I’ll be buying several copies of the Mirror tomorrow to get my hands on Prince’s latest, 20Ten.
It will, of course, be a profound disappointment.
And I mean profound.
I’ve been listening, obsessively, to Prince almost every day since 1987, when, aged ten, I heard Sign “☮” the Times.
Unfortunately for me, that was the year that Prince hit his peak.
Of course, I’ve had the joy of seeing him live, of exploring the back catalogue, of trading bootleg cassettes with fellow fans in the pre-internet age, of filling hard drives with obscurities and live shows since the dawn of Bittorrent, even of shaking Prince by the hand after watching him play for three hours straight in a New York nightclub, backed by the Family Stone!
But every year since 1987, Prince has disappointed me–a teeny tiny bit, with Lovesexy, a hell of a lot, with shameful pap like The Chocolate Invasion–and every single year, for twenty-three years I have let myself believe that this new album will be the return to form, the one that realigns his recorded output with the continuing brilliance of the live sets.
And then I buy the tabloid, or sign up to the website, or do whatever silly thing it is Prince wants me to do to get my hands on his new record, only to have my hopes dashed by weak songs or, worse, anaemic rehashes of unreleased material that I’ve loved in bootleg form, or seen live.
The song above is Prince at his sloppiest, sleaziest and strangest, doing a perfunctory practice run-through of Bob George at Paisley Park on April 5th, 1988, during a rehearsal for the Sign “☮” the Times tour.
At the end of the recording, Prince says, ‘We’re getting away with murder…’.
He wasn’t then, but he will be tommorrow.