Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Prince - Wonderful Ass

"The Revolution will be heard."

During the past month, I've been exposed to a lot of Prince's unreleased material from the 80s, and this particular title stands out to me as a favorite.

From The Prince Vault:
Wonderful Ass is an unreleased track recorded in early 1983 at Prince's Kiowa Trail Home Studio, Chanhassen, MN, USA. The track is a pop-funk track with synth lead lines, a drum machine beat and rhythm guitar. The track's lyrics were supposedly inspired by Vanity. One section of the song is a list of verbs rhyming with "...ate": "educate", "tolerate", "negotiate", "communicate" etc. This was likely inspired by fellow Minnesota singer-songwriter Bob Dylan's song Subterranean Homesick Blues (from Bringing It All Back Home, 1965, also released as a single in 1965). It is unknown if Wonderful Ass was intended for any project at the time of recording. 
Lisa Coleman and Wendy Melvoin worked on the track further in early 1986, most likely at Sunset Sound, Hollywood, CA, USA, adding vocals and other instrumentation. Again, it it not known if this song was intended for any project at the time of additional recording. 
The track was later planned for inclusion on the Prince and the Revolution album Roadhouse Garden album worked on in 1998-9, but the album remains unreleased. 
During Prince: A Celebration in June, 2000, computer screens at Paisley Park Studios offered names of a selection of tracks which users could vote on for inclusion on Crystal Ball Volume II, and while Wonderful Ass was chosen by fans, the project was ultimately abandoned. The song remains unreleased.

I've heard a couple of theories as to why he disbanded The Revolution (needing to challenge himself, wanting a better trained band), all which seem pretty reasonable, but I always enjoyed his collaborative work with Wendy & Lisa. It hit that right spot of creativity and pop sensibilities.

Here's hoping they'll work together again in a meaningful way.

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