and Rux, as
they dissect one of the great albums of the era.
-let’s go crazy-
Skid: Ladies and gentlemen… Nelson. Prince Rogers.
Rux: Is that the guys name. Really? Nelson?
Skid: Prince Rogers Nelson.
Rux: Nelson Rogers Prince.
Skid: His middle name is plural.
Skid: Yep. His last name is Nelson.
Rux: What’s his first name?
Rux: No it’s not.
Skid: That’s his real name. Just like Madonna’s
is… his real name. Oh, I’m sorry, you’re not supposed to talk during the
sermon. Oh, I know the one. Okay, a little Ants drumming there.
Rux: Speaking of the Ants… How do you think our
friend Marco fares today?
Skid: I hope he’s doing well. I hope it’s the
top o’ the mornin’ to him.
Rux: Top o’ the mornin’ to ya Constable. Aye,
pip pip cheerio.
Skid: What’s all this then?
Rux: What’s all this about…
Skid: This is a little song called: Let’s Go Crazy.
Rux: And if the elevator tries to break us down…
Skid: Right…. And if the elevator tries to break
us down… is that what it says?
Rux: Go crazy. Punch a higher floor.
Rux: Bring us down. If the elevator tries to bring
us down… go crazy. Punch a higher floor.
Skid: Oh… well, that makes a little more sense.
Rux: But see, you and I have argued for years
about this purple banana thing.
Skid: WHAT? Purple banana thing?
Rux: Let’s look for he purple banana ‘til they
put us in the truck. Let’s go!
Skid: (mumbles)Let’s look for the purple banana…
I thought it was look for the union label.
Rux: No. That was when you were jeans shopping
last week. What would the union label have to do with anything? Just because
the guys from Michigan or whatever…
Skid: Well, purple banana… it’s bound to be the
very next phase.
Rux: That ain’t cool, making the Dr. Pepper come
out of my nose like that…
knowing anyone at
should have them contact us
for sponsor info)
Skid: Is that a purple banana in your pocket…
So, he’s inciting a riot here, is what we are saying.
Rux: Yeah. I think that was pretty much the deal.
Getting started with a riot.
Skid: Ahhhh. This is a goofy song.
Rux: It’s 1985, what do you want?
Skid: It’s a damned goofy song.
Rux: Well, I mean look at the guy… He doesn’t
spell words out, he just uses letters. Sinead O’Connor did that and then
everything goes to hell in a handbasket because the kids can’t write.
Skid: I hate that short hand stuff. And we’re
going to let “d” elevator…
Rux: D elevator, not the elevator… De-elevator?
Skid: I did… I don’t see anything about purple
banana in this…the purple banana of life?
Rux: No. Let’s look for the purple banana til
they put us in the truck. Let’s go!
Skid: Okay. I’m looking for it.
Rux: Its in the chorus…
Skid: Peel slowly and see… Yeah. Purple banana
til they put us in the truck…
Rux: Would I lie to you? Would I lie to you honey?
Honey would I lie?
Don’t start. Now that’s a fine noise to be making. You kids cut that out.
Rux: Oh yeah… yeah yeah. Oh yeah…that’s it. Oh
Skid: You can leave that out…
Rux: ba da da dunda daaaaa… I will have to say
that this is one of my favorite records from this time period.
Skid: Good Lord. We’re going to have a fun time
Rux: I listened to this record a lot. I had this
record on record… vinyl that is. Big beautiful acid house purple vinyl.
End it already… end it! Well, that song was an assload of suck.
-take me with u-
But I’m sure that… apple dumpling will take care of it…
Rux: I don’t think you can say assload of suck...
I need an assload of suck to get by now.
Skid: We’re going to be canned now.
Rux: Yeah. That’s my favorite Lou Reed song. “Assload
of suck to get by”.
Skid: I like “We’re going to get canned now”.
We’re going to score so we can get canned.
Rux: But see, even back here I was into pop music,
and you really weren’t.
Skid: No. This is, for all extents, girl music.
Rux: Oh yeah. I mean, how old was I at the time?
12 or 13 or something.
Skid: I don’t know. I don’t know how old you are
now. You’re like some ageless being.
Rux: I’m 30-something twenty… something. Forty…
Skid: Right… You Are.
Rux: I AM.
Skid: This is an assumption… but we can assume
for the sake of argument that you are.
Rux: I’m pretty certain I am.
Skid: I think, therefore I think I am. Okay… start
Rux: It’s beautiful, beautiful pop music.
Skid: How about the groundbreaking lyrics?
Rux: I don’t think he ever had the lyric thing
down so much. He wasn’t really making any statements on anything… so much.
Skid: Sounds like a Christmas song. Sounds like
they’re riding in a one horse open sleigh.
Rux: What? Are you saying it sounds like Christmas
music? I guess this song, it sort of does.
Skid: Yes. It sounds like a little Christmas song.
In fact, it sounds like THE Christmas song. Written by a good friend of
mine, Mr. Mel Torme. Appolonia is doing some breathy intro thing here.
Sort of announcing the next thing she is about to say…
If Miss Ella Fitzgerald was here she would sing it like this...
Skid: Skoobad doo ba dwee dop do dop. Oh the weather
outside is frightful…
Rux: And the stuff is so delightful… if you know
what I mean.
Skid: Jack Frost roasting on an open fire. Chestnuts
nipping at your nose.
-the beautiful ones-
Rux: Well, at least its pop music. It’s short,
you know? Very short. I can’t defend that song.
Skid: It was very syrupy. Yet another suitcase
full of suck.
Rux: But now, this song I will defend… because
I think it is very sonically beautiful… in it’s girl-music-ness.
Skid: I’ve got a drink with an umbrella sticking
out of it right now.
Rux: When we do these older records like this
that I really liked when we were young, it is hard to go back and listen
to them because I’m not in the same place that I was. And there have been
so many better things since then.
Skid: Let’s go to your mom’s house. Will that
do the trick?
Rux: Take me back. Take me back, take me back.
back in time…
Skid: Before. Before. Before Rock and Roll.
Rux: Before Oasis. Take me back before Oasis.
Skid: Before Metallica. Before Tool. Telefunken.
Rux: Before. Before the New Ben Franklins.
We should just call our column “Screwing With Search Engines”.
That’s all it is. It’s a subtle genre of comedy.
Rux: Search engine comedy.
Skid: Yeah. It’s a very small niche. We found
a niche and scratched it. I’m paying no attention to what he’s talking
Rux: He’s talking about the beautiful ones, man.
Skid: He’s trying to be Smokey.
Rux: Yeah. Kind of. The keyboards in this remind
me of Strange Advance.
Skid: Strange Advance… fill me in here.
Rux: Strange Advance was like an… they may have
been German… No, they were English, I’m sure. They were probably English,
like a beep-beep keyboard band from ’83 to 87 maybe. And no one over here
in the states ever heard them, but they were very good.
Skid: It’s completely Smokey here.
Rux: You know what else I love about this Prince
stuff from when he was good? The drums.
Skid: The drums I did notice on this one… they’re
Rux: The production from the early Paisley Park
stuff was so good. I guess the later stuff was too, but the music didn’t
do anything for me. the Diamonds and Rain… twin beautiful girls hanging
all over the little gay guy.
Skid: Oh hey… hoop… Oh, we’re fired. The happy
Rux: He’s not gay. The happy little elf.
Skid: Androgynous, homosexual happy fellow.
Rux: Has there ever been any proof of that?
Skid: I don’t know. That’s just what I was wondering.
Honestly, I don’t think that he is, and if he is, I think its…
Rux: I mean he’s quote unquote “dated” many hotties
over the years, but I think its just that he’s been seen with them. I
don’t know that he actually dated any of them.
Skid: Well, he’s married and has a kid and all.
Rux: How come you know all these people have kids,
and I’ve never heard anything about him being married.
Skid: Well, the voices have been telling me. They
flew it over from Minnesota… Now how did Minnesota become a hotbed of
Rock and rhythm and blues? Pop…
Whoa! Prince. Dang.
Rux: Yeah. Guess who stole their shtick from this
Skid: Mr. Kravitz, perhaps? Now if he did more
of that… I never heard this stuff. I’m getting aroused.
Rux: No? See when he gets into it… he goes.
Skid: When he finds his stones? Not Rolling Stones,
but… a Little Richard…
Oh, I did that first. You know who did that first.
Skid: You know I did that first. Dressing up like
a little girl… you know I did that first.
Rux: Wearing shiny purple jackets… You know I
did that first.
Skid: Having a thin little mustache… I did that.
I invented rock and roll. They stole it from me. Shut up.
Rux: Little Richard… If you are reading this,
give us a call.
Skid: Medium sized Richard, if you are listening
to this… give us a call. But if you’re a big dick, don’t call.
Rux: Be sure to check out the web board for our
Here we’ve got Wendy and Lisa saying some fun stuff.
Skid: This is Computer Blue.
Rux: Yes Lisa… Yes Lisa…
Skid: Some sort of medical procedure they’re doing?
Rux: They are in the bathtub.
Skid: Oh yes. This is Computer Blue.
Rux: What do you think of the feedbacky guitar
Skid: It’s kind of interesting. Oh, that sucked.
Rux: You’ll hate this, because it’s all beep beep.
Skid: (sings) It’s a beautiful world we are living
in… It’s a sweet romantic place…
Rux: Was that before or after this?
Skid: It was about the same time, so I’m not sure.
Rux: Did he have production credits on this, or
did he get credit for this?
Skid: Was produced, arranged and performed by
Prince and the revolution.
Rux: Fucking amazing man. I don’t care what anybody
says… He’s on my list of geniuses with Bowie. And sure, he threw it out
the window, but so did Bowie at one point.
Rux: Well, listen to the production though.
Skid: Well, that’s fine. But its not art.
Rux: Yeah it is. It’s a different kind of art.
Skid: No, it’s a craft.
Rux: Arts and Crafts. Whatever.
Skid: Popsicle sticks.
Rux: you put macaroni around your neck, and he
does this, you know? So what do you want?
Skid: More macaroni and paints and glitter.
Rux: Here’s a little tip for you: When you make
those little macaroni necklaces and then get hungry, and you put the macaroni
necklace in the water to boil it… Take the yarn out. It’s not so tasty,
really, after its been cooked.
Skid: If you wear it around your neck and you
go out into the desert and you are starving and hungry then you’ll be
attacked by birds eating macaroni.
Rux: All right. This part ruins it for me. Where
it switches gears into a Billy Ocean song. That’s very ‘80’s.
Skid: You are right about the drums though. I’d
like to just have the drum tracks.
Rux: Oh yeah. And this guitar tone on its own
would do absolutely nothing for me, but in this context… well, this one
doesn’t, but most of them on this record are a little too screechy for
me out on their own, but I think that they fit inside the music pretty
well. And here is the Joe Cocker/Jennifer Warnes part.
Skid: I guess we also have to look at the fact
that this is a movie soundtrack. So really there is a bunch of action
happening behind all this.
Rux: Theoretically, yeah. I don’t know though.
This is one of those cases where which came first, the movie or the music?
Skid: I don’t know. It says on here music from
the motion picture…
Rux: Oh does it? Ok… well then maybe it was all
written for the movie… I never knew if the music was written first and
he wrote the movie around the music or not.
Skid: Yeah. There are some interesting sonic things
going on there. Computer Blue started out kind of interesting and intriguing…
But then I lost it. What’s this?
Rux: This is Darling Nicky.
Skid: Now this one is going to suck way back into
Rux: Yeah. Yeah. When all the kids were walking
around whispering it because they didn’t want the teachers to hear.
Skid: Yeah. This is from the O.S…. Old Suck. Man,
this was all girls singing this… and I was like, what are you talking
Rux: I know. What was the deal with that? The
girls were all into this song. I said, you girls are all dumb. Here’s
a little secret for you…
Skid: Now I think the girls name was Nicky, who
was singing it.
Rux: Oh, that’s even worse.
Skid: Now was Nicky masturbating WITH a magazine,
or was she looking at the magazine and masturbating? That’s what I always
Rux: I don’t know. Let’s call him. Let’s call
Nelson Rogers Prince.
Skid: It just didn’t seem like that would work
so good to me, is all I’m saying.
Rux: Seems kind of uncomfortable. You might get
paper cuts and stuff. To me, this is the continuation of Little Red Corvette
off of 1999. The song about going up to the girls room, and the room was
filled with Trojans and some of them new. This is the best line on the album… I’m just kidding, it really isn’t.
Skid: You had me scared. It does say sho ‘nuff.
Rux: In the lyrics it says sho ’nuff? Sho you
right. Now, do you think he was calling from the RnB stuff? I mean…
Skid: I think he was calling from Rick James.
Rux: Chicken? That’s your Little Richard chicken
squawking right there.
Skid: Talking about girls masturbating in a magazine?
You know I did that first!
Rux: I just remember the preacher at the church
at the time was very opposed to Prince music. you know.
Skid: Yeah, well… you want kids to stay away from
the music that sucks.
Rux: I don’t think it was so much that, bit yeah…
Skid: I’m pretty sure he was trying to protect
you from it.
Rux: Little soundscape here at the end. Little
bit of rain and some weird noise, whatever it is.
Skid: Yeah. Some electronic ducks.
Rux: Putting rain at the end of a song? You know I did
Skid: Oh here’s the back-masking.
Rux: I think the preacher’s big objection to this,
if I remember correctly, because I wasn’t really listening… was the way
he spelled the word cum. He said “cum on baby”… and its spelled, you know.
Skid and Rux: C- U- M.
Skid: So he didn’t like the Quiet Riot… I like
that last bit.
Rux: You like the soundscape?…
-when doves cry-
This was the… there were 3 radio tracks from this record,
and this was the big video that I remember.
Skid: Did they have to edit stuff or what?
Skid: Why were there 3 tracks?
Rux: No… there was Purple Rain, When Doves Cry
and Let’s Go Crazy.
Skid: Oh. Right.
Rux: But this is the only video I remember. No,
that’s not true… The video for Let’s Go Crazy I remember as well.
Skid: That’s nice. I love it when people cut themselves
off. They do the track and cut themselves off. The harmonies are really
nice in this.
Rux: I think that these are probably the best
lyrics on the record, also. I think the reason this record was so great
at the time was because of the rhythm tracks. The bass is never really
noticeable, because it’s right on top of the drums. It’s not like it is
its own entity.
Skid: Which is too bad, but… it works. I would
like to hear more of a separate bass. He’s exploring a little bit of Freudian
psychology in this one. If. You. Know. What. I. Mean. I like when he says
“touch if you will my stomach” or… what is it? Dream if you can…
Rux: Yeah! Dream if you can a picture… I think
this must have been the stuff that turned me on to the echoing vocals
trick. this song… I can’t think of much that I listened to before this
that did that. The post-punk stuff didn’t really do that. No production
Skid: The stuff that WE were listening to? Probably
not… Pink Floyd, maybe.
Rux: Because, you know… Bauhaus? they didn’t do
that… Well, they did more than anybody else. Joy Division? No echoing
vocals. Johnny Cash?… No.
Skid: Behind the King Soopers where I lived somebody
had painted When Doves Cry. They did a pretty nice mural of it. But then
right next to it was Rose Royce. So…
Rux: Why do you have to ruin everything?
Skid: You really can’t give them that much credence.
Rux: The Rose Royce never made any sense to me
Skid: Do you know where the Rose Royce… it was
painted by the car wash. So it made perfect sense…
Rux: It was just a spelling error.
Skid: But why somebody would… you know… I had
my Rose Royce tattoo removed, so…
Rux: And it was worth very penny.
Skid: I just cut my arm off. A little Santana guitar.
Rux: Yeah, the meandering guitar. Here he does
his James Brown “Hai… HAI!”
(a little bit of the ha ssss ha sssss race)
Haven’t seen Plastic for a while… We need to get him
to give us some input. It’s been…
Skid: We need to call him up and tape the convo.
Oh yeah, the little harpsichordy…
Rux: The little harpsichordy-violin-keyboard thing.
Skid: Baroque. Well, if it ain’t baroque, don’t
fix it. I’ll be bach in a minuet.
Rux: Stop it.
Skid: All right. I’m done.
Rux: Darling. Do not cry…
Skid: Even doves have cried.
Rux: I like that vocal thing at the end where
he does that line over and over again. There you go…
-I would die 4 u-
Skid: So that was the album, right there. That
Rux: Well, you have like another couple pop songs
and then the big finale track, or whatever.
Skid: Well, here. He’s going to explain it to
us… I’m not a woman, I’m not a man... Oh, this is I Would Die For You.
Rux: With the numeral 4 and the letter U. I think
U2 stole their name from Prince.
Skid: Oh really? How very interesting, since they
came before him. Probably not… because he was putting out all sort of
R’n’B stuff …
Rux: Just the 2 records prior to 1999.
Skid: Hey… He had a bunch of albums before 1999…
Well, he was honing his craft. He was blending in with Sweet F.A.
Rux: just the Sweet back then.
Skid: No, the Sweet F.A. All the sexually charged
disco R’n’B acts.
Rux: What does the F.A. stand for?
Skid: We can’t say that here… It stands for Sweet
fargle bargle… argle gargle.
Rux: Argle argle.
Skid: Of course, I’ve never heard of them anyway,
so I don’t know what you are talking about. No one that’s listening has
heard of that either…. Oh, I mean, that’s some sort of Love And Rockets…
That’s what that was.
Rux: See, he’s back to the trite lyrics and stuff, but the synthesis
of the live percussion with the programmed stuff… just the sound, man.
Skid: This is disco.
Rux: Yeah, but its better…
Skid: Except that its disco.
Rux: It’s better than most disco.
All right. Whatever. I’ll give you that…
Rux: At least its not doing that stupid disco
thing that everyone else did, with the bass line that just walked on up,
and the crappy trashy drums… and the…
Skid: He doesn’t like the bass, does he?
Rux: No. It just sits on top of those drums. And
there’s a little bit of keyboard holding down the bass parts. See? So
now we’re into the next song. He just runs these 2 songs together. That’s
what we call a nice little segue there.
-baby I’m a star-
Skid: Ooooo… kay. This is Baby, I’m A Star.
Rux: So this is like the happy little moment in
the movie. Did you see the movie?
Oh, hell no… oops. I mean, several times. I laughed, I cried, I pee’d my pants. No, at
the time I felt that he was probably going to come out with something
better. So I was holding out for Cherry Moon.
Rux: Well, you were quite the rube then, weren’t
Skid: You mean it was better than Cherry Moon?
I’ve got to see that!
Rux: It all fell apart after this record. Like,
he was pretty crappy R’n’B, and then he did 1999, and that was a nice
record… and then he did this record, and then it all started to fall apart.
After this was Raspberry Beret.
Skid: That was all right, I guess. I didn’t hear
anything else off it.
Rux: And then after that record… what was that
record… After that record the Revolution was no more. And he started doing…
Skid: And then he went crazy. He went nuts. He
went the banana… purple… boat…. with the cherry topping.
Rux: Somebody did put the purple banana in his
truck. If you know what I mean.
Skid: So this was the pinochle of his career…
Rux: Yeah. I would say so. For me, at least.
Skid: It was certainly the gin rummy. See… yeah,
Rux: Now, this is the disco beat.
Skid: So would you say that over all, Prince was
a far better artist than, say… Kid Creole?
Skid: (laughter) How can you possibly say that?
It’s Kid Creole, for c…
Rux: With or without the Coconuts?
Skid: Uhhhh… It would have to be without, because
you don’t say Prince without the Revolution.
Rux: I think that from this time period and this
style of music… the cross-over-ish R’n’B… There was a lot of crossover
soul to the pop at this point, and I think that out of all of that stuff,
he was probably the most consistently good Artist. Formerly known as Prince.
Because most of that stuff there was one song, and the rest of the album
Skid: So, would you choose prince or Michael Jackson?
Rux: I would choose Prince.
Skid: Ok. What if it was Michael Jackson without
Rux: There was no coconuts in Michaels Jackson.
Skid: So says you.
Rux: That’s what all the horse sounds were? The
Skid: He’s been taking hormone replacement.
Rux: Doctor!… Oh, I was the wrong verse, sorry.
Skid: Doctor? What are you talking about?
Rux: How do you like that keyboard? The scrapey
Skid: (sings) We use dirty laundry… see the dirty
little bleach blond, comes on at five.
Rux: Ok, let’s go through the girl bands that
Prince started… in his own way.
Skid: Wendy and Lisa.
Rux: Appalonia 6.
Skid: The girl from James Bond… the Scottish…
Rux: Oh yeah. Sheila E.
Skid: Sheila E. Sugar Walls. If you know what
I mean… that’s disgusting…
Rux: No no… It was Appolonia Katero… and then
Skid: No. It was Appolonia 6. And then Vanity
6. or Vice Versa.
Rux: And then there were the twins. Diamond and
Skid: And then there was that other girl… ummm.
Rux: Okay. Go ahead and say it.
Skid: Well, I think that when you are walking
around junior high school hearing girls sing this – or try to- it sounds
like a country song. (sings) Purple Rain, purple rain… I only want to
see you hhmmmming in the purple rain.
(Rux grabs a guitar)
Skid: Come on Willie! wee hee hooo…. who’s cheating
who and who’s being true and who don’t even care because they’re in that
Rux: Thank you.
Skid: Thank you, Opry.
Rux: Yes. It is. It’s a country song…
Skid: It sounds like a Willie song, really. (sings)
Angel… flying too close to the ground…
Rux: Do you think it’s just because of the tempo?
or the melody and everything?
Skid: The melody, and the tempo. And the ummm….
what do you call it? The phrasing.
Rux: Oh yeah. The phrasing totally is.
Skid: (sings) Blue eyes crying… in the purple
Rux: You’re killing me.
Skid: I’m right.
Rux: Oh yeah. I’m not disputing it. But maybe
that’s why this song was even more comfortable to me at the time.
Skid: It might be.
Rux: I can do without the Eddie Van Halen guitar.
Rux: Definitely, definitely…
Skid: Definitely maybe. It’s all right. When Doves
Cry was better, but this song is ok.
Rux: I like this. I think that these two songs
make the record. Undisputedly. I think that When Doves Cry is the most
well written song.
Skid: Uh huh. So, from my view… and I haven’t
heard all of his work, but from what I’ve heard of it, When Doves Cry
is the best thing.
Rux: I would accept that. There were definitely
some songs off of 1999 that I really liked, that no one ever heard… unless
they had the record and actually listened to side 2. But it wasn’t as
smooth as this record. I think that this record, production wise, is one
of the finest things out of the 1980’s.
Skid: All right.
Rux: And… granted, this record came out before
I started making records myself…
Skid: You like it better than Was Not Was? That’s
another producer band.
Rux: Yeah. Don Was. They walked the dinosaur.
Skid: That was crap.
Rux: See… you know what? All those guys in the
80’s who were producers and they tried to do their own bands… it never,
ever worked. The only time it ever worked, and that was beacuase it was
reversed was chic. And that didn’t really work for me personally.
Skid: I don’t know what that is.
Rux: Chic? Niles Rodgers’ band…
Skid: Oh, Chic? I called them Chick.
Rux: And this was the end of the movie here… where
this song was playing.
Skid: Uh huh. And there wasn’t a dry eye in the
Rux: Oh man, I was gone. I was… whew…
Skid: Couldn’t watch anymore, huh?
Skid: Left early. Snuck into the other theaters…
Saw Red Sonja or Breakin’ 2 Electric Boogaloo.
Rux: Oh God… Stay tuned for Prince… in Under The
Cherry Moon. Featuring more members of the Time. Featuring Jerome… from
Skid: To be continued? I pledge allegiance, to the Time… come on.
Rux: What? I don’t know that one.
Skid: Ice Cream Castles. Come on man… the Waitresses.
I don’t know where you were back then.
Rux: I wasn’t there for that. The Waitresses passed
me right by. There was some stuff in the 80’s that passed me right by.
Not a lot, but some. He’s pulling out just the extended production stuff
on this song. The strings that I’m sure aren’t strings.
Skid: It’s nice. John Sarre please call us. And
by the way… I bet now we do get sued, since he sues all his fan’s websites.
I mean… His fans hate him more than Metallica’s fans hate them.
For The (purple) Record:
Little Richard did that firsts: He did EVERYTHING first!
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